2011 was a great year for us, lots of interesting assignments, great workshops around the globe, and the release of my first book, Adventure Sports Photography, Creating Dramatic Images in Wild Places. I always like to look back on my favorite images of the year and see what was working, what I learned, and what I still needed to work on in my photography. Photography is an evolving process, both in learning and style. That is what drives photographers, the desire to always create something new and different. Complacency creates mediocrity.
My year started off with a 5000 mile road trip shooting an assignment for Nikon. I covered 8 states photographing a wide variety of adventure sports including rock climbing, mnt biking, running, surfing, snowshoeing and skiing. During a break in the surfing action, I set up my 74″ foot Octabank and snapped a few portraits of surfers. I’m not usually a big fan of symmetrical compositions, but I really liked this image and the moody clouds in the background. One big simple light, a good pose and expression, and an interesting background all came together.
My next assignment came from Scott Kelby to shoot some wild and fun winter sports images for a training video for Kelby Training. We shot a wide variety of images including sequence shots of incredible jumps. Hard to beat photographing this activity on a prefect sunny blue bird day in Colorado.
I shoot a wide variety of images from portraits to sports to landscapes. I returned to Yellowstone in winter for my 5th year of teaching a workshop (sold out every year!). Winter is magical in Yellowstone; the amazing ice crystals and snow formations that drape the trees in the geyser basins never stop amazing me. This shot was at Black Sand Basin.
This was the year of shooting for my book, and experimenting with new technology and technique. I did extensive testing of Pocket Wizard’s Hypersync which allowed me to shoot my Elinchrom Ranger packs at 1/8000 of second, unheard performance until this technology came into the picture. I combined this ability with new gear by Aquatech that allowed me to shoot underwater high speed sync photography using my Ranger. This image represented a new frontier in adventure sports photography for me. And thanks to Patrick (the kayaker) who can surf a kayak with more precision in a raging hole than anyone I know.
I continued to experiment with lighting and pushing technique into new directions. With the help of Manfrotto and Elinchrom, I fine tuned my ‘vertical studio’ to shoot edgy rock climbing images up on the face. I returned to Sinks Canyon to create this shot with some NOLS instructors. I worked in the field for NOLS for many years, and it was great to go back to see old friends and familiar crags.
What does 2012 have in store for me? Lot’s of new and exciting projects are in the works! I’m going to start off 2012 shooting an assignment in the Virgin Islands next week…things are off to a good start!