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Clive Booth

janv.23

Skiing and shooting in the Bernese Oberland

By Clive Booth, vendredi janvier 23, 2015
Shadow of Wixi Ski Lift, Wengen, Switzerland. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/2500sec at f/2.8, ISO 160.

Shadow of Wixi Ski Lift, Wengen, Switzerland. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/2500sec at f/2.8, ISO 160. © Clive Booth

What better way to kick off the New Year than spend it skiing in Switzerland? I first came here working as a cameraman/filmmaker shooting several ascents of the Eiger for BBC Television’s ‘Blue Peter’ earning me a prestigious Blue Peter badge. This place made a huge impression upon me then and continues to do so nearly a quarter of a century later.

I fell in love with its landscapes, its peace and tranquility and its spectacular scale and beauty. For me, the best form of relaxation is shooting landscapes. When I use the term ‘landscape’, it’s probably more accurate to say just about anything that interests me and that fits loosely into that category. I have a minimalist approach to personal work and like to experiment with just how little I can get away with in the frame before it becomes abstract.

I believe that having an affinity for your subject or landscape really helps when portraying the essence of the place or person, and as with all my work, it’s the atmosphere that I am most interested in capturing. As well as the cerebral, this is also controlled by my technique (lens choice, selective focus, lighting and of course post-production). I carry a wide-angle zoom but keep coming back to my trusted EF85mm f/1.2L II USM prime.

Somehow this lens focuses my view, framing elements of a vista and causing me to stop and think before I shoot. It’s like holding up a big piece of card with a window in it and when I see a view that I like then I shoot. I ski with a Lowepro ‘Primus Minimus’ camera rucksack, and in addition to the 85mm prime an EF17-40mm f/4L USM. It can often be quite hard on my kit, sometimes falling or dropping stuff, watching it bouncing down the piste, so I use an old EOS 5D Mark II. When on foot, I use a lightweight carbon fibre Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 tripod and 410 Junior geared head. This proved particularly useful for shooting the Jungfrau in moonlight. Filters include a Lee polariser, a big and little stopper, grad blacks and NDs. Although whilst skiing, I find a simple screw thread ND adequate for most shooting as it allows me to shoot quickly with selective focus in bright light and not spend too long on each stop. Post-production is fairly minimal, and yet is a key factor in achieving the vital atmosphere that I have both captured and retained in a kind of mental library. Adobe Lightroom is my go-to choice for its speed and ease of use.

The majesty and wonder of big mountains has been a huge and important part of my life and skiing is an exhilarating way to move amongst them. Combine this with my other great passion, that of shooting pictures, and I’ve found Nirvana. Full gallery: http://clivebooth.viewbook.com/album/wengen01-2015

Swiss Barn, Mürren, Switzerland. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/640sec at f/2.8, ISO 160.

Swiss Barn, Mürren, Switzerland. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/640sec at f/2.8, ISO 160. © Clive Booth

The Jungfrau, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, in the moonlight. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 25secs at f/11, ISO 800.

The Jungfrau, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, in the moonlight. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens; the exposure was 25secs at f/11, ISO 800. © Clive Booth