Fog, mud and 24-hour daylight in Are, Sweden

Scandinavian Photo Challenge image gallery and blog from Seb Kemp

Every year some of the world's most talented mountain bike photographers and riders get together in Åre, Sweden for the Scandinavian Photo Challenge. This year's head judge is the UK's Seb Kemp, who's put together an image gallery showing some of the action so far. Over to Seb...

Here's a slideshow of the first few days at the Scandinavian Photo Challenge presented by Nikon. The teams – consisting of one photographer and four world-class riders – each get three days to shoot, followed by two days of editing a slideshow that will presented during a huge party on Friday, and judged by a jury of media professionals.

To further spice things up, the teams this year have to look outside the bikepark to include all-mountain and cross-country riding in their slideshows, to complement the freeride imagery.

The 2011 roster is made up by five highly talented bike photographers from all over the world, each with a different style and approach to bike photography:

Riders include Darcy Turenne, Linus Sjöholm, John Alm Högman, Rob Jauch, Richard Cunynghame, Hannah Barnes and Henrik Kippernes, to name but a few.

As head judge, my duties include riding my bike as and when I want, drinking coffee, eating cake and occasionally seeing how the teams are getting on. I've been following the teams around trying to get some behind-the-scenes stories and just observe how they work, but it's been hard finding them in the fog. Today I caught up with Markus Greber's team and nosed around their setup.

I bumped into various riders/shooters throughout the day and everyone is looking tired but upbeat from non-stop shooting. Usually these things are from sun-up till sundown but as the sun doesn't go down here in Are at this time of the year it means they're running non-stop. It's a marathon for the whole team and they're only halfway there. I did see Grant's team last night too. Grant has got his team making him dinner and feeding him chocolate milk at all hours.

If you happen to be in Are, Sweden this week then make sure you come along to the big showing on Friday night – 8.30pm at the Holiday Club Arena in town. Big show, big lights, big screens, big booze-up afterwards. Also, the riding here is fantastic. See you in the Hyddan for the best cake ever...

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