The Secret To Photographing Rock Climbing Is… A Ladder?
It just might be, although not used in the traditional way. An image of adventure photographer Corey Rich and free-climber Alex Honnold shows Corey shooting photos from an extended ladder, on the side of a rock face that is several hundred feet in the air. Shooting rock climbing photos can often be a challenge, and I for one have done it a few times but never considered a ladder before. As you can see in the full image, Corey appears to have clipped a few slings into the rock and secured a ladder on the face.
A similar image, depicting Corey on the ladder, could be seen in the Nikon D4 behind-the-scenes video. It’s an interesting approach for sure. I can tell you that one of the difficulties with shooting rock climbers is avoiding the “butt shot” from below, and then getting into a position above them so that you can not only see the climber’s face, but the exposure and danger that may be present, as well as interesting rock formations and landscapes that lie beyond the rock wall or boulder. Hanging from slings on an adjacent climbing route can help, but getting a few feet away from the rock face can give shooters the perspective they seek. Using a ladder to prop yourself far enough away would seem to give you a bit more stability so you don’t have to strain your legs to hold position. (Having a steady shot is critical if you’re shooting video– contorting your body and trying to keep a stable shot is quite a challenge) Here are some more images from the shoot, but what do you think of this technique? How would you haul a ladder up the side of a rock face?