Photography Guidelines

Nearly all of the photo submissions we receive are in digital format, which is fine with us. Modern digital cameras and editing software give photographers the ability to produce extraordinary results. But we still accept 35mm slides as well. Just be sure submissions in any format meet our guidelines below.

The AC No-Nonsense Photo Spiel

We require at least 20 images to accompany any feature submission, but 40 would be better. You'll want to include a variety of photos, but keep in mind that Adventure Cyclist is a respected internationally distributed magazine, not a newsletter. High-quality, stunning photography is extremely important to the impact of Adventure Cyclist as a whole and the stories we publish will have on our readers. Therefore, we're NOT interested in publishing vacation-quality snapshots. We require high-resolution (300dpi is standard) images with appropriate content and excellent composition.

Amazing Images Require Preparation

The photographers whose work you see in the pages of Adventure Cyclist know that a beautiful backdrop, stunning sunset, or high mountain pass alone aren’t always enough to make a great image. You must approach your tour like a professional photographer: bring the right equipment, think ahead to plan shots and, of course, take the time needed to make publication-ready images.

In our April, 2010 issue, we published a photo essay titled "How to Photograph Your Tour" (PDF).This essay is filled with great tips and advice for taking the kinds of photos that will increase the likelihood of Adventure Cyclist staff publishing your article. You can find this photo essay in our Publications Archive, as well as examples of some of the well-photographed stories we've published over the years by Gregg Bleakney, Chuck Haney, Dennis Coello, Nathan Ward, Aaron Teasdale, Tom Bol, Chris Guibert, Pierre Bouchard, Paul Jeurissen, and Cass Gilbert.

Paul Jeurissen also publishes a PDF with excellent advice about bike-travel photography:
Bicycle Touring Photography: A quick guide to taking better pictures

Also keep in mind that we are extremely busy and being asked to browse hundreds or thousands of photos online is not our idea of a good time. If you are serious about being published in Adventure Cyclist, you'll need to submit only your best “selects” that meet the criteria above using the instructions on the Submitting Materials page.

Cycling Photos

The majority of the images we use are of people riding bikes or engaged in activities important to a successful bike trip, such as interacting with other group members and/or locals, camping, cooking, eating, packing, repairing equipment, reading maps, etc.

We're typically NOT interested in people posing for the camera or bikes without people riding them, like bikes leaning against trees, signs, fences, etc. We are ESPECIALLY NOT interested in cliché photos such as people surrounding a mountain pass sign or dipping wheels in the ocean. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule so if you think you've somehow captured a moment like this so incomparably and in a way that will blow our photo editors away, go ahead and include the shot.

Non-Cycling Photos

Images of architecture and landmarks unique to a place and beautiful iconic landscapes should also be included. (Tip: If a landscape shot doesn’t uniquely identify the region, you probably shouldn't include it.)

The Understood Problem for the Solo Cyclist

We realize it is often difficult for solo bike travelers to meet our photo guidelines for obvious reasons, but many solo cyclists have submitted excellent photos to us. It takes planning and effort, but it can be done.

In summary, what we're looking for are bicycle travel photos that are so inspiring, seeing them will make Adventure Cyclist readers immediately start planning a bike trip — whether it's out their front door, across their state, or around the world.