I was looking at my portfolio and thought to myself that I should shoot some different images – less 'studio-lit', if you will. It had been a while since I shot skateboarding, but I decided to give it another try. After a short brainstorm session, my buddy Erik and I thought it would be a cool thing to try something different than usual. I wanted this shot to be less set up.
We grabbed our boards and went to the street seen in the picture. It's just outside a forest, and a couple kilometers from where I live. The position of the sun was just right. I quickly grabbed my camera. Skating the street from front to back a couple of times, I kept trying to get the right shot. After almost smashing my camera on the concrete, I thought I would give it just one last try. This is the last image I shot in that series.
The camera I used for this shot was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon 15mm F2.8 fisheye lens. Because the 5D is a full frame camera, the fisheye has a 180-degree angle of view. I used a shutter speed of 1/50 to get that nice motion blur of the street and a little of the background, as well as an F-stop of 16 to get as much in focus as possible.
My name is Jeroen Nieuwhuis and I live in a small town in the eastern part of the Netherlands. I started photography when I was 11 years old, capturing friends with the camera I got for my birthday. My obsession for photography quickly grew and started to feel like something more than just a hobby, leading me to spend all the money I got on new gear. After a couple of years, my photographic interest shifted to genres other than just skateboarding. I started shooting portraits of friends and posting them on different forums to receive feedback on them. Slowly I developed my own taste in photography and started to look at images differently.
Nowadays, I work as a freelance photographer and co-owner of a photography and film studio. Photography has taken me from the cold landscapes of the North Cape to the warm favelas of Brazil. I can't wait to see the rest of this beautiful planet!
Just follow the tracks...
I studied science – geology to be precise – but this had nothing to do with my career as a photographer. Growing up during the explosion of alternative sports warped my mind forever. More than photography, articles from a French windsurfing journalist in the 80s helped to influence me into becoming an action sports photographer. His stories were incredible!
Pictures from a Dutch photographer in an old copy of Photo Magazine also made a lasting impression. I saw full action close ups and very long telephoto lens shots. These came at the beginning of modern slide films, had heavy saturation and contrast and were the way to go then – truly revolutionary.
At the end of my studies I became sick, and when I came back it was certainly not to work in an office. I had to go out and have fun. I met new friends, impressed magazines and that was how I started as a professional photographer. I hope I'll be able to do this as long as possible.
Wakeskater Nick Robinson takes off from the start dock at Battle Falls in Groveland, FL, the fourth stop of the 2012 Wakeskate Tour.
For the past decade I've been able to combine my two passions in life as a career: wakeboarding and photography. Growing up boating with my family in the waterways throughout Northern California, I discovered wakeboarding just as photography was becoming a serious passion. In 2005 I was hired to work full time as an editor and photographer for Alliance Wakeboard Magazine and made the move to Orlando, FL, which has been my home the past eight years.
Working for Alliance has given me a backstage pass to the worlds of wakeboarding and wakeskating, as well as the unique cast of riders who make the sports so special. To be behind the lens documenting it all - from progressive new moves to bonfire hangout sessions on a lake shore - has been a tremendous blessing. Years ago I told my mother that I don't have a job, I have a lifestyle. I'm fairly certain that holds true today and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
On this overcast day in late autumn, Rebecca Ronald and I went out to Chun's Reef for a surf as the waves were quite clean and uncrowded. Despite the overcast skies, the water was unusually clear so I figured I would shoot with a fisheye, hoping the sun would pop out at some point during our session.
Unfortunately, the sun never did come out, but Bec had a marathon session and we lined up on too many waves to count. After riding a wave past where I was shooting, she paddled back towards me... only to swing around and catch another wave. And it was at this moment that I captured this over/under shot of her, showcasing her as she prepares to nab another wave on that delightful day at Chun's Reef.
I am a photographer from Santa Barbara, California and was born in 1990. My interest in photography started in my teens after experimenting with my family's home video camera at the beach, goofing off with friends and exploring the central coast. I graduated high school early at the age of sixteen to concentrate and explore visual media freely and intensely via many different mediums. After working in the graphic design industry, I decided to pursue filmmaking and then photography as both a creative outlet and occupation.
Growing up in and around the ocean has provided me with my favorite subject to photograph. The majority of my work is water-related and involves the oceanic lifestyle. I've also frequently incorporated my passions of traveling, nature, architecture and fashion into my work. While I strive to capture what I see as beautiful, this is often not the perfect moment. Instead, light, textures, and the abstract nature of the earth are what truly fascinate me – the human element and the infinite variables of emotion keep me on my toes when working with people.
I consider myself an active participant in the digital age. The internet has allowed me to communicate, network and collaborate with people, places, and subject matter across the world. I enjoy working with both film and digital mediums, and motion pictures are the apple of my eye. I dream of nothing more than visiting the next new country, capturing whatever beauty it may hold.
The lower part of Mesa Falls in Targhee National Park in Idaho is definitely a world-class spot for shooting white water and descent waterfalls. As we heard the water level was pretty high, we left Jackson Hole early that morning with two boaters, Gary Edgeworth and Eric Seymour, and a videographer to shoot with a small waterproof Nikon camera fixed on the boats.
Gary went first off the massive fall, taking off from a black rock that looked like a perfect kicker. Full speed ahead, he went with the flow, taking full advantage of the energy produced by the roaring waterfall.
This shot was one of the first ones I took that day and looking at the screen on my camera, I knew straight away that the position was right and there was something going on. Shooting action sports is always pretty tough as most of the time the decisive moment happens only once. There is no time for hesitation. The key is often to have a pretty precise idea of the shot you want to achieve and then move fast to find a secure location and try to anticipate the moves of the rider. In this shot I like the fact that it looks like Gary is throwing himself down a big black hole. The image is half dark and half bright with the red kayak suspended in the air. The position of Gary's boat facing down, focused and engaged, makes the shot very dynamic.
It all started 20 years ago with my passion for documenting and creating aesthetic images that tell stories. As an action sports specialist, I have been shooting outdoor activities all over the world, working closely with the best athletes in freeskiing, mountaineering, BASE jumping, kayaking, sailing and more.
By accumulating a lot of experience in various challenging natural environments, I have learned techniques to shoot, store and distribute content from remote places, ranging from capturing the best shots to workflow management in production teams and content distribution both online and offline.
I am Swiss, so my first natural playground was the Alps and the beautiful lakes we have, bouncing from mountain activities to water sports depending on the season. My inspiration comes from nature and unique lighting situations. I always try to think twice about the framing of a photograph and incorporate elements that are not expected. Silhouettes, shapes, shadows – my goal is to find different perspectives on any given subject.
I like photojournalism a lot. Through my travels I look for good subjects, forcing myself to tell a story through a single frame. I love the challenge and try to take timeless images, being more interested in ‘imperfect’ photography – images that are suggestive and can open a discussion – than obvious shots. I love to go out and play – and if at the end of the day I have one good picture to show... I call it a perfect day!
I shot this image during the first autumn I spent in Åre. I had just moved out of my car and found a place to stay. Not really knowing the village that well, I had heard that there would be a market, so I decided to check it out. When I walked into the village I noticed posters saying they were going to have a FMX show down by the lake. I went back to my apartment, grabbed my camera and went to see if there was anything worth photographing. As it turned out, one of Sweden’s best riders, Fredrik “Frog” Berggren, was going to be there.
As I got down to the show area it was already smacked full with people. I saw some other photographers close to the ramp where it was very crowded. I thought there was no point in competing with them for the space, only to get the same kind of images as they would. I looked around and saw a fire escape on a nearby hotel, so I decided to climb up there and try and get an elevated view.
When I got up, I decided I wanted to showcase the crowded area but at the same time leave the focus on the rider. Not owning a specific tilt/shift lens, I had to do the effect in post. I think it makes for a slightly surreal image while highlighting the action.
I think I’ve always been quite an image-oriented person, being much more drawn to imagery than words. As a kid I used to look in magazines and dream of the places I saw. My interest in action and adventure sports started a bit later on, some time in my teens. My best friend and I were crazy about snowmobiling. We used to watch Slednecks movies and dream of one day being in one. It carried on and when we got old enough to get our licenses we took every opportunity we got to go out and ride. It didn’t take long before we started making movies and taking pictures of each other, still dreaming about one day riding with the Slednecks crew. I remember looking at the images and movies in the summertime, dreaming of winter and snowmobiling.
Then I went on to university, moved to a new city and kind of lost touch with both photography and snowmobiling. I studied for about a year and a half until I realized it really wasn’t for me. I dropped out, not really knowing what to do with my time. I picked up snowmobiling again and raced sno-x for a while. And with snowmobiling also came the urge to document it again. I decided to take a few photography classes and did so for about a year.
After I had finished, I decided to pack my car and drive around the country. I lived in my car for a couple of months, photographing everything I did. Eventually I ended up in Åre, Sweden’s ski and bike capital. This was about two years ago and I’ve been photographing ever since. My dream is to one day make my living as a full time photographer. I pray for that day to come!
Defying Gravity. No Photoshop
I am Nicholai Go, a student currently majoring as an Architect in Rhode Island School of Design, the sole proprietor of a business and restaurant in the Philippines called Bar Dolci, and finally the photographer of ngo|photography.
Born and raised in the Philippines, I was not exposed to the fine-art side of photography and therefore it deterred me from starting photography. However, when I learned more and more about the international world of photography, thanks to the internet, I picked up the camera and started shooting.
My personal philosophy on photography revolves around the notion of its power and ability to make people believe. I take advantage of this idea and compel people to look twice and feel a sense of confusion or fear. I want to question the relationship and the boundaries of photography and the human condition.
I am a storyteller and photography is my medium. I use photographs to portray my own stories and ideas regarding the human condition, reflecting my own experiences. I believe that the concept of the shoot should drive a shoot. The skills involved and needed to accomplish your concept will follow.
I have a vast background in the arts, including drawing, painting, graphic design and dance, which have become my strengths as a photographer. As an artist, I already have a different perspective on the world and the human conditions. As a dancer, I was given the ability to find the right time to capture moments.
Born and raised in Liverpool, England. Educated in Los Angeles, California. Began shooting Surf photography at the age of 30. Home as a surf photographer was with Transworld Surf Magazine from September 1999 - December 2009. Since 2009, home has been in Bali, Indonesia where freelance surf assignments, portraiture and fashion photography is paying the bills.
Climber on a urban sculpture in Barcelona.
I was born i 1980 in Barcelon where I live now. I am a self-taught photographer. Between 2004 and 2006 I set up my own studio together with other two collegues. Simultaneously and up to 2007 I worked as a photography assistant with Xavier Garcia, developing projects on still-live advertising, editorial, architecture and sports amongst others.
By the end of 2007 I finally established myself as professional photographer specialized on advertisement, editorial, architecture and sports. My work has been published in both national and international magazines such as: Esquire, Gq, Forbes, Men's Health, DT, Runner’s World, Grimper (France), Klettern (Germany), Refresh Magazine (UK), Climbing (USA), Urbanclimbermag (USA), Al filo (Argentina), Desnivel, Escalar, Euskal Herria, Campo Base, Vértex, PSD (PhotoShop), Huck’s Magazine (UK),SuperFoto, La Fotografia, etc..
This photo was taken on the second trip during the making of the “Art of FLIGHT” snowboarding film. We had been in Alaska for a month and I knew the trip was ending very soon. I really wanted to shoot a photo from the helicopter, right above Travis Rice as he was riding a line, but it was very difficult to coordinate because there was another heli in the air shooting with a Cineflex camera.
We worked out that if our helicopter hovered above the line Travis was going to ride, then the other Cineflex heli could maneuver around us without a collision.
So as Travis mentally prepared himself to ride the line, I rose up about 30 meters above him and waited. The other helicopter practiced their move around us, making sure they could still get the shot they needed. The sun was setting fast so the director Curt Morgan called for Travis to drop into the line and as he made his second turn down the mountain I snapped this shot.
This turned out to be the last photo I took during what was the best snowboarding trip of my life!
I was born in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada where the only things that separated me from the North Pole were a stained wooden fence and some crushed rock. At the age of 16, I was ‘abducted’ from high school by an unsuspecting cult organization and forced to ski moguls and lame tricks off Lemmings Leap under the 7th heaven chairlift – the original stimulus for my interest in airtime photography.
Home was a friend’s Volkswagen that we would park underground, below the conference centre. There we would take power from the last stall of the third floor to heat the ’73 Westfalia. I subsisted on leftover food from the Rendezvous restaurant atop Blackcomb Mountain and wore clothing left in the lost and found. During the early 1990s I acquired my first camera when a drunk French-Canadian freestyle skier, being pursued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, stashed it along with twenty rolls of unexposed Fuji Provia and a half bottle of Rye Whiskey in stall number three of the Garfinkle's washroom. My destiny was sealed.
In 1998, the world’s largest and most prestigious snowboard magazine, TransWorld SNOWboarding, recruited me as a staff photographer. Now, 18 years later, I still work for them among many other brands and publications. I have had thousands of action sports photos published worldwide including more than 100 covers.
Erik Boomer is well known as the Honey Badger in the kayaking community. Erik was filming with Forge Motion Pictures for a series called, "Of Souls and Water", the "Nomad"for NRS. Fresh off his 104 day, 1,485 mile circumnavigation of Elllesmere Island on ski and kayak, this was Erik's first day back in a whitewater kayak. In true Honey Badger form he put it at the base of the falls, paddled across with a few practice strokes. Boomer proceeded to climb the near vertical cliff with boat on shoulder to the top of the thundering falls, successfully paddling off Sahalie moments later.
I am an Idaho native and started shooting photos seriously after a major shoulder injury obtained while kayaking several years ago. I couldn't spend as much time on the river in my kayak, so I got serious about the art of taking pictures. I started cata-rafting with my Dad on the Payette River in 1992 and whitewater kayaking quickly followed. Having these tools to travel rivers opened up new doors for my photography. I soon found myself surrounded by deep canyons, amazing whitewater, and athletes pushing the limits. The challenge was portraying the feeling, magnitude, and power the river brings to your life.
It’s an interesting job and also stressful watching some of your good friends run large waterfalls and dangerous rivers. They're searching for their moment of connection with the water and I'm trying to capture it. I try to photograph the landscape and action together, showing the beauty of what is happening with the athlete and their environment.
I get to capture my lifestyle from behind the camera by documenting events only few see and even fewer understand. I find shooting kayaking to be very rewarding and fulfilling on a spiritual level. I am also a father with a 4 year old son, Caleb, I can’t wait to show him the world and our ways!
We shot this photo in a massive hip in Bjursas Soul Park. The resort where I learnt how to snowboard an eventually had my first shot published from. Jonas Carlson had been shaping this monster for almost two weeks for the Nitro Crew and finally he got to ride it himself. The clouds moved in fast and instead of a sunset session we had a more of session next to Mordor. Jonas had a few tries to nail this perfect "melon to fakie" but in the end it landed him the cover of Snowboard Mag in the US.
I grew up in Falun, Dalecarlia and in the early 90's I started to skate and snowboard. I got hooked straight away and after a few years we started to make movies with our crew. A few of my friends got sponsored and after a while their sponsors needed photos and the ball started rolling. Before I was really sure on how my camera worked properly I had photos printed. It was a bit backwards but eventually I worked it all out. After attending a Photography School in Stockholm and assisting a few other photogs I started to travel with my boardbag and my camera. The last few years I've managed the Swedish boardsports mag Transition mixed with shooting for different commercial clients.
I shot this photo in January 2013 with Anto Chamberland, Jody Wachniak, Matt Belzile and Mathieu Gibeault during my annual trip to Quebec.
Anto was filming his video segment for the Stairmasters contest and looking for “something big” to finish his part off. Mathieu, Anto’s cinematographer, works for a TV channel and knows some amazing locations they use for filming. He pointed out this old, abandoned building that was close by. After we went to check it out, Anto decided to jump out of the third-story window. It was definitely big and scary, and it took Anto a few tries to land. Actually it’s pretty apt that the writing in the image, “Peur”, is French for “Fear”! As soon as Anto landed one and we got the photo, I went back inside the building and shot a few multiple exposures of the artwork on the walls as I was shooting my “Environments” series at that time.
It turned out to be my favorite image of the series and one of my strongest images to date. Thank you Anto, Matt, Jody and Mathieu for pulling this one off!
It all started back in the former Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) at the age of three when my dad strapped skis on my feet and pushed me down the local hill. Since then, I pretty much skied every winter until I was about 17-years-old, when I got my first snowboard. I would park cars at luxurious hotels in the summer and coach snowboarding in the winter.
After finishing college I moved to NYC to embark on a hotel management in-ternship. That’s when I used to steal my roommate’s camera and shoot ran-dom photos around the city. Halfway through the internship I went to TGR’s ‘High Life’ premiere. The movie just blew my mind, so two weeks later I packed my stuff and moved to Whistler, BC.
After the first season in Whistler, I joined a few of my buddies on their surf trip down to Mexico. With the first camera I’d ever owned, a Canon 350D and one lens, I documented the trip and sent a few photos to Mat Rendek, the editor of Boardlife. He loved the photos and we ended up getting a 12-page story pub-lished from that trip. That was the beginning of it all.
Nowadays, residing in Vancouver, Canada, I’ve worked for a number of great clients, crews and magazines all over the world and I’ll be chasing that ‘next great photo’ for the rest of my life.
When I was covering Simple Session (one of Europe’s biggest skateboarding & BMX contests), I saw this one wall free of any logos and big tire marks. It looked so clean that I just wanted to draw something on it – so I decided on a skater’s shadow!
Although I didn’t have much time, I wanted to give it a try. I went to the car to get the transportation ropes I usually use for attaching my surfboard to the car. I took a 4-meter light stand and mounted it on the top of the vert with ropes so that the speedlight would be above the skater’s head. Another flash was set up normally to fill the shadows a bit.
I asked Gard Hvaara to ride the vert, and the result was big, with a nice shadow on the 5.5 meter high wall. The photo came out better than I imagined it would!
Although I was always taking pictures during my school years, my real path towards becoming a professional photographer started when I got injured during a windsurfing competition and I had to stay on the shore for a while. I just couldn’t sit on the beach doing nothing; I wanted to get closer to the action. So I took a camera and got myself on the race officer’s boat as a photographer.
At first I just wanted to see the action but then I ended up only shooting pictures. After that I was invited to shoot various windsurfing competitions and later on all kinds of different sports. A year later, I enrolled in the Estonian Academy of Arts to study photography.
Today my main focus is on motorsports but I love to shoot other sports. Thanks to Nikon and Elinchrome I can try almost anything that comes to mind. I am always trying to find something new in every shoot: new lighting techniques, cool remote camera places or anything else. I believe there are a lot of interesting things yet to be discovered in the world of photography.
I was in the middle seat of a helicopter with Travis Rice, Mark Landvik and John Jackson, circling around in the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska when the three of them started talking about a jump they wanted to build below us. I had no idea what they were looking at, but after about 10 minutes of discussing it in the air we landed and got the shovels out.
I was in charge of shaping the in-run along with the other media team members on this particular “The Art of FLIGHT” trip. We shoveled for hours without even knowing what this feature looked like. From where we were working, all we could see was where the riders were shaping the take-off and the Alaskan valley in the background.
When it was time to shoot, I hiked up a few hundred meters and then traversed over to the side, trying not to disturb the snow in the foreground. When I got to the side, I was able to see what it was these guys planned to jump over and how big it really was!
I hiked up and down the slope I was on until I found the perfect angle. I held my breath and the boys dropped in. John Jackson made history that day by landing the largest backside double cork ever!
I never thought that at some point in my life, I would stand right at the edge of a 200-meter cliff, taking pictures of ‘crazy’ people jumping off it. But there I was in Zakynthos Island, Greece, where the 2011 ‘ProBase Shipwreck Boogie’ was taking place. Thirty BASE jumpers from all around the world had been invited to participate in this competition.
This particular picture was taken right after the competition had ended, leaving all the BASE jumpers free of stress and letting them have 100% fun jumps.
As I looked through my camera, I realized that there were three perspectives – angles I had not noticed thus far. One angle is made by the rock itself and its shade on the water, and all the boats positioned in parallel, even the one that is leaving the scene. The second angle is the beach that runs parallel to the shipwreck and perpendicular to the rock. The third is the direction of the free fall of the BASE jumpers. The shipwreck is the start of all three perspectives. So even if this shot is full of energy and freedom, it also contains hidden geometry, which is why I believe people like it so much.
I used a zoom lens in order to follow the BASE jumpers and get them in the right position in my frame. I used the preset "sport" because I wanted to have good lighting on the jumpers, giving priority to the speed of the shutter. I had the focus point on one of the jumpers because they are the main subject in the frame.
The Greek sun did what it does best, providing perfect lighting conditions for a result, I think, that is worth viewing.
I was born in Athens in 1980. I graduated from the Technological Institute of Athens in Greece as a Technologist of Graphic Arts and Design. For two years I worked at the scanning and photo editing department of a major newspaper in Greece and spent another two years working at a print shop. In addition, I have been the owner of the pre-press company PoisonDesign for more than five years.
My photographic skills are self-taught and I have never attended a photography school. I just love taking pictures, especially of extreme sports. For the past three years, I have been the official photographer of ProBase, a company that organizes BASE Jumping events all over the world.
Having my own climbing and photography equipment, I push my limits by trying to reach the edge of every exit point, no matter if it’s at 20m or 1,000m, from a helicopter or a plane. There is nothing more satisfying than the rush of a human being leaping from a safe place and diving towards the ground only with a parachute – I simply love what I do!
Twenty-four hours before this shoot, my original paramotor pilot pulled out as his daughter had gone into labor five weeks early. A few friends and I went driving around Moab desperately trying to find a solution. Thankfully, we came across Lyn Ottinger who happened to own the only tandem trike in town. We struck a deal and thankfully my shoot was saved!
As the BASE jumpers ascended Castleton Tower, we began the motor and started to buzz around the tower. I couldn't get clear radio contact with the jumpers and it was a little chaotic as we tried to communicate. In the end, the athletes would just jump when they were ready and it was sheer luck for me to be in position when Michael Tomchek took his 400ft leap.
The shoot happened so fast that I didn't get a chance to see my images until I was back on the ground. I am incredibly stoked with this image and it has also inspired new ideas about how I can evolve this concept even further, which I hope to make happen at the end of the year.
Living the life of a nomad, I suddenly find myself traveling 10-11 months of the year away from Australia with gear now stashed on three different continents. What continues to drive me is the love and challenge of documenting unique stories and the incredible privilege to share the athletes’ stories with a wider audience.
When I have the opportunity to see places where most people won't go, I will travel there without hesitation. I enjoy being cut off from civilization and being completely immersed in adventure, whether it’s camping on a frozen fjord for a month in the Arctic with 23 BASE jumpers, paragliding in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan or sleeping on the back of a yacht on the Great Barrier Reef.
I have a few images that I am extremely proud of but the motivation is always there to keep pushing the boundaries and searching for new ways to capture great imagery.
My work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Outside, The Times, Red Bulletin, Inside Sport, Women's Adventure and I've also worked with clients such as Red Bull and Agent France Presse.
This photograph was taken on the west coast of Ireland at the most intimidating surf spot called “Rileys”. I dove beneath the water with my diving mask, held my breath, and waited for the moment when local surfer Tom Lowe would pass with a powerful snap close enough to my lens.
Water visibility is always very limited in Ireland, and I was lucky to get a clear shot like this. The image was captured with a Nikon D700 with a 16mm fisheye inside a Subal housing.
I'm a wildlife, water and landscape photographer based on the west coast of Ireland. I'm focused on wild marine mammals, the ocean, waves, surf photography and beautifully lit coastal sceneries. I try to capture the beauty of nature in its purest aspects. All my underwater images are taken during freediving in natural light in order to make them look as realistic as possible.
My work is well recognized around the world and has been exhibited in Washington, London and Japan. My photography has appeared in the pages of Nature’s Best, BBC Wildlife magazine, BBC Focus, Nikon Pro, Outdoor Photography and many more.
We were surfing a shallow reef break in Fiji called Wilkes Pass, just off Namotu Island. It’s a fun right-hander wave that gets solid on large SW swells. On this day it was about four to six foot (double over head). We got caught inside by a wide set, and the heavy slab section on the inside of Wilkes exploded right on top of us!
It’s always a little more comforting when someone else is in a bad situation with you, so I turned to look at Ryan on this duckdive – we were laughing but scared at the same time, and I shot a sequence. This is the shot before the white wash landed on both of us, sending us high and dry on the coral.
I was born in Tasmania in 1983 and became a photographer around 2003, although I’ve always loved cameras and filming. It wasn’t until I borrowed a friend’s Canon EOS 5 that I fell in love with still photography – the quality amazed me! Shooting on 35mm slide film was a true test to learn the skills to become a photographer.
A fellow Tasmanian and professional photographer Sean Davey was my main inspiration and mentor. He’s always keen to lend a helping hand, which I’m ever so grateful for! I’m still learning so much in the photo world and I’m having so much fun doing it. I truly can’t think of a better job.
My main passions are surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. But my photos are more than 90% surfing, or in the water in some way. I was practically born surfing so it’s hard to be away from the coast for too long. My life as a photographer consists of traveling, swimming, sun, and sitting behind a computer – a lot!
Matt Hunter has a reputation in freeride mountain biking for finding and building very progressive lines. Matt built this air for the filming of his segment in the film, 'Follow Me'. It is a 45-foot air to wall ride move that he hadn't done much practice on.
It is always stressful as a photographer to show up to a shoot like this, with a film crew, and have the majority of the pressure falling onto the athlete to throw down. Especially when the action is dangerously progressive like this and we all are unsure of what the outcome will be. We all want to shoulder more of the responsibility, but ultimately it is the athlete that has to be the most prepared.
I framed up this shot from this perspective to be able to express the entire story of his line and the size of the gap he had to make. I originally thought I would shoot it as a sequence so that the viewer would be able to understand the extreme journey more.
With my motor drive running, Matt nailed his line and I watched him hit the wall and carve out the finish. I was completely floored and in awe by the explosion of dust he had created. I never expected or predicted such a dramatic dust trail to happen as he smashed across the cliff face. As I sat back and reviewed my images, I saw this one frame and I realized that I no longer needed the full sequence. The entire story, speed, impact and energy of this huge air was captured in this single frame. That is why I love photography, telling so much of a story in a single image.
I grew up on Vancouver's North Shore and continue to live here with my wife and daughters. Mountain biking in the moody forests of the North Shore inspired me to become a photographer and I have been lucky to call it my career for more than seventeen years.
I feel fortunate to have been able to shoot the evolution of freeride mountain biking alongside some of the sport's greatest athletes, for the most progressive brands, in locations all over the planet.
My motivation as a photographer is similar to that of why I chose to ride. The trails that exist on our planet will take you to incredible places with breath-taking scenery and striking light. They will take a lifetime to discover, session, and photograph.
I find photography at an incredible place these days, for the digital evolution has made it more accessible and successful for more people. Furthermore, action sports are blossoming across the world and as a result, we are seeing such incredibly progressive accomplishments in the photographic arts and it leaves me constantly inspired and stoked to keep trying out new techniques and ideas.
The shot was taken before a sailing competition. The boats were preparing for the start. The clouds were also getting bigger very quickly and we knew we were going to have a big storm, as usual for hot summer days.
As the sky was getting darker, I thought it would be a good idea to put one of my cameras in a water housing in case it would start pouring. As I put in the last screw of the housing, the wind started to blow stronger. A couple of seconds later we were caught in heavy rain and the sky was almost black as night.
All the boats were behind me in the dark but one of them was in line with the blue sky behind the storm. I took a couple of shots but this is the only one where there isn't too much water everywhere and you can see something!
I am a professional photographer and cinematographer based in Switzerland and have been interested in photography since my teenage years. I knew a career in photography would be challenging, so I followed my parents’ advice to get a university degree first. In 2009 I got my Master in Sport Science.
However, my passion for photography was more alive than ever and I decided to start my career as a photographer. I am so keen on photography that it has not only become part of my life but also nourishes my dreams.
My favorite subjects are outdoor sports, in particular sailing and mountaineering. Indeed I have always found the wind, snow, water and freezing conditions very inspiring. I like to observe the interaction between athletes and nature. Today, my work includes both photography and video, in Switzerland as well as abroad. I would change my job for nothing on earth, as photography brings me everything I ever pursued. Thanks to this very varied art, I can travel and discover amazing places as well as meet a lot of enriching people.
Jeff Croker is a true Australian bushman. Having lived in Australia all his life, he only saw the ocean for the first time at the age of 20. The next day he packed all of his stuff and moved to the beach. Up to this day, Jeff still lives by the beach with his lovely wife and two not-so-lovely sons (just kidding!).
I met him during a personal trip to Australia in 2012, and I really wanted to photograph him. Jeff is known for not interacting with people very much, so I decided to put the camera away and just sit back for a bit. After one long night and a happy wedding we all went for a surf together, and I got the chance to get to know the man a little better.
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of good waves, and maybe a beer or two!
Late one fall I gathered a group of America's next generation of young surfers, and we departed for Fiji to try our hand at an impressive south swell. Arriving at Cloudbreak to perfect conditions and an empty beach, we had an absolute blast enjoying the dreamy scenario. The young surfers handled the size and intensity of the menacing reef break well, and we truly had an amazing trip of waves and weather.
The kids consisted of Jake Marshall, Taylor Clark, Frankie Harrer, Colt Ward, Thelen Whorrell, Nolan Rapoza, and Dryden Brown, all young stand-outs with promising futures. They surfed for ten hours a day, coming in only for food or sunscreen. I captured them one morning in this shot, discussing in the crystalline water anything from the surf they were enjoying to homework they forgot at home.
Reflecting on the trip after we had gone our separate ways, it was not the performance of the children or the caliber of surf that made our adventure memorable; it was their social dynamic. I was fascinated by their camaraderie in the intense surf and realized that while the atmosphere was thick with competition, their friendship had them trading waves with nothing but smiles, laughing and hollering at each other's successes and misfortune with pure glee.
I was thrilled to check out this spot after seeing a few blurry cell phone photos of it. Full pipes are few and far between and one of my favorite things to ride. After being invited to check it out, I stayed up most of that night anticipating the next day.
Two hours in the car and a short hike through a forest, and we were heading up into the belly of this beast. The only light source for this long tunnel was the sunlight piercing through the opposite end. During the entire trip through the tunnel, my eyes were fixated on that circle of light. We were high in elevation, and my equilibrium felt off. When we finally made it to the opening, I quickly put my lens on my body and metered a shot as my counterparts kept moving ahead into the light. I waited until Cody looked up into the light to shoot.
I used just natural light with a shallow depth of field to make the subject pop. The subjects did not know I was taking this photo, which made it a completely natural moment. No planning, just riders mesmerized by the light at the end of the tunnel.
At the age of 12, I bought my first BMX bike with money I had earned washing dishes at a cake bakery. That bike was the match that sparked the revolution of my life. BMX has transformed my view of the world and how I want to spend my time. I spent most of my childhood building dirt jumps in my parents’ backyard in Michigan.
My older brother Beeler started taking photographs of my friends and me riding with my father's old 35mm. After a high school darkroom class, I bought my first 35mm. Not really grasping its full potential for several years, I was just a casual shooter.
With time my desire to document only grew stronger. The more I saw things vanish from my life, the more I felt compelled to make images. Life is a special experience, and being able to capture it has grown very important to me.
I enjoy using natural light to photograph. I find working with the available light "keeps my eyes open" and makes for more unique images, when the sun is being kind. My goal is to document riders in their natural form, not to create something that would never have happened. Candid photos are always the strongest in my opinion. I continue to ride, build and photograph in Denver, Colorado.
We always had the idea of a highline image set in the Austrian Dolomites. My friend Flo Unterweger, who has an excellent knowledge of this Alpine region, picked the spot and Thomas Gaisbacher set up the line. Florian Ebner is the athlete in this image.
The idea was to emphasize the height of the line as well as highlight the extraordinary beauty of this perfect spot. Florian Ebner is a master of the highline. He jumps, does backflips and moves as if he was on the ground. In this case, the highline was 1000 feet above ground.
The sky was slightly cloudy that day so I wasn’t sure how to work with the light coming from the sunset. The location of the highline was very exposed, so I equipped myself with climbing shoes and a harness to be able to climb into good positions.
At last I found the prime position with approximately 8 x 8 inches of space, located on a little rock ledge 30 feet up. The light and mood increased with the sunset. Florian got a good start and did one move after the other. It was a perfect evening!
To cast more light on the action, I also set up a Ranger Quadra flash system. This was positioned to slightly brighten the athlete whilst at the same time maintaining the natural light mood.
My special thanks to all participants for their support!
I was born in Austria and grew up in an environment of steep mountains and wild rivers. Sports have always played an important role in my life since I was a kid. About 14 years ago, my uncle bought me a camera and I started taking pictures of friends climbing rocks and riding their mountain bikes.
During my studies at the University of Applied Sciences I focused on photography. In 2007 I finished my master thesis in photography and was awarded a diploma in environmental technologies. In 2009 I decided to turn my passion into a career and have been specializing in sports, portrait and lifestyle photography ever since.
For me, photography is all about the right moment. The right angle, nice light conditions and good vibes are the best recipe for top shots!
After waiting for the town to go to sleep and for the streets to empty, Stefan Lantschner climbed down a rope into the hole of the ancient bridge Ponte Pietra in Verona, Italy. Using the same rope, crew members lowered down his BMX, and Stefan began to ride the giant full pipe. Some tourists noticed the flashes coming from the bridge, but Stefan was lucky enough to climb up without getting caught by the police after a short session.
Ponte Pietra is a Roman arch bridge crossing the Adige River and was completed in 100 BC.
My name is Olaf Pignataro, I was born in France, and later moved to Germany and Italy. I now live in London, UK. As a teenager I skated all the time, switching to BMX later in my twenties. On those two small wheels I wasn't progressing that much. I was helping a couple of friends with a BMX zine and I began spending more time taking photos of other riders than riding myself. After a while, I completely gave up my ambitions in BMX riding and focused on my photography career.
I feel comfortable shooting all kinds of sports, no matter if it’s board sports or motorsports, aerobatics or sailing. But in all these years I have remained committed to BMX because, photographically speaking, it offers endless variables.
Thanks to my job, I have had the opportunity to travel the world and work with the most amazing athletes around. I have had the chance to get to know their personalities and witness their successes and defeats and the joy and pain that come with any sport.
Freediving in Ireland can be dark and cold with bad visibility, but you can experience the most spiritual moments in this green harmony.
In my image, my girlfriend Kate Hamsikova is freediving with her friend from the ocean, a wild bottlenose dolphin. This special moment shows the extraordinary relationship that can exist between wild ocean creatures and humans. The image was captured while freediving with a Subal housing.
While filming in Alaska during January 2012, Jeremy found this location and came up with the idea of transferring from the top walkway onto the wall that was facing a different direction. We didn't proceed with a session that day as we needed quite a bit of build time – it was the end of the trip and you have to be mentally prepared to try and tackle a feature this large.
We returned to Anchorage the following month and headed to the location immediately, as it was on the top of the spot list. The snow quality was good, there was plenty to work with, so the weather was in full cooperation and Jeremy was committed to making this shot happen.
After spending a couple of hours getting the feature ready, Jeremy did a few speed test runs, said he was ready, and then nailed the trick within a few attempts. In the end, effort and planning paid off with a beautiful snowboarding maneuver pulled off at a big and burly street spot.
My interest in photography started when I picked up my first issues of skateboarding magazines. I immediately identified with not only the action in the photos, but with the image itself. The photographs struck a chord with me and in a subconscious way got me thinking about composing still life images of my friends as we skateboarded all over the Southwest United States.
It wasn’t until some years later while living in Vail, Colorado that I actually picked up a camera and started taking pictures. My buddies and I owned a small snowboarding company which didn’t have the budget to pay for ad photos, so we learned to photograph, design catalogs and create a website ourselves. It was a learn-out-of-necessity scenario, and although we made plenty of mistakes, we were learning with everything we tried.
Eventually I moved out to Burlington, Vermont in 1999 to work for Burton Snowboards as a Team Manager. This led to the job of Principal Photographer in 2003, which I still have to this day, documenting the Burton Team as they make their way around the world for contest, photo shoots and film trips.
Sammy Carlson had just come off a gold medal win at X-Games in the slopestyle contest and settled in Whistler for a few months of backcountry filming. He wanted to find a location where we could string together multiple jumps into one line, to show his slopestyle skills in a backcountry situation.
When we found the perfect spot to pull this off, it was already late in the day. We had some sunlight as we built the jumps but the sun sunk behind the horizon before Sammy was able to get his first run at it. The only light that was left was a faint reflected glow from the surrounding peaks but there was just enough light on the slope for Sammy to have a go and for me to get a shot. As always with these sort of jumps the athlete wants to land it first time to show just one set of tracks. No time for test jumps or speed checks.
Thankfully Sammy showed why he had deserved the win in slopestyle and stomped all three jumps on the first try. My main worry was that my camera's internal memory buffer would not be large enough to capture the whole run in a sequence. I switched the camera (a Canon 1-Series) to JPEG mode as this allows a few more images to be stored in the buffer. Then I regulated the image shooting as best I could throughout the run to make sure there were no unnecessary shots taken. Every time he dipped out of view behind one of the hills I let off the shutter button for the briefest moment to allow the camera time to save one or two of the images. In the end we took 51 photos and it was just enough to capture the full line!
I was born in the UK and got my first taste of skiing and snowboarding during gap-year travels that took me to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. I returned to England to complete a degree in Aerospace Engineering but I could never really get Whistler out of my mind. During university I took regular trips to Europe and my love for the outdoors and mountain lifestyle continued to grow.
After finishing my degree, I headed back to Whistler for "one more year" and this time I purchased a camera just before I set off and soon found my passion for mountain life also extended to documenting it. Local magazines began asking to use my images and once I saw them in print I knew that the path in life that I had originally chosen was now changed forever. Within a year I had transitioned to shooting ski photography full time and my list of clients grew steadily to the point where I have done work for most of the major ski companies and many of the biggest ski magazines across the globe.
I live full time in Whistler now, and I am a permanent Canadian resident. My passion for photography has grown to encompass many other fields, including motorsports, landscapes and wildlife. As well as shooting I also love to teach and I split my time between working for my clients and writing educational photography content for a variety of websites and magazines. This year I have also launched my own educational company called Shutter Muse, a website where people can follow my adventures and receive in-depth educational content on specific techniques like sequences as used in Red Bull Illume ...
Surfer Bobby Okvist and I started with a simple plan: to hunt down the largest waves of the swell. Hoping for an evening glass-off, we ventured back to the Wedge for our third session of the day. Exhausted from battling massive waves and long hikes from the previous sessions, I decided to stay dry and shoot from the beach.
By this point everyone in OC had heard of the massive waves, thanks in no small part to the live TV news updates. Hundreds of spectators and photographers lined the beach creating a wall over 10 deep in bodies. The primary challenge became finding a unique vantage point as Bobby waited for a lull to paddle out in.
Shooting at this location often, I knew I wanted to set up far down the beach at an extreme angle, looking into any potential barrels, with the sun as far to my back as possible, and the cliffs of Newport Coast/Crystal Cove as a backdrop. A crowd of photographers in my favorite spot pushed me even further down the beach. Adding to the challenge, it was nearing sunset. Light was getting both less and more acutely angled, creating shadows within the wave face and bright highlights elsewhere.
First wave out, Bobby was in position for the largest peak of the day. The wave was breaking so far out that when the refracted energy peaked, it crumbled. The wave chased Bobby towards shore, only to heave over and start barreling in the shallow water where a wave usually first breaks. Without enough speed to make it back to shore, and the wave violently closing in behind him, Bobby carved up the face and aired off the back, shocking even himself at the he
Ever since I got my first 35mm SLR as a kid I enjoyed taking photos – it was a fun thing to do. But it wasn’t until I made a photo journal as part of my high school senior project for a trip called the ‘March of the Living’ (6,000 Jewish teens touring the Nazi concentration camps of Poland) that I realized the power of an image.
Growing up between the southern Connecticut shore and the mountains of Vermont I was lucky enough to strap on a pair of skis at the age of two, and spend many summers in the ocean at Martha's Vineyard. As a competitive freestyle skier traveling the country, I quickly caught the travel bug. My sense of adventure took me out of the cold New England mountains to the warm shores of Australia. There I spent a year learning to surf, and began taking photos of both surfing and the amazing beauty of Australia. Soon I learned that with little more than my camera and surfboard I was immensely happy.
Upon returning stateside, I moved to Boston, where I began my career working throughout the New England region as a photographer, urban planner, and freestyle ski coach. Falls were spent chasing hurricane swells from Rhode Island to New Hampshire, and weekends in winter on the snow in Vermont. By 2007 I was seriously missing the beach life, and took an urban planning job, which allowed me to relocate to Orange County, California. In 2009 I made the switch to full time photography.
Since my first Fine Art sale in 2005 I have traveled as much of the world as possible, combining my passion for adventure and action sports with my love for photography.
In this shot, Red Bull athlete Rafa Ortiz nabs the first descent of the 132.5-foot-tall Big Banana Falls in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. This is the second largest waterfall ever successfully run.
We found Big Banana Falls during the first complete descent of the Rio Alseseca in Veracruz, Mexico in the autumn of 2006. Looking over the lip of the waterfall, it was massive and came shooting out of a deep and scary slot canyon. That day in 2006, Rafa thought the waterfall was good to go with the right levels. So, for the next four years we made trips to Big Banana falls waiting patiently for the perfect water conditions.
Finally on that morning of October 28, 2010, the levels were perfect. Hiking in, we battled some rain and the light was fading in and out, making for really tough shooting conditions. I remember seeing Rafa rappel into the pool above the waterfall with his boat and then I knew it was really on.
It was over in what seemed like a split second and Rafa popped up to the left of the falls in his boat with blood running from his eye, fists pumping.
Rafa was only visible for three frames before he was engulfed in water (I was shooting at 9 fps). We were all so happy and relieved that we went directly to get Rafa's eye stitched and for a tacos and tequila celebration (many tacos and tequilas!). I still think back about how easily I could have missed the shot. He was only visible for the blink of an eye!
I grew up in the mountains of Western Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism. I shoot adventure sports and travel for top magazines and commercial clients worldwide.
I regularly work with editorial and advertising clients that span the globe, including National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, ESPN.com, Men’s Journal, and Outside Magazine. My commercial clients include G-Tech, Nikon, Lowepro, Manfrotto, SanDisk, Garmin, Patagonia, Gore-Tex, Marmot and Land Rover.
This image was taken during a bouldering trip to the Indian Himalayas. I used flashes to capture Bernd as he climbed this nearly 15m highball by the light of headlamps. It was some very delicate climbing and everybody held their breath in the near-freezing night.
Once Bernd was down safely, I made several long exposures for the star trails and spent the rest of the night out alone to get some good options. The final image is a combination of the flash exposure with Bernd climbing, the star trails and lightpainting.
Growing up in the mountains of western Canada, the outdoors have always felt like home.
Thanks to my crazy adventurous parents, even by the age of four I had been to a long list of far-flung places.
At fourteen I moved with my family onto a sailboat, none of us having a clue about sailing. Together we spent almost seven years sailing around the globe, exploration was my education.
During the sailing voyage I picked up a camera and began photographing the people and places along the way - I’ve been addicted ever since.
Going pro in 2007, as a lifelong athlete and explorer, I gravitated to action and adventure photography.
These days I split my time between commercial work and expeditions to intense places with amazing people.
When not shooting I get outside and enjoy the sports I love.
Since 2013 I call Munich, Germany home, but most days I can be found on the move.
I have been a climbing photographer for many years now. I have shot with some of the best athletes in the world and I know that the easiest way is usually not the most successful one.
My idea was to take Mammut’s pro team of climbers out of their usual environment and show the athletes performing in a surreal setting. For the shoot with Austria’s boulder ace Anna Stöhr, I chose a car dump. On the one hand, the piles of wrecked cars vaguely resemble the boulder blocks Anna usually climbs – on the other hand, the trashy, metallic objects perfectly contrast with Anna’s youth, power and vitality.
Many of the possible handholds were too sharp or too greasy to use safely, and some of the car piles were not stable enough to climb. World champion Anna Stöhr had to make her way over dozens of old cars and do countless pull-ups before we found the right spot for this photo. But both Anna and me stayed true to our motto: never ever give up!
However, the shot does not show all the effort that was necessary to get to this final point. My thanks go out to advertisement agency Perger & Berger, who helped me visualize my ideas with beautiful storyboards. The next step was to search for the perfect location and obtain permission from the owner to shoot at some very unusual places. It took me more than a year to turn my imagination into an image. But I think it was worth the effort!
Being at the right place at the right time – and then doing the right thing in the right moment, that’s the name of the game for every photographer! A native Austrian living in Switzerland for the past two decades, I became a photo professional about six years ago.
I am a climbing enthusiast and natural networker, knowing literally everyone in the climbing scene, which has given me the chance to shoot the world’s best rock and ice climbers. However, I apply the same kind of passion to shooting other extreme sports such as BASE jumping, freeriding, speed flying or whitewater kayaking.
Originally, I started out as a painter, but even before my time as a professional, I regularly shot assignments for popular outdoor brands such as ODLO, Mammut, Black Diamond and Red Bull, to name a few. When doing shoots for them, I always try to put less spectacular activities such as hiking, running or golfing into perfect focus. One of my skiing shots was awarded “Best Mountain Adventure Photo” at the Banff Mountain Photography Competition and I was a finalist of the 2010 Red Bull Illume contest.
What I like most about my job is being outside, as well as the variety, traveling and being in contact with many extraordinary people. My road to success as a professional photographer was long and difficult and in the past I didn’t even think I would ever be able to make a living from photography. But obviously I was at the right place at the right time – and did the right thing often enough!
In the last couple of years I have been shooting 90% of my action shots from a tripod. I have been doing this because I messed up the framing of my pictures many times when I shot by hand. After a session I always end up with the same picture, with only minor changes when I flip through them. Pictures with riders, pictures without them and everything else that happened in the scene when I triggered the camera.
As I had used a tripod so many times, I found out that I could flip different pictures in Photoshop and put them together again to create a totally different, new world that doesn't exist in real life. All the pictures have perfect symmetry and that’s something I like a lot.
In this picture, I mirrored parts of the building to get a really, really big building. Jordan in the front is the only element that is not symmetrical.
I grew up in Munich, close to the Bavarian mountains, and it is those mountains that have always played a major role in my life. I was a semi-professional snowboarder back in the day, until I injured myself badly and I pretty much had to quit snowboarding for a whole season in 2003. In that time I discovered the pleasure of photography.
I was fascinated by photos that could describe a whole scene, a whole story or even a whole week, in just one small moment caught on film. This fascination was one of the biggest motivations for me to start my career as a professional photographer.
In my photos, I like to show the viewers the beauty of the environment where athletes perform. I’m a huge fan of landscape and architectural photography and I try to combine those genres with action sport. I think a great location is one of the key elements for a great action picture. Right now I work as a staff photographer for Nitro Snowboards.
Every year in northern Wisconsin, cranberries are grown and harvested in the late fall. Unknown to some people, cranberries are grown dry, and it is only during harvesting that the fields are flooded. This allows the berries to float to the surface for ease of harvesting, creating a large sea of red. This uncharted territory seemed almost impossible to ride, until the invention of the winch.
This image of Ben Horan carving through a cranberry field was a photo that I had wanted to shoot for a long time. I was finally able to do it in October 2012, when the Red Bull Winch Sessions crew asked me to tag along once again and shoot stills as well as some video. The producers of the winch sessions and I discussed the best approach to shooting and the overhead carve shot quickly became high on our priority list. We discussed several different approaches and landed at shooting from a crane high overhead.
One of the challenges we faced during the shoot was the weather. On the morning that this photo was taken, we awoke to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. By the time we started shooting, the snow had melted but the temperatures were still close to freezing. Knowing how unique the image would be, Ben (as well as everyone else involved) was still willing to put the time and effort into riding. It was a long hard week of shooting, but this particular shoot will definitely go down as one of my most unique shoots to date.
I am an action sports photographer and commercial cinematographer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Focusing on wakeboarding and snowboarding, I strive to create something new and unique every time I shoot. This often means implementing new lighting techniques as well as working with athletes to think of new creative ways to showcase their sports. This has led to projects involving a giant rail carved out of ice, snowboarding in a corn field and sending wakeskaters through a field of cranberries.
I grew up in southern Minnesota where I spent my youth wakeboarding and snowboarding. This quickly became a transition from participating to documenting once I got a camera in my hands. Because of the limited resources in the area for these sports, we had to adapt to other ways of riding. Urban snowboarding quickly became a common subject of mine, as well as an early adaptation of winch riding in both wakeboarding and wakeskating. Once we started using the winch, it became clear that the doors were open to a new world of possibilities. I found this to be a refreshing look at the sport.
When not shooting action sports, I work as a commercial director/cinematographer, shooting a wide variety of work for television and the web. While shooting projects with larger budgets and bigger resources has its benefits, I often find that standing waist deep in water or snow trying to capture the perfect shot can be just as rewarding.
Helmcken Falls, located in Wells Grey Provincial Park in British Columbia, is the fourth highest waterfall in Canada with a height of 141 meters. The water cascades over a natural amphitheater where the mist from the waterfall freezes to the overhanging and horizontal rock, creating a recent discovery for the world’s elite ice climbers.
Will Gadd and Tim Emmett were the first to discover and climb this severely overhanging cave. Due to the unique way the ice clings to the rock and the ability to place bolts into the rock, Will and Tim were able to scale the frozen walls with the safety of knowing their gear would not fail. The climbing here is the first of its kind and very cutting-edge as it is several grades harder than traditional ice routes.
Tim Emmett is on the second pitch of “Spray On”, where the route is perfectly horizontal for about 20 meters. The climbers have cleared a path between the hanging ice daggers that encompass the cave and create a huge threat as many of them have the mass of an automobile and are extremely unstable and can randomly drop from above.
When shooting this photo, I had to take extreme caution while standing underneath these free-hanging ice daggers. I wanted to show the strength required by Tim as he scaled across the roof and freeze the moment where he is hanging side by side with the ice daggers in this very unique and surreal part of the world.
I am an adventure sports photographer based in Mammoth Lakes, CA. As a participant in a lot of the sports I photograph, I try to capture an image through the athlete’s perspective, instead of the spectators’ view. My goal is to give people an intimate view of the cutting edge of adventure sports.
I specialize in adventure sports with an emphasis on skiing, and love traveling to exotic locations throughout the world experiencing different cultures, and photographing in remote mountain ranges.
My images have appeared in advertising and promotional campaigns for Red Bull, San Disk, ESPN, Patagonia, Black Diamond, Lululemon, Oakley and many other outdoor brands. I am senior photographer for Powder Magazine, a San Disk Extreme Team member, Fstop Global Pro, Lululemon Elite Ambassador and have also been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal and a variety of other publications and newspapers throughout the world.
Right beside the lateral moraine of Patagonia’s Perito Moreno Glacier, natural dams of ice and rock are occasionally formed. Thanks to glacial-fed rivers and streams, these often give rise to small lakes.
When the water pressure finds a crack, a slow process of ice boring begins. Thus, little by little, these caverns are sculpted underneath the glacier. When the lakes are emptied completely, for a brief period of time it is possible to explore these ephemeral and psychedelic ice galleries.
I discovered photography at the age of 14, when my father reluctantly let me borrow his beloved Nikon FM2 for my first trip to Southern Patagonia with some friends. It was then that I came across the two passions that would inexorably define my future: Patagonia and photography.
I have been living with my family in San Carlos de Bariloche in the Argentinean Patagonia since 2002. It's in these woods, mountains and lakes where I have been doing most of my freelance professional photography since 1998. I love snowboarding and mountaineering.
I’ve been working on advertising campaigns of different brands and collaborate with many graphic media productions associated with sports. I belong to the generation of photographers who had to face the transition from analog to digital photography but I am a big fan of digital photography and its endless possibilities.
Every day behind the lens is a good day, but when I saw this hanging ice dagger situated in the middle of a steep rock wall I was hoping it was going to be a special day in my photography career.
Ice climbing is a sport that requires the conditions to be just right and you have to work with athletes that understand what you as a photographer are trying to create.
It was a warmer than usual morning when myself and climbers Jen Olson and Kyle Vassilopoulos made the two-hour approach to this location. Seeing as they had to climb 30 meters of steep rock to access the ice, they couldn't tell from the ground if the ice conditions would be safe enough for them to climb.
Making the decision to give it a go, Kyle led the first pitch to gain the lower ice and deemed it safe for Jen to come up on second. Meanwhile I had hiked up the amphitheatre to get a better angle and was hoping the conditions leading up the dagger would be good enough to allow them to continue higher.
Jen was now at the belay and I watched as they gained the upper pitches together. Hoping it was a go, I had hiked higher and was now standing on a ridge parallel to them. The wind had also picked up, making for much colder conditions. Time was ticking and the climbers’ bright red jackets popped against the stark ice and dark wall. Waiting in anticipation, I saw Jen step off the belay and sink her axe into the pillar – it was on. Through the camera's viewfinder the hanging dagger looked dreamlike as Jen climbed higher. It was better than I could have imagined!
I am a professional adventure and travel photographer residing in Squamish, BC, Canada. My photography career began back in 1995 when my girlfriend, and now wife, loaned me a point and shoot camera for a six-month solo trip through Asia. Armed with eight rolls of film I quickly realized I needed a better camera, and wanted to keep traveling.
Twenty years later I’m still on the road but now shoot for some of the top outdoor companies in North America, and I have a way better camera!
In a fast paced digital era I have stayed true to my style of shooting in natural light, creating images composed of clean lines and searching out unique locations.
This was a new wave discovery quickly going wrong! Sean Woolnough and I were in Fiji for big swell and the wind went dead, so while we still had amazing conditions, we jumped in a Fijian long boat. We checked out a reef pass we had our eyes on for a few years. It’s more of a tow wave, as you can see – paddling this wave doesn’t end well.
The island jetski was out of action so we thought we’d give it a go. I dropped Sean at the top of the reef, and the ocean went flat, like someone had turned off the tap. This is pretty common on certain tides in Fiji, ten foot one hour and two foot the next. It takes a big set to light this slab up, and as Sean sat patiently I saw a big lump coming.
I started yelling, but he had no reference as to where he was on the reef so he waited and paddled for this first wave of the set. He just missed it, and when I looked back, this deep blue lump just started draining out, almost sucking him under the wave. He took one big duckdive and got under the breaking lip. On a normal wave this is fine but this thing didn’t have a back – the reef drops to 200m out the back of this place so when it breaks it really folds. The wave had just too much power and sucked him back over the falls, it’s pretty much a surfer’s worst nightmare position, so many people claim this is photoshopped, but it certainly is not!
The great magazine ‘The Albion’ asked me to follow Frenchman Luc Legrand for an article, and we arranged to spend a week on the road all across Spain, living in his van. Luc loves to ride in unique locations even if they are not easy.
He remembered a crazy set-up around the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and we found it again. I was not used to shooting sequences but I thought it would work for this one. I also thought shooting fisheye from below would really capture the movement. After a couple of run-ups, he just did it first go, and I was really happy to catch it first go too! After this, we went back to the van to celebrate and continue our adventures.
I taught myself photography at the age of 21 when I injured my knee and was immobilized for a year – this way I could still keep up with my passion for BMX. This was also directly related to my studies in design and widened my set of skills.
I was soon drawn to brilliant pictures from people like Manu Sanz or Jeff Zielinski, which I saw regularly in magazines. By luck, photos from my very first films were published in core magazines too.
Little by little, I got the chance to travel all around the world, especially to the States where BMX was born. Since then, I have mixed with the best riders and worked for companies such as Vans and Carhartt. I now also run a website called TheDiggest.
This image shows Jorge Ferzuli from Mexico diving from a 26.8-meter platform during the first training session of the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Lake Vouliagmeni in Athens, Greece on May 20, 2011.
I was booked for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series stop in Greece. My task was to capture all the action from the water. I was shooting with my Canon 1D Mark IV with a Canon 15mm fisheye lens placed in an SPL water housing.
I usually try to get different styles of photos from the water and here I was lucky enough to capture a bird flying next to Jorge Ferzuli. It is very difficult to shoot from the water as you are very limited with the angles. Later when I showed this photo to other people, everybody was really impressed and I also won the Slovenian Press Photo Award with this shot!
Born and raised in Bled, Slovenia, I started as an amateur photographer at the age of 17. Fascinated by what could be done with different cameras, lenses and film, I gained knowledge really fast and soon realized that this could be my dream job someday. At the age of 23 I started working as a professional photographer.
Since 2005 I have been shooting for Red Bull, traveling the world and taking photos of the world's best athletes. I am a team member of Limex Images, a Getty Images contributor, covering different sports events for them. I also work with some leading sport companies and take photos for their advertising campaigns.
My photos have appeared in the world’s most prestigious magazines, such as Outside, L’Equipe, ESPN. I am also a Canon Explorer and F-Stop Global Icon. In 2014 I was the winner of the wings category in Red Bull Illume, and am a multiple winner of the Slovenian press photo award.
The moment I set eyes on this crystal ball, my mind was absorbed by the idea of integrating this massive glass hulk into a snowboard action shot. The execution of a good photograph with a heavy 10kg crystal ball turned out not to be all that easy. The great difficulty was to catch a perfect close-up of the rider within the 30cm diameter of the glass.
The reaction of the five handpicked snowboarders I chose for the project initially was everything but enthusiastic. They laughed at the idea and dissed my crystal ball. However, after persuading the riders, I quickly gained their confidence.
First we built a spine at the local soccer field in Oberiberg – the right place to shoot at dusk. After a few initial shots the right vibes evolved and with that the riders showed all their skills and executed their tricks to perfection. The seven hours the shooting took literally flew by. While evaluating the day’s achievement that same night, one shot with Philipp Schicker was our favorite. The 23-year-old took off the past winter to pursue his snowboarding passion, and accompanied me on several shoots. The trick he performed is the Miller Flip.
I was born in Einsiedeln, Switzerland on April 12th 1985. The pre-alpine area around the famous monastery village is known as a winter sports paradise. The first ski tows are practically in front of my doorstep and therefore it was easy to be inspired by snow sports as a teenager. Snowboarding became the true passion during my youth. I found my second passion through my job as a carpenter. I documented my finished work photographically and thereby discovered my joy and talent for photography. Both passions can be linked perfectly and since I was able to get a few good shots in my early days, I became more and more enthusiastic for the creative art form.
I use every free minute to be in the mountains with my snowboard and photo equipment to work on different projects. In 2009, I won 3rd place at a Swiss Youth Photography Award, the first time I’d been recognized for a photo. At the same time I presented two photos in the context of a local youth development project called ‘Young Art in Einsiedeln’. I was a finalist at the Sony World Photography Awards 2010. These awards, along with the positive feedback, motivated me to invest additional time and money into photography. In 2013 I was a Red Bull Illume finalist in the Close Up category. In 2014 the greatest honor that can be imagined as a snowboard photographer followed: my photo graced the cover of TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Photo Annual.
In the summer of 2012 I was hired to shoot the Nine Knights Mountainbike event at Austria’s Wildkogel. The weather conditions were not super good, so we had to focus on one or two good weather days to produce our entire media output. Since it was my job as an event photographer to highlight the sponsor’s branding and lifestyle atmosphere, I also got the chance to shoot some creative angles during sunset and night sessions.
Apart from the bad weather forecast, the event was perfect. Xavier "Sherwy" Pasamonte and all the other riders were riding super well. Xavier threw that superman a few more times during the event. Meanwhile I found this little lake beside the wooden castle. I thought about producing something different, so I turned off my flashes during the sunset session and tried to catch Xavier against the backlight of the setting sun and the reflection of the water at the same time. Afterwards I adjusted the contrast during post-production in the same way I visualized the image on the mountain before.
I was very lucky to produce this high-contrast black and white photo combined with the perfect style of Xavier – it was such an incredible atmosphere during the event!
Growing up in the south of Munich (more precisely in Breitbrunn at the Ammersee) in the 1990s, I was strongly influenced by the Alps that surrounded me. About three years ago, I picked up my first camera and followed my friends into the mountains. It was my passion to highlight the culture and mountains surrounding me.
Recently I have moved to Innsbruck, Austria to combine my studies with my passion for action sports photography. This step has not only helped me become a team photographer for the German Salomon Freeski Team, but has also given me the opportunity to work as a photo intern for downdays’ Freeski Journal and shoot the biggest European freeski events such as Nine Knights and Nine Queens.
I've come a long way and my camera has given me the chance to meet many great people and capture many great moments and emotions. Right now, I’m in my fourth semester studying Management & Economics in Innsbruck. This year I decided to take a break from my photography for a while and fully concentrate on university. Apart from photography, I’m also into mountain biking, climbing, sailing and kitesurfing in the summer.
This shot was taken in the Tordrillo Mountains, Alaska in 2010. I was there with an all-star crew: Travis Rice, John Jackson, Mark Landvik and the Brain Farm Cinema production crew. We were filming a segment for "The Art of FLIGHT". We were anxious to get on the snow after arriving to a week of bad weather. We didn't know that the mountains were going to welcome us with incredible conditions for the following two weeks, but something seemed pretty special on this initial evening.
This was literally the first drop of the trip. After putting the boys on the ridge, I shot this image from the heli as they were scoping their lines.
I found a passion with photography at an early age when I was gifted my first SLR camera at the age of ten. Nearly 30 years later, the passion has only intensified. I feel lucky to have been introduced during the era of film and darkrooms.
Early on in my life, I realized I was going to be spending a lot of time in the mountains. I was born at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah and started skiing and climbing at a very early age.
I am fortunate to have a profession that takes me to the corners of the planet. To the summits of the highest mountain peaks, to below the surface of the sea, I am dedicated to capture these moments to make them live forever.
I was in Barcelona for a week shooting the local BMX scene. Barcelona is definitely one of the most interesting BMX Meccas in the world, with many street spots where you can ride all day.
After a hard day of searching for different spots, I shot this picture where an old man is angry with one of the local riders, thinking that what he was doing was a bad thing for the city. He doesn’t understand it’s only BMX!
After this mishap, which is usual in Barcelona lately, we continued our search for new images, new spots and new sensations.
I’m a photographer from Burgos, a town situated in the north of Spain. Some years ago I discovered an incredible world named photography. All my life has been about BMX riding and when I took up photography I tried to create a new vision of the Spanish BMX scene.
I shoot for different brands such as Fly Bikes, G-Shock, Arnette, Dickies or Pirate as well as for bike magazines like Wallride Magazine, Ride BMX Magazine, DIG BMX or Freedom BMX.
All my inspiration comes from traveling, friends, colors, sensations, smells and bikes. I love taking photos in strange places like derelict skate parks with lots of old cement and ‘agro’ textures. I’m also passionate about the mountains – the interplay of colors and light there is amazing!
I had had this idea in my head for a long time: I wanted to do something similar to one of my older pictures with a snowboarder. For this new project, I chose four-cross rider Tomas Slavik. He is a former Czech freestyle champion and sees the progress of freestyle tricks from a different perspective. He performs completely new and impossible tricks on his MTB, and if something seems impossible now, it will be the norm in a few years.
This shoot took place in a studio because we could control all the lights very easily and wanted to create a backstage feeling, and also because it was very easy to suspend the bike from the ceiling. We had one special rope for Tomas and two smaller ones for the bike.
I chose a Nikon D800E with a Nikkor 24-70/2.8 lens. We also had seven Fomei Digital Pro X strobes, and a super cool gadget – a special flash remote control app for the iPad.
I was born in the Czech Republic in 1986 and became fascinated with photography at an early age when I found my dad’s old camera. Once I bought my first film for it there was no turning back! I used to skateboard a lot so it was only natural for me to start shooting the sport as well.
During the first couple of years, almost all of my pictures were black and white. Things really progressed for me when I started studying advertising photography at Thomas Bata University. I was surrounded by photography there the whole day and there really was no escape. Gradually I discovered medium and large format cameras as well as shooting in the studio.
During my studies I started working for local magazines Board and Dirtbiker and worked for them for more than five years. After school I started to shoot for different magazines and brands such as Maxim, Red Bull, Nikon and many more.
Currently I am based in Prague where I have my own studio but work almost everywhere on the planet. I love shooting action sports, lifestyle and commercials as well. I love clean pictures, geometric compositions, hard light and concepts.
I had the idea to shoot a snowboard waterslide from underneath the surface a couple of years back, but I found out pretty fast that it wasn't as easy as I thought. In the first attempts, I tried to trigger the camera that was in a water-resistant bag with radiotriggers, but the signal just never reached the camera. In the next attempt, I tried to fire the camera with a cable, but this also didn't work out and I ended up losing the camera to water damage. In my last try, I knew that I would have to go down into the water myself. So I rented water-housing and diving equipment and went to a pretty perfect location in Munich, Germany for the shoot.
The idea was to shoot upwards where the rider would be, in the so-called ‘Snell’s window’. Looking upwards underwater, this is the circular area of light on the surface caused by refraction of light entering the water.
In my image you can see the rider and the sky through that window. In other parts of the surface this effect takes place and mirrors the underwater world. The communication with the rider was also a bit difficult, because we both were in two different worlds and we could not just raise our hands when both of us were ready. But in the end, everything turned out way better than I expected!
This was not a large day by North Shore standards but sort of a lay day. When the waves are smaller, the surfers usually go out for a surf right before the sun sets.
I walked down the beach with my camera and a 70-200mm lens – I did not take a tripod, as it is easier to hand hold. I really love capturing the different elements of my surroundings, to be able to put the viewer of the image into the exact location of where I was and what I saw.
By pulling the lens back, I was able to get the sand and sky, so it is almost as if someone were walking down the beach and looking over to see Gabriel doing this massive backflip.
I was born in Hawaii in 1985 and have been in and around the ocean all my life. My father is a commercial photographer who helped me find my love and passion for shooting in the ocean. Working as a staff photographer for Surfer Magazine for the past five years has allowed me to travel to many exotic locations such as Tahiti, Rapa Nui and Indonesia to name just a few.
Being in the water is my specialty, shooting mainly heavy and large waves with shallow reefs. I have a passion to show people a world they have never seen before, from a perspective that is almost inconceivable. I try to bring the viewers into my images and make them feel as if they’re right there alongside me in the world's most famous surf breaks.
The thing I really love about surf photography is that you can never recreate the exact same wave. If you are not in the right position or have the right exposure as it comes in, there is no option to reshoot like in other sports. You need to be prepared, aware and know what image you want to capture.
I found this unique spot in the summer and I really wanted to shoot a snowboard picture there. I told Xaver Hoffmann about the spot and he was also fascinated. My idea to shoot in heavy snowfall wasn't going to be easy, as it only snowed once in this spot last season. So there was pretty much just a one-time chance to get this shot.
I used two big Elinchrom strobes in the background to light up the snowflakes and create a ‘white wall’ where I could capture Xaver’s silhouette as he jumped. To get some light onto the dish, I chose a 4-second exposure time to get some light from the moon.
Overall, I'm pretty happy that we made it there that day!
We woke at dawn to what appeared to be clear skies and we immediately scrambled to get our things together. Windows of clear blue skies are rare in these parts of Norway and each minute that passed as we gathered our boards and wetsuits seemed twice as long.
Jumping into the truck, we drove the cold icy roads looking for peaks on the horizon. Then just over the frozen hillside the top of a wave could be seen. Our excitement grew as we saw the mist of the offshore wave. So focused on the offshore waves ahead of us, we failed to see the looming clouds behind them. We ran to the shoreline and paddled straight out. The waves seemed perfect and we thought it would be a long session of the best arctic waves any of us had ever scored. Suddenly the winds changed and that looming cloud on the horizon had snuck up and was almost upon us. With little regard for what was in front of it, the rain began to pour and within minutes it began to snow. Caught in a blizzard, we did what we could to paddle in. Finally making it back to the truck, we took shelter and tried to wait out the storm. Weather is constantly changing in the Arctic and sometimes all it takes is a little patience.
On this day, the weather got the best of us and our time spent sitting in the truck ended up being our downfall. The snow had piled high around us and soon it was pretty clear that our truck was not going anywhere fast. Dane and Keith knew another surf session was nowhere in sight and decided to head back into town. As the storm continued to brew the pair made their way back home.
I am a self-taught photographer and artist based in Central Coast California, whose work is layered by surf, outdoor, lifestyle and travel subjects. My images are punctuated by energized landscapes and momentary bliss, by adventure seeking and the lifestyle that ensues, by movement and intuitive light-working capabilities.
With the ocean as my primary muse, I have consistently captured this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, utilizing the tool of surfing to approach the ocean’s intricate personality and then extending to include the human personalities that draw meaning from it. Searching for wild, remote destinations and offbeat landscapes, I portray the humble placement of the human in contrast to nature.
In a short period of time, I have assembled an extensive client list that includes American Airlines, Nikon, Volkswagen, Apple, Pacifico, Patagonia, Fuel TV, Burton, Volcom, RVCA, Poler Stuff and other respected brands and have also published work in 35 international publications, both print and digital, among them: Surfer Magazine, New Yorker.com, National Geographic Adventure Blog and ESPN.com.
Currently, I serve as Senior Staff Photographer for Surfer Magazine and as a Patagonia clothing project photographer in addition to working with my evolving client roster.
2009 THE CALIFORNIA SURF PROJECT (CHRONICLE BOOKS)2012 THE PLIGHT OF THE TORPEDO PEOPLE (DAP BOOKS)
2008: FOLLOW THE LIGHT GRANT RICIPIENT2010: RED BULL ILLUME OVERALL WINNER2011: LOOK BETWEEN FESTIVAL NOMINATED INVITEE2012: THE WORLD OPEN 2nd PLACE OVERALL WINNER
I went to Dahab with Emilia Biala to make a documentary about freedivers. Emilia is the Polish national record holder in freediving, and she also won second place at the 2011 World Championships AIDA Indoor Event. Disaster struck five months after this contest when Emilia was badly injured in a train accident in Szczekociny, Poland, in which 16 people died.
The doctors said that Emilia probably wouldn’t be able to dive anymore. This image was taken during her first dive after arriving in Dahab, and we were about to find out if what the doctors said was true. Fortunately, Emilia is still an excellent freediver, and at the time of writing she is busy preparing for another World Championship in Belgrade.
I am a freelance photographer born in Warsaw, Poland in 1974. I started my career in 1998 and specialize in underwater, freediving and scuba-diving photography for magazines such as Playboy, Elle or Uroda.
About five years ago, I started freediving training with the Warsaw Freediving Team. Soon, I was taking pictures of the freedivers and doing underwater fashion shoots and the whole thing quickly turned into my biggest passion.
Apart from that, I have a nine-year-old son called Anthony and love mangos, traveling, taking pictures and water.
We've been shooting in Tamok every spring since 2007 and always saw the potential of the place but never realized it due to weather or snow conditions.
In 2012 everything was different. My life changed forever. Our journey started with two days of heavy snowfall. For the rest of the time, the sun was out but it still stayed cold throughout the week. The crew – Miikka Hast, Antti Autti, Nicholas Wolken, Ode Siivonen, cinematographer Teemu Lahtinen and myself – got to see some of the best Tamok has to offer. We just went on and on, dropping new lines and enjoying ourselves up there. At some point I stopped counting their first descents.
In this image Miikka Hast is speeding up on the lower parts of Lilla Russetinden, one of his many first descents. There was a huge cliff halfway down the line. After he landed perfectly he just couldn't hold it back anymore but turned his nose straight down the hill and raised his hands in the air.
Getting to ride a huge face like Lilla Russetinden and being out there in the wild with your crew, Miikka was surely the winner. I could almost see the smile on his face from the helicopter.
Born in Finland in 1979, I developed my passion for photography as a young boy, observing street and nature photos my mother took in addition to her painting. While I never really knew how to hold a paintbrush the right way, a camera seemed to fit in my hand just fine!
My interest in photography led me to study photojournalism at the University of Tampere. Only a few years later, in 2006 when working at Aamulehti newspaper, I was awarded Young Photo Journalist of the Year in Finland.
My previous life as a snowboarder allowed me to live a dream life of travelling the world for the coming years, following some of the world’s best snowboarders of that time. Today, I still continue this journey for the sheer joy of it all.
I have a unique ‘documentary’ approach towards new challenges. Whether documenting or creating, I am always looking for true feelings and uncompromising images. My sense of moment and true devotion to the story have led to the publication of my images in numerous international magazines such as TWS, Outside, Snowboarder or Flag, and alongside the logos of such renowned clients as Nokia, Finnair, Flow and Billabong to name but a few.
If it wasn’t for my camera, I would love to work as a curator. Or I would be found simply enjoying a summer day on a boat with my wife and two children.
The US Open is as chaotic as surf contests get. You will never see more people show up to watch a surf event, and the number one person they come to see is Kelly Slater. It can be really hectic trying to shoot photos with a crowd like that. Luckily, Surfing Magazine lets me do my own thing and doesn't require a particular number of images per day or anything. They just want me to get some different perspectives from the online galleries and run-of-the-mill Instagram photos.
The most important aspect of this shot was making friends with the security team – they can be stingy no matter what kind of pass you have, but in this case I was allowed to run behind Kelly as he entered the water for this heat. I didn't have a pole cam or anything, I just held the camera up as high as I could and hoped the focus and composition worked out right. Normally I fail in these situations, but with a 24mm lens it's a little easier to hold it up there and guesstimate what you're shooting.
When I checked the LCD screen after, I was really psyched and saved it for the magazine. Of course, it ended up caught in a page cut and never saw the light of day, but it's still one of my favorite lifestyle moments I've ever shot. Plus, of course Kelly went on to win the contest and $100k!
I was 15 when I broke my ankle skateboarding and picked up a camera. Things kinda just took off from there and somehow I've managed to score a job where I'm literally living a dream… or at the very least watching it from courtside seats. Sure I still pull plenty hours in the Surfing Magazine office so it's not all boat trips and plush hotels, but I could count the days on one hand that I've actually dreaded going to "work", and those must have all been because of hangovers!
Surfing is still my favorite thing in the world to do, followed by traveling with friends, capturing moments with a camera, and newly, snowboarding. My main goals are to have as much fun as possible, laugh at all the hilarious situations, continue to stay psyched on life by living like a little kid, and be an honest and genuinely good human.
It was not an easy day in the “office” when I took this photo. I was covering the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo in the Portuguese Azores from a boat. It was quite rough at the time and I was really happy that I had previous experience of shooting on boats so I knew I wouldn’t get seasick. You need to be fully concentrated on finding good angles when shooting in such high swells, speaking to the boat driver to hold positions while protecting your gear and somehow managing to hold on while still needing both hands to shoot.
I saw this angle between the rocks but it was difficult for the boat driver to stay in position, it was a very narrow gap and just a little movement one way or the other was the difference between seeing or not seeing the diver at all. The skipper fought so I could see what was going on and try to anticipate when to hit the right position to get the shot before the diver disappeared behind the rocks. Eventually it all fell into place!
I like pictures where it leaves the viewer questioning, in this case: Where is he coming from? Will he survive this? Does that guy seriously think he can fly?
One day when I was 13 and still going to school in Switzerland, we were given this homework assignment to write about how we saw our future and what we wanted to be. I was excited about it – and believe me, that didn't happen very often at school!
The next day, I proudly stood at the front of the classroom, presenting my story about wanting to be a photographer when I leave school to my classmates and teacher. My teacher took me aside afterwards and said, “It’s great that you are enthusiastic about your hobby, Romina, but you should really think about a decent profession!”
Thirteen years later, when I was at the supermarket, I bumped into the same teacher again. He asked me how things were going and mentioned he had heard me being interviewed on the radio about sports photography.
It was with great delight that I gave him my business card, which read "Romina Amato Photography", and told him how I was having an absolute blast traveling around, photographing cool stuff and amazing people in fantastic locations and even making a living from it – just like a "decent profession"!
In the fourth year of a five-year world kiteboarding expedition, we sailed 600 miles across the Mozambique Channel from Madagascar to the Bazaruto Archipelago, off the southeast coast of Mozambique. It’s considered one of the most beautiful destinations on the African continent. As we made landfall, a massive 20-mile sand dune grew off our bow. No words were said, everyone just ran for their wings.
The east side of the dune juts out into the Indian Ocean at a perfect angle for paragliding a few hundred meters above the sea. The hard part was getting there as there is a huge shore break that denies access to the beach. So we plotted our attack at low tide. Keeping the dinghy ashore wasn’t an option so we anchored it a hundred meters off the beach. In no time we were soaring and exploring a place by air that had never previously been flown. It is the stuff that even vivid dreamers cannot imagine and as a photographer it was perfection. The way the light danced and played along the sand was mesmerizing.
It was perfect until we spotted our dinghy washed up on the beach. By the time we reached it, there was no obvious damage but we would still have to wait again for low tide to make any attempt to leave.
We ended up sleeping on the dune that night in our paragliders and awoke again the next morning to more perfect flying conditions. Being quite possibly the most playful and stunning soaring site on the planet, we had to keep flying. Only after we were sunburnt, exhausted and dehydrated did we manage to get the dinghy through the shore break and back to our catamaran.
I am a documentary and adventure sport photographer. I grew up in Saudi Arabia and it instilled in me a penchant for adventure and interest in different cultures. I began taking photography classes in university while I was majoring in Outdoor Recreation. I quickly fell in love with the medium as it allowed me to combine my two passions of art and outdoor sports in a very creative way. From that moment on, I would take my camera with me on all my outdoor adventures and my love for photography grew.
In 2004 I began sailing around the world and my photography progressed as I traveled and adventured in different countries. For almost a decade I have called a 60ft catamaran my home as I’ve sailed to the wildest corners of the planet on a global kiteboarding, paragliding and surfing expedition that’s taken me to over 60 countries. This experience has provided me with an incredible platform to pursue my passion for photography in unique and inspiring environments.
Today, I live in the mountain town of Sun Valley, Idaho and work as a freelance photographer. I am currently a Nat Geo Creative photographer and some of my current clients include National Geographic, Patagonia, Leica and Ford.
One thing my years of experience photographing in Alaska has taught me is to appreciate those magical moments when everything comes together. This photo is a defining moment for me where several of my passions aligned perfectly to create an image that I had been visualizing. Like most good things in life, it didn't come easy, and I couldn't have done it without the help of some friends.
This was when we first started surfing the Turnagain Arm bore tide on our stand up paddle boards and we were getting incredible 5 mile rides that would last up to 50 minutes. But the bore tide is a mysterious thing and sometimes it would be a clean perfect wave, and other times just a surge of turbulent whitewash, often both in the same ride. The morning before it was a bust, so I wasn't feeling too confident waking up early on this morning.
I loaned two of my boards to friends and passed up on surfing the morning's wave so I could try and shoot some aerial photos. As we raced to beat the incoming wave, one of the surfers in the shot actually had to help me launch my paramotor from a short little strip of beach. It was an incredible morning with a picture-perfect wave and beautiful light from the sunrise. My three friends managed to ride the wave for about 40 minutes and I was able to shoot the entire time, flying back and forth over this spectacle of nature.
In all the time I’ve surfed or photographed the bore tide, none was as photogenic a moment as this.
Alaska is my homeland and the wild places here are the main source of my creative inspiration. Photography is a passion and a tool that both documents and supports my lifestyle. Twelve short years ago I resigned from a decade of commercial fishing in Alaska and have been focused on photography as my career ever since.
The subjects I photograph are the things I love most; in this way photography has supported the pursuit of my passions in life and enabled me to stay light-footed and in touch with the natural cycles of life and nature. As my interests change, so do my subjects. Cold water surfing and flying are two of my favorite things, so naturally I shoot a lot of aerials and surfing photos. Occasionally I even combine the two!
My photography work is for both assignment and stock, with a healthy balance of personal projects.
This photo happened on a road trip through the American Southwest. Originally I just wanted a shot of two skateboarders pushing down the famous "Forest Gump" road. Being that the road has a little steepness to it, the guys weren't pushing very hard, and the shot looked lame.
So for one pass, I asked them both to push really hard. They came flying past me and both took a big push. However, Andy's back foot hit the back of his board, which sent him flying. Although I wasn't planning on a crash, I captured the moment that we all as skateboarders fear the most, that split second where you think "Oh shit, this is really going to hurt." Luckily Andy's a tough cookie and all he got was a scrape on his shoulder and forearm, and I got an awesome photo.
I am an action adventure lifestyle photographer. I grew up riding bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards, and going camping with my family. Team sports and rules never appealed to us. I've been shooting professionally since 1998 when I graduated from college and started shooting model portfolios. I assisted professionally for six years with a plan of moving to New York, but ended up spending a season in Summit County, Colorado, where I quickly found that I was better at capturing action than beauty! I shot snowboarding exclusively for seven years, traveling the globe forever chasing snowstorms, until I decided to branch out into action in general. Nowadays I love shooting skateboarding, motorcycling, running, and the lifestyle that surrounds our odd obsessions.
I'm really more attracted to conceptual action photography these days. When I shoot, I try to think of a new way of capturing the action, something that hasn't been done before. I've gotten tired of only shooting what's there; instead I try to think outside of the box and think, "what COULD be there?" I also really enjoy teaming up with athletes who like to take the extra time and effort to work with me on my concepts, even though we might not be getting the standard 'banger'. It takes a bit of a leap of faith to put your trust in someone who isn't shooting the standard shots, and I definitely appreciate that.