Nice Moves on the Dachstein
As any action sport photographer knows, shooting in sometimes crazy locations is all part of the job. But what happens when it's a fashion shoot on a mountain edge and the athlete is a model in high heels?
Helge Kirchberger, who's worked with the Flying Bulls and at Hangar 7, tells us about his recent shoot on the Dachstein glacier using the broncolor Move Powerpack.
What was the idea behind the shoot?
During a job in the Dachstein ice cave (near Salzburg, Austria) I discovered a great location up there. I desperately wanted to do a shoot on this rock.
Looks like an extreme location
We were on a sloping rocky plateau just a few meters square and beyond that it was a sheer drop of a few hundred meters. The rock was also wet and loose so we had to move carefully!
How did the model enjoy that?
Our model Carina was amazing. She had to wear high-heels while we were all equipped with proper hiking boots. We had told her in advance that the location would be extraordinary and that she should definitely not be scared of heights. She did really well!
What was the idea with the birds?
During the first shoot on the Dachstein, the model had a phobia of birds and was really stressed out. That’s when I had the idea to include alpine choughs in our fashion shoot, like in Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds”. To get the birds to come closer we fed them bread in the beginning. Within no time, more and more birds arrived. Those birds have become used to climbers and aren’t too shy anymore.
What equipment did you use?
In the studio, we worked with Broncolor Scoro A4 and A2 as well as grafit generators — a perfect setup in terms of performance and handling. In addition, we used two Broncolor Verso with rechargeable batteries and Broncolor Pulso G flash heads and a number of different lights.
Canon EOS 5 Mark III with EF 70-200, EF 24-70 and EF 16-35mm.
How does The Move make life easier?
The performance quality really makes the Move Powerpack stand out. It's low weight, full power and adjustability make it an essential tool for outdoor photoshoots. It’s particularly useful when you shoot on locations where electricity is unavailable but you still want to work with artificial light. With the move, you can perfectly implement all those possibilities. It’s reliable and convinces with sophisticated handling and excellent processing.
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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.”
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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!
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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