Hanging By a Rope
There is some amazing climbing images out there like from Dave Black and Lucas Gilman. These photogs are up on the wall with the climber working their craft producing killer images. You’re never going to get me up on that wall, but I would really love to get some of those images. Well on our K&M Adventure to Moab, we hit the Hwy 279 wall where lots and lots of climbers scale the faces. The really cool thing, you can shoot them from the ground and they are still right in front of you! This is climbing I can relate too!
Shooting nearly at the same level as the climbers is the unique perspective that is unique. Just how close are you? I shot with the Nikon Df & 58f1.4AFS. Some in the group shot with 70-200 or 80-400 which worked as well, but I went short for a reason. I wanted to make it appear that these guys were scaling massive cliffs (and make it appear I had done some climbing … huh!) Shooting with the 58mm, I got the critical sharpness making the face come to life while getting the size for scale.
Now I shot vertical also to give the feeling of height. The road where they start their climb is literally at the bottom of the frame, just out of the frame. But you don’t know that just looking at the photo. I also used a polarizer to remove the massive blue reflection of the sky to bring the color of the rock to life. We spent a long time on the rocks shooting, shooting from the safety of the ground. My hats still off to Black / Gilman for physically getting up with their subject. Me, I’m keeping my feet on the ground!