170: Postcards from Italy

The Vanilla Workshop housed the photos of Dan Sharp Friday evening. His photos from the 2009 Giro d'Italia is the setting for a pretty awesome exploration of not only the Italian bike racing experience, but also a study of his surroundings while in Italy.

In early May, Mr. Sharp headed out to Italy with nothing more than a few cameras and a plan to follow the Giro as it wound around through this small country. It was pretty fun to follow his travels through his (and Ira's) Flickr page (as following a pro race can prove to be pretty time consuming) but it was even more exciting to see these photos printed on a larger scale.

It was great to see the photos hanging next to the tools in the shop as well. A sort of constant reminder of what goes into making the bicycles that are being raced. Maybe not these exact ones, but definitely along the lines of perfomace bicycles. This is after all where the race specific Speedvagen bicycles are made.

These photos do a good job of pacing themselves out as well. Open roads, mist covered forests and the huge vistas that are brought on by the Dolomites are reminders that we are still in Italy. Then we see the familiar kits that are seen throughout. That candor captured with some of the Astana riders (and Johan in particular) are nice as Lance is somewhat an afterthought in this story. As every cycling newsoutfit every where had to tell the story of big L it is pretty cool to see what was going on with everyone else.

The waiting, and waiting only to have the riders whiz by in a manner of seconds. Pack up your vehicle and try to find another spot, if you are lucky. Well, Dan must be lucky because in the span of 21 days this man captured more than a few moments that help define what this race is all about.

One should note that Dan also has some of these Giro photos appear in the 2009 Rouleur Photo Annual, of which the opening ceremony took place a few short weeks ago. This should further cement Sharp as a photographer to keep an eye on in the Cycling world. As one of the founding photographers of the Rapha Continental (and also my first glimpse at it when he and DWP helped me with my Embrocation booth at Nahbs) and a regular contributor to the Nike and Nau camps he certainly has more than enough expertise to rely on.

The other really cool thing about the show was that Dan had on hand his own little printed story of the trip. Such a great way to display his great photos. But the interesting thing about this is the story told within. Joe Staples (whom I know you have seen here before) and Max Erdenberger (whom I would just plain like to see more) created the the story that plays out through these pages. Somehow I was lucky to get a credit on this as well, but all I did was to help them choose the photos that helped tell this story. (More on that later).

I can tell, you are now wondering where you can get ahold of this little publication yourself. Dan was selling them for $20 a piece and only printed 1oo. Pretty amazing little stocking stuffer if you ask me. If you are into that sort of thing. Me, I am.

Myles (ampersandvintage@mac.com) over at Ampersand might be able to help out in that arena. I stopped by his booth at the Publication Fare this afternoon and he had them in stock. If you are in PDX and looking to pick up copies of this, Embrocation, or Rouleur he carries them all (and I have been trying to get him to branch out and carry some other, weirder cycling and sports publications...hint hint...).