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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Catching up with Lucho Vidales
At photokina, the Red Bull Illume team met up with many talented young action sports photographers – one of them being Argentine photographer Lucho Vidales. We asked Lucho a few questions about his style, plans & photokina…
What’s your shooting background?
As I started as a photojournalist, I like shooting action sports photos with a tele, which for freestyle action sports is not very common. I like to incorporate the landscape into the action so it plays a big part in my composition!
What are you up to these days?
Right now, my goal is to keep pushing myself to keep learning and grow doing what I do. I have recently been incorporated into Epoch Adventures as their senior contributing photographer and they are looking forward to organize some photography-related trips, so that is going to be awesome. I also just teamed up with the guys from F-stop gear, so more cool things are coming!
What was the coolest thing about photokina?
You may be surprised by this, but I was really excited about having the chance to get my hands on some awesome equipment that I have never had the possibility to try or shoot with due to the difficulties that we have in Argentina. The coolest thing was that I got to spend some time with a couple of great guys and photographers that I admire and I am lucky to be able to call them friends!
Working on any cool projects?
I’m planning to keep on shooting local young talents in my home town in Córdoba – there are a lot of talented athletes and that naturally helps when taking photos and spreading the word for them!
Be sure to check out Lucho’s work on his website and social links below:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LuchoVidalesPhoto
Talking drones with Stu Gibson
As drones become more and more affordable, an increasing number of photographers are getting in on the action. Red Bull Illume finalist Stu Gibson is one of the photographers who has been producing a lot of aerial footage recently as can be seen on his Facebook page, so we caught up with him to discuss…
What drone did you go for? What's your setup?
It changes from shoot to shoot. I use a range – from DJI Phantoms to octocopters, mostly with some home modifications.
Has it changed your approach to photography?
It’s made me very bored with normal stills, aerials are way more fun – but I can swap from stills to video on all rigs. Even on my phantom I use a Lumix for stills.
Are you getting more gigs because of it?
It’s just another piece of equipment to the kit now but I’m sure its helped get some jobs as the client knows I can do both. My drones come with me wherever I go!
Underwater Photography with Freedivers Alex & Alex
Freediving is a sport in which you should never dive alone, so it’s good to have a wingman. Ten years ago, two French freedivers Alex Roubaud and Alex Voyer teamed up and began taking every opportunity to travel to new dive spots. The pair also began Fisheye, a small association showcasing their breathtaking freedive photography from their dives.
What’s interesting are the benefits that freediving offers underwater photography: “Freediving allows us to see the world differently to a traditional scuba diver. It’s the most discreet way to get in the water, and to approach any animal in its environment. Although we can’t go as deep, we can dive faster in all directions,” explain the duo.
“We always alternate the dives, one on the surface and one in the deep – this is for security reasons but it also allows us to double the contact time with animals and get them used to our presence without undue stress for them. Working together is essential for us – we know each other perfectly and a few words are enough to understand each other.”
Enjoy the accompanying gallery of unique freedive photography from Alex & Alex, be sure to visit their website here, and hit them up on Facebook here.
To the Ends of the Earth with Krystle Wright
"I've an insatiable desire to explore with a camera. Adventure photography is a lifestyle I live and breathe. But, also a passion and obsession."
Red Bull Illume photographer Krystle Wright needs no introduction to the adventure photography community – yet the above video by Canon Austrialia showcasing the photographer’s lifestyle and philosophy will help you get to know her a little better. With stunning footage, examples of her brilliant work and some great BTS scenes, the video provides great insight into the lifestyle of an adventure photographer.
You can visit Krystle’s website here, and follow her on Facebook here.
Time to go CGI?
Creative duo Mike Campau and Tim Tadder recently created a series of commercial advertisements with sports athletes using CGI to create compelling effects.
As a concept, it is fair to say that the team nailed it with the final execution. Photography purists may be dismayed, but it’s hard to disagree with the fact that CGI creates infinite possibilities –and the eye-catching effects are what many clients will be looking for. The shoot was for tablet and phone case maker Lifeproof.
You can watch the full studio BTS video of the Lifeproof shoot here, and see the final results in the gallery.
(Thanks to Mike Campau, Tim Tadder & Lifeproof for permission to post the images)