Climbing Photography

Photography, Editing/Processing

I have climbed for over 10 years and been an instructor for 4 of those years. 

 

My approach to photographing climbers is to treat the rock as a subject. I feel that the draw of climbing is the natural elements as well as the aesthetics of the rock, climber, and location. 

 

My process includes setting up a rope that I can be on while photographing, especially when my subject is roped climbing. The process is very physically demanding and takes patience. All these photographs were taken at various locations in Utah. 

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This shot was taken on a very iconic area in Maple Canyon, Utah. I have always loved black and white photography and was glad that this came out decent in black and white. I was shooting from inside a cave-like area and looking out to the climber. 

A storm had just blown through and so that is why the sky is blown out. You can see the atmosphere and ambiance still on some of the trees and that's why they didn't come out as clear. The rope also gets lost in the lighting so you can't see the quickdraw, rope, or any other features. 

I liked how this turned out because of the simplicity of the shot. It really highlights the raw action of climbing when it's just an individual climbing a rock face.

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One area that is so unique that I was able to shoot was in the High Unitas, Utah. This is a bouldering area that I was able to hike to in the back country with a few friends. 

After I posted this photo to social media, a climbing publication saw it and thought it was a unique photo of an area they hadn't seen before. They asked me if they could write an article about it. It

I really like the balance and composition of this shot. All three figures have interesting clothing and colors that really help the shot. But most of all I love the texture, color, and light hitting the boulder. 

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This is the one-shot that I don't know the climber's name. I was going to this area in American Fork Canyon to meet some friends. My companions never showed but I saw this couple climbing. I luckily had brought my camera gear and was able to set up a rope to get this shot. This may be one of my favorite shots because of the logistics behind it that got me up the wall. I was hanging on the side of the wall for a while and hoping the lighting would cooperate for me when the climber got to the right point on the wall.

Right before I got this shot, a bird flew out of a crack in the wall (you can see the hole toward the top right. 

A lot of things had to go right in order for me to get this shot. I love how you can see the whole totem pole-like feature of this rock. This was some really cool exposure that you can feel like a climber at times and I'm glad I was able to capture that in this photo. 

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This is another shot I got from Maple Canyon. Once again, I loved the black and white. I like this shot because you can see the unique rock formations on this wall. It's pretty unique and makes for great climbing and beautiful photography. 

I was hanging above Mike and trying to stay out of his way as he climbed this 5.12+ route. I was more worried about swinging into Mike than getting a good shot. I was able to clip into a bolt but it was very uncomfortable. 

I didn't know if I had gotten a good shot until I got down to the ground. I'm glad I was able to get one that turned out to be one of my favorites. I love how you can see the muscles in his arm and it really highlights the physicality of climbing. 

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