A few weeks ago I spent some time with Jordan and Naomi Buys , 2 friends that I’ve known through various photoshoots over the years and also 2 of the countries top climbers, the fact that they’re a handsome couple and very easy to photograph makes it a very easy job to shoot with them. The impetus for the shoot had come from the ‘Women in Climbing’ calendar that had used one of my images last year . This year , Heidi had got in touch asking me to submit some images so that was the excuse, as if an excuse was needed to go and make some images.
Luckily , Naomi had been working a project ‘Wicked Gravity’ at Malham Cove, which she started 4 years ago and due to injury , illness and bird bans , there was always something in the way of success, but as luck would have it, the week before i was joining them , she succeeded on the route so we could take our time getting different angles and finding the best body position to convey the strength and technicality required for this climb. To me, the heel hook with slopers and undercuts sums up what is a very difficult move to get through the roof and make the final few clips, awesome effort.
After we got the shots on Wicked Gravity , both Jordan and Naomi were keen to get on projects they were working in the main wall of the cove It was busy , there wasn’t opportunity to get on a rope to get above or alongside either of them so I just shot of some shots with the 70-200 and worked some compositional ideas with the texture of the rock , even had a wee go at wildlife photography , not for me though .
I was happy with day 1 and felt we had a strong image from the wicked gravity set of images . Day 2 we headed over to some quarries for some bouldering shots . We found this small pond which , when the wind stopped blowing through became like a mirror. I was really interested in the composition of Naomi on one side balanced with the ferns and foliage on the other. Initially I was working with a vertical composition but later , when processing the images felt perhaps the landscape composition was better , whatdyathink ?
We played around on some short routes using the Elinchrom ELB400 and the new HS triggers which work a treat , nothing really thats going to set the adventure photography world on fire but okay as filler shots.
The thing is , how do you know you’ve got THE shot, just keep going till you run out of light, storage , battery or the will to live ? We headed over to another location with some longer single pitch routes that I could get on a rope for and work some angles to create some kind of dynamic composition . The great thing about working with Jordan and Naomi is you can point them at any route on the crag and its easy for them ‘yes, climbed them all so whatever you think would look good’ , can’t ask for more than that as a photographer , can you .
So, there we have it, another few images in the bag and lets see if any of them make the final cut for the women in climbing calendar
Thanks for reading
Best Wishes, Nadir