One of the opportunities we had on the workshop I attended in Moab, was to photograph a rock climber than had been hired just for us. The area we were at was Fisher Towers outside of Moab, Utah.
One of the things that was cool about the location was the vantage point we were able to shoot from. As the climber, I didn’t catch his name, starting going up the rock, we were able to walk up a slope next to the rock so that it looks like we are higher than the climber.
The guest instructor for this workshop was Dave Black who has a background in sports photography including covering 12 Olympic games.
His advice to us was that we needed at least a 1/500 second shutter speed so I set my camera on Shutter Priority mode and dialed it in.
On hindsight I wish I had experimented with setting my aperture at f2.8 taking advantage of that ability on the lens I was using. Since it was a bright sunny day, I think I could have gotten an even faster shutter speed and had a softer background.
Dave’s other advice was to make sure all four limbs of the climber were in view and to look for a gesture such as looking or reaching up.
Since you’re using a fast shutter speed to freeze the action of the climber you ware looking for something else to indicate movement.
Another thing we were told was to experiment with the angles in which we take the photograph. I think my angle here was a little to extreme as you can tell by looking at the background.
I was using a 70-200mm lens and most of my shots were zoomed into the climber, so this one shows the scale of the rock he was climbing.
If you look closely at the bottom left of the photo you can see a guy holding the rope for the climber.
I don’t understand rock climbing enough to understand why someone standing on the ground holding your rope helps you climb up 🙂
Besides making two climbs up this rock, the climber did some poses for us.
Although I wish he was facing in my direction, this was my favorite photo. He’s holding on with on hand, I’ve got all four limbs and lots of gesture.
Click any image to view them all larger.
Click to view my Moab gallery at SmugMug