Red Bull photographer Markus Berger decided to flip the switch on action sports photos by using a different approach to lighting his subjects.
"The UV project is something I have been working on quite a while. I started it October 2014 when I put together the concept of shooting various action sports using only UV light."
"The main idea is to show athletes in a different light which might make themselves and their sport look completely weird but reveals also different perspective of what we are used to see everyday. I wanted to create something new and unseen before by using a maximum of UV light and almost use it like normal lighting with short shutter speeds. The interesting part is that this kind of light has different wavelength other than visible light and therefore also shows a complete different behavior of reflecting structures or various substances. Actually ultraviolet radiation can cause many things to glow or fluoresce. I was aiming to use this effect for my shoots, but then also to use it very subtly and only in unicolor without too many bright glowing colors giving the traditional 80’s UV look."
"My goal was to get clear and clean action shots accompanied with portraits that show the athlete within his playground and with a completely different look as the UV radiation would also reflect different parts of his skin that usually are not visible in natural light. It is a super interesting way of shooting and every time it is so exciting to check the results because you never know beforehand what you end up with."
"In terms of photography the biggest challenge is to get enough light in the areas where you need it and that is a tricky task if you know that UV radiation only has a fraction of the power that your flash usually has. This means that I had to push my broncolor Moves to full power almost all the time and get as close to the action as possible with the flash heads to not end up with complete underexposed shots. With full power flashes, freezing fast action becomes even trickier. Yet it is possible and so far I managed to achieve all the results I was aiming for in 3 different sports disciplines already."
"All the different disciplines of my project will be revealed together in a exhibition in 2016, so I can not tell you too much about the rest..."
For a look at the first UV shoot Markus Berger did with ice climbing legend Rudolf Hauser in Kaprun, Austria, head over to the broncolor blog and check out the full story including photos.