“WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SHOOT ACTION WITH A MEDIUM-FORMAT CAMERA?” by Guest Photographer Christopher Wilson I was recently commissioned by Strawberry Frog/New York to photograph fast action shots of sand boarders, sand bikers and Arabian horses in the Rub ‘al Khali Desert outside of Abu Dhabi. Somewhere during preproduction, I made the somewhat dubious decision to use my Phase One IQ3 Trichromatic for the shoot. I knew it would be fraught with challenges, given the speed of the action I needed to capture and the glacial shutter speeds of my Phase System – not even 2 fps, roughly the speed of molasses especially when you compare it to my Canons which shoot at a blistering 14fps. ©Christopher Wilson But I wanted to give it a go, as I’d been using my Phase as my go-to-camera for a while at that point, having been completely enthralled by its image quality. Perhaps more quixotic than smart, I would aim (literally) for quality over quantity, and take the sniper approach towards shooting over the machine gun approach – that is, be patient, be deliberate, and be considered with my capturing. And miracles of miracles, somehow it all worked out. Not only did Strawberry Frog love the imagery, but National Geographic ended up picking up some of the work as well. ©Christopher Wilson Yes, I had to repeat the actions many times to get the hero frames – much to the dismay of our poor sand boarder, Gleb Osipov, in particular. Anybody who knows anything about sandboarding knows it’s nothing like snowboarding. You can’t turn on the sand. You can’t stop on sand. You can’t do anything on sand except go straight down and crash. And man does it hurt when you crash, as, unlike snow, sand is basically cement only a tad softer. So you can imagine how Gleb must have felt after a day of hurling himself off of these giant sand dunes. I swear I heard bones breaking a few times. But Gleb just bounced up after every wipeout, dusted himself off, climbed up the dune and did it all again. And again. And again. He was a real trooper. Insane, but a trooper nonetheless. ©Christopher Wilson ©Christopher Wilson Would Like You To Be a Guest Blogger? Christopher Wilson is a client of our National Accounts Manager, Chris Snipes. If you are a client and you would like to be a guest photographer, please reach out to your Capture Integration account manager for more information.