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The Creative process of an adventure photographer

People might think that being an adventurer photographer relies on two things: traveling and shooting pictures. While this might summarize the overall idea of the concept, there are a lot of more exciting things that are coming in the process. On the other side, it might as well consist in repetitive and boring tasks. This article will be showcasing the work of adventure photographers, from the search and planification of trips to the printing and hanging of photo prints to the wall.

Getting inspired

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When we dive into a new passion, there are unconsciously many people involved in your decision-making. Can you even remember the number of times where you thought “I wish I could be doing what this person does…”? In this sense, social media are a great way of gathering and observing talented people in their art. For example, communities form around photographers, adventurer pages and allow for sharing, exchanging and discussing about a topic in which everyone within the group is interested. This powerful tool of the internet greatly develops abilities and pushes concepts to their limits. Also, the creative process generally doesn’t come by itself, out of nowhere. Many people are complaining about persons “copying” their ideas. What we tend to forget is that it might also allow other persons to capture different details and angles. And this is precisely what keeps photographers motivated and striving to get better and increasingly creative over time.

Information search

The first thing that we need to gather are information regarding the shooting locations. Creating content is a meticulous task. Indeed, scouting through social media and the internet is a necessary prerequisite in order to fulfill photography projects. This holds true no matter if the latter concerns commercial assignments or personal escapes. As an adventure photographer specialized in wild escapes, I am always looking for undiscovered nature, where no human footprints are to be seen. Taking photographs of nature in its most pristine form is very important to me; especially in those times where great environmental challenges are to be taking seriously. Through my images, I am trying to deliver unique pieces of history. I want to capture the present and freeze the time. Freeze the time in a hope that this nature won’t be destroyed by human activities and stay the way it is right now. When following this idea, I am increasingly looking for places like glaciers, mountain summits or wild forests.

The first step is then to search for such particular and remote spots. Opening a map, looking for routes to the destination, choosing the safest one, yet with the most mouth-watering views, finding alternatives depending on weather forecast and finally establish where it is permitted to settle the camp. Calculating distances and estimating the time needed to reach destination is of key importance.

Equipment preparation

Now that the route is all planned, it is time to prepare the most adequate equipment for the right weather conditions. And here comes the biggest frustration for most photographers: taking on our back ONLY what is really necessary. Camera gear is heavy and adventure photographers want to be able to cover all types of situations. A choice has then to be made and this is precisely where compromises have to happen. While this generally depends on the scale of the projects and escapes, the rule is to always travel as light as possible. This takes a lot of experience and practice to find perfect compromises between comfort and practicality. In this sense, I feel like I am improving after every trip in this sense. Carrying extra, unnecessary weight in long distances trips is not a pleasure at all: taking more time to reach destination, getting tired much quicker, mental demotivation and frustration in certain circumstances.

Shooting, living the adventure

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This moment is my favorite of the whole creative process. Living the moment, feeling rewarded after reaching destination, no matter what it took to getting to it. This is what I like… Setting up the camp, preparing for food, capturing epic sunsets and breathing fresh, unpolluted air. The cold evening wind gently caressing the tent, making a satisfying rustling noise. Suddenly, you forget about your everyday life struggles and responsibilities… Nature has this wild ability to making us feel simply great. Regaining back our roots and feeling part of them. The distinct noise of the camera shutter when pressing on the trigger, uncovering splendid sceneries that tell a story; your story. Photography is not about tricking reality; it is rather about idealizing a moment that you are living and trying to perfectly arrange elements within the image to create magical memories. The job of adventure photographers is to convey emotions to their audience, the same ones as they had when they captured the pictures.

Photo editing

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The adventure is not yet finished: one very important and exciting step is to come. Editing your pictures gives life to them. Matching your pictures with your style. This step is one of the most debated topic amongst photographers and addresses a very interesting nearly philosophical question; is editing your pictures a form of cheating? While many may think that it may distort reality and hide the true conformity principle of photography, it depends how one sees the latter; shall it purely match reality, or shall it be illustrating illustrate it? I am personally considering photography as a form of art. I am profoundly convinced that the way photographers develop their style and differentiate from one another comes from the editing. So many emotions can be triggered through colors, resizing, shadows or even photo composition. Modern technologies let us so many opportunities to create unique and creative pieces of art that it would be a shame to not taking advantage of it.

Share your art to the world, your world

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Now that the pictures are all edited, it is time to reflect in which format you want them to appear; do you want them printed, hung on a wall, in a fotobook or keep them in their digital form for social media posting? For me, it always makes a big difference to see my pictures in real life, on something tangible. It is also where you can observe the true picture quality and scale of your images. And that feeling of proudness when you enter the room where your homemade wall decoration is hanging is priceless. I tend to really build a sort of relationship with them since it reminds me all of the great moments and stories that I spent. And it doesn’t need to be coming from professional cameras neither; modern smartphones are powerful enough nowadays to produce high quality photos. So typically, I would hardly recommend printing your precious family, vacation pictures.

Short Presentation of myself:

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Fabxplore is an adventure photographer deeply inspired by nature. His work encompasses some of the wildest European places that you may observe. What eventually began as a simple joke with his fellow friends quickly turned into a passion, a way of enjoying life. His favorite sentence tells us a lot about how he perceives photography: “Create with the heart, build with passion”. Intrigued by mountains especially, what drives him is the power and scale of nature. Moreover, his minimal approach to photography gives us a hint that he likes simple things. More than ever, he likes to bivouac in the mountains and appreciate moments of silence that the altitude has to offer. For Fabxplore, photography is more than art; it freezes time and reminds you all of the great things that you may have lived behind the camera.

Fabxplore’s work: www.instagram.com/fabxplore

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