Chris Noble - Defying Gravity
Outback AW & Pro Trekker AW
Aurora Photos photographer Chris Noble was commissioned by Falcon Guides to shoot their 2011 calendar featuring some of the top professional and amateur female climbers around.
He had just over three months to shoot all twelve climbers in multiple locations throughout the western United States. With winter approaching, the weather and lighting conditions were challenging. We sent photographer Don Mason along to document this demanding project.
Chris has spent his entire career participating in and documenting adventure sports. He knows climbing — and that knowledge was critical to the success of this shoot. While some of the women featured in this calendar are professional climbers, none of them are models. Building a rapport and sense of trust with his subjects had to be done quickly.
The original concept called for posed shots, but it wasn't ringing true. So Chris lobbied for a blend of posed and in-action images so he could better express the essence of climbing — and the accomplishments of these amazing women.
Fighting the clock against cold weather and shorter days, waiting for optimal light was out of the question. Chris developed a style and look that he could carry through in all the different locations and lighting variations. His goal was to put the viewer into the frame to maximize the feeling that they were actually there. In most previous assignments, the landscape was the hero and the human component was just a complement to the shot. In this case, he needed to showcase how strong and beautiful the climbers were and keep the landscape in the background.
Chris used both his Pro Trekker 400 AW and his Outback 300 AW on this project. The Pro Trekker let him get everything he needed to and from locations, while the Outback 300 AW gave him the flexibility and freedom of movement he needed while actually shooting.
"It would be impossible to get these shots without Lowepro products. From traveling on the plane to getting my gear up on the wall, the variety of packs and solutions really works. I couldn't have done it without them"
Read Full Biography
CHRIS NOBLE is a photographer, writer, lecturer, and social activist whose work seeks to re-connect people and nature, and aid the transition to a more sustainable world. He is a veteran of over thirty expeditions to the most remote corners of the globe, including Everest, McKinley, Pumori, Ama Dablam, the jungles of Borneo, the Arctic, and remote regions of Bhutan and Burma.