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TECH TIP: Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Exploring the Creative Process: Capturing the Unexpected

Years ago, I took a semester off from college, packed up 100 bricks of film and all of my climbing gear into my Honda Civic, and hit the road with the goal of making rock climbing pictures around the American West. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made, for many reasons. I captured some of my most favorite signature images, pushed my skills and creativity and most important, I met a community of climbers who became lifelong friends.

The classic climbing picture of a small climber amid a big landscape, or the top-down wide shot that shows the climber moving upward with the ground blurred in the background, are the go-to scenarios in this genre of climbing photography. I spent a lot of time taking photos that fir these molds. But what I soon realized is that it’s equally important to find ways to turn these ordinary situations and make unexpected moments.

One day, I was out at the cliff with my good buddy Justin Bastien and instead of just shooting a normal climbing scenario, we decided to make a clipping picture. In other words, we decided to try to see if it was possible to turn an ordinary situation into an unexpected, surprising picture.

Capturing unexpected moments – pictures that make us see the ordinary in a new way – really is our jobs as photographers. In my latest Tech Tip for Adorama TV, I talk about the creative process of capturing this clipping picture of Justin Bastien. After steering clear of the cliched composition, it’s all about photography fundamentals: composition, lighting, moment. Push your gear to the max, and let your creativity soar. The goal is to come away with a photograph that captures a normal situation in a way we’ve never seen before.

You can read more about this picture in my Story Behind the Image here.

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