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Showing posts 1 - 12 of 12, (reverse)
04/07/2009 09:07:46 PM · #1
Got my first chance to do some climbing photography this past weekend and was wondering if there is anyone out there with some experience in this area that wouldn't mind looking at my pics and critiquing me on them a bit?

Any takers?
04/07/2009 09:13:35 PM · #2
I've done a lot of climbing back in the day, so point me in that direction and I'll take a look.

04/07/2009 09:30:44 PM · #3
pm'd you with a link.
04/07/2009 09:44:53 PM · #4
I don't personally do it, but if you wanted to see some pro examples, Jimmy Chin is a primo climbing/mountaineering photog.
Chin's site
Interesting story about how Chin got started here

Message edited by author 2009-04-07 21:46:22.
04/08/2009 01:46:44 AM · #5
There are some very nice captures there. I think that I'd take a few less detail shots when looking at climbers. Some are nice, but most of the great climbing captures have the entire climber, as well as a good deal of the scene in the capture. Now I am not saying that this is a hard set rule, but as a generality. You do have those, but the detail shots seem to dominate. Don't get me wrong; I do like some of those. I just think that more should show the entirety of the experience.

Also, be mindful when shooting from the ground up. You have a few images that have arms or legs blocking the faces of the climber. I think that its important to include the face. It would even be better to get high and shoot from above or at the same level as the climber. This will also add to the depth the viewer experiences.

All in all, there are some very nice captures. If you'll post some of them here, I'll be glad to add some comments. Smugmug is tough to look through, especially with the network setup I have here at work. Out of curiosity, where were you guys climbing?

04/08/2009 02:17:51 AM · #6
I have a "girl" friend who is an avid climber and says that the worst problem is, she has TONS of butt shot, no environmental shots. I told her let me ogle...I mean check em out. :)
04/08/2009 07:46:36 PM · #7
Thanks for the comments. The reason for all the close ups is because I was trying different angles for the textures competition. That was my sole reason for being out there. Oh yeah, this is at Red River Gorge in KY. I think I will be heading back out another time and hanging from the top to see what I can get.

Message edited by author 2009-04-09 20:11:53.
04/09/2009 08:12:57 PM · #8
04/10/2009 12:11:32 PM · #9
i have been climbing for nearly 10 years (a good part of my life) and have had about 2 years experience combining my photography and my climbing i would love to see your shots and maybe give you a climbers perspective on them :) i feel like in anything it really helps my photography if i am experienced with the activity itself. :)
04/10/2009 01:01:43 PM · #10
The red river gorge is amazing!!!! That is one of the few places I miss of moving out to the west coast!
So, about rock climbing photography: always avoid butt shots. Try hanging from the anchors and taking pictures of somebody leading towards you. So yeah, lead/top rope to the anchors, anchor yourself and .... let go of the rope!! Pretty scary the first time your do it because you are stuck up there until your friends come get you (always double check the bolts/pro placement that they are solid, not rusty, no spinners, at least two connections to the wall, three if it's your own pro. You have to let go of the rope because if not it will be in your frame). Also, even better, is to anchor yourself on the next route over so you get the climber a little bit from the side.
Try to get the climber to be looking at you as they move (so place yourself in line with where the next hold is) or try to get their face/line of sight AND the hold they are going for in the shot.
I find that photographing sport climbing is harder than bouldering, I really enjoy photographing bouldering because you can get sooo many different angles so easily.
The red is awesome for taking pictures because the wall are soooo steep. If you ever go to the madness cave, gold coast, bob marley, dark side, midnight surf you will be able to great awesome pictures (and the climbing is top notch).


A few of the routes in the videos are in the madness cave. If you look at them they were all shot from the top, but it seems like the videographer was really far from the wall. That is because they are. What you can do is carry your own set of static lines, anchor yourself to a set of anchors, traverse over to the anchors on the next route over and anchor yourself there too. At this point you should be anchored to two different routes. Set rappel lines from each set of anchors and rapp down. So basically you will have a "V" shape, you being at hte bottom of the V and the two lines going to different anchors. Then you can hang in mid air and be somewhat stable (a single line will have you spinning endlessly and eventually throwing up). If you use ascenders (shunt, prusiks, etc) on top of your auto locking rap device you can have a whole lot of control over where you are. I guess learn how to ascend properly so you don't want energy (basically, you need two ascender, one for your feet, one for your harness, you'll figure it out).

Another thing that is very useful at the red is climbing the route and then as you rap down face away from the wall and try to find any places where you could take pictures from (maybe across the valley, the next wall over, trails, waterfalls, etc.) then hike up to those points and see what the view is. To shoot from this places you'll need a telephoto for sure.

Alright, i guess that's a lot of information, sorry for the lengthy post. Let me know if you have any questions.
Have fun at the red and try to make friends with the locals at miguels, they are awesome people.
04/10/2009 01:08:46 PM · #11
just watching those videos again
to see the videographer hanging go to minute 5:44 of the petzl video
04/10/2009 01:16:30 PM · #12
Just adding links.

Message edited by author 2009-04-10 13:18:25.
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