Putting a shot together with Vitek Ludvik
Vitek Ludvik is always looking for innovative new ways to find a new angle. The 2007 Red Bull Illume photographer recently got busy with some DIY tripod construction to capture an image that had been growing in his mind for a year.
It was a plan to capture some breathtaking white water images with Honza Lasko, the extreme kayak champion, kayak designer and manufacturer.
“I only knew him from the pages of white water magazines," says Vitek.
"But when we finally met, we made a plan to work together as soon as possible.The pair agreed that conditions were best in Norway and began planning a trip.
“I did not want to destroy my camera because of a poor mount and Honza refused to have an Eiffel Tower on his kayak,” says Vitek. “We tried with an old tripod, but it buckled after a few minutes of testing. We knew we needed a more solid camera mount and drew up a new layout. My neighbour, a craftsman hobbyist, helped construct the mount just two days before the trip began. It was light, solid and reliable.”
Vitek also tried to find the right camera with the size and weight of a compact but with DSLR performance. “Olympus had just released a model called the OM-D. When I pulled the camera out of the box, I was rather skeptical as it was like a toy. However after a successful test shoot with the Flying Bulls in Jaroměř, Czech Republic, where I hung the OM-D with a Pocketwizard under my paraglider, I knew it could do the job.”
Overall, the photoshoot was a success. “The project was exciting," he says. "Best off all was meeting the crew and making new friends, Honza Lasko, Honza Muska Musil, Honza Kolar and Eva Filova!”
And the final image itself?
“The photoshoot went fine and the image looks great. My idea was slightly different as I was looking for a higher waterfall with a sharper edge, but the rest of the image looks the way I wanted. I’m happy!”
Vitek is no stranger to kayak photography, watch his shoot with London 2012 silver medallist Vavra Hradilek on a Prague slalom course. www.sharp-pictures.net.
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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!
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.