Behind The Scenes: Cover Shoot For Backpacker Magazine

For the yet unreleased October 'survival' issue of Backpacker magazine, adventure  photographer, Bud Force, decided instead of having a model dangling perilously off of a cliff  that he would do a creative composite. He shot the background at 'El Capitan' peak in Guadalupe Moutains National Park and the subject at Mineral Wells State Park.

Using primarily Alien Bees, a slew of beauty dishes and umbrellas he shot the model (and Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator), both on location and then again in the studio to make the composite fit seamlessly.  To shoot the falling rocks the photographer shot them in his garage using a Rubbermaid lid as a backdrop so that he could extract them easily. He shot the images with both a Canon 5D MarkII and a Canon 7D with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 lens.


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Nicholas's picture

These guys are hilarious. Awesome shoot.

Chris Helton's picture

love the atmosphere you create on set. good group.
I dont know though... the shot looks really photoshopped. Plus the light on him doesn't match the rest of the scene. The light on the falling rocks is completely backwards to the light on his face! I know the editors pulls the puppets (photographers) strings. Wish it was more realistic you know?

Bud Force's picture

Hey Chris, I understand what you mean about the backward shadowing. This is because the current image posted above is from a screenshot from the video and the animated rocks are backward so they stand out as they're moving. The actual static image (which I believe will be replacing it soon) has all shadows lining up the same way and about half the rocks.

Chris Helton's picture

Bud, great stuff. SOO happy to see the image replaced! The one posted now really does look better. It makes sense. The lighting flows through the image nicely. Thanks a lot for sharing your shoot with us too. Following you on twitter now and look forward to future stuff from you!

Rebecca Britt's picture

The actual photo can be seen now. Bud was kind enough to send us a copy to replace the sceengrab that I used. It really is a striking composite and really well done. 

Mineral Wells State Park! My Mom lives in Mineral Wells. Great state park for climbing.

I still think the climber and the falling rocks could fit in better with a few tweaks of color balancing / density curves to match the environment. The upper most falling rock has it's main shadow on the upper side which doesn't seem too logical.