Interview series (english):
Garrett Grove, professional Photographer

Next in our Interview Series with climbing Photographers is Garrett Grove, a professional Photographer from the United States:

Garrett, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Garrett Grove, http://garrettgrove.com, 28, outdoor adventure photographer living in Bellingham, WA

Garrett

Garrett

On a scale from one (amateur) to ten (professional), where would you place yourself as a photographer? How much time do you spend taking pictures?
Ten. I don’t spend 100% of my daily life on photography but 100% of my work and income is generated through photography which i am constantly thankful for.

On a scale from one (amateur) to ten (professional), where would you place yourself as a climber/boulderer? How much are you/were climbing? What are yourFavourite climbing spots? One.  There is a reason I take photos of professionals.  I spend a lot of time skiing/climbing/biking but I am no where near as talented as the athletes I take photos of.  Most places in the NW and Western Canada are where I spend my time climbing,biking and skiing and for good reason!

How did you get hooked on climbing and photography? What came first, what is currently taking up the bigger part of your life? In high school I was introduced to snowboarding by a good friend, this was my gateway drug.  From there I went to college up in Bellingham, WA because of it’s close proximity to Mount Baker and the North Cascades.  So I started bouldering, mountaineering, etc.  So that was my first love, being outside and the adventure of it all.  These adventures inspired me to take photographs to show friends and family.  These days I always am trying to balance what is personal time and what is work.  A great problem to have but still something that takes time to figure out and make sure happens.

Work? Fun?

Work? Fun?

What equipment are you currently using for your photography? Are there any special kind of items (any “McGyvers”)? I shoot all Nikon expect for my Sigma 15mm Fisheye.  When going outside I find I can get all the shots I need with a 15mm fisheye, 17-35 2.8, 45mm t/s and 70-200 2.8.  Pretty standard and simple, I find when I start messing with gizmos and gadgets I get bogged down and miss what is right in front of me.  F-stop bags (loka and mala) get me 90% of the places I need to go.

How would you describe your style? Our environment, natural light and how we interact within all of this are my driving factors.  I try to make sure an image makes people stop, gaze and wish they were there.  Which is why many of my photos are pulled back and the person is small in comparison to their surroundings.  Trying to make sure the photo doesn’t look too commercial but is surreal, timeless and inspiring.

Awesome view....

Awesome view....

Is there a climbing-picture that is your favourite? Is there a picture you took with a special kind of story attached to it? One of my favorite images is of Adam Roberts, John Sweeney and David Hancock on Mount Shuksan, WA on our way to ski the North Face.  None of them are sponsored athletes, they are my good friends, passionate people who make this pursuit a priority.  I love seeing everyday people interact with their natural surroundings and making “professional” images out of it.

One of Garret´s favourites

One of Garret´s favourites

What is the biggest technical effort you took to take a picture? Most of the time all my images just require me to be there, not too many gizmos and gadgets involved just a lot of time and sweat.  A fun image that isn’t one of my norms but turned out really well is of Jeff Campbell up in the Northern Selkirks, BC.  The shot required some remote flashes, a jerry rigged tripod to a backpack with my camera mounted on top of it remotely triggered by a wireless remote all while it was 0 F outside.  It worked out on the second shot and we called it good, which is really nice because we were all super cold.  Again I don’t do that very much but it was fun to change it up a bit.

Remote trigger, remote flashes, camera rigged to backpack, 0°F!

Remote trigger, remote flashes, camera rigged to backpack, 0°F!

How much do ou work on your pictures after taking the shot? I hardly work on my images at all.  Typically I just adjust the contrast a bit, the white balance and add or subtract some saturation.  I am pretty bad with photoshop and all of those programs.

What are you doing with your pictures/climbing photography? I try and get my images out to magazines and commercial clients, that is where A LOT of my time is spent.  I have had the pleasure of working with numerous clients in the last year, which has been really exciting.

In my experience, the typical climbing pictures of „newbees“ all have the same common „ass on rocks“ style. What tipps would you give us to take better pictures, without giving away too many secrets? Try something new, be creative and go a little higher or farther.  If your lazy with your photograph then typically it will result in a subpar image.

Call it a day....

Call it a day....

Famous last words:
Stop wondering and find out.
Garrett

Thank you Garrett, it was a pleasure to learn about your involvement in climbing photography and your philosophy about it. Keep those great pictures coming. For all those interested in Garretts (other) work, check out more of his pictures on his homepage http://garrettgrove.com

Category: Interview, Kletterfotografie

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