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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Making of: Infrared photography
Watch Danish photographer Esben Zøllner Olesen discuss his basic workflow when shooting infrared images with an IR-converted DSLR camera. Infrared photography may seem quite daunting, but Esben Zøllner Olesen delivers insight and tips for every stage of the process, right from gear setup to post-processing to create a nice overview of the technique which can capture some stunning results.
Photo credits: Esben Zøllner Olesen
The Dark Night: a 3D-printed sequence
Red Bull Illume photographer Dan Vojtěch has spent the last 4-5 months working on a 3D-printed miniature model of a wakeboarder sequence shot. The project has finally been released – and Dan explains how it all went down:
“I was doing a personal project for 3DGang print company and I saw a creative opportunity with this technology!
First, I had the idea to have shoot with a small 3D-printed figure – but soon the idea developed into a sequence shot. I phoned wakeboarder Zuzana Vrablova, who loved the idea and came to Prague.
We planned the concept together and decided to shoot 8 or 9 different poses for different moments of the sequence. As each ‘frame’ of the sequence had to be shot individually, Suzanna had to imagine what the correct position was – we had a big screen so she could check her body position was correct after each shot!
Afterwards, we printed the models – I was surprised at how much handiwork was required – the figures were fragile and also needed a kind of glue to make them harden. We also added colours, of course.
The finishing touches came in building a cityscape at night and we also threw in the dry ice to create the moody smoky effect!”
Check out the BTS images below on how it all went down!
Shooting Alpine Adventure with Mike Horn
Red Bull Illume photographer David Carlier has been working on a one-year adventure film & photography project called the "13 Faces of Valais", which aims at depicting the Alpine region of Switzerland through different eyes. Carlier has captured thirteen different stories on both film and stills throughout the four seasons.
In September, Carlier had the chance to shoot Swiss mountain guide Frederic Roux and his climbing buddy, the infamous internationally renown explorer Mike Horn.The stunning images show Mike and Fred climbing Mont Dolent, via a mixed route leading to the summit that marks the border of Switzerland, France and Italy. The photo series also covers the athletes as they unpack their gliders and take off over the immense crevasses of the glacier towards the village of La Fouly.
"What an honor to spend two days in the mountains with Fred and Mike and document the adventure with such legends of the climbing and exploration world," says David. "Of course we have been really lucky with the weather and both the climb and the fly down were amazing... but the greatest part of it all was definitely the evening at the bivouac listening to some of the most incredible stories from past expeditions in very remote places!"
Mike Horn is now preparing a 3 years project to circumnavigate the earth motor less via the two poles. Find out more about what they’re up to here: www.mikehorn.com / www.davidcarlierphotography.com
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!