Expedition Photography With Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin is one of my favorite photographers, and his life and career have heavily influenced my own. Watch this video to learn a little about Chin's mindset and process regarding expedition photography. 

Chin is a world-class rock climber, alpinist, skier, and photographer. He's contributed to National Geographic, plus he's a Canon Explorer of Light and North Face athlete. He's made first ascents and descents around the world, all while having a camera in his hand. In order to accomplish such remarkable goals and capture incredible moments like skiing off the summit of Mt. Everest or climbing unclimbed peaks, Chin has to be an expert both behind the lens and at whatever activity he's pursuing. 

One important aspect Chin touches upon in this video that is important to expedition and adventure photography is knowing the line between being an athlete versus a photographer when in the field. As important as it is to anticipate moments, think on the fly, and not hold up the team, it's also crucial to know when to put the camera away. Sometimes, life-threatening moments can create dramatic and award-winning images, but those moments are potentially times when the camera shouldn't be out in the first place. In adventure and expedition photography, knowing when to be the photographer for your team and when to help deal with a dangerous situation could mean the difference between life and death or your team being successful or unsuccessful. 

What do you think are the most important aspects of expeditions and photography? 

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2 Comments

He says it very well : you have to pack light, choose carefully what to shoot, when to shoot, and when not too. And to do all that, you need to be a very good athlete in the kind of thing your shooting.

Shooting sportsclimbing often, i can relate. And say he's spot on.

James Alexander Adams's picture

In a world of pretend adventure photographers (people that make accessible places seem remote), or even just youtuber's or instagrammer's Jimmy is the real deal. I have watched almost everything he has been involved with for the past 5-10 years. I love everything he does because what he does beyond his photography is hard, takes skill, takes risk.