jeudi 30 décembre 2010

Size matters !

To emphasize on some point in the previous post, I wanted to share that pic from the last RedBull Rampage, where I was following the french rider extraordinaire Yannick Granieri. I said before that a lot of photographers working for big photo agencies, like AFP, Getty... just have to come back with the shot, when it comes to sport. I'm pretty sure they are more than decent photographers, but their production is totally neutered by photo editors from both agencies and medias, who don't really care to be artistic when they just want to illustrate somebody's victory in some comp. They just go close up shot, and that's a shame. This does not mean I spit on all action close up shots. Try to follow and frame properly fast action with a big tele lens, and you'll see it's an otherworldly difficult exercise. This implies most of these shots are merely larger ones heavily reframed to focus on the rider. Big close up are spectacular, I don't say otherwise. You can see details no HD slo-mo movie can reveal. But the larger picture sometimes says more ! Check this unused shot from Alex Pro(chazka), canadian rider from Whistler, BC. Would a closer shot express the harshness of the environment ? The size of the jump ? His fragility in such a large scene ? Nope. That's where size matters ! Sometimes you express more about your subject by framing it way smaller in your viewfinder. The whisperer is more carefully listened than the howler...

Be sexy or die....

Few years back, I started shooting racing ski, as friends from Skieur Magazine took the plunge and edited 3 special issues a year about racing. Turned out racers are cool, if a bit over scheduled, and the sport itself is way more interesting to shoot than the mere close up action shots we get used to everywhere... I got an explanation when I got to the pressroom on my first comp, in Levi, Finland. There were 40 computers from 40 shooters, each with the same pic ! How boring... All big news magazine only request for such shots, though, which kills even the most committed photographer creativity. At first, I felt under equipped with my small 70-200mm (no sex jokes please...) and no competition area access. But it turned out to be a huge advantage, seeing the big image rather than only focusing on the pilot. I shot action from behind the fences, including them in my composition, even spectators, other shooters, pylones, everything. I most of the time went backlit, instead of frontlit. After all, a bit of flare is always cool. I processed in BW, XPro, over or de-saturated, the way we do in free sports. I shot more casual portraits, trying to escape the "go naked !"or "bite your medal !" cliché of ski shooting agencies when it comes to be "creative" with athletes... And you know what ? It worked. I signed a major campaign for Rossignol with the best athletes in the world, and now even writers working for competing mags are using my pics in this beautiful book, Pistes de Legendes, edited by Glenat. It is still not the major part of my income yet, but it's a peculiar achievement for a guy who came to mountain shooting guys riding with twin tip skis !







Investing in Belgium...

A few weeks ago, just back from the RedBull rampage, I had a phone call from Vincent Rocher, editor of Landscape Magazine, in the small country on the other side of Quiévrain... Seems like his free mag is a gem ! Nice lay-out, interesting article, enough to ashame a lot of classic and established bike mags all over the world. They wanted me in for an interview, and they finished by using a lot of my pics, even for the cover ! Crazy how I still get excited after all those years... You can even read it here, directly on your computer. Nice job guys, and don't forget to send the all year free Moules Frites subscription you promised me !








mardi 14 décembre 2010

OK, here I come, by popular demand...

Here is my modest contribution to the world of photography blogging. in this space I'll try to be free of economical constraint, free to show the pics I love, the joy or trouble I was in while shooting, or whatever mood I want to share. If you get interested, the better for it. If not, I don't care, that's what the web is here for. Enjoy, or not...