Philip Platzer’s Rowing Shoot
Austrian photographer Philip Platzer recently tackled a tough assignment, shooting a relatively un-photographed sport: rowing. Platzer was tasked with shooting the Lightweight Double team of brothers Paul and Bernhard Sieber as they trained for their next big goal – the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Due to his experience in shooting motorsports, Platzer decided to take a different approach by using a rig-shot and triggering the camera remotely even though the conditions were not ideal: “Through the longer exposure time one can get great movement photos with the subject crystal clear in the centre of pure movement. Sounds great, only here, there was no car, and the oars would add to the rocking of the boat creating a parallel movement which makes the photos unfocused,” says Platzer.
After discussing this problem with the Sieber brothers, they agreed to try a movement shot with the oars still: “I secured the camera with suction cups and a tripod to the boat, secured the whole thing with leashes, with the hope that should it fall into the water, it wouldn’t detach itself from its moorings and sink. I employed an ND-Filter to enable me to use daylight to achieve an exposure time of 1/10 to work with. I took the shots with a Pocket Wizard from a secondary boat, travelling slightly behind the main boat.”
However things were a bit rocky: “As we began, it became apparent that we had a problem – in order to capture both athletes, the camera had to be positioned at least 50cm from the middle of the boat to one side. This, however, along with a tripod, camera and rig. This created a balance problem for the boat, which had become side heavy, making it extremely strenuous for the brothers to travel at full speed, whilst shifting their balance to compensate for the weight – however, the brothers maintained this long enough for me to get some shots.”
Platzer was happy with the final results: “As I was unsure of the results of the shots, we then did a second take with the camera in a more central position, to ensure we got our action shot. As it turned out, all of the shots came out perfectly, achieving exactly what we had been hoping for, a credit to the brothers and their balance!”
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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