Photography: Daghan Perker
My name is Daghan (pronounced the foldable bike, Dahon) and I am a creative director and a photographer living in New York City.
I grew up in Istanbul and bought my first camera in high school. I splurged on a Sigma 15mm fisheye lens so I could shoot my friends skateboarding. After studying industrial design and photography in college, I moved to NYC and worked for various branding agencies as design director for more than a decade.
My background as a designer and an athlete informs my work as a photographer. As a competitive cyclist, I have the opportunity to race before shooting the pro races, which allows me to have a better understanding of the course and plan the shots that I want to take. As a designer, I’m always trying to experiment with bold colours, crops, and multiple layers of information in my images. Above all, I’m always striving to achieve a graphic look.
I have competed in and shot most races on the East Coast. I find that each event has its own character: the dusty run-ups at Gloucester, the contrast of the pitch-black sky and intense spotlights at KMC, the new grand flyover at Charm City and the beach run at NBX. Racing in this region is something I hope everyone can experience.
I’m so grateful that through my work as a photographer I’ve been able to make so many friends in the cyclocross community. It’s been amazing to watch everyone evolve as athletes over the years. My hope is that through my photography I can share the joys of cyclocross in the US and show the European community, in particular, how interesting the scene is across the Atlantic.
If you liked this story consider purchasing Soigneur Cycling Journal 18 where it was first printed.