'Le Tour' Rolls into Austin
Brent Humphreys is a great photographer with a serious passion for cycling, and--full disclosure--a dear friend of mine. His editorial work can be seen regularly in the pages of WIRED, and also The New York Times Magazine, Texas Monthly, and Maxim. But his bike+photo bug began as a youngster, when he would borrow his mother's 35mm to take pictures of his friends racing BMX. Now each summer, he migrates to the Tour de France as part of an ongoing book project.
'Le Tour' is an ambient photo study of the Tour de France. Often referred to as La Grand Boucle, It is the most famous and prestigious road bicycle race in the world. Held annually since 1903, Interrupted only by World Wars I and II.
Riders clad in bright team colors compete in the most physiologically demanding of sporting events. The distance and time of the Tour is comparable to running a marathon several days a week for nearly three weeks.
The vertical distance climbed traversing the Alps and Pyrenees is equivalent to climbing three Mt. Everests. Riders cover an average course distance each year of 3500k and will consume and burn as much as 10,000 calories per day.
Millions of colorful fans from across the globe flock to line it's route each year to enjoy not only the French landscape but also its neighboring countries, such as Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, The Netherlands, The Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Fans camp out--in some cases for a week--to secure the most scenic views. In the hours preceding the race's pass, a carnival atmosphere prevails as people nap, picnic and socialize in wait to catch a fleeting glimpse of the colorful circus on wheels.
The setup for the show's looking great so far; the great Tom Brown--who along with Todd Albertson--is currently designing the SPD Pub 44 Annual, did the branding and design work, including a custom typeface called, appropriately enough, Le Tour.
All of the prints will be for sale, and the show runs until the end of the month, so if you can't make the opening on July 9, be sure to swing by before the 31st. Brent will also be tweeting during and after the event; you can follow him here.
UPDATE: Andrew Hetherington's got a great Q+A posted over on his WTJ blog--a must-read for anyone curious how Brent made these stunning photographs.