Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Earlier this week Ali and I took part in the daily miracle of new life when Suzanna Eve joined us. Now I really do feel on top of the world.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It's a bit embarrassing to admit but I sometimes dream of particular pictures I hope I might have a chance to photograph. I've always loved that feeling on seacliffs when the water becomes a real presence. Those big sea days when you're racing the tide and the waves are leaping around like wild animals. In most of the seacliff climbing shots I've taken the sea has remained tame; a mere pretty backdrop.
Luckily for me (unluckily for Zips) on this day the sea had been unleashed and the waves were crashing occasionally over the tops of the cliff. I managed to persuade Zips to give the first pitch a try, got the camera ready and waited for the big breaker. Of course I got as soaked as Zips but when you get one of those images you've been dreaming of its all worth it.
The thing I like best about this shot is that nature is most definately the boss. One of the most cringe-worthy attitudes in climbing is the idea of "conquering the mountain" or in more contemporary parlence "crushing the route"! In reality when a climber's at the top of their game they achieve a balance with nature. Nature however can easily bite back as Zippy found out.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The following three pics of Nick Dixon show a little about the way I've been working. I usually run around like a blue arsed fly trying to get the most out of each climb and not just stick with one view. The route is called Sunburst a stunning E7 arete soaring out of the trees and rhododendrons of Nesscliffe. The first two shots concentrate on the amazing technicality of the climbing plus they also fit the format of a possible cover (space at the top for the magazine header plus strap lines at bottom left).
I chose this first view to emphasise the pure straight lines of Sunburst's arete and to line up the beautiful Rhododendron flowers as a back drop to this equally beautiful move by Nick - with all his weight balanced off his heel level with his head.
The end move of the crux sequence is a dyno. Here its crucial to see the concentration and emotion of the climber so I moved so I could see Nick's face and most importantly eyes. The image however that I felt worked best was this one...
I'm always looking for shots I've not seen before. Here the composition gives enough of the technical nature of the route with Nick perched on the arete his right leg flagging in the air but more importantly (considering that the article is more about the climbs than the climber) it brings out the incredible geometry and scale of Nesscliffe. Huge right angled grooves and aretes, a full rope length in height - shooting from this angle felt like swinging around in the tops of the tallest trees of a rainforest canopy and I think captured the granduer of one of the UK's most striking single pitch routes.