Why do people choose this profession - extreme photographer?
There seems to be so many places on our planet where should not tread the human foot. For example: tropical jungles with huge amounts of poisonous insects and plants, desert, where all you can see at a distance of miles around you is sand and, well, maybe cacti and if you have already been on the way for too long, you probably will see the mirages. What is next? High cliffs and mountain peaks, it seems like they reach up to the sky, unpredictable and dangerous volcanoes, various gorges and canyons. In the same list there are mysterious blue depth of the rivers, the seas and the oceans. Isn’t all of this too dangerous even for die-hard, but still pretty fragile creature as a man? And in addition to that we are also extremely curious. By the way, the word ‘Extreme’ is quite interesting, isn't it? If you look it up in the dictionary, it will mean ‘Very large in amount or degree’. Definitely, people in their desire to explore their surroundings, as well as the whole world, often go out of their way and make a lot of effort and waste their time.
Obviously, not all of us have been somewhere on tropical deserted islands, not all of us go down the huge mountain’s hill or climb on it. Yea, there are some of us simply have never seen the sea with their own eyes in their lives, not to mention the hot lava or an avalanche, the sands of the desert and so on. But we certainly know how each of these things are, and what is more importantly, what they look like. The same applies to the extreme sports: climbing, motocross, diving, snowboarding, skydiving and many others kinds of extreme sport that only few of us are involved in, but almost everyone has seen beautiful images of people frozen in the air for a moment, while sliding down a mountain or jumping out of the parachute.
Thank God that for those who are not so extremely thirsty to see all with their own eyes, but loves nature and all its manifestations, there are enough extreme photographers. These guys are really known taste of life because their profession just force them to have different adventures, often quite dangerous ones. But then you see these pictures in your nature textbooks, in different magazines, books, even that are out there on the screen of your iPhone.
For the fans of the wonderful landscapes of nature it would be interesting to see National Geographic Top 20 Best Photos Without Retouching Landscape.
Many photographers say they don't do it on purpose. Once you just take camera in your hand and begin to take some shots, and then you simply understand that you no more can live without it, so you choose to become a photographer, nothing else for you. People who love adventures often become precisely extreme photographers. They get the same adrenaline from their work, as well as -let us say - sports car drivers or motorcyclists, so as those become addicted to the feeling of speed and danger and the adrenaline that they get because of this, extreme photographers become addicted to the adrenaline from the process of taking photos.
Yea, it takes much more time, effort and it is more dangerous, but also there is more pleasure from it than from photographing cultivated landscapes and so on. Perhaps this doesn't work for everyone, but for someone this is true. Despite the fact that to make pictures in extreme conditions so far more complicated than ordinary shots, such photographers need to use photo editing services much more and often than common photographers because these shots should be especially bright and even slightly fantastic, to make the person looking at them breathless. Although some photographers wonder if they should Use Nature Editing Service or Keep Photo Unretouched? The greatness of our Mother Nature is boundless, that is the most important thing that photographers want to show on their photos. Therefore, we consider different types of what we usually understand as the word ‘Extreme’ are.
The fire is one of the four principal elements and is the most destructive and that is why it is even more enchanting. So the desire of capturing the spurts of flame is not strange. Careless handling of the fire can lead to terrible consequences. Photographer Matt Chesin specializes in such pictures. He frequently makes pictures of burning buildings for newspapers, as well as photos of the team of firefighters who saves people. In his pictures he tries to convey to us the idea of the fire as the destroyer, but at the same time, such a beautiful thing to look at, and also on pictures he shows the feelings of people who selflessly goes into the burning building.
Matt Chesin often works in hot spots and with fireman, so he has already known that you have to be very careful when doing your work. Often there is no time to wear a special suit, so you should be in good physical shape to move quickly and to have your feet loose. It is also very important that your camera has a quality zoom, otherwise you simply will not be able to do such images.
In fact, many photographers use photo manipulation services when they works with the fire to make photos more spectacular.
But Matt Chesin is a photographer who works with a real fire. By the way, talking about really hot pictures, one photographer on lava, named Mike Mezeul, was so lucky that he manages to capture the lava, the Moon, Meteor and Milky Way on one single stunning photo.
One day he visited the Hawai’i Volcanic National Park. Approaching to the lava is a big risk.
A couple of times during the shooting Mike had just a minute to make a photo and move to another location to avoid burns. So, if you really want to be a photographer on lava you have to be very nimble and fast! And have a lot of comfortable pairs of shoes as well.
Maybe Mike had to sweat much jumping between the lava, but the pictures turned out to be really great!
Be prepared for the fact that you will have to climb on this volcano! The road is likely to be very long and hot, so be patient and hydrated! And for God’s sake, avoid to look into the hole of the volcano, be very careful.
Despite the fact, that people regularly attend seminars, courses of improvement of qualification, receive instructions and a variety of volcano photography tips, they still often treated carelessly, but there are the exceptions.
I think some of you know about the sad fate of photographer Robert Landsburg, who in 1980 year took photo of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
In April and early May, he made dozens of climbing and hiking in the vicinity of the mountains, choosing the most favourable point for photography. When the mountain exploded, Robert was six kilometers from the top. His camera was mounted on a tripod and was ready. Apparently, understanding that the there were no chance of his saving, Robert Landsburg stayed in a place and continued taking photos of the volcano. Seventeen days later, his body was found in the ashes, along with the film, which he saved.
This incredibly sad story from what we need to learn a few more important volcano photography tips: always find reliable information about how the volcano active or not! There are sudden eruptions, but more often the activity of the volcano is fixed somewhere. And no matter what, always choose safe distance. After all, in our times, there is zoom! Take care of yourself.
Starring at the fire and getting lost in your thoughts is easy, so be careful. As they say, we can forever look at three things: fire, water, and at someone who works.
As the first point was discussed above, let’s move to the second one.
Water is the source of life. It is necessary for our organism to drink it, it also gives us huge aesthetic pleasure. Just thinking about all amazing waterfalls and sources makes you immediately feel more relaxed and calm.
The water is beautiful in all its type : a small river with a calm course, and fast mountain rivers, deep lakes, and of course, uncharted seas and oceans. One of the best photographers who specializes exactly in the water shot is Ray Collins. His work amaze with their sincerity and realism. It seems, that they depict not the waves but mountains that have frozen forever in such a situation.
If you look at the photos carefully, you will notice an incredible mix of colors, gradients and shades. Waves do not only reflect the sky and the Sun, but when you look at them, it seems that you just about to feel the salty smell and hear the sound of the surf. Only a truly talented man who doesn’t only know his stuff, but also adore it can convey all of it in such a perfect way.
Often we face that the color of water is not the same in real life as we see it on a picture.
That's why photographers often process images to give the water that wonderful blue tint, and even to make it more lively, vivid and natural. Look at these photo retouching examples and notice the difference for yourself.
Photographers who takes these inspiring, tranquil shots should be respected for sure. Some images such as, for example, a photo of raindrops on window glass, you want to touch with your hands so bad just in order to make sure that the picture is not wet. That is how much the water seems to be real on it. But water is not always so friendly, often it can cause damage. To watch raindrops slowly drain your glass, holding in your hands a cup of hot tea and to hear knocking on your window drops - make you a little bit sad, but at the same time, it fills you with appeasement. Another thing is a storm. Even seeing its photo somehow make you uncomfortable, what to say, when you see it in real life. But for the photographer this phenomenon is not only cause of fear and goosebumps, but also there is admiration.
This world still needs a man who will catch photos and shot video that later these materials would be used in documents and chronicles, and, of course, in news. Mike Oblinski is popular storm photographer. He always admired the weather and all its kinds and even said that he used to want to become a weatherman. But then he became interested in photography. He was inspired by the work of other photographers, such as Zack Schnepf.
So he started trying to take photos. Now his snapshots of the storm are quite famous. Unfortunately, there is no storm photography tips from Mike, because, as he said in one interview, he himself quite bad in it, because he had no specific stuff to protect his camera he often had problems because of it. But here's really important storm photography tip: always have an umbrella on you! Your equipment will necessarily get wet, so you just need to protect the camera from water.
Moreover, drops on the camera lens don't always make the shot better, often it just spoils the whole photo. Also you will need special tripods or holders, because the storm wind is sure to be strong, and you don't want to find your camera on the ground all in the dirt, am I right? And there is luck if it just gets dirty. Yes, the lens is dirty, and yes, photos will be spoiled because of it, as half of them simply will not be visible, but photo retouching prices are still cheaper than prices of equipment for photographers. If the camera falls down it may cause serious damage. And one more useful storm photography tip: don't forget to check accurate weather forecast! You have so little time to take pictures, so you always have to know what the wind direction is and how strong it is.
So, we still have a third point for consideration. Here we will not discuss that people can eternally look at how someone works as they say, but how someone almost breaks their bones, performing some complicated trick.
That what the nature of humans is - the eternal thirst for danger and adventure. Extreme sport is sport that usually associated with risk for life. Reason to go in for extreme sports are different. For some reason is getting maximum thrills, balancing on the brink of life and death; for others it is an opportunity to keep the strong sense of life. But if some prefer to take direct participation in it, and others prefer to watch it from the sidelines. No matter in what way: watch video, read magazines or online articles. That is why there is another type of people appear, the ones who capture all of it for us on their camera. Speaking generally, sports photography is one of the most multifaceted photos due to different audiences.
And the first extreme sports we are talking about is snowkiting. The parachutist who invented this sport was called Dieter Strasilla, he came up with the idea of such skiing more than 30 years ago. The principle of operation of a parachute is simple, it is the tug that pulls a man. Gliding through snowdrifts and controlling your "air kite" all at the same time is not an easy task. You need a way to distribute your attention between what you have under your feet and what you have over your head.
Speaking of snowkiting, it is impossible not to say a few words about snowboarding. Crunch of snow under your feet, wind whistling in your ears and only white snow around that what is exciting! You can slide on your snowboard for pleasure on white surface or, that adds sharpness, compete against other snowboarders at speed. The most important thing is not to crush into the stone. People always watch with admiration how sportsmen slide on their board down the hill of high mountains at high speed.
Photographers who decided to shoot people who either snowboarding or kiting, we can only say sorry and give them a blanket and hot coffee, because they have to wander around the cold snowdrifts in searching of a good angle for quite long time. Plus it is not always safe. And then they have to stand knee-deep in the snow and take pictures of these incredible jumps and maneuvers at the same amount of time.
Same applies to mountaineering. People who involved in this kind of sport and people who photographed these people must have great endurance and patience. And also food, hot drinks and warm clothes. Climber and the man who takes photos of climbing is not always different people. You think that all photographers just fly around in a helicopter and take shots of poor climber under them?
John Griffith is a famous climber who combines in his life amazing climbing and stunning photographs from the world of mountaineering. He once said that his camera is more important to him than his harness. In fact, 50 per cent for John’s enjoyment in the mountains is the time of shooting. John was not a professional photographer. He started making shots to show his family what he does, because no one of them had ever seen mountains and had no idea about their beauty. Therefore, snapshots of John such impressive, because he tries to show the beauty of spending time in the mountains.
So the first extreme sports photography tips If the place of shooting is cold and snowy, you should have warm clothes, hot beverages and convenient place to keep your camera, because you will have hold camera and then hide it back all the time. It is necessary to have avenues of communication and accurate map of the area. And do not forget about such thing as avalanche, so speak quietly.
For the fans of speed and the fans of this speed to capture, there are plenty of other sports. For instance, motocross. If you are unfamiliar with this type of extreme sport, it is a race for sports motorcycles on a closed track with natural obstacles such as steep descents and hairpin bends and so on, as well as artificial obstacles as the different trampolines, tables etc.
The most important thing for a photographer going for this work is to take a picture in motion without blurring. Here are useful extreme sports photography tips: firstly, you must choose how you will shoot a moving object. There are two ways: a clear fixation of a moment of object motion or creating ‘fuzziness’ in order to convey the sensation of movement in pictures. Your choice depends on what kind of story you want to tell people in your image.
When you take photos of moving objects, you also should use the appropriate autofocus modes. In most cases, it is expedient to use continuous shooting mode, which allows you to quickly create a series of images so the photographer will be able to choose the best ones. Processing such photos is not that easy because they have so many details, but, thank God, there are many retouching blogs, that will help you to find useful information and even discover something new.
Light, perspective and distance are important as always! Be careful, because you can not only get dirty but also be injured. One would never know when something can go wrong with the motorcycle.
Well, we have visited the high mountains, and earth, why don't we dive into water?
Diving is one of the most common types of underwater swimming. There is a danger there because dipping in for a long time and distance entails a variety of consequences. For dipping in to have special equipment is not enough. It required special skills, experience and to be ready to solve all sorts of problems and situations that may occur under water. For example, you can suddenly run out of the oxygen, or you can accidentally separate of your group. There is also a chance that shark approaches you or cramp fish hits you with the electricity.
For people for which diving is not only a hobby but also a profession, I mean, underwater photographers, the task is more complicated. But how many beautiful pictures you can take there! There are incredible colors of small flocks of fish passing by, formidable sharks, amazing forms of corals and, of course, a variety of water plants of different colors and shapes.
Cave diving is a form of common diving. This is diving that is carried out in the underwater caves. This kind of extreme diving is even more difficult and dangerous than normal diving. There you can’t simply break surface in unexpected situations as lack of oxygen or other danger. Do not forget about the dark narrow space and sometimes not the most pleasant of cave dwellers under water. But here is a unique opportunity for you to make snapshots of fanciful shapes and a variety of cave wonders that are hidden there.
Diving as an extreme sport is very popular, and therefore requests for pictures of it as well.
So it will be useful for you to read the following extreme sports photo tips: for photography under water, the most important is the light. So, when there is little light, images will probably look bad. Additional complications arise from the fact that water absorbs light very well, so you need huge amount of light. The second problem is transparency. That is why for photographing under water you will need a good digital full frame camera and high-aperture lens. It would be very convenient if you also have a bright sunny day. One should not forget about the refraction of the light under the water that makes everything seems much closer than it really is. So, to take into account everything above, taking photos under water is impossible without a wide-angle lens. Another important issue is how to protect the camera from water? For this you need underwater housing or underwater case. Well, or waterproof camera.
Nowadays, skydiving has become a very popular form of extreme sports. Many people, mostly young people, at least once in their lives decide to jump off heights and feel the fascination of flying above the ground.
Naturally, if there is such kind of extreme sports, there is an extreme photographer for it as well.
Taking pictures during a parachute jump is only possible in a certain time: at the time of preparing to jump, when a skydiver realizes what is about to happen. Then in the short period of free fall, soaring man in the air even before the parachute will have opened. These magic moments just need to be captured! The facial expressions and gestures can be unpredictable, especially when the jump takes place for the first time. The next moment to shoot is the first moments after disclosure of a parachute. Very beautiful and spectacular photos can be done during a smooth free soaring under the dome of a parachute.
Speaking during the jump is almost impossible, so it is better for the photographer to discuss with those, who he is taking pictures of, what photos he exactly want to take and fix up some conventional signs.
During the jump, parachutist-photographer should not forget about his own safety and safety of his partner, because instead of the much fun there can be seriously injures or even worse. Then you certainly will not be up to the photos.
All in all, no matter what type of photographer you are, photographer on lava or storm photographer, or someone who takes pictures of extreme sports, primarily think about your safety and health, and then about beautiful shots.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.