Interview with photographer Ben Read

WhiteRoad caught up with talented photographer Ben Read who has worked with some of favourite brands such as The North Face, Salomon, Ellesse and Patagonia. Read the full interview here.

What is it specifically that attracted you to shooting outdoor adventure imagery?

The main attraction has always been, and always will be, to get out into the mountains. Combining photography with outdoor adventure just seemed a natural progression for me as I realised I was fortunate enough to live in incredible locations and have friends that were always up for an adventure!

Even though the camera has become more of a tool for work in the past couple of years, I still haven’t lost the love for escaping into the mountains and will keep trying to push the boundaries until I can’t run, ski, or climb anymore!

What would be your top tips for capturing movement and making it seem to elegant?

Great question! I think understanding the sport and athletes you are shooting plays a massive roll in capturing a movement or moment with elegance. For me authenticity is everything, I believe it’s the reason I get hired so I am only really accepting the shoots where I feel it’s an activity I either do myself or understand the intricacies that are associated with it. But if in doubt, continuous mode on the camera helps!! Joke!

Was your portrait of the ski tourer and his feathered friend planned or just a stroke of luck?

That photo is the result of a bit of planning and a bit of luck actually! We’d reached the top of the colouir we wanted to descend on Mt Blanc and I was wanting a really clean, wide shot of Tim just taking in the view, so naturally I just asked him to go stand on the edge, but as soon as I framed the image, a Choucas circled Tim before flying off.

The cool thing is, Tim is actually wing suit base jumper so there’s a little added depth to this one I guess.

How do you choose your subjects?

To be honest a lot of the time they find me and shoots and adventures will just arise from a text or throwing around stupid ideas over a beer. The best adventures always start in the pub!

For my personal work I tend to look for interesting stories that I feel should be told. And from that initial idea I will research into where I need to go and who I need to meet and photograph.

If you could shoot any scenario anywhere in the world what and where would you choose?

Tough question! I have so many personal goals with photography but the one that doesn’t ever go away is to document a polar crossing. I have always been fascinated by the heroic stories of Shackleton and Scott, so to visit those extreme locations would be incredible.

Where do you feel most at home?

Hard to avoid a cheesy answer with this one, but I will say the place where I am having the most fun, and the place where I feel most connected to the landscape and the people who live there.

So far I have been fortunate enough to live in two places that have unselfishly given me so much; Alagna in the Italian Alps, and Wanaka, New Zealand.

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