I love recording the way that humans travel through the landscape under their own power. I would even go so far as to attribute that as one of the main cornerstones of my personal vision with photography.
Capturing the perfect combination of person and environment fills me with satisfaction, probably because it requires the right convergence between a number of elements. The landscape obviously has to be visually interesting, enough so to stand on its own. The human has to be in right place in the frame, to give it a balanced feel, and they have to be at the height of their stride, stroke, turn or body position so that the shot has the optimum sense of dynamic action.
And, of course, you have to seek out the best vantage point in order to place your subjects where you want them in the frame and give the shot an interesting angle of view. Sometimes that takes a considerable amount of pre visualization, and often in my case, physical exertion as well.
When it all comes together, though, and you get “the shot,” you get excited because you know that your creative, physical and technical efforts have paid off. For the action and sports photographer, capturing that pinnacle of motion in a beautiful setting is what it’s all about.
In order to find the right vantage point for this shot, which I made with my Nikon D700 and 14mm f2.8 lens on the Campbell trails in Anchorage, I climbed about eight feet up into one of those little tiny aspen trees at the edge of the path. Let’s just say that holding yourself steady in an eight-inch diameter tree while you shoot a trail runner for fifteen minutes does require a certain amount of physical exertion.
Noone said that outdoor photography had to be easy, right?