The Col du Tourmalet is the most notoriously tough of all the stages of the Tour de France, taking riders up to nearly 7,000 feet above sea level in some of the steepest and most severe elevations in competitive road cycling. For this reason alone it is legendary among cycling enthusiasts and remains one of the most traversed stages of the Tour – steeped in the kind of history that provokes reverence from even the most casual cycle fan.
Enough of the bike geekery though, more relevant to us is the striking beauty of the scenery in the surrounding area and Mark Leary’s exceptional ability to capture it alongside the fervour of the crowds. A life-long Tour fan, Mark’s been looking for an excuse to photograph it for years. No big deal, loads of people have – but Mark differs from his peers in his choice of hardware, two Ebony field cameras that function using plates instead of film.
Using this antiquated technique Mark has captured the Tourmalet in its most vibrant rendering yet, using the long exposure times of the camera as an excuse to step back from the fast-paced action below and offer up striking panoramas of the Pyrenees in all their resplendent glory. This is the first time that Mark’s taken his field cameras to France, but he’s all set to return next year to track the whole Tour and celebrate its centenary. If these stunning preliminary shots are anything to go by, the results are going to be exceptional.
- Cheeky, irreverent and vivid illustrations by Thomas Hedger
- Brilliant branding and a cracking It’s Nice That collaboration: introducing Unmade
- Director collective Canada creates raunchy, psychedelic video for Tame Impala (NSFW)
- Stylish designs that aim to make online gift-buying as fun as "walking around a concept store"
- Alex Sheridan’s hilarious shots of comedian David O’Doherty in sports memorabilia
- Cult magazine Nova and its nods to “eroticism and extortion” photographed in a suitably 70s setting
- Anthony Burrill tells us about his numerous Etsy WORK HARD rip-offs
- “I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as an illustrator to anyone”: straight-talking McBess
- Jonathan Barnbrook talks us through designing David Bowie's new album artwork
- Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke is back with his charmingly naughty gifs
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Making branding with a purpose: what can we learn from the Bauhaus?