The Challenges of Lighting for Night Ice Climbing Photography

Photographing climbers can be tricky. Photographing with strobes on location can be tricky. Photographing at night can be tricky. But if neither one of those are challenging enough alone, try doing all three, at once. This is what photographer Ray Demski‘s latest project involves. And if it doesn’t sound hard enough all ready, he’s also shooting climbers on ice in what can only be assumed as very, very cold weather:

With warm puffy jackets and thick gloves, Demski and his crew spend the day scouting out the location and setting up the lights for the shoot, but it’s not until the sun goes down that camera comes out. Remember that Demski and his subjects are professionals and that this kind of shoot shouldn’t be tried by just anyone. In fact, even if you are working with professionals, a good amount planning should always take place beforehand so that you are ready for any kind of situation. Here are some things to keep in mind while working on location in potentially dangerous situations:

  •  Always have a med kit – For minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes, it’s always good to have a few band-aids and cleaning supplies to prevent infection or further injury. Med kits should also contain any medications your crew or models need and emergency medicines for things like bee allergies.
  • Have a back up plan for medical emergencies – Scout the area before shooting. Make sure there is cell phone service and/or a way of transportation for getting someone to the hospital should an accident occur.
  • Wear proper clothing – For the most part, this isn’t a big issue. But if you’re shooting in an area like in Demski’s shoot, proper clothing is important. The last thing you want is one of your crew members to start suffering from hypothermia.
  • Communicate – If your crew is going to be spread out, make sure everyone can and will communicate with each other. If they’re too far for a shout, buy some cheap walkie talkies. Make sure you know where everyone is at, and tell someone if you decide to go off somewhere else.
ice climber night photography

Always come prepared when shooting in potentially dangerous situations like this one

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