In 2014, I got the brief to update the profile of Rustam Gelmanov. We decided to do the shoot in Fontainebleau, France, a well-known bouldering venue. I had the idea for this image in my head beforehand and it turned out exactly as I imagined.
The main instruments in rock climbing are your hands and arms. It was a deal – we’d shoot a close-up of his hands. With the help of two medium soft box sets on both sides I focused on the hands and fingers, their owner hiding in the shade. I wanted the viewer to see more than just the hands of the athlete.
In this picture color is not important, the contrast is. This is why the photo is in black and white. Curiously, the frame was shot in the lobby of the hotel where we were staying.