I wanted to develop a concept for a running story & motion piece I had been picturing that carried none of the ordinary expectation and commitment commercial & editorial work bears.
There's a tendency it seems for sports marketing to encourage us to 'beat yesterday', 'own today' or 'embrace the pain'. I find it distances us from the original and compelling reason we first pick up an individual sport, lace up for that first run or bring the bike out of the shed for the first time in years; for the feeling.
I approached Sean just before he set off to attempt (and successfully) break the cycle record across Europe. Sean relocated to the Lake District a few years back, in search of somewhere that stimulated his senses and provided the training ground he needed for endurance challenges. He found it and much more in the tiny village of Coniston. With a home that sits beneath the iconic fell Old Man of Coniston (800m), his typical run route took him from door to abandoned slate mines, up scree slopes and classical Lakeland trails. His singular reward in many cases was to catch the sunrise and that's what The Ascent became: an unbranded, device and tech-free story that illustrates the joy inherent in running. Doing it for the feeling.
Shot in real-time, a challenge in itself, myself and filmmaker James O'Garra had no idea whether there would be a sunrise that early morning. Beneath the inky blue skies and mountain mists we sought to tell a story with equally singular objectives. No encouraging Sean to make it look harder than it was, no styling, no production.
I hope you find some meaning in these images to encourage you to (occasionally) run, ride or swim free of meaning, objective and burden.
Wider story at https://jamescarnegie.co.uk/Series/The-Ascent/1/thumbs/ and in print in Issue #16 of Like The Wind Magazine accompanying a q&a on my photographic journey with Editor Simon Freeman.