Sheffield is a magnet for creative and outdoor people, and there is no shortage of photographers making incredible images of the local riding scene. But there are one or two emerging talents, so when it came to shooting some stills of the Airdrop Edit prototypes, we asked Sam Taylor and Dan Hearn to help out. This is Sam's account of the first shoot.
Every now and then a new bike company pops up on social media and everyone gets excited. With a new company comes the promise of a launch video to share with your mates, a press release with detailed shots of the bike to drool over and a new website to spend time deciding which is going to be the latest addition to your stable, the n+1 rule once again clouding your judgement.
When Ed got in contact about being part of the launch for the Airdrop Edit bike it was like being offered a mountain biker's dream job; getting out in the Peak District, spending lots of time with bikes, creating content that I'd want to see. I was intrigued to say the least...
Meeting over coffee at Ed's house, he explained the vision for the brand and we had a look at the bikes. I have to say, I'm a sucker for a raw frame and seeing a prototype in person got me a bit excited. When there's no paint the finish needs to be flawless and the raw Edit certainly didn't have anything to hide. Neat welds, quality graphics, tidy.
It was refreshing to hear him talk of a company that reflected the bikes they made, no gimmicks, no nonsense, contemporary and cool, but without the bullshit that comes with most things labelled “cool” in the mountain bike industry these days. It's rare that you find a frame designer who wants to remove as much as possible from a frame, in the pursuit of clean lines and a final product which ticks every essential box, and no more. If you probably won't use it, it doesn't need to be there. A minimalist approach to frame design also allows more time to be spent on the details - think brushed aluminium headtube badges (something I think is sorely missed with the rise of carbon frames), custom colour decals and intelligent spec lists from the likes of Chromag and Joystick.
So the bikes are rad, but people need to know about them. Every new company needs a launch package and myself and Dan Hearn, a fellow photographer who I've shot and ridden with for a couple of years now, were called in to take care of the product shots. Ed was after clean backgrounds so we headed for the Peak District on the hunt for some nice bokeh that'd do the bright orange Edit 150 frame justice and make the bold colour pop. With product shots done and a few environmental portraits amongst the gritstone thrown in for good measure, it was back home for editing and shot selection.
So what comes next? Well, the press launch package will be heading out in the coming weeks, with bikes ready for shipping early next year. Already becoming a bit of a topic of conversation amongst the riding community of Sheffield, it's time the rest of the country knew about the newest British brand on the block, and I, for one, can't wait to see where Airdrop takes me.