Photographing in the late afternoon during Drug Aware Pro on Australia’s Margaret River, seven-year ASP World Tour vet Kristin Scholtz created this layered image of South African surfer Bianca Buitendag while battling the sun’s glare.
“While it yields great results with the backlight creating that beautiful green glow in the waves, it can pose challenges as the camera struggles to hold its focus,” says Scholtz, who shot from Surfer’s Point. “Shooting from below the wave, rather than from above on the cliff, emphasizes the size of the wave and allows you to capture that beautiful backlight.”
One of the biggest challenges to shooting surfing on the Margaret River is the distance from the beach to the break—almost half a kilometer out to sea. To make up for the distance, Scholtz works with a long lens, including an extender for her 500mm lens.
Scholtz photographed with a Canon 1D Mark IV and a Canon f/2.8, 500mm lens with a f/1.4 extender
“The fog adds another dimension—a mountain in the sky,” says photographer Sam Bié of getting this shot of climber José Agustí on La Joya de la Corona on Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain. “Montserrat is an iconic mountain that inspired many Spanish artists, including Gaudí—it’s a fantastic world. The main challenge is to observe and see the characteristics of the place.”
This route was actually Bié’s alternative plan. “The weather was too bad to go on a long and high route. And by chance, the fog came in at the right time and disappeared very quickly after,” he recalls. The swiftly moving fog became the biggest challenge of the shoot. “The fog was stable for one minute, and one second later the fog surrounded us. I crossed my fingers the sun didn’t appear because the fog would disappear very, very quickly.”
Bié photographed with a Nikon D600 and a Nikon AF-S ED 14-24mm, f/2.8 lens
“It was so amazing riding 3,000 feet of steep terrain all the way to the Atlantic Ocean,” says snowboarder Kyle Miller of this line overlooking town of Flateyri and running right to the sea—with perfect snow conditions. “It was something I will never forget.”
“We could just drive around, see a line that grabbed our interest, park at the bottom, climb, then ride back to the car,” says the pro splitboarder from Seattle. “Then repeat three times a day seven days a week. There are not many places in the world that provide such easy access to amazing terrain.”
Adventurer Dean Potter and best friend, Whisper, a 22-pound mini cattle dog, climb Yosemite View with El Capitan and Half Dome in the distance. Taken on an evening in May 2013 by Potter’s girlfriend, photographer Jen Rapp, the team climbed into position just as the sun was setting to capture the Yosemite Valley’s last light washing over the inspiring views and landscape.
Potter and Whisper do many adventurers together, including climbing, biking, trail running, and even surfing. They also have a forthcoming film, When Dogs Fly, about their wing-suit flying adventures together.
Watch the video trailer and learn more about Potter’s adventures with Whisper in this interview.
“When we arrived at the parking lot, the face was completely in the clouds. We didn’t really know how to get to the base,” recalls photographer Mikey Schaefer. Schaefer set out with climber Tommy Caldwell to tackle difficult routes in the Wendenstock area—pictured here is the Coelophysis route, rated 5.13c, in the Wendenstock crag. “The approaches in Wendenstock are pretty serious and fairly dangerous, so it took us some time to navigate to the start of the route safely. For a while, I didn’t think we’d even be able to go climbing,” says Schaefer.
Luckily the weather was manageable, and the climbers set out to climb Coelophysis. “Thankfully for me, Tommy doesn’t climb extremely fast. This gave me a lot of time to try different framing and angles. I had actually been struggling with the clouds most of the day, as they were so thick it was hard to see anything. I knew there was a chance I would get something really unique, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up too high. An hour or so after I got this shot, it started to rain and we were all forced to go down,” says Schaefer. “I was a bit lucky—I got some shots in.”
Schaefer photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and a 24-105mm, f/4 lens.
“The biggest challenge while photographing this trip was just keeping up with Jimmy Chin. The dude is a beast,” recalls photographer Andy Bardon. Chin, known for his own stellar photography, was captured by Bardon in front of the camera this time. “This photo was made about 750 vertical feet below the summit of the Grand Teton. At this point we had climbed over ice bulges, bootpacked up steep couloirs, and ascended over 6,250 feet from the valley floor, so we were feeling it for sure,” says Bardon.
Bardon had never skied with Chin before but seized the moment: “Jimmy is such an ideal subject to photograph due to his technical mastery in the mountains. The guy is a ninja up there. Swift yet fluid, fast yet safe, and just cracking jokes the whole time. Frankly, I was just trying to keep up!”
Bardon photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 16-35mm, f/2.8 lens.