When you think about it a weekend away bouldering in the Grampians sounds like a perfect excuse to put The Circuit on the back burner for a couple of days, chill and get lots of climbing in. Of course anyone that knows me will be able to tell you that wouldn’t be the case. And this weekend at least they were right.
After meeting a good friend on Friday evening the plan was to head out and meet the American climbers where they were staying to introduce myself and talk about The Circuit before climbing with my friend for the weekend as she had never been to the Grampians and I was excited to show her the amazing rock and let her experience the incredible bouldering for herself.
Dodgy weather put pay to that plan and before I knew it we were hiking into the Kindergarten, an area sheltered from the rain but almost devoid of moderates… While this somewhat limited the climbing opportunities of both my friend Nina and myself it gave me the opportunity to start shooting the visiting climbers straight away, and with Daniel Woods trying the desperate V12 Giada photo opportunities abounded. One thing I love about shooting great climbers is that athleticism on display when they climb and Daniel fits the bill here perfectly. The play of light and shadow against a climbers body as they move through the amazing curls and swoops of the Grampians sandstone is a photographers (or indeed an anatomists) dream.
Of course it wasn’t just Daniel who was out being photogenic. When you get a big crew of super fit, talented boulderers in action there are times when two cameras and four arms would be quite beneficial. Wherever I looked it seemed there was a photo waiting to be taken and by Sunday afternoon I almost had to be dragged from the crag as the Sun finally broke through and the rock turned that amazing red gold that it is renowned for.
I had the pleasure of discussing The Circuit at length with the Team America crew and it was great that from the get go they understood where I was coming from with my vision for The Circuit and sounded happy to get on board. Now with photos rolling in I need to work on the direction of the interviews and ensure that I’m asking the right questions. Pertinent questions that will bring out the stories and personalities of these world class climbers.
One boulderer whose story fascinated me this weekend is the young American Nina Williams. Her climbing gracefully blends technique and power and is taking her to greater and greater achievements. As she progresses in the sport she is caught at a crossroads in life weighing up priorities and ambitions. There is definitely a story fit for the telling there.
Aside from my trip to the Grampians I received a very positive email from Nina Gallo, the talented Sydney writer I had engaged as a sounding board early in the project. Having worked with Nina previously I know that she has a great grasp of not only the English language but also how to compose and structure interviews and articles. Nina recently listened to and transcribed both my interviews with Chris Webb Parsons and the Slovenian duo of Klemen Becan and Jernej Kruder and came back to me with a raft of questions and recommendations. These are food for thought and it’s great to get such positive input into the creative process. Indeed, it grows and evolves The Circuit before it even goes to press.
In conclusion, thanks so much to the team for working with me on this. Nina for the input and the work she’s put into transcribing. Dan for the awesome looking website we hope to have live before long and Natalie… Well Natalie’s living her own dream shooting a movie and getting ready to compete in the lead World Cups at the moment but her time will come conducting interviews for me in August! Also thank you to all those that have contacted me through email@example.com to offer support and assistance, it’s great to see my vision as a shared passion.