Fujifilm out climbing

Dear All,

over the last summer and this year, too, I took my beloved x-pro2 with me a lot when climbing on little crags or bigger mountains.
I took some pictures and I really like to push my photography towards better climbing shots. I think I could get a lot of great feedback here since you most probably will not comment on the action but more on the composition, exposure, crop and such. Please understand, that those photos where mostly taken with me involved in the action I use prime lenses only for reasons of compact size in my pack when climbing. But go ahead you can still blame me for anything. Be strickt but not mean with me - than I can learn a lot!

Also I am happy if you want to add some inspiration here from the field of (candid) climbing photography.

Some guys I enjoy a lot but don’t know in person:


And my favorite fuji shooters from the genre:


(one of the worlds best climbers, too)

finally some shots for you to criticize:

So would be great to have a little discussion here. I am sure Fuji is very popular among the climbers because it is a rather small system. Join in with your shots, how tos, critique and if you want to do some climbing photography together!

/Leo

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Hi!
First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your photos. Great photos!
It’s unbelievable that even climbing you have the ability to make them! It looks hard to me.
I’m not an expert so my comments (and I’m giving them just because you asked) are based on my personal taste. They are numbered in order of the photos, so 1) will be the first photo and so on…

  1. I would love to see more space above the head, maybe a little bit of the point that she’S trying to achieve. That would give context.
  2. you need more post process, maybe burning all the rest and dodge the climber so it gives him the point of interest of the photo and scale…
  3. ok but 4) doesn’t bring anything new to the story
  4. darken the highlights and bring up the shadow.
  5. and 8) I like them more rotated 90º CCW.
  6. I love it.

Kind regards
Cristiano

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Hey Leo,

thanks so much for sharing! I’ve never really seen climbing photos before so its really nice to see them - will def check those other photographers out.

Firstly - wow - impressed you are taking shots while climbing - serious skills! I’ve purposefully not looked at what Cristiano has said so my thoughts are not influenced.

I think overall your shots are a great start, but with a little thought to composition and post processing they could totally shine - I know you are after critique to improve so here’s how I would personally improve them!

Firstly, I think your colour ones are very dark and muted - this may well be true to life, but I think you could add a bit of creative editing to make them pop. Once you settle on a set of colours and tones, try and keep them consistent - that will make the collection of photos feel like they belong with each other.

The black and white ones are quite flat - I’d love to see more whiter whites and darker darks in there.

It must be really hard to shoot while climbing, but I think if you allow for a bit more room, you have more to work with cropping in post.

here’s my feedback - please take all with a pinch of salt and with the good intentions that I have :slight_smile:

  1. I’d really like to know what was above her - would have been nice to have a bit more space I think.
  2. Likewise - there;’s a lot of space given to the plants and valley - for me the interesting bit is the person on the rope - if the shot had been taken about a 1/2 of the picture down, you could have had more context of the rock face.
  3. Love the expression on this climber - really nice.
  4. don’t think it does much that the previous shot did.
  5. Love the framing of the silhouette - nice job.
  6. I reckon you could have lifted the shadows more to show more of the rock face, but I like the colours in this one.
  7. Love the pop of colour - wonder what this would look like rotated 180 degrees?
  8. same as 7.
  9. Nice lens flare - overall I think would have been nicer if you had allowed the person to enter the frame more.

I like recognising human form so rotating things helps in my opinion.

I’d suggest looking at something like the rule of thirds - and try placing your subject on the cross axis of intersecting lines - this will be nature place them more in the frame.

This is all v minor feedback cos you asked - I’m impressed and understand how limited one must be while taking shots hanging off a wall hundreds of feet up!

I’ve edited a few of your photos in lightroom to illustrate my points (can’t do a huge amount with jpegs but have done my best) - e.g. not as sharp as your originals - can’t quite get the colours right - I’ve also done some content-aware fill to imagine a bit more rockface/sky to show how I would have reframed the composition if taking them zoomed out a bit more - cheating a bit and not perfect by any means, but you’d see how things would look if you shot a bit wider and used the rule of thirds. I’ve also lifted shadows on faces, and added a vignette or dark gradient on other parts of the photo to lead your eye into focusing on the figure - this is just all post processing really.

Hope that helps!

Al

3 Likes

Thanks a lot for the honest and kind feedback @alpower & @cristiano - I think I really get your points. Some of them I was struggling with myself but others I was not aware of.

Always good to know what comes across (like the nice flare in the last picture) and what does not (like the “michelangelo”-moment of the hand reaching out to the big hold on pic 4).

Most of the framing is due to disturbing elements just outside the frame or me struggling to get into a better position (standing in a small and specific place) but I think I mostly agree anyways and there should be plenty of room for improvement. I will have another go at cropping some of the stuff. I am not yet sure if I am really a fan of the rule of thirds but I will make some overlays with images I really like and probably it will turn out I am. Good starting point for sure.

Very interesting as well is that you both came up with wanting to turn numbers 7 and 8. I was really going forth and back for quite a while there - and decided that I felt more exposure with the way I turend it but after seeing the little edit from @alpower I am open to agree that it does not take away very much you way and the faces are more relatable.

So thanks a lot and I will update some time in the future (forgot my camera this weekend due to hungover preparations :man_facepalming:) so you can maybe spot some progress.

If anybody else wants to comment or share some climbing pictures: very much appreciated!