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Viki Gomez in Flight

One of the images in the 2013 Red Bull Illume Top 250 was taken by Dutch photographer Rutger Pauw. The shot of BMX rider Viki Gomez has already received plenty of attention so Red Bull Illume caught up with Pauw to discuss exactly what it’s all about…

Can you give us some background to the project?
Last year I was in Japan on a job, and I noticed how graceful people looked moving around in their kimonos, which gave me the idea for the photo. Nicola Jane Gulliver then hand-made the suit out of 20 meters of parachute silk.

Was it spontaneous or did you have a shot in mind?
I knew exactly what I wanted to capture, Viki helped out a lot by suggesting different tricks. The challenging bit was finding a trick that fit in well with the shape of the suit. Viki's body position needed to complement that, so the choice of trick was a bit different than usual. It was funny walking out of a full day’s shoot with just one image.

It must have been tough…
I'm happy Matty Lambert did such a good job on the video (see above), because it shows people Viki actually pulled that trick! The shot means a lot to me, as it was made with people I care about a lot, and the fact that I had no clue if it would even work at all. Shoots like this are most exciting to me.

What gear did you use?
Leica approached me about trying out their new S system, it has central shutter lenses, which sounded very interesting because it allows for flash sync speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. No tricks with hypersync or special transmitters that fail with the slightest bit of interference, it just works. I used my 8-year-old Pocketwizard Plus2's that have never let me down. Nice peace of mind when someone wants to do a trick just once.

It's safe to say I've never taken a picture with so much detail and sharpness but it's pretty exciting when you see it on your screen!

I used flashlights with big reflectors to light the whole scene, I also wanted to freeze the flour that was being thrown in the background so it was definitely the way to go.

You must’ve needed plenty of windpower…
I rented the biggest industrial office fan I could find. 10.000 cubic meters of air per hour amazingly only made just enough wind to make the sleeves of the suit fly. Vik had to carve in sharply to give them extra lift, making it all more difficult for him to ride.

Congrats on your images in the 2013 Red Bull Illume Top 250…
To me the most important part of the competition is to get photos in the book. It'll be around forever, and in my opinion features some of the best sports images I've ever seen, so it's a huge honour!

Be sure to check out the project on Rutger’s new website and Leica’s Facebook page.

© Rutger Pauw // Athlete: Viki Gomez // Location: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

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@ Stu Gibson

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! 

Getting your hands on a decent drone may be a worthy addition for action sports photographers. Get some inspiration from Stu’s latest video here and be sure to check out his website here

@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)

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.

© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
Meet Alex & Alex: Alex Voyer (left) & Alex Roubaud (right)

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.

© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof

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)

© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof
© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof
© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof

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.

© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch

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