Monday, March 02, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Dave Honan


by Merri
March 2, 2020

The Endurance Ride Photographers Guild, ERPG, was formed in 2019, and consists of a group of two dozen professional, skilled photographers from around the USA dedicated to documenting AERC endurance ride events in the USA.

"Behind the Lens" series is a snapshot for readers and riders of the ERPG photographers who capture your endurance moments on the trails and in camp.

David Honan is a civil engineer, and a self-professed Train and Airplane geek, who has long been a contributor to Trains Magazine; highlights include winning their 2009 Photo Contest and having three covers, including the March 2020 issue currently on newsstands. The American Society of Civil Engineers has featured Dave's photos numerous times in their annual Bridges Wall Calendar, and he's twice had the honor of judging their Bridges Photo Contest.

His equine work has been featured on the covers of Endurance News multiple times, and Appaloosa Journal once.

Where do you live?

Snoqualmie, Washington

How did you first get into photography?
I've taken photos for fun almost as long as I can remember. I've had a lifelong passion for trains, so that's been a primary focus since the beginning. I'm also an avgeek and these days seem to spend more time on airplane photography than anything else.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?

I have a couple Canon DSLRs and a collection of L series lenses.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?
Spring of 2016.  My wife, Cortney, had been riding endurance for a few years and saw a post from Karen Bumgarner seeking a photographer for her Owyhee River Challenge. There's lots of great railroad photography to be found in Eastern Oregon, so I immediately accepted. Unexpectedly, I landed an Endurance News cover from that ride -- beginner's luck.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?
The people in the endurance community are amazing, and I've always felt welcomed at rides.  It's really a delight to help create memories for Pacific Northwest riders.  Also, I enjoy using the opportunity for travel to ride sites to engage in my other photography interests.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
I try to find dramatic backgrounds that are distinctive to the ride. It can be difficult to bring together great scenes with the time of day and direction riders are traveling.  A piece of advice I offer ride managers so they can help identify photo spots is to ride their loops backwards to see the trail as photographers will.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
One year at Owyhee River Challenge I decided to shoot one of the Succor Creek crossings, but the water was too deep to ford in my car.  It took a couple trips of wading across to get all my gear to the far side... and I didn't quite time things correctly, resulting in at least one rider arriving before I got my pants back on.

A nice part about being on trail with a car is serving as additional event support.  Over the years I've handed up countless bottles of water to thirsty riders, and my wife takes particular pleasure in having a place to dump excess layers of clothing.

My worst misadventure was last year at Top o' the World, when my memory card with photos from the Continental Divide Trail failed before I could download the photos at home.  It was heartbreaking to have put in so much effort to capture those photos and come away with nothing. To prevent this in the future, I obtained a portable backup device this winter so I can download photos every day.

And any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?

Find me on social media at, or @dwhonan on Twitter & Instagram.  Ride photos can be purchased via my website,

Below are two shots from a couple of Dave's favorite rides over the years.

Cortney Honan and Amira riding the Continental Divide at Top O' The World near Spencer, Idaho

This photo of Karen Bumgarner aboard Owyhee Justice at the Owyhee River Challenge near Adrian, Oregon, made the cover of both Endurance News and Appaloosa Journal

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Becky Pearman profile is here:

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