New ebook out: The Workflow Book - Organize and Protect your Digital Photographs


31 March 2014, no comment

The Workflow Book

Just a few months after Montagnes Extrêmes, I am proud to announce the release today of a new book, published by Craft And Vision and titled "The Workflow Book - Organize and Protect your Digital Photographs". The two couldn't be more different: Montagnes Extrêmes is a beautiful coffee table physical book, in French, and is all about enjoying nice mountain photography. The Workflow Book, on the other hand, is a large PDF ebook (over 70 spreads), written in English, and is by design very technical. There are of course many mountain images but they are mere illustrations, and what you will really find interesting (I hope) is the text.

What I have attempted with this book is to talk about all the boring parts of digital photography, all the chores one has to deal with, from designing a file naming scheme to choosing the right computer equipment, importing files with Lightroom or Photo Mechanic, editing a shoot down, entering metadata, exporting finished files and, most importantly, how to design a good backup strategy. I don't discuss how to take pictures, which camera to choose or what to do in Photoshop or Lightroom, as those are vast topics on which many great books have already been written, but instead deal with the lot less sexy tasks that we all have to contend with, whether we like it or not.

Reading this book will absolutely not make you a better photographer, but it might make a you a more efficient one. You will hopefully find ways to streamline your workflow, save some time and energy, and will be able to focus more on what truly matters: creating meaningful photographs!

The Workflow Book

The Workflow Book

The Workflow Book retails for the bargain price of $7 (with 20% off for the first week with the code WFLOW20) and you can find it on the Craft and Vision website. There is also a great "bundle" offer at the moment, which pairs the book with other C&V titles on Lightroom and Photoshop at discounted prices.

You can also find more information on the dedicated page.

The Workflow Book

The Workflow Book

Injury


3 March 2014, 10 comments

20140217-bard-sequence-01.jpg

Two weeks ago, I was busy shooting some freeride images with awesome Norwegian skier Bård Øymar, out in Courmayeur. The day was perfect: blue skies, tons of fresh snow, mostly untracked, and Bård knew exactly where to go to get the best snow and the best light. I got so many good images and great powder turns that I remember thinking I would have to pay for it later...

On our last run of the day, Bård's fluff triggered a small slab in a couloir, which I failed to notice at first. I was caught by it and ended up riding it down for 15-20m until I came to a natural stop (just before I could trigger my ABS backpack). Unfortunately, because it was moving relatively slow and it caught me while I was stopped, my binding did not release, and I suffered a left knee injury. I tried to ski out, but a single turn nearly resulted in a dislocated knee and convinced me that rescue was the only reasonable option. 45 minutes later, I was winched off by the Courmayeur rescue helicopter, and flown to the Aosta hospital.

Since then, I've had a MRI to confirm the initial diagnostic, and consulted with orthopaedic surgeon, with the conclusion that my left ACL has been cleanly severed and that surgery will be required. Thankfully, there is very little pain and I can walk almost normally, I just don't have any lateral stability.

1980184_10203472887413733_853358188_o.jpg

My ambitious plans for the spring and summer have obviously been greatly affected. The good news, though, is that I'll still manage to go to Greenland in late April as initially planned, using a special splint as a substitute for my injured ACL. And as soon as I come back from the expedition, around May 15th, I'll be having surgery. Rehab is forecast to take about 6 months, which means I probably won't be able to climb at all during the summer season.

This is obviously a very big bummer, as there were so many things I wanted to do this spring and summer, but injury is a common occurrence for people who spend a lot of time in the mountains, and I am trying to take it in stride. It also means I get a chance to focus on other projects I wouldn't otherwise spend so much time on (or instance promoting my next book on workflow, which is coming out later this month ;-D).

Winter 2014/2015 better be damn good!

Swimming in Scottish snow


24 February 2014, no comment

20140209-douglas_boulder-520.jpg

Back in 2010, I lived in the UK for half a year, as part of my PhD program. Though I was based in London, I made frequent trips to all the great climbing locations in the country, but probably enjoyed none more than my Scottish winter expeditions, always true adventures when done over the weekend with 10 hours drive each way! This is also where I learned how to climb proper mixed terrain, and a good learning ground it was.

In 2014, with a few Chamonix seasons under my belt, I was keen to come back, and a talk at the Telegraph Outdoor Show gave me the perfect opportunity. I had the pleasure to spend a week near Glencoe with my friend and climbing partner Jean-Baptiste. We based ourselves at the absolutely amazing Strath Lodge in Glencoe (I can't imagine a friendlier, more welcoming place in all of the UK), on the recommendation of expedition leader, Montane athlete and photoshoot model Jon Gupta.

It being Scotland, we expected the conditions to be challenging. It is, after all, half the fun. What we hadn't planned for was a ridiculous snowpack, with pretty much all the routes buried deep and high avalanche danger. In the end, we only succeeded on a single route, the very fun North Buttress of Buachaille Etive Mor, and bailed on the Douglas Boulder in hurricane conditions, as well as on the avalanche-threatened approach to Stob Coire nan Lochan, but we had some serious adventures, a lot of type II fun and I got some cool images to boot. Not a bad trip by any measure.

See the gallery after the jump

Crochues - Bérard - Buet for the start of the ski touring season


3 February 2014, one comment

20140131-buet-0125.jpg

Though the season began very late due to high avalanche risks, it was great fun to finally go ski touring last Friday. Along with Elsie, we chose to tag the summit of Mont Buet from refuge de Bérard, after skiing from Index up to Col des Crochues and Col de Bérard, a fun, 1800m of D+ day. Along with the gorgeous views of most of the Mont Blanc range, we were rewarded with sunshine and nearly untracked amazing powder.

See the images from the day after the jump

My 10 favourite images of 2013


27 December 2013, 7 comments

Just like in 2011 and 2012, here come the 10 favourite images I have shot this year (assuming I don't get something absolutely amazing in the next 4 days, that is). My only criterion was that I needed to personally love the shots, even though they may not have been the most popular.



20130212-PER-PC1-3-784.jpg

A racer crosses the massive Southern Patagonian Icecap on day 1 of the 2013 Patagonian Expedition Race.

As in 2012, I headed to Chilean Patagonia to cover the insane Patagonian Expedition Race (which sadly seems to not be running anymore, at least in 2014). It was a very different year, with even less resources than the previous year, but the highlight definitely was crossing and shooting on the insanely huge Hielo Continental Sur. I singled out this shot for its very strong graphic elements and its simple story.


20130301-guillaumet-2835.jpg

Ulrik Hasemann reaches the last hard pitch of the Comesaña-Fonrouge route on Aguja Guillaumet, Patagonia.

After shooting the race, I headed over to El Chaltén with my friend and colleague Ulrik Hasemann to do some alpine climbings. Though the West Face of Cerro Torre was in amazing condition, it was not to be this time, and we settled for a much easier option, the classic route on Aguja Guillaumet, during a decent weather window. I shot this a short way to the summit, and loved the combination of action and scenery so much that it's on the cover of my latest book.


20130422-jimmy-3494.jpg

Jimmy Sesana skis hard crust on the Vallée Noire, Chamonix.

Back in Cham and with one of the best snow years ever, the mood was very much on skiing. I shot this for fun with friend and steep skier Jimmy Sesana, and the snow was actually some of the most horrible I have ever skied, a layer of hard crust over deep powder that was extremely treacherous. I ended up falling something like five times, but I'm allowed, I'm the photographer...


20130407-vaude_spring-3448.jpg

Francis Kelsey and Elsie Lemordant on a snowy Entrèves traverse, Vaude photoshoot, Chamonix.

This was my second shoot for Vaude and I love how much freedom they let me have: the brief is simply to go alpine climb something and bring back cool images of their latest gear. The tricky part was that it had to look like summer in a ridiculously snowy early April, but we found the classic Entrèves traverse on the Italian side of Mont Blanc to provide us with great light and no ski tracks in the background.


20130506-verdon-0983.jpg

Armin Holzer serenades Mich Kemeter on a highline, 300m above the Verdon river.

Verdon is becoming a bi-annual pilgrimage for me, as it is one of the most drop-dead-gorgeous places I've ever been to, the climbing is world class and there is always a ton of crazy athletes pulling off fun stunts. This hammock highline improvised concert definitely took the palm that year, and Patagonia among other clients used it on their website.


20130510-verdon-0190.jpg

Mich Kemeter freesolo on the last pitch of Les Marches du Temps (6a), Verdon.

Though of course, the craziest of all is freesolo climbing, with no ropes or any other safety equipment. Just like last year, Mich performed and climbed the really impressive last pitch of Marches du Temps, while I shot suspended from a highline. This particular image got the attention of EpicTV and led to the summer video project, Freesolo.


20130612-ITV-950.jpg

Mika Reignier and Tristan Shu transition from Dents de Lanfon to Roc des Boeufs above the Annecy lake.

Though I didn't fly much during the winter, late spring saw big developments in my paragliding: I did some great little cross-country flights (Petit Tour du Lac in Annecy and Planpraz-Varan), did a bunch of high altitude flights, especially from Dôme du Goûter, Mont Blanc du Tacul and Dôme des Écrins, and perhaps most importantly, started carrying a serious camera up there. This shot, following Mika, the wing designer for ITV, and very talented colleague Tristan Shu across the Annecy lake was my favourite from the flying season.


20130707-BASE-567.jpg

A Russian BASE jumper exits from Monte Brento, Italy.

Early July saw me on an insane road trip through the Alps (Chamonix-Münich-Arco-Zillertal-Graz-Arco-Innsbrück-Grindelwald-Friedrichshafen-Chamonix), to shoot stills and video on a number of projects. I happened to spend the best part of a week with BASE jumpers from the really impressive Monte Brento exit, one of the best spots to jump in Europe. Having a lot of jumpers doing multiple rotations left me with a lot of opportunities to experiment, and this shot of an (unfortunately unnamed) Russian jumper was the one that resonated the most with me.


20130815-paciencia-wide-882.jpg

Dave MacLeod on the crux 8a pitch of Paciencia, during the third ascent of what is currently the hardest route on the north face of the Eiger.

Out of the blue, I received an email in mid-August from Welsh wunderkind Calum Muskett asking me if I wanted to shoot him and Dave MacLeod attempting to repeat the hardest route on the infamous Eiger Nordwand, two days later. A short drive later and I arrived in Grindelwald, only to discover that instead of being allowed through the Stollenloch, the railway window a third up the face, we would have to climb up from the bottom, unroped, on wet slabs, with big packs. Halfway up, I broke a hold and nearly fell all the way to the bottom of the face !

The resulting images, though, were incredible, as this is a truly unique location, and rarely does one get the opportunity to shoot such difficult climbing in such an unaccessible place. The wall was so overhanging that I took a big pendulum when I unclipped from the last directional quickdraw on the fixed line, letting me shoot Dave on the upper section of the crux pitch. One of the hardest I've ever worked to create an image, and worth it.


20131107-ENAF-036.jpg

Elsie Lemordant on the super classic "Incredible Hand Crack" (5.10+), Indian Creek, UT.

Finally, the fall was dedicated to a mostly personal road trip through the Western USA, (re)visiting such locations as Yosemite, Bishop, Red Rock, Zion and Indian Creek with the girlfriend. I ended up shooting a little at the very end, as we randomly met with a French elite group from FFME, which included Elsie, model on the Vaude shoot the previous spring. This image is not so much about the crazy moves as it is about what goes through a climber's head before he or she launches through a difficult section. More thoughtful and honest portraits are definitely a direction where I see my photography going in the next few years.

Come play the summit game!


25 December 2013, no comment

summit-01-riddle-fb.jpg

I've always enjoyed the games you occasionally find online, asking you to identify various summits in a photo. The easy ones are cool because they make me feel knowledgeable about an area, but I really enjoy the harder ones, as it's time to dig into maps, weird google searches and sometimes even libraries.

Well, to celebrate Christmas, New Year and whatnot, I have launched my own edition. It will run from today until the 18th of January, with new summits to guess every three days. You'll find all the relevant information on the 2014 summit game page and on this facebook post (which you can reshare for an extra point). And there are also two cool prizes to win, a fine art print of Chopicalqui (value 380€) and a signed copy of my latest book (value: 30€).

I hope you have as much fun guessing as I had designing this game!

Freesolo - an original webseries with Mich Kemeter for EpicTV


16 December 2013, no comment

Though I do prefer shooting stills, I often have video projects going on, and you can find the entire list on the motion page. The most ambitious to date is a 6 episodes webseries I shot for EpicTV who is investing heavily in adventure/extreme sports right now. As the name of the series suggests, the theme was simply "freesoloing", focusing on the unprotected climbing and highlining of Austrian athlete (and good friend) Mich Kemeter. After a false start in Verdon in early June with terrible weather and conditions, we spend two intense weeks touring Mich's native Austria and finished in Italy's beautiful Arco.

The first five episodes have been released in the previous few weeks, and the series finale is coming up in just two days, on Wednesday, with some really, really cool action rarely captured on camera. You can find all the episodes on EpicTV, on the motion page of this website, or simply follow these links:

  • Trailer - what it's all about
  • Episode 1 - meet Mich Kemeter
  • Episode 2 - climbing exposed multi pitch routes in Verdon
  • Episode 3 - climbing easy single pitch in Zillertal
  • Episode 4 - climbing hard routes, up to 8a, near Graz
  • Episode 5 - highlining in Steinplatte
  • Episode 6 - coming up...

New coffee table book out: Montagnes Extrêmes


15 November 2013, 2 comments

montextr-cover-big.jpg

I am very (very) happy to announce the publication of my third book, Montagnes Extrêmes by publisher Palantines, here in France. Unlike my previous books Remote Exposure and Extreme Perspectives, this one is not technical but simply a collection of my best photos from the last few years, both action and landscape. The text is in French but there is very little of it, just a foreword and short captions.

The first copies landed on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago, but since I was busy climbing various pieces of American rock, it was only yesterday that I saw it for the first time. I expected good things, but must say I was blown away by the quality of the printing and the layout. There is something very special about seeing images in print rather than on a computer screen.

Here are a few sample images, and you can see a couple more on the dedicated page on the website.

montextr-sample-1.jpg

montextr-sample-2.jpg

Both Amazon FR and Amazon UK have it and can ship internationally, but they seem out of stock at the moment and show several weeks shipping time. Some other French retailers seem to have it in, though, for instance FNAC and Gibert. I don't sell them directly, but let me know if you are having trouble finding a copy and I'll do some digging for you. If you manage to catch me in person, I'll also be very happy to sign copies.

Just saying, but it's soon Christmas time... ;-)

"Chopicalqui": KIKU award and print offer


25 October 2013, no comment

Screen_Shot_2013-10-25_at_10.16.25_AM.png

A few months ago, I entered one of my all time favorite images, of the spectacular northwest ridge of Chopicalqui, Peru, in the KIKU photocompetition, part of the IMS festival in Brixen, Italy. The theme was "Mountain Light and Shadow", and I am very happy to report that it won the first place in the contest! It is a shame, though, that I wasn't able to travel to the beautiful Dolomites for the award ceremony (given that I am currently on the wrong continent).

To celebrate, and since prints of this image have always been very popular, I have also decided to offer a 20% discount on prints of it until the end of November. Since I only do custom fine art prints, I don't have my prices online, but just to give an idea, for a giclee print in the smallest size I offer, A3 (roughly 12x17"), I normally charge 380€, including shipping. If you are looking for something bigger or printed differently, just send me an email.

And as a reminder, here's Chopicalqui in the galleries.

Shooting paragliding in the Red Bull Elements


19 October 2013, no comment

Franck Vandemaele - Action

It's been a while since I last posted here, but I have a good excuse: I am currently in the middle of a pretty awesome roadtrip through the western USA, and wifi and power are scarce resources...

I was lucky to get to shoot for Red Bull last month, covering the paragliding portion of their Elements race, which meant covering a lot of ground in very little time. The secret was to be in the air as well, thanks to the incredible pilot Jérôme Baud.

The Elements, now in its 3rd edition, is a one-of-its-kind relay race. It takes place in teams of four, and starts with rowing in the Annecy lake. The relay is passed on to trailers who run 2000m of D+ to the summit of la Tournette, before the third teammate flies down (and occasionally runs back up) all the way back to Talloires. Finally, the last sport is mountain biking with a demanding circuit. Lots of action, lots of emotions and everybody giving it their all, which is what really attracts me to this kind of event.

Enjoy the gallery after the break

Paragliding from Dôme des Écrins


9 September 2013, no comment

20130901-dome-10.jpg

After Dôme du Goûter earlier this summer, I had the pleasure to fly among another gorgeous set of mountains, with a take off from 4015m Dôme des Écrins, the second highest summit of the range (also home to la Meije) and a big mountaineering classic, since the normal route only involves moderate snow slopes and is accessible to most beginners. On the downside, though, it is heavily crevassed and serac-threatened in some parts.

It was a two days affair, a 6h walk to the Refuge des Écrins on day 1, then another 1000m of ascent by night, arriving on the summit shortly after sunrise, with nearly perfect winds for takeoff. And I have to say trading a knee-breaking 5 hours descent for a scenic 20 minutes flight is a deal I'm willing to make again and again!

Now, if only I could get a shot at a Mont Blanc flight before leaving for the US in just two weeks, that would be a perfect end to the season.

See the gallery after the jump

Summer alpine: Children of the Moon Intégrale, and Traverse of La Meije


8 August 2013, no comment

20130722-children-integrale-5.jpg

After an absolutely awful spring and early summer, the weather has finally offered us a few windows of good climbing conditions (though as I write this, it is pouring and stormy outside...). I made the most of these opportunities, first with very good Danish friend Rune Bennike, with whom I pretty much started my climbing career, some years ago in a small club in Copenhagen. He had come last year to sample Chamonix granite, but a week of foehn winds had forced us to stay on crappy valley crags. This year, however, we climbed a big multipitch route nearly every day for his entire stay! And the highlight was undoubtedly the equally long and beautiful "Children of the Moon Intégrale", 18 pitches of sustained 6a granite on the East Face of Aiguille de Roc.

A few days later, I headed south to the Écrins, the other major alpine range in France, and climbed the ultra-classic Traverse of la Meije with Hulya, in pretty good time. It was my first time in the Écrins, but Hulya's 6th (if my count is right) on the summit of La Meije alone! The climb combined 900m of easy rock to the top of Grand Pic with an airy rock and mixed traverse of the ridgeline, all the way to the Doigt de Dieu and the hardest part of the day: a knee-breaking 3 hours descent back to the valley floor.

The season is far from over, let's hope for a few more big routes before it's time to leave for Yosemite!

Enjoy the gallery after the break

BASE and wingsuit at Monte Brento


25 July 2013, no comment

20130707-BASE-2.jpg

The past few weeks have been hectic, and it doesn't look like things will get much better in the near future, with alpine climbing, paragliding, tradeshows or long rock routes pretty much every day of the summer at the moment. With a short lull in the storm right now, I finally caught up on processing of the shots I took while hanging around the Monte Brento BASE exit in Arco, Italy, at the beginning of July.

While shooting BASE jumping can be very frustrating, as it goes so fast, the subjects disappear from lens range incredibly quickly, and there are few opportunities each day, Brento is so popular that I got carloads of 15 or so jumpers every couple of hours, perfect to experiment with angles, light and compositions. I haven't had time yet to work on compositing the high speed bursts, but here is a small selection of single frames. Enjoy!

Gallery after the break

Paralpinisme season is on!


10 June 2013, 3 comments

20130603-dome_parapente-294.jpg

Ever since I started paragliding last year, "paralpinisme" (climbing up, flying down) has been a very obvious goal, but between the relatively heavy weight of the wing and a narrow range of conditions required, it was difficult to find opportunities. I kept a close eye on both snow and wind conditions all spring, waiting for a window to fly off from the summit of Mont Blanc after skiing up via the North Ridge of Dôme du Goûter, but the terrible weather denied any opportunities.

Finally, last week, it looked like, with a generous helping of luck, it might happen. I enticed Bruno to join and off we went, despite 0 acclimatisation (don't do it, kids) and high temperatures. Though our forecast gave a window for taking off between 5 and 11am, the last bulletin before setting off at 1am from the Grands Mulets hut suddenly talked of 40km/h winds on the summit, obviously unflyable. We went anyway, ended up breaking trail for a large part of the ascent, which along with altitude, definitely took its toll. By the time we arrived at Dôme du Goûter, at 4300m, we were somewhat surprised to find decent wind conditions and decided to stop there and ensure a flight down rather than risk Mont Blanc itself.

It turned out to be very challenging to take off in thin air, with skis on and with a slope not quite steep enough. I ended up moving to the lower Pointe Bravais and its steeper slopes and finally managed to get airborne. The flight out was equally amazing and uneventful, at least until I reached 400m above the ground and suddenly found very strong headwind that prevented me from moving forward at all! Unable to reach the intended landing spot (Bois du Bouchet), I retreated to the closer but slightly more technical Savoy and managed a smooth landing, skiing on the overgrown grass.

Quite an adventure it had been, and made even better by the following two days: with great 5-10km/h SE winds, conditions were perfect for taking off from Aiguille du Midi and flying along Vallée Blanche. I made a first flight on my own on Tuesday, then another on Wednesday with guide and friend Dylan Taylor (currently featured on the US cover of the Patagonia catalog!) to shoot some images of his performance wing.

Enjoy the galleries after the break

The Verdon Crazies Strike Back


28 May 2013, one comment

20130511-verdon-1055.jpg

One year after first shooting Mich Kemeter and friends in Verdon gorges (see the gallery), we were back in this gorgeous spot of Southern France, with the same team and the same program: for Mich, do cool stuff, and for me, shoot all the cool stuff!

There was BASE jumping, highlining, playing music on a highline (!), climbing hard and climbing without a rope, good ways to fill up our days. The real highlight, for me, came on the very last day. We hiked up for a solid 2 hours in the morning heat to access the Encastel cliff on the right bank, and abseiled down the craziest climbing pitch I have ever seen, the 8b+ tufa line of Tom et je ris, opened by Bruno Clément in 2004. It was so overhanging that I hung a solid 20m away from the wall, 100m above the ground and pushed around by the strong winds, while Mich went straight for the lead and put a really solid effort. No onsight, but some really beautiful images!

Enjoy a selection of images from the trip after the break.

FA attempt on Petit Capucin and ski shoot on Vallée Noire


29 April 2013, no comment

20130422-jimmy-3494.jpg

With good weather back in the past couple of weeks, we have finally been able to go do proper stuff in the hills, and I have been very busy lately. Beside all the warm rock climbing (including the two biggest granite classics of the range, Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille du Midi and Contamine on Pointes Lachenal), the highlights have been twofold. First, it was an honor to accompany superman Jeff Mercier on his attempt to open a new mixed line on the very steep north face of Petit Capucin. Unfortunately, a very blank section shut the attempt down after four pitches of high level drytooling and ice smears runout climbing. Though I was only belaying/following/shooting, it was eye opening to see what strong and bold climbers can get up. The development of drytooling is certainly shaking things up!

A week later, I teamed up with Italian guide Jimmy Sesana for a ski shoot on the classic Vallée Noire, the Italian variation of Vallée Blanche. With fresh snowfall 36h earlier and a cloudy day previously, we hoped for some powder, but temperatures were so high that we mostly skied the most incredibly awful crust almost all the way down. Still, we got first tracks, some really good images and first-class banter, so no complaining on my end!

Enjoy some images from both adventures after the jump.

Peak Design Pro Shooter (and contest giveaway)


16 April 2013, no comment

20130415-petitcap-7.jpg

After over a year of trashing thoroughly testing their products, I am glad to join the newly created Pro Shooter roster of Peak Design. They are best known for the amazing little device called the Capture Camera Clip but also recently came out with slings/tether systems, the Cuff and especially the Leash.

While shooting in the mountains, it is of course crucial to have easy access to my camera, but also to be able to store it in a way that is non-intrusive when I am busy climbing or skiing. Though I still use the ThinkTank Skin bag system (see my review from a few years back), I almost always have the camera on a Capture fixed to my climbing harness, and tethered to a gear loop via a Leash.

While I don't (yet) have a full review of either devices, the launch of the pro team is an opportunity by Peak Design to give some free stuff away. On Wednesday, April 17th (aka today), they are focusing on yours truly and will give one of my prints by the end of the day, along with a full Capture/Cuff/Leash system. For all the important details and instructions on how to enter, see their facebook page, or go straight to the contest page.

Good luck!

Shooting the Snow Leopard for Montane


8 April 2013, 3 comments

20120517-midi-plan-78.jpg

Last May, I was hired by British technical clothing manufacturer Montane to shoot two of their athletes, Jon Gupta and Nick Valentine, who happen to be good friends of mine. They were planning their big Snow Leopard expedition to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan the following summer, and wanted to use the opportunity of having a week in the Alps to do a big alpine route as training, which would provide me with the perfect shoot opportunity.

We set our sights on Dent Blanche, a fairly moderate climb in summer but a bigger undertaking in snowy conditions. Unfortunately, after slogging through most of the long approach with ridiculous packs, we were turned back by bad avalanche conditions on the Ferpècle glacier. Back in Chamonix, we waited out a spell of bad weather before shooting the first part of the classic Midi-Plan ridge. Here too, we skied part of it and climbed the rest, but again, sketchy snow conditions forced us to abort about halfway through.

Still, even though we didn't manage to finish a route, it was two great days of skiing and climbing, and both the client and myself were very happy with the results, which were used thoroughly in the following months in their catalog, workbook, website and tradeshow material. Now that the embargo is over, here are some shots.

Have a look at the gallery after the jump

Alpine Photography Workshop for the 2013 Arc'teryx ARC'ademy


26 March 2013, one comment

arc-ademy-2013-header-background.jpg

Teaching mountain photography is something I have been very keen on doing, initially through my books (and between us, there may be another one coming up soon) but increasingly in person. It was only a matter of time before I started to offer workshops, but heavy logistics to ensure safety and alternative solution for bad weather had always stopped me. Well, the day has finally come, and I am very happy to announce that I will be running such a workshop for the second edition of the Alpine ARC'ademy, organized by Arc'teryx in Chamonix in mid-June.

We will start with the last Aiguille du Midi bin, around 4pm on Friday, 14th of June, then head to the Cosmiques Hut to have a short class, before heading back out to shoot another ARC'ademy group bivying on the glacier. With some luck, we'll have a superb sunset on Glacier des Bossons and Mont Blanc. We'll rise early the next day for sunrise, shoot some easy climbing with Arc'teryx athletes before crossing the Vallée Blanche, an easy but spectacular glacier walk. Finally, we'll all come down via the Panoramique cablecar from Helbronner, just in time for a beer in Chamonix. All of course with mountain guides for safety.

You can find all the details on the workshop page, and I suggest booking soon if you are interested, as there is a very limited number of spots.

Edit: since the original workshop sold out in a couple of hours, we have added another session, immediately after the first one, starting on Saturday 15th at 4pm. Still a few spots available as I write this.

2013 Patagonian Expedition Race - The Shots


7 March 2013, 4 comments

PER13-18.jpg

A few weeks ago, the 2013 Patagonian Expedition Race took place in the southern tip of South America and, like last year, I came to Punta Arenas to photograph the event. With one race already under my belt, I had a better idea of what to expect and how to capture good images, but nothing can prepare you to an environment like Chilean Patagonia. As it turned out, 2013 was the toughest race on record, with only two teams completing the grueling 701km course (and a third finishing a shortened course), out of the 11 that started. The highlight of the course happened on the first day, with a crossing of the Southern Patagonian Icecap (Hielo Continental Sur) on the Tyndall glacier. Though it was supposed to be a mellow 11km affair, it took us through severely crevassed terrain and took NorCal, the team I was following, 28km and 7h to cross. Three other teams had to spend the night on the glacier, during a full-on storm!

After returning from the glacier section over two big days, I shot some mountain biking and one of the few kayak sections near Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine. Logistically, it became then too complicated to try and follow one of the few teams still in the race, so I spent a few days in Punta Arenas and shot the lead team, Adidas-Terrex Prunesco from the UK, as they crossed the finish line, 8 and a half days after starting! A few hours later, I was on a bus headed to the mythical Cerro Torre and Fitzroy range in Argentina, but that is a story for another day.

See the gallery after the jump

- page 1 of 6