Illustrations By Keith Svihovec

share it and show it off?

Whether you take classic butt shots of your friends from the ground, or follow the rock stars on first ascents, there are plenty of resources to get your photos out there into the virtual climbing world. Below is a list of online tools for image sharing that range from basic and free to professional and pricey. FREE TOOLS

Blogs: A good way to keep your fans and family updated on your whereabouts, these sites are a great place to display photos. They are also an excellent accompaniment to a serious photo site so you can give sneak peeks of upcoming images or offer more information about certain shots.,,, Web galleries: These are user-friendly and very popular. Many of them have accessible and simple functions that allow viewers to order prints of your images. You can also add your images to groups, which lets more people see your work.,,,,,, PRO TOOLS

Pro photo websites: For the aspiring amateur or seasoned pro, these sites are already designed and built, so you just have to plug in your photos and information, pay the fee, and go. The benefit is a professional-looking website without having to go through an expensive designer.,,, w-

An oxygen-starved mind focuses on the next step, but is comfortably unaware of the no-chafe headband and wafer-thin aluminum buckles that hold Minimus securely in place. Gloved fingers roll the fat potentiometerto 100 lumens of output. The ascent continues. SAINT™ MINIMUS.™


^ TECH TIPS: Photo Motive



Tips for beautiful butt shots

SURE, WE'VE ALL HAD A GOOD LAUGH when a friend proudly shows us the classic, horrid photo of his buddy's derrière hanging above you. While the "butt shot" is not always the first-choice angle for climbing photography, sometimes we just don't have a choice. Here are a few simple tricks to keep the demeaning laughter to a minimum:

FOCUS ON FACES: Look for facial expressions! This takes some patience, but at some point the climber will inevitably look down, either through the legs or over the shoulder. Zoom in and shoot mega tight, (usually horizontal with the body completely filling the frame works best).

DEPTH OF FIELD: Focus on the first couple of protection pieces (bolts or gear - doesn't matter) and have the climber in the distance somewhat out of focus. Longer lenses and shallow depths of field help create this dramatic effect.

LEADING LINES: The leader's rope is a great aid in helping draw the eye through the photo towards the climber. Keep this is mind when composing medium- to wide-angle photos.

BE ORIGINAL: When in doubt, bust out the bag of tricks. The fisheye is great for a crazy perspective if the climber is somewhat close and you can gain good separation between the climber and rock (that is, compose so that the climber is on a "blank canvas," like a clean piece of sunny granite, or on the arête against an empty sky). W



TECH TIPS: Climbing PhotographY




Photo basics for the don't-wannabe

AS A CLIMBING READER, you trust us to bring you the best in climbing eye candy. You know as well as we do that nothing kills the buzz quicker than a climbing photograph that's drab, cluttered, boring, predictable, or obviously posed. You're not a pro climbing photographer, and probably don't want to be, and you'd rather spend your cash on cams or gas than on expensive camera gear. Still, we know you hate it when you return from a killer roadtrip and your only good photo was of your buddy rope-swinging over the pallet fire. Fear not! You can keep the buzz alive by following a few simple guidelines.


Most photographers will tell you "it's all about the light." Sage advice, but almost useless for the casual climbing photographer. Most of us will get up at the crack of dawn for alpine approaches, but not for a photo shoot. You're more likely to be at the crag for the nice evening light, but by then most of the action is over, and your friends are warming down or already back at camp with a cold one. Chances are, the action you want to capture will happen in the heat of the day. So what do you do?

Use the striking light of early morning and late afternoon for landscape-type shots - scenic views of the peaks or crags, and more distant climbing shots that show a lot of terrain. Direct midday sunlight will give you washed-out colors and harsh shadows that wreak havoc on people's faces. To capture midday action, you'll have better luck shooting in the shade. Light filtered through trees or reflected off colorful rock is much more pleasing than midday glare, and you'll get great shadow detail, too.


Your eye and brain see a scene in a very selective, focused way, but a camera does not. You need to tell your camera what to do, what to focus on. Instead of just snapping a shot, hoping to take in what your eye sees, take a moment to identify what you're really shooting. Is it the dramatic valley and peaks behind the climber? Or is it the climb itself you're trying to capture? Is it a certain wild move, or is it the whole scene including belayer and belay dogs sprawled out in the dirt below? Once you decide what you're going for, you'll begin to recognize it when you see it in your viewfinder.


an EGO


Once you've identified your concept, choose a main subject. Generally, this is the climber, but it may be a climber/belayer pair, or just the climber's face, or even just a hand or foot. Decide how the rest of the scene supports or detracts from your concept, and eliminate everything else that merely clutters.


Even if you can't change the lenses in your camera, you can zoom in and out, and this does more than make your subject larger or smaller in the frame. Zooming in makes the background peaks look proportionately larger and steeper. Zooming out, when shooting down on a climber from above, makes the climb look taller and more exposed. Back up and zoom in a little if you want a more flattering portrait; get in close and shoot wide-angle for a grotesque, demented effect.


Or grimace, stick your tongue out, clench your teeth, furrow your brow, look askance, frown, huff and puff, ponder. The single most important thing you can do to improve your climbing images is to include the climber's face. Expressions bring it all to life. You may be infatuated with a certain tiny chalked hold, but if your shot also features the top of your buddy's head, it will fail.

By the way, pay attention to the faces of other people in the photo, too. Nothing sucks the energy out of a gripping action photo like a spotter bending down to adjust pads or a belayer talking to a bystander.


If you decide to really do it up and set up a climbing shot, keep these tips in mind.

•If you're shooting from a rope, set it off a bit to one side. Consider where the light is coming from, so you won't be shooting into it or casting your shadow on the climber.

•Pick one or maybe two moves or sections that will give the most dramatic representation of the climb, and focus on shooting those. Rolling through dozens of frames as the climber works up the entire climb will earn you a lot of editing and few keeper images. •If you are going to "pose" your climber, one of the best ways to do it is to have her repeat that special move over and over. This way, the climber usually becomes more and more "expressive" (i.e., exhausted) as they pose. Much more effective than the "reach up with your right hand" technique of posing.


Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so copy your favorite climbing photographers. OK, so your favorite shots are taken from exotic vantage points you'll never get to, but copy the ones you can, such as sport-crag or bouldering shots. What is the concept of the photo? What time of day was it taken? Where was the shooter relative to the in-coming sunlight? Was a flash used? Was the shooter above or below the climber? Wide-angle shot or telephoto? What really makes this photo work? Just analyzing how a photographer got his image can be quite educational.


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