A few weeks back we caught up with Simeon Patience, one of Spoke Magazine’s photographers, and continuing the theme this week we caught up with budding photo-pro Ryan McCrae.

Read on to learn a bit more about this talented young mustache grower…….

Above: A piece Ryan recently produced with Paul Langlands. Rad!

Age: 20

Where are you from originally and where are you based now?
I am originally from Hamilton and I am still based in Hamilton for the moment.

Best thing about living where you do?
It’s a nice place, not too small but big enough to have some unexplored bits. You can ride everywhere on a bike reasonably fast.

Worst thing about living there?

Let’s put it this way, other people describe it as the place you have to go through when you’re going somewhere fun.


What’s your day job?
I’m in the process of starting my own photography company.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day and go to work?

Work itself; I love what I do, that’s why I do it, I like creating things, whether it is a photo or a video.

How’d you get into photography?
About five years ago when I was in fifth form I was out riding BMX one Sunday afternoon with friends when I had a small mishap trying to grind a ledge way too fast. Seemed pretty sore, had no luck walking it off and it turned out that I had broken my patela (knee cap). Got put in a full leg cast for six weeks and I was eager to ride again. So the day after I got my cast off I was at work at Waikato Mowers and Cycles. I carefully selected my favourite bike in the shop, a Scott YZ0 to take over the road to get lunch, and well, that’s where it turns ugly. I’m 10 metres from the bakery and I decide to do a small manual. I pulled the wrong brake lever and tipped off the back, and when I landed I heard a bang! That was my quad muscle ripping off my bone where it connects to my lower leg; because of me being in a cast for six weeks, not using it or bending it, the muscle had shrunk and I couldn’t fully bend it. So yeah, photography filled the down time.

Why photography?
I was drawn to it because it captures a moment in time which you can’t normally observe for a period of time.

If you couldn’t take photos any more, what would you do?
I’d definitely move over into video work. It’s kind of the same thing as photography for me.

Most interesting subject you’ve shot?

I assisted Aaron K on a shoot for Q Magazine with Neil Finn. It was shot in Neil’s Auckland recording studio; it was an amazing place.

What’s you current setup for shooting bikes?

I’ve got a Canon 5D mkII camera, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm f4 is, but I mainly use my fisheye, 50mm f1.2 and a 85mm f1.2 now. The 50mm and 85mm are amazing.
I’ve got a set of Nikon flashes which are handy if I need to pack ‘light’, ie 20 kgs in my backpack, so not really light. I also have a set of Alienbee flashes which are my big lights, they are amazing for shooting anything big.

What’s your favourite item of photography gear?
I would have to say my 85mm lens, it’s amazing to shoot with. I shoot fashion with it as well, and it’s always great.

Got any tips for young budding photogs?
Read as much as you can on the Internet about how to do stuff, I’ve found it’s better than books or a Wintec degree. Other than that I would have to say learn how to be subtle with flashes; don’t go and over-light a scene to the point where it’s only flash light, just add a bit of flash into the scene.

You get gifted $8000; do you buy a new bike or new camera gear? What sort would it be?
I’m sorted in the bike department and I can barely ride the bikes I have so I would go for camera gear.
Actually I need that much for camera gear, I just made my shopping list on BH photo. But it’s mainly gear for doing video work, like a new tripod with a fluid head so I can actually pan the camera smoothly. Photography wise I would have to say two sets of Ranger flashes.

Favourite thing about riding your bike?
Freedom when I ride. Nothing else matters, all I’m focused on is flowing.

Least favourite thing about riding bikes?
Lactic acid of course.

What’s your grand plan for the rest of 2011?
Get into it and get some work, I’ve got a lot lined up and a lot of little things to do in terms of setting up my business.

When you aren’t out taking photos what are you doing?
Editing them, or planning shoots.

What’s your favourite shoot you’ve been on over the last year?
I would have to say the shoots I did with Paul Langlands when we were producing the Disposition video. Langlands never fails to impress, he’s super smooth and goes bigger every time.

Music to work to?
Deep Forest, World Mix

Music to ride to?
Lil Wayne Got No Ceilings or A Day to Remember.

To see more of Ryan’s work check out his Flickr page, website or Facebook page.

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