Lights, Camera, Wakeboarding
The lengths to which photographers and athletes go to nail a shot is often extreme — especially with sights on an entry into Red Bull Illume in mind.
Just a few miles down the road from the lights and magic of Disney World and Universal studios was the setting for this light-painting photo shoot at Orlando, Florida’s OWC Cable Park. Onsite were Red Bull wake riders Adam Errington, Dallas Friday and Mike Dowdy.
After the park closed to the public, photographer Patrick Rochon shot the Red Bull Riders as they attacked the sliders and kickers on boards tricked out with intricate LED lighting. Play the video above for a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot, which took place over three nights in late March.
The shoot – which was done in conjunction with a local Red Bull-supported photography event called Snap! Orlando – included many challenges in preparation. It’s hard enough to shoot high-speed action in the dark – add in the tasks of outfitting the boards with the waterproof LCD light systems to staging the cameras, lighting and athletes in proper position to secure the shot, and you have yourself a serious photographic mission.
Some of the most inspired by the project were the athletes themselves. “It really is my movements painting this picture and helping this photo come to life!” says Errington, the 24-year-old wakeboarder at the top of his game.
For Rochon, the set-up and planning were extensive, but the motivation while shooting was simple: “Focus on the art, the creativity, and the beauty,” said Rochon, mid-shoot. Fortunately for him, he knew he could rely on the riders to offer performances worthy of the occasion. “I’m really impressed by the athletes,” he added. “They are so fluid in the water, and they understand naturally what we are trying to do here.”
Will the effort pay off? The best images have been held back to enter into Red Bull Illume. It will now be up to the judges to decide...
How hard would you work to get a shot into Red Bull Illume Image Quest? Don’t delay – show us your stuff. The submission period ends at the end of April! Enter here.
Snap! is a 4-day photography celebration showcasing the work of renowned photographers from May 2nd-5th. snaporlando.com
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Scott Markewitz’s b-boy action shoot
At the Red Bull Illume exhibition opening in Scottsdale, world-class sports photographer Scott Markewitz hosted a one-hour live-action photo shoot. Markewitz shot the Super Cr3w b-boys using the new broncolor Move power packs and lighting equipment to illuminate the breakdance crew, Markewitz was able to share some of his lighting techniques and demonstrate how to creatively capture the perfect action shots.
Markewitz loved seeing the Red Bull Illume exhibition on display: “To be a winner, or even a finalist in the Red Bull Illume is really the ultimate prize for any action sports photographer. The images that make the final cut are technically perfect and beautifully artistic, and to see them all on display on the waterfront in Scottsdale was really incredible.”
Markewitz enjoyed the shoot: “Having the opportunity to do a live action shoot with the Super Cr3w as part of the opening event was one of the funnest experiences I've had with a camera. The b-boys were amazing to work with and the crowd loved watching the action and seeing the images in real time on the monitor. Broncolor has always made great lighting equipment, and the Move pack is by far the best battery operated strobe system I've ever worked with. There's no other system that gives you the power, speed, consistency and control of the Move pack.”
Extreme shoot on the Alps
In a recent broncolor shoot, photographer Tim Lüdin shot an album cover for Swiss artist Seven’s new album. However, the shoot was no less extreme than what we’ve come to expect from other projects in Lüdin’s portfolio.
Taking place on the “Grimsel Pass” on the Swiss Alps at over 2100m above sea level, a real piano was brought up to the mountainous location. The promo video also provides interesting insight into how the gear helped the team work in extreme conditions, a topic that will interest all action sports photographers.
Interview with Fred Mortagne
Fred Mortagne was in the spotlight recently with his jaw-dropping ‘Hybridation’ skateboarding film. The title stemmed from Mortagne’s remarkable approach of filming skateboarding the way he photographs it. Red Bull Illume caught up with the French photographer to discuss…
Is it tough to choose between film and camera?
I have shot video for much longer. I love both and cannot make a choice between the two mediums. They are both unique, showing different things. Photo freezes the instant, and on some occasions, it's completely out of context, depending on what you want to show. In a skateboard picture you see the guy, the spot, the trick, but you miss the speed, the run up, the landing. Yet you can get a notion of the speed and style, but you can only imagine it. Video shows you all that stuff, but on the other hand, the clips are usually short, and you don't have so much time to enjoy the scene.
Tell us a bit about Hybridation...
Both mediums are perfect for different occasions, and sometimes not at all. That's why I do both, and try to mix them together when I can. Hybridation emerged from those frustrations. The idea was to make a video, sort of shot like photographs, resulting in a kind of photographs with motion. Not all the shots are static, but I limited myself very much when it came to camera motion.
This was also a way to do the exact opposite in what you see these days in videos. With HD cameras came all sorts of affordable equipment allowing people to take dolly, crane, and even drone shots, with so much motion...but they all do it the same and most videos look very similar. So this was a way to come up with something different. I'm really happy with Hybridation, yet I don't have photographs of any of the skate tricks, so that makes me sad at the same time!
What are you currently working on?
Thanks to Red Bull Illume, Leica lent me their amazing digital M Monochrom camera, and I've been shooting a lot with it, but not just skateboarding pictures... We will present a selection of the images on Leica's site/blog in a near future!
Coming out in December is a special skateboarding film shot on 16mm, Cuatro Suenos Pequenos, directed by Thomas Campbell. It has been an epic project to work on, and the result is totally unique. I also did a short video for Nokia this year, shot with their Lumia phone, and we might make some more.
I have a cool project that is already finished, but it will only come out in 2014. It's called "Skateboarding Sucks". It's a funny video parody of it. Excited to share it!
Right now I'm preparing a video shoot involving skateboarding in a museum in Paris!
Making of: Morphing Sequence
Red Bull Illume joins photographer Max Riché on a rooftop in Frankfurt as he turns his sequencing vision of trial biker Petr Kraus ‘morphing’ from amateur to professional into a reality.
Equipment and settings:
Camera: Nikon D800 shooting tethered into Capture One
Lens: 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 50mm f/1.8
Lights: 3 broncolor Scoro 3200 S set on optimal flash speed, softboxes (for ambient and fill-in), a beauty dish for the key light and a pair of magnum reflectors, 1 kobold 800W HMI (creating the trail)
Athletes: Petr Kraus
Credits: Photographer: Maxime Riché / Red Bull Content Pool