Climbing photography


Original Post
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15

I'm looking to try to step up my climbing photography.  I've recently upg added from a GoPro to an Olympus E-500 (not the best or newest but it was a free upgrade).  I'm wondering what skills you guys use to practice and hone your photography for climbing specific shots.

I know I want to be shooting from above the climber and I want to keep my ropes out of the frame.

What kind of leashes do you use to not drop your cameras, how do you manage Lens changes while on the wall?

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

As far as lens changes I use a 'sling style' back pack you can bring it around into your lap and change lenses inside the bag. 

For tethers or leashes I take off the factory strap and have a tripod type plate on the bottom connected to me with a dyneema sling 120cm. It stays connected to me even when it's in the bag. 

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Depends on what you're looking to do. If you're looking at real climbing photo shoots (as opposed to just pics on route of your climb), then you're mostly going up and down a fixed line. Saddlebag the rope if you're rapping down on top of your subject. Know how to get away from the wall - usually limited to bouncing off of it, but in some (rare) situations you can set up a tyrolean traverse to get the perfect shot. 

Camera leash - Just use the camera strap. You can also get one that screws into the tripod mount if you want.

Changing lenses - Ideally you won't be changing lenses. Use a zoom lens with a decent range. If you really want to carry extra lenses, put them in a backpack and clip the bag above you when you need to access it (tibloc is probably easiest). If you have to change lenses, the bag's right there and in theory you shouldn't have a problem. If you're really worried about dropping it then you can probably come up with some sort of leash using hose clamps, but to me you're better off with just one lens.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 81

I use a holster that can fit under my harness for my primary camera with a wrist tether. My rule is to always have the tether on before unholstering and off after holstering. Any tether/lanyard that wraps around the neck gets unruley and kinda scary so I stay away from them. 

As for changing lenses, find a lense that works well for you and try sticking to that. There is so much potential to destroy your gear with a lense change. Some people roll with a zoom. I just roll with a very high quality 28mm. I wouldn't complain using a 35mm either. 

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,425
t.farrell wrote:

Depends on what you're looking to do. If you're looking at real climbing photo shoots (as opposed to just pics on route of your climb), then you're mostly going up and down a fixed line. Saddlebag the rope if you're rapping down on top of your subject. Know how to get away from the wall - usually limited to bouncing off of it, but in some (rare) situations you can set up a tyrolean traverse to get the perfect shot. 

I know of someone who uses stilts (while hanging off the rope) to push away from the rock. He gets fantastic shots. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Jon Nelson wrote:I know of someone who uses stilts (while hanging off the rope) to push away from the rock. He gets fantastic shots. 

I was just going to mention this. Stilts, painter's pole (a.k.a. stick clip), tripod, a rope to the tree behind you, etc.

There's also more elaborate rigging:

http://seatoskycam.com/

(in their demo reel, at the 3:30 mark is one of their rigs filming Sharma)

and...

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

digital SLR's I try to NEVER change lenses in the field.  Dust on your sensor really sucks. It ain't like film where you can have tons of crap on your mirrors and it won't affect the image.  I have however had a lot of film ruined in the desert by getting scratched. that is from sand blowing in when you are changeing film or perhaps somehow getting in the felt  and then scratching when it gets unrolled for processing.....    24 to 85 or 105 works pretty good for climbing...  If I was getting paied big bucks I would possibly rock 2 bodies even though that is a PINTA with the file numbers not being in sequence...

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 81

In the end, I've found myself using fixed lense mirrorless cameras for my alpine/expedition stuff. Way more robust, more compact, and cheaper than similar quality DSLRs. 

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

I got a canon  G16 for the trip last summer. 

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 20
Nick Goldsmith wrote:

 though that is a PINTA with the file numbers not being in sequence...

On the cameras themselves, you can change the prefix of the filenames so you have one unique prefix per body (so you don't get conflicting names) - copy them both to one folder and batch rename them in order by timestamp - there are so many tools to do this. As long as the clocks on your cameras are correct - they all come out in order.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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