If you didn’t know… I’ve been lecturing a lot lately and after one of my recent lectures, during a Q&A session someone has asked – ‘What kind of personal work do you like to shoot?‘ I thought to myself ‘What an interesting question!’ while I was struggling to come up with a quick answer… I should know that, shouldn’t I?
And honestly I do but the answer is not as simple as you might think.
In my ‘personal work’ I like to challenge myself… Take myself, the gear I’m using and how I carry it outside of my comfort zone. On assignment I’m most likely to be executing the images and as much as I like to push myself and the vision, work time often isn’t the best time to experiment.
‘Key to Creativity is Error Recovery, Not Failure Avoidance!‘
The Dean of Pixar University, Randy Nelson
A huge part of being an outdoor/adventure photographer is the ability to be part of the action yourself.
Practising the sports and experiencing the environment we’re shooting is the only way to get to understand the small nuances and tricks of trade. Let’s face it, these small details make all the difference and make the images more authentic…
I’m not a caving photographer but I was drawn to the challenge of shooting underground. I knew I won’t create iconic images first time… but we all have to start somewhere and shooting the most obvious images is often the way to start.
I would also like to announce my new longstanding relationship with Lowepro, a company with 47 years of heritage in invention and innovation in photography bags.
For our caving adventure I have had a chance to test first hand Lowepro’s Hardside 400 – the largest in the range of brand new hard cases from Lowepro. There’re not yet available on the market so I was happy to put it through it’s paces in one of the harshest environments I’ve ever been to… hands down. More detailed review coming soon.
Big thank you to Rob, Jimmy and Ulrika… amazing and fun crew.
Also special thanks to Lyon Outdoor for supplying all the caving equipment and Lowepro for the opportunity to test their latest products.
BTS images copyright Jimmy Hyland.
January has been full of extremes… a real mix of cultures and overall an eye opening experience!
It was great to shoot and hang out with Rebecca Dent, Leah Crane, Neil Gresham, Wojtek Kozakiewicz, David Murrie and the UIAA IWC athletes.
Next stop Sochi and Winter Olympics!
Maybe a little bit flippant view on my own work today… but take the human element from my photographs and I’m lost.
I would be a terrible landscape photographer.
I’m grateful that over the years I’ve been blessed with opportunities to shoot with so many talented people. Visually I’m striving for simplicity, trying to compose the frame with little distractions, hoping that by doing so I create a perfect scene for the athletes to ‘shine’.
Sticking to classic rules of composition or breaking them completely and capturing raw beauty of light the human element fulfils the frame. Take that human element away and those carefully composed images loose scale and become meaningless.
I have photoshopped few images to show you what I mean…
Visit my portfolio to see the originals.
Today came the news that climbing won’t be included in the 2020 Olympics – even worse – it didn’t make into the second round! Those of us supporting the Olympic bid could give at least 10 reasons why climbing is better than squash/wrestling/baseball and I’m sure those other sports could do the same… but lets leave it at that.
For us climbers, those wanting to see sport climbing at the Olympics, it should be a wake up call!
The World Squash Federation (WSF) has already failed twice to make squash part of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Two years ago in July 2011, the WSF hired Vero Communications lead by the strategist Mike Lee to help squash win a place on the Olympic programme.
Vero Communications was appointed to help put together a compelling case to the IOC Programme Commission, drawing upon Lee’s experience in a series of bid victories, including successful campaigns for London, Rio and Pyeongchang to host the Olympic events.
Sport climbing is a spectacular sport. I have experienced electrifying moments shooting various IFSC events over the years, but when WSF was hiring one of the World’s best agencies, the IFSC were approaching me for free images to promote the sport. I don’t want to make it about the money (or at least not about money alone) I’m trying to show you the contrast in professionalism.
The reason why climbing stood no chance is right here… just watch the video below…
The truth is that we are still a scruffy bunch. Nothing wrong with that… climbing, adventure and being scruffy go hand in hand – that’s what I love most about climbing.
There aren’t many climbing photographers travelling the Globe shooting climbing competitions – I’m one of the few, so therefore, I have some inside knowledge. I’ve decided to write this post not to criticise the IFSC; I have no doubt they did their best and I have tremendous respect for Marco Scolaris and his team.
The future… well, we can either crawl back into our hole or start thinking at the Olympic level.
Asked about my work I often say ‘I can make it sound as glamourous as you like…’ – which provokes smiles.
I travel the World doing exciting camera work, I owe this opportunity to a whole bunch of people. Often the credit line for some of the images and footage would have to have names of all the people below, wether they’re directly involved or not…
Wojtek Kozakiewicz – the most talented video editor I know… but yet too modest to admit this openly!
The Polished Project is our joint effort and there’s no video production done without Wojtek’s involvement, he’s the man behind all the editing and awesome camera moves! Shame he’s a die hard veggie though… no chance for a decent dinner!
Ruth Taylor – mind reader, freelance Studio Manager at LWimages HQ. She makes sure that all the moving parts are moving in the right directions… from new clients, assignments, contracts, insurance to chasing payments she will be most likely your first contact point. With her 10 years of experience instructing in the outdoors (Mountain Instructor Award and the Winter Mountain Leader) she’s the safety person on some of our more complicated shots.
If I could only communicate clearer it would make her job 10x easier, in the meantime I will keep testing her telepathic skills.
Jake Thompson – our intern/assistant… happy to do anything as long as it gives him an opportunity to learn some new skills.
He’s only been with us for a couple of months but I hope he will stay for longer! Keen youth!
And last but not least, my Becca, things she does go unnoticed and yet she’s the one on the front line… dealing directly with all my ups and downs of being a photographer. On top of her own career she makes sure I have a home to come back to… She’s the real star!
I just wanted to tell you (and everyone around!) that I don’t take it for granted.
PS. Thank you to all my sponsors for all their help too… Redged and ClikElite, Mountain Equipment and Lyon Outdoors you make my life on location so much easier!
I was lucky enough to be selected to help out here at LW-Images as an intern, and Lukasz has asked me to write a post to give some tips on how to create a successful application for a job in the creative industry.
First off, a well-written, simple cover letter is really important. It doesn’t need to be very long; around one side of A4 will be fine. The aim of this is to give the employer a feel of who you really are, what you get up to and why you are the best person for the job, rather than just sending in a list of qualifications. This letter should show that you are confident and well-suited to the position, but at the same time, no-one likes a boaster, so keep your choice of words positive but modest! Read up on what the position involves and address each point, and make sure you don’t miss anything out.
Also, a nicely prepared portfolio will be a great asset to your application. After all, an employer in this field of work is definitely going to be interested in your creative side. Ensure that it shows off a wide selection of your best work – there are plenty of sites on the net that will show you how.
create ‘Proof of a Portfolio Vs. Promise of a Resume’
The Dean of Pixar University, Randy Nelson
Another good tip is to tailor your C.V. to individual positions, as it shows attention to detail and how keen you are. Keep the layout clean and easy to read to ensure it has impact, and keep it to around one side of A4.
Finally, when addressing the employer in your application, be careful with how serious you may come across. Although this industry is a cool place to be, you shouldn’t really be starting your first few emails with informal greetings like ‘hey’, ‘hi’, or ‘sup’! A simple ‘hello, I’m writing in application for…’ will be fine. Keep the actual email short; let your cover letter, C.V. and portfolio do the talking.
This time of year is a good moment to look back and contemplate a little.
I guess I’m a bit too late to share with you my thoughts on what happened in 2012, all I can say is that it was a bumpy road and I’ve learnt a boat load and achieved beyond my expectations! I started 2012 shooting for Petzl and UIAA and finished with Climbers Against Cancer campaign, in-between that landing gigs from Black Diamond, The North Face, GORE, Mountain Equipment. All a very humbling and eye opening experience.
I’m looking forward to 2013 and I’ve found some quotes which in a way form my list of New Year’s resolutions;
1. I will get out and shoot more.
“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” ― Jay Maisel
2. I will try harder.
“ You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” ― William Albert Allard
3. I will keep it simple.
“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.” ― William Albert Allard
4. I will seek inspiration.
“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” ― Man Ray
5. I will stay focused.
“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” ― Ansel Adams
6. I will look like a winner.
“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” ― Diane Arbus
7. Be different.
“ If I saw something in my view finder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.” ― Garry Winogrand
8. I will be switched on.
“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” ― Annie Leibovitz
What is your favourite photography quote that inspires you for 2013?
Here’s to successful and creative 2013!
Little Snowmen by Kev Shields
Photo by Lukasz Warzecha
Designed by Gordon MacArthur/Machavok Creative