How did you get started as an adventure and action sport photographer?
I started shooting photos during the very early years of my life, before digital and using a darkroom. Once I started my career in the mountains as a Mountaineering / Helicopter Ski Guide, I always took camera with me, allowing me to capture some incredible landscapes and action. This evolved onto working on Red Bull film projects and events, and the rest is history!
A little background to this trip…
These images are from the Red Bull Media House film, ’The Fourth Phase’. It was the last production of a 4-year project, so there was a lot of pressure to get some incredible footage and images to finish the film. We spent nearly 2 months in Alaska, in multiple mountain ranges. These particular photos were shot deep in the Tordrillo Mountains, part of the Alaskan Range, as well as in the Chugach Mountains, just outside of Valdez. Travis Rice, Victor de Le Rue, and Jeremy Jones sent line after line in some of the most beautiful mountains.
What are the main challenges for a photographer on a trip like this?
Going on remote Heli-trips deep into the mountains can come with some unique challenges. You have to fit all your gear into a backpack, and there is no returning back to the lodge for media, batteries, or any other equipment. Once you leave for the day, you have what you have. It’s important to be very organized and make sure you think ahead. Exposure to the elements, can also be quite the challenge. It can be especially cold once you get out into the field. You might get dropped off on a ridge for hours at a time, so in addition to your camera equipment, you also need to make sure you have extra layers, food and water to be out tin the field for up to 14 hours. It’s no place for the faint of heart when it comes to being helicopter or standing on razor-sharp ridges. Additionally, you have to have all the safety equipment for riding, avalanche safety and rescue, and you need to know how to use all of it.
How do shooting on movie sets differ to other projects?
The most difficult part of shooting photos on a film project is that the primary objective is getting good motion footage, not still photos. Although everyone in the end always wants still photos, it isn’t your show, so you have to be quick, adaptive and ready for anything in order to snipe some shots.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without while in Alaska?
Never go to Alaska in the winter without a huge down jacket. From getting into the heli before the sun comes up, standing around the mountains for hours, waiting for the proper light, all the way to getting out of the heli at the end of the day and going down to get a celebration beer, your down jacket will be come your best buddy!
Do you have a dream trip in mind? Which spot & location?
The only continent I haven’t been to is Africa, so I am hearing to want to get there next. I would like to shoot everything from the surfing on the Namibia Coast, shark cage diving in South Africa, to the pyramids in Egypt, and everything in-between. This is the next on my bucket list!
Follow Clark’s Instagram: @clarkfyans