Just back from three weeks on the road, 3500 miles and 6 states. The primary purpose of this trip was to spend some time with my family climbing and camping…along with some climbing photo shoots! Living out of a trailer for three weeks with lots of photo equipment presents a few challenges, mainly keeping gear clean and batteries charged. We have large solar panels we use with our trailer, and since we had tons of sun, keeping Elinchrom flash packs charged wasn’t a problem.
My favorite shoot of the trip was in Moss Cave in Sinks Canyon, Wyoming. My son, Skyler, was working on a very difficult route (5.13c) that climbed out the severely overhung cave. As climbing photography goes, generally the best angle is from above the climber. My son attached a rope so I could ascend to get into the right position.
Next up was figuring out the lighting. Since the day was sunny, we had extreme contrast. I decided to us one of my favorite lighting techniques for climbing, what I call the ‘vertical studio’. My favorite light for this is the Elinchrom ELB400 and Quadra Hybrid. I attached one of these 400 watt packs to a 24 foot lightstand and extended it above where the climber would be. I attached a 27.5″ Rotalux Deep Octabank to soften the light, but removed the front diffusion to keep a little edge to the light, similar to beauty dish flash. The light filled in shadows on the climber, and produced a nice ‘pop’ to the image. Love hanging from ropes and shooting climbing pics!