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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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)
Skate the Line
In his latest shoot, Red Bull Illume photographer Dan Vojtěch used reflective tape to produce an eye-catching series of images of athlete Maxim Habanec skating in a dark skatepark.
“There were no lights on at the skatepark, so we used 25 LED film lights to provide enough light for Maxim,” says Vojtěch.
“The main photo from the top was taken on a Nikon D4 via wifi transmitter, with a flash mounted on a helicopter and controlled from the ground by PC. We also had other two strobes on the ground. This session took from 7pm until 3am – it was really cold and windy so I would love to say thanks to all participants again!”
Be sure to check out Dan’s website & Facebook page for more creativity.