Photo Lesson: 1

Due to a recent spate of junk at one of my favorite climbing blogs
I thought I'd illustrate a few fundamentals of climbing photography:

1) Make the most of what you have. Sure, it's speckled light and that definitely limits the possibilities, but use it to your advantage! Here the law of thirds is obeyed by use of the obvious large grip, though it is not in focus...

2) Instead the light leads to the climbers face...

3) Which is in focus, after all climbing is about people...

4) and Christoffer is looking at something, his feet, which is, and this is essential, in the picture...

5) and happens to be the move of interest, that is...

6) know the climb, either by doing it yourself, or observing and listening to the climber to learn where you can capture tension and stress in your photo.

7) Give the move a context, here depth is provided by the tree and the ground below and

8) contrast is created by the blank wall above, where the route goes, as compared to the choss beyond.

9) While this was not the shot I envisioned it is a different perspective and that is probably the most important point of all. Good climbing photography captivates through a new view while maintaining suspense and awe, Christoffer is apparently at ease, rather than just documenting a move.

10) Think about what you are doing and try and create something that inspires rather than trying to shoot for the sake of bragging rights in the pecking order.

11) Be critical of your, and others, work, its the only way you'll improve... So go ahead, disect this shot, its to your own advantage!

Christoffer Westin heading towards Tabu, 7b, Skevik.

1/500s, f/2.8, ISO 100, 16 mm © 2011 Shawn Boye

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