My idea for this shot was to shoot with small flashes and freeze each water droplet as they were flying thru the air in daylight against the sun.
© Marcel Lammerhirt
On the 13th of October 2009, we went to Hossgegor France (famous surf spot) at a small lake. For the shot, we brought a lot of water bottles because the water quality of the lake was really bad and smelt a bit.
I set up a really easy light setup. Just one lightstand with a Metz 64 CT4 (manual and one head) connected to the FlexTT5 in the water, 9 feet from the model. Two assistants threw water from the left and right sideways to the model.
My camera settings were ISO 200 F 6,3 shutterspeed 1/4000 s.
It took some tries to get this nice shot.
Usually you´ll never get the sun looking like a star using sync flashes with Iso 200 and f 6,3 with a small depth of focus.
The funny thing as we got the shot, all bottles were empty already after 10 minutes. Thanks Margot Boussard and Jessica Beaudoin...
Interview with Marcel Lammerhirt:
PW: How did you get into photography?
ML: The mountains – snow – some friends - some pictures and an idea.
Some years ago I took a job in the mountains (Arlberg/Austria) to combine business (earning money as a nightporter) with pleasure (snowboarding). And in these times I started to shoot snowboard action with friends. What could be more stunning to work in nature with some good buddies and have a good time in the snow. Why couldn’t this be my everyday job? I advanced the idea to make my hobby of photography to a serious job. But it’s not enough to have some good shots of unknown people - you need the right ones in business that you can sell these shots on the market. Otherwise nobody is interested.
Well, I needed connections to the proriders but how to come in contact without knocking on each door? I’ve got an idea: I rent an old nice traditional austrian house in the Arlberg region with enough space for many people and invited some "big names“ of the snowboard business to come over for shootings. That mail disseminated all around the world so that in the winter, many well known riders visited me and stayed for some days. I got my shots of the pros and they had the connections to the companies which was very useful for me. I started to send the first pictures to Snowboard Magazines in december 2004.
In the summer of 2005 - when I was feeling my idea with the business could work - I invested in basic equipment like two camera bodies, lenses, Profoto Flashes, PocketWizard MultiMAX, a notebook and a VW T4 Van..... now i was ready to shoot.
PW: How long have you been shooting professionally?
ML: Since 2005, I've been shooting professional specialized action sport photography. In 2008, I became an official Red Bull Photofiles Photographer and in June 2010 I became a member of the SanDisk Extreme Team.
PW: Who inspires you?
ML: Many photographers from different kind of photography inspires me. I pick up some ideas and put it in my work. In the end I created my own style which is still growing. I love to work with flashes, thats for sure.
PW: What do you enjoy shooting the most?
ML: My main work is generally divided into 3 categories:
• event photography (for example; Red Bull events, Burton European Open)
• Catalogue, lifestyle
• Action sport photography
The 3rd category - action sports - I really enjoy most when I can organize the shooting by myself and bring my own input and ideas into the picture. I love to shoot with motivated athletes. Catching the moment and show the spirit of the sport.
PW: Where do you enjoy shooting?
ML: I prefer to shoot in nature either on the mountain or at the beach - all around the world. That’s the nice part of my job.
PW: Tell us about your best day of shooting?
ML: It is hard to say what was the best shooting day but I had some favorite days. I tell you 2...
Red Bull Germany did an exhibition at Hamburg with Orlando Duque - the nine dive world champion in cliff dive. We had 4 locations in 4 days so we had some time to prepare remote cameras and flashes all around. The first day we went to the Speicherstadt. Old houses with dikes for the ships. They dug out a hole in the dike to give the divers the 4 meter of water they needed to dive safe. The diver would jump 3 times each so I needed to get as many shots as possible. I mounted a remote camera above the jump platform and connected a couple of flashes via PocketWizard to the camera. My position was opposite of the house. All was fine...I triggered the remote camera for some tests and saw the flashes...“all works“. The first diver was on the platform. I tested again...no flash...holy sh....I shouted in the radio Stop the session. I run 4 levels down over the bridge and 4 levels up to get to my remote. The battery was flat. I quickly changed the battery, brought the remote in position and run back to my position where I shot the sequences. It sounds like a terrible session but it was a lot of fun specially when I see the final shots.
In May 2008, Burton Snowboards invited me for an exclusive shooting at Avoriaz (France) for one week. First spot was a huge kicker made just for the team. We went up 4 o’clock in the morning with sleds up to the spot on 2000 meter.
I hiked to my spot that was 300 meter above the kicker. I had a breathtaking view to the french alps. I heard nothing except the light wind. The sun went slowly up and painted the mountain peaks in red.
we did the session until 8 am and finished it with a untouched powder run down to the valley. The first skiers and snowboarders were waiting at the lift. It began to get noisy and busy. I just thought with a big smile, „what a nice morning session“.
PW: Magazines your images have appeared in?
ML: Here are many of them -
Fit for Fun/D Portfolio, making of...
Foto Magazin/D Tes tstories
Free Magazine/CZ Galleries
Hebe/ESP Cover, Galleries
Japan Snowboarder Galleries
Japan Transworld Galleries, Stories
MBM/D Galleries, Stories, Portfolio
Manual/AUS Galleries, Stories
NZ Snowboarder Galleries
Rausch/D Cover, Galleries
Red Bulletin/AUT Galleries
7 Sky/CH Galleries
Snow Planet/ESP Galleries
Surfer Rules/ESP Galleries
US Snowboarder Galleries
US Transworld Cover, Galleries
Whitelines/UK Covers, Galleries
I also shot adverts, calendars and sport catalogues for clients like Adidas, blue tomato, and so on.