When alpine photographer Kamil Tamiola was tapped to become the key photographer for a campaign announcing Phase One's Capture One Pro 8 software release at Photokina 2014, he had his work cut out for him. Nine weeks of planning went into this powerful concept of imagery that would be used as the subject for processing in the soon to be introduced software. In this video Tamiola takes us on a behind-the-scenes alpine exploration to Glacier Geant just above the town of Courmayeur in Aosta Valley.
In addition to the video, Tamiola breaks down the gear and workflow used to successfully accomplish a project in some of the world's harshest conditions. He'd originally chosen a location on the ridge of Aiguille d'Entreves for the project, but after taking into account all the gear the Phase One film crew would need to transport, he settled on an alternate location. I presume a project like this is difficult enough to pull-off safely without a film crew in tow, I can't imagine the additional stresses Tamiola must have been under while responsible for the additional team.
Tamiola selected the LowePro Rover Pro 45L AW to carry a Phase One IQ250 along with 28mm, 40-80mm, and 80mm leaf shutter lenses. He also upgraded his Peak Design strap to their new Slide model which he says is more comfortable than other straps he's used for this type of work. Obviously the photo gear is important, but Tamiola also points out a GPS unit is invaluable in navigating alpine glaciers and avoiding a plummet to your death death into bottomless crevasses [pleasant thought].
One of the most emphasized points in the article is the need to stay dry and warm, and Tamiola says he never compromises on safety and comfort (might as well be comfortable while falling to your death in those bottomless crevasses). With 30mph winds and temps below freezing he says layering is important so you can undress as necessary while working, allowing you to be creative and mobile while staying dry and warm.
He's broken down his storage and workflow into three categories: On Location, Ingestion & Cataloging, and Processing & Delivery. When he's on location he quickly offloads his work to an 11" MacBook Air with external drive. His external drives are encrypted in the event that he loses one (or one is stolen) the contents are unreadable by anyone else. This is an important detail, especially when working with prototypes and under NDA conditions. The ingestion & cataloging portion of his workflow happens after a shoot day and involves a custom Automator script (Apple Script) on a 27" iMac. He uses Capture One to catalog his files ingested from the external drive he dumped his images on in the field. Those cataloged files are stored on a RAID system connected to the iMac. The files are ultimately moved to a third machine with another RAID drive attached where the images are processed. Tamiola outlines the entire workflow in his article if you want more details.
The team had only 10 hours to organize, rank, select and process files from the shoot. He uses Capture One for RAW conversion and claims "it became evident Capture One leads in almost all aspects for RAW rendering" over files previously worked in Adobe software. He remarks obvious advantages in noise processing and precise color manipulation. Tamiola outlines his process in another video here:
Tamiola's work can be seen on his website www.alpine-photography.com which shows he's clearly no stranger to working in freezing temps and ridiculous altitudes. He's an ambassador with Phase One, G-Technology, LowePro, and Peak Design, an author, and public speaker.
[Images used with permission via blog.alpine-photography.com]