Alpine Photographer Takes Us Behind-the-Scenes of Phase One's Capture One Pro 8 Campaign

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.

Glacier Geant location with the rocky features of Aiguille des Marbress visible in the background

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 and the film crew on Glacier Geant

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.

27" iMac "Ingestion" computer with RAID drive

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]

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7 Comments

Jason Hudson's picture

incredible!

Trevor Dennis's picture

The first video plays like a new Monty Python sketch. Spectacular image quality, but I could not take Mr Tamiola seriously.

Matt BuckShots's picture

Cool. Cant wait to see the final images. Maybe they will be more exciting then this video. I love Adventure and I love working with Phase One cameras. A little disappointed in the delivery of this video. But I guess it was more a commercial then an epic BTS video into adventure photography with world class gear. Not trying to be negative but when I see "Alpine" and "Phase One" in the title I can't help but get excited!

Tony Roslund's picture

Sorry you didn't like it Matt. The way I understand it from Kamil's original article is that these vids are the campaign. They wanted to show how the images were captured using PhaseOne gear, and then how they were edited on Phase One software. So they may be commercial-like, but I still thought they were cool and worth posting.

Trevor Dennis's picture

Tony, I was not being facetious when I compared the video to a Monty Python sketch. All the way through I wanted to laugh out loud, because the delivery was like a parody of what it was meant to be. It was like Michael Palin extolling the virtues of Spear & Jackson shovels, or if Monty Python was before your time, like a send up of a Phase One ad on the College Humor YouTube channel. Heck, I almost fell off my chair when he dived flat in the snow for a low angle shot. If they do any more, they need a new DP who knows not to go over the top.

Matt BuckShots's picture

No need to apologize Tony. I agree, still worth posting. I think I was also distracted by the "staging" of the shots. For some reason it stuck out like a sore thumb. Maybe I am just not used to seeing that type of staging happening in those types of environments. Cheers

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

"...but I am not like any other professional photographer..." LMAO!!! I guess PhaseOne doesn't pay much for ad's. More like: "show off our gear and you will get free exposure" type of the deal.
Nothing in this ad BTW demonstrated that PhaseOne is better than pro grade 35mm dSLR...