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.
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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
Interview with Red Bull Illume Winner Lorenz Holder
On the 29th of August, German photographer Lorenz Holder was crowned Overall Winner of the 2013 Red Bull Illume in Hong Kong. It was an extraordinary night for Holder – of his six images placed in the Top 250, three were selected for the Top 50, winning two Categories and the Overall Winner. Red Bull Illume caught up with the photographer to see how things have been since…
So has it all sunken in yet?
It’s still super crazy, I had no expectations at all when I arrived in Hong Kong. Being the overall winner of Red Bull Illume is super insane because the quality of the pictures is so high – I am honored!
What’s been happening since? Phone been ringing a lot?
It’s been pretty busy, a lot of interviews. Newspapers have been wanting to know about the picture and story behind it. I was in NZ for 5 days on a job and trying to sleep at night but the phone kept ringing – pretty hectic!
How was the Winner Award Ceremony?
It’s so rare to meet photographers just like you! With Red Bull Illume you also meet so many from all different kinds of sports. It was an amazing time with plenty of really great conversations about photography – where it’s at and where it’s going to go… Also Hong Kong is just such a mind-blowing city!
Any interesting chats?
I was talking to Polish photographer Rafal Meszka about my one underwater shot in New Creativity. He’s an expert dive photographer and he told me I could’ve drowned if I had gone any deeper! Basically I left an oxygen tank at the bottom of the lake, and I would go down, breathe with the regulator, shoot and then go up to see what was going on. He told me that without strapping the tank to my back, my lungs could have exploded due to water pressure if I had gone deeper and done the same thing! I guess that’s what happens when snowboarding photographers go diving…
Is it easy to produce a winning shot?
To win Red Bull Illume there is a big factor of luck. If there had been no snowstorm, or the weather was different, the pic wouldn’t have worked. I think a winning shot needs a little bit of luck with the right light and weather!
You won a load of gear – Leica cameras, broncolor kits and gear from Sun-Sniper…
The prizes were really great and I’m certainly looking forward to experimenting with all the gear!
What’s next for you?
In January, I will start getting more creative, I have some new ideas I want to try. They are getting some structure in my head… so, in development!
Also, due to a number of print requests I’ll be opening an online shop on my website soon… Watch this space!