After much anticipation and planning i finally had the opportunity to do some proper climbing photography. By proper i mean swinging from a rope above the action rather than getting the usual shots of bums and armpits. It was certainly a steep learning curve! We headed to The Cuttings on Portland. A great sport climbing venue made even better by climbing in t-shirts in January!
Probably the main thing that struck me was the need for being 100% confident in the rope work. To get some good pictures you need to be able to totally focus on the task of taking pictures and don't want to be worrying about how you are secured when swing in the breeze. I think i'll invest in a Petzl Gri Gri used combined with a jumar.
Keeping the camera kit simple also seemed to help. i used my 24-105 which gave a good range meaning i didn't have to move around to much as the climber was approaching. i did also take up my 70-300 and have never gripped it so hard doing a lens change!
I used a small shoulder bag which was fine for carrying the camera and spare lens.
Photographing from this angle, it was difficult getting shots with the climbers looking up, i think this is important to convey the focus and concentration on the route. It would maybe have been better to ab down the route a bit and cross over to face the climber.
All good fun though, looking forward to the next outing. Results below.