Celin Serbo - Extremely Outdoor
Photographer Q & A
Your photographic style is so real, yet has a surreal quality to it. Describe your visual style?
I guess the best way to describe the style I am trying to create is to call it 'polished reality'. I strive to capture authentic moments in outdoor settings and add some level of production value to it. I usually have an idea of the images I want to make and then go into the field trying to make that happen. I'm not always successful, but I enjoy that creative process.
You are definitely an 'active' outdoor photographer. How do your climbing, biking and skiing skills aid in your shoots?
I think it's important to have a level of understanding for the activities you are shooting. It helps in anticipating where dynamic moments may occur and in building a connection with the athletes.
You often combine video with your still shoot. How do you shoot in both mediums and convey the same theme for commercial clients?
Good question. This has been a steep learning curve for me in the last two years and it's definitely a challenge. Establishing clear objectives in pre-production meetings is key as well as having the location well scouted. Once the stills shot list is defined, I tend to build the video component around that through a storyboard. The biggest challenge tends to be conveying a consistent visual theme while switching equipment between stills and motion. It is, and continues to be, a learning process.
Do you have a dream place to shoot in North America? How about a location on another continent?
I've always been drawn to desert environments so I'd love to shoot anywhere in Baja, Mexico. As for another continent, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (the world's largest salt flat) would be amazing.
How do you organize and protect your gear in challenging environments?
The Lowepro packs and bags take care of a lot of those issues. On assignments, I tend to have one pack designated for my camera gear, another pack for lighting gear, and another for video gear. The weather protection and durability of the Lowepro gear has handled anything I have thrown at it. For extended trips, I will put the Lowepro gear in Pelican cases for additional protection.
Is there a surprising item in your camera bag right now?
I don't know if I would say surprising, but I always carry a couple plastic trash bags and a headlamp. The trash bags are great for condensation issues and quick weather protection for gear. The headlamp is obvious.
You work on a personal project each year. What's the next one?
That's a good question. I have nothing planned right now but I need to get on it soon. I'll keep you posted.
See Celin's recent work on his web site. Check out an exciting photo essay on a perilous granite wall climb surrounding Devils Bay in Newfoundland at Outside Online. And view more imagery at Aurora Photos and his cool video review of the Rover Pro 45L AW.
Celin's Lowepro gear includes:
A manual, medium-format film camera was the first tool. The colorful and unique landscapes of Northern Arizona were the inspiration. Outdoor adventure photographer and filmmaker Celin Serbo turned a hobby into a profession after several years of shooting the natural world as he traveled and worked as a mountain guide. Now his visually stunning work is featured in publications such as: Outside Magazine, National Geo Adventure, Backpacker Magazine and ESPN Magazine. His commercial clients include: Nikon, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer/First Ascent, New Balance, Casio and many more.
Celin is based in Boulder, Colorado and is a founding board member of the American Photographic Artists/Colorado chapter. His stock imagery is represented by Aurora Photos and Tandem Motion + Stills. Oh, and he ice climbs, rock climbs, mountain bikes and skis, too!