Last summer, after Keith Bontrager spoke at Mission Workshop, I got to spend a few hours with him back in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. The intention was pretty simple, gather some ‘lifestyle’ photos for Trek and Bontrager to use in ads, magazines and their photo annual book.
When I travel, I always have a camera on me and lately, it’s been a toss up between the Mamiya and the Leica. The only time I really carry my digital camera with me is if I am going to shoot a bike, or a shop, but in general, all my travel photos have been film. Which creates an overflow of randomness from each city I visit. Most of which don’t merit a post just by themselves. See some narrated photos of faces and places in the Gallery! Hey, if I don’t post them, they’ll sit on my hoard drive…
I love spaces like this, especially from someone who rides bikes. Artistic artifacts, scrawl, illustrations, bike components and just stuff, plastered all over the walls. Can anyone guess who’s “Dude Room” this is?
Tools of the trade:
Leica M7 / Zeiss 28mm t*
On my last night in SF, I hopped up to the top of the biggest hill I could find and waited for the fog to envelop Sutro as the sun was setting like it so often does. I shot a few 35mm and medium format photos, but these were my favorite. I really do love that city.
See more below!
I jokingly said the other day to a friend that the hardest thing about my trip to China with Mission Workshop wasn’t actually being in China, it was sorting through all my photos. Over 20 rolls of 220 film, 10 rolls of 35mm were accumulated in the three weeks I found myself in Asia. Imagine having to sort through all that and pull together a concept.
a short preview of the book
This is “The Ends”, a book of photographs that is being released at my photography show at Mission Workshop this Saturday, June 15th. You can Pre-Order the book now and it’ll ship Monday, June 17th. We’ve already got the copies and they look amazing. Each copy was printed in Oakland.
“75 page soft-cover book showcasing John’s photographs from the 1,000km bike tour.
Setting out from Shanghai, John Watson and Mission Workshop began their cycling tour of China’s Yangtze River Delta. Using both film and digital formats, Watson photographed the surroundings and encounters with the local community. Led by their friends from Factory Five, they headed into a frenetic network of massive residential complexes, large industrial parks, and super highways. At first glance, the route seemed straightforward, however, the reality of the 1,000km trip was far more intense than anyone expected.
The following photographs from their trip were taken by John Watson, depicting his impression of what is meant by “the ends justify the means.”
This is The Ends.
Available for sale online and at Mission Workshop San Francisco. Ships Monday 6/17.”
Please spread the word, buy a copy of the book for $35 and roll through the show this Saturday!
One of my good friends and someone that’s come to represent fun times, Ty from Golden Saddle Cyclery, is getting ready to embark on the Tour Divide. For those who aren’t aware, the Tour Divide is a solo bike race from Canada to Mexico along the great dividing range. The word “adventure” gets thrown around a lot these days, but I can assure you, this is a fucking adventure. If you haven’t watched the documentary, Ride the Divide, I suggest you do so!
This is a life-changing ride, something that Ty has been preparing to undertake for over a year and I am stoked for him! Follow him on Instagram, wish him luck and be sure to ask him lots of questions. He loves questions.