Cover Shots!

I can’t help it.  I love this picture.  I just do.  Argue if you may, but I love this picture.  It’s got such great color, both rock and climber.  The stone looks exotic, like fire, there’s captivating movement, pleasant contrast, and anticipation for what’s next,  it just pulled me right in.  I bought the issue on the spot, (when all I really wanted was chalk) and paid full price for it too.  I’m such a sucker for visual stimulation.  This pic makes me want to be there, in India, feeling those holds, that move, that’s the moment, that’s the dream.  It’s these pictures that make us want to be a better photographers, (and better climbers).

Which brings me to the next image – I’m not sure if anyone here noticed, (ah, hem) but my keen photography skills landed one of my finest pics on the COVER of GRIPPED magazine lately.  I only mention this now because A)  I just got paid for it and spent the whole lot at the local health food store,  and B), because the new gripped just came out which totally crushed my ego because it reminded me why Paul Bride is, well…Paul Bride.  He’s a wizard behind the lens.

Below, Vikki Weldon, a friend, a hero, a beautiful girl, on a beautiful boulder, in a beautiful place, squeezing some itsy bitsy grips.  I was pretty much dead set on the fact that this was the second best cover shot ever taken! 😉 Ever.

But then I saw the latest issue,  Ah ha, and it made me rethink my stance.  Nothing against Vikki and her incredible climbing prowess, but in terms of TECHNICAL photography skills,  this may be the best cover shot our Canadian Magazine has ever produced.  A gnarly roof crack, a sweet rack, an expression of discomfort and effort, great depth of field, great composition, crystal clear,  not too shabby Paul!

But since we’re talking about LEGENDARY cover shots, I’d like to throw my vote in the hat for this last one, as the all time BEST over shot ever taken anywhere.  EVER.  The late Wolfgang Gullich, soloing with style on Separate Reality 5.11d/12a.  It was this picture that made me want to start soloing in the first place.  And although I’ve never taken it to the places that Peter Croft or Alex Honnold have (for those who don’t know, he just soloed FREEWAY,  a dream come true for many Squamish locals), still I enjoy my own personal levels of exposure, and adventure.  Thanks WG. RIP.

  • jgh

    ” It’s these pictures that make us want to be a better photographers, (and better climbers).”

    Makes me glad I have better footwork than that

  • This truly is one of the most amazing climbing-pics I´ve ever seen… It makes my heart pound faster and my palms become sweaty every time I see it… You can literaly feel the depth and the fine line between life and death. Thanks for sharing – in memory of one of the poets of our passion!

    Greetings from Saxony, Germany

  • I just looked at that picture of wolfie and let out an audible aaaaaaaah! Super motivational!

  • Ryan

    Nice post, but your photo is of the other Weldon sister…

  • todd

    haha, vikki not stacey.

  • Sonnie

    haha, thanks guys – sorry ladies – I swear I’m never drinking alcohol again!

  • The real question is where can I get those shorts (skirt? loincloth?)

  • Vikki

    No worries Sonnie. We’re basically the same person 😉

  • Dude

    so who shot the R&I cover?? nice pic, though it doesn’t take me to any new heights, i must admit.

  • jason

    That Gullich photo is freakin’ gnarly. So much for needing fancy performance shoes to slay the higher grades. Booties and tube socks!

    You mentioned that you went shopping at the health food store, I assume for supplements and/or vitamins? If so, what do you use, especially for recovery?

  • Pat

    Hey Sonnie, isn’t that a Heinz Zak pic of WG?

  • Scott

    Sonnie I have both those 2 issues and when I saw the top shot I thought it looked photoshopped to death..plasticy and fake. But your shot! Great! I liked it a lot then flipped to see the credit and was surprised to see it was yours not one of the “main” photogs that shoot full time. Mad skills there mate.