Next time you see a jaw-dropping photo of a climber on a steep, inaccessible rock face, take a step back and contemplate for a moment about how that photo must have been captured. Specifically, how in the world did a photographer get himself or herself into a position to take such a spectacular shot?
I got into climbing photography through rock climbing. I studied computer science at university when a friend of mine gave me the suggestion to sign up for an indoor climbing course. Quickly after I developed a passion for this sport and met a lot of amazing friends. For good or bad, I never became a high-grade climber, but instead, unfold the desire to show the world the remarkable adventures that only climbing can take you on!
In order to shoot climbing, you have to be a climber. The ‘wow’ photographs require a point of view in accordance with every part of the image – subject, movement, light, composition, environment, background elements, feelings, and more. For me as a professional outdoor photographer, the location I choose to position myself in relation to my subjects, and the scene, is hardly an accident. The rope access skills are required to not only scout options but also physically secure me in the right place. Movement on the rock is not a very fast process, which might make climbers one of the most difficult subjects to shoot.
Why climbing? Demanding strength of body and force of mind, climbing is more lifestyle than a hobby. It brings people together – doers, daredevils, conquerors, wild ones, adventurers, or adrenaline junkies. It takes you to the edge of your comfort zone and pushes you to jump into the unknown. Even when you’re putting yourself through hell, questioning your choices and on the verge of giving up, there’s an unspoken reason to keep going. It’s about building on your struggles and overcoming things you once thought impossible because one of the greatest things in life is accomplishing what others say you can not.
Why shooting? Climbing photography is much more than just images. It’s a passion, a process of developing a diverse skill set, a front seat in the adventure. Creating captivating images requires teamwork, dedication, and even some level of obsession. It’s a challenging game and sometimes you have to accept the loss. Not once or twice I have returned home without a single shot that was worth the time and effort spent. But oddly enough, the fact that it’s hard makes it an incredibly irresistible skill to master. The thing that draws me toward is the fascinating process and the photographs are just the result that people see.
Why sharing? Climbing is a breathtaking, visually stunning activity that can take you to incredible places. Photography is the tool that allows me to capture those fleeting moments that encapsulate the soul of the unfolding events. Through the images, I’m trying to share with you the adventure, the beautiful playground created by nature, to give a special insight into the life of the athletes, the friends, that I have the privilege to document. I hope to awaken your curiosity, your instinct, and your desire to pursue one incredible life with no regrets. To make you feel alive and remind you that we, the humans, still belong in this wild world.