Tag Archives: Sally Fitzgibbons

Mark Webber Challenge & The Red Bullettes

Sally about to collect a wave on the head during an Ocean Kayak

Sally about to collect a wave on the head during an Ocean Kayak

I have lived in sheep sheds, tents and on boats, flown halfway around the world to land in desolate and isolated communities and chased athletes through all numbers of gruelling terrain, however a week with pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons & champion Iron-woman Jordan Mercer is going to have to rate as one of the funnest and funniest adventure races I have been involved in.

The 2012 Mark Webber Challenge attracted some of the most experienced and hardcore of adventure athletes in the world… and the Red Bullettes.

Sally and Jordan are both athletes at the top of their game, and were willing step outside of their respective comfort zones to take on a new challenge… The mark Webber Challnge. The girls both contain a never say die attitude and competitive streak – it is a pre-requisite to pushing yourself to the top of your sport.

I was intrigued to see how the two girls would  handle the arduous week of the Mark Webber Challenge and wondered whether the continuous 14 hr days would get the best of them or whether they would battle through. Would their spirit be dampened or would their competitiveness win over emotion and drive them on?

Having now returned from a chaotic week of  snaparazzing the girls through whitewater, beach breaks, forrest, cliffs, extreme heat and freezing temperatures I can truly say that the Red Bullettes spirit was one of the highlights of the challenge.

There is no doubt as to the fitness of the two, however day one did raise the age old debate about the fairer sex and their map-reading skills… seeing the GPS tracking go up and down the same Gorge 3 times (even coming within 100m of the checkpoint) before finally arriving at a transition area had a few people laughing and others frustrated… fortunately the girls laughed it off as ‘teething problems’ and a ‘learning experience’

I am used to predicting where the elite adventure racers of the world might travel and leapfrogging them by whatever means to document such a journey. However this years Mark Webber Challenge held a special Mark Watson Challenge as well… Where the hell would the Red Bullettes go?  The girls ability  to accidentally find checkpoints and change plans on the run had me confounded… but I managed to catch them every now and then for a photo or two and their plan(or lack there-of) seemed to work for them as they feel into the routine of adventure racing.

Truth be told – by the end of the race the Bullettes were planning ahead like seasoned racers, marking maps and intended routes and collecting both compulsory and non compulsory checkpoints scattered throughout the Tasmanian wilderness.

What was evident throughout was their never-say-die attitude though. Both admitted to a few bouts of tears in the wilderness and on occasion just wanting to give up, but they drove each other on. The easiest way of tracking the girls was to venture into the wilderness and then stand still and listen… the sounds of nature would envelop you but stand long enough and you were sure to get a hint of a female voice singing over the breeze… and soon the voices and laughing and singing and jokes would grow stronger. I have never known a team to battle and entire week long race whilst all the while chatting, laughing and joking with one another non-stop and also to whomever happens to pass their way, whether it be a sole farmer, a rival team or even myself… I was often greeted on a bush track with a bit of a skip and jump and ‘Hey Watto… Whooohoo!’… The one identifying character of the Red Bullettes was their constant smile, chatter and lighter.

What a crazy week, a fun week and just one hell of a a laugh in amongst some of the most amazing scenery Oz has to offer.

So here are a few snapz

Chio fo now,

MW

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Red Bull MOBILE Assignment

Sally Fitzgibbons, one of the faces of Red Bull MOBILE.

For those of you who saw my recent post including a photo of Sally Fitzgibbons (one of the best female surfers in the world), I can now tell you it was for the launch of Red Bull MOBILE here in Oz.

Yep! Red Bull will soon be in Oz as a ‘telco service’ offering branded handsets and unlimited access to  videos, pictures and stories on Red Bull’s events and athletes; plus loads of sport and culture content that make up the World of Red Bull.

With Sally only just returning form an incredible win at the Nike US Open of Surfing, Red Bull confirmed Sal will be one of the many ‘faces’ of Red Bull MOBILE and so a last-minute south coast NSW trip was scrambled along with a brand new yet to be released HTC handset (nearly as hard to get your hands on as scheduling Sal for a shoot)

So with a one day window and only a weekend to get the images from concept to final edit… I charged down south with a small crew from Red Bull.

I clearly had in my head a bit of a retro, surf/trip kind of feel to the images, just to shoot something a bit fun and different from past assignments and from experience I knew the feel would really suit Sal and her ‘fun, always livin life’ attitude… However I also needed to keep in mind the marketing directions of my clients and therefore offer up usable images should the surf/trip retro feel not work for their direction – which was very possible considering we are actually talking about cutting edge technology as well.

The challenge was going to be the ability to get a natural and ‘fun’ easy going photo, while incorporating a mobile phone into the frame and somehow embodying the spirit of Red Bull MOBILE.. Additionally none of the new branded Red Bull MOBILE handsets were in Oz yet and so we needed to also portray the style of handset while positioning and composing to allow for the ‘imaginary’ branding to be visible so it could be dropped in post production at a later date.

With such a tight deadline and only one opportunity to get ‘the shot’ I just hoped the gods smiled on us… and they did!

On arriving in Kiama at some stupid hour of the morning (yes, I was working on only 3 hrs sleep due to deadlines for other clients), the ‘big fella upstairs’ offered up an old-school Chevy straight out of the photo-brief. Being last-minute, I had discussed the use of a vehicle (such as combi van or old classic car) as a prop to allow for simple close-up imagery whilst still retaining a surf/retro feel, but we simply hadn’t had enough time to make it happen. So there were smiles all around when Aaron turned up with his tiny new baby daughter to grab a coffee from his local coffee shop (that we happened to be sitting outside) and he was driving an immaculate old Chevy, and he then promptly agreed to drop by on location to allow us to use the  vehicle for one of our photos.

We had the weather, we had a cool vehicle, Sally was home and her usual laughing-self … it all just fell into place.

Well enough waffling; a few hours of  later and I found myself overlooking the harbour, drinking Chardy in the sun alongside Sal, her mum and the Red Bull MOBILE team considering the possibilities that the weather could easily have been awful at that time of year, the vehicle may never have eventuated and Sal may not have returned from the USA in time, BUT instead we just relaxed and congratulated ourselves on one of the smoothest (or luckiest) ‘last minute’ photo shoots possible.

Below is a taste of one original photo to ‘envisaged outcome’ and the steps along the way… (Note: This may not be the end style and use Red Bull choose to use, rather it is more a reflection of the concept I had in my head on considering the brief )

RAW photo + levels balanced

Post-production: Red Bull MOBILE logo inserted subtly onto handset

Slight desaturation & warm/retro ambience added to photo

Post-production: Lens flare added

Digital Frame added for further 'retro' feel

For a bit of a glimpse at the world of Red Bull and Red Bull MOBILE – check out this trailer


Welcome to inciteimages new blogsite thingy!

Hello, Hola, Salut, Ciao, Bula Uro, Konnichi Wa, Ni Hao …

All those marketing and PR savvy people in the world have been constantly ‘at me’ to start a blog and so finally I have ‘caved’ and am hopefully going to be better at this blog thingy than I am a tweetbook and other interweb stuff.

This greeting is actually more of a test to see if I can make this wordpress thingy work, and so I won’t waffle on today, but rather just hope all this stuff appears as it should on my new blog site.

Additionally, when you get bored and want to procrastinate at work… take a sly glimpse at www.inciteimages.com over the coming week as I launch my new full screen ‘livebooks’  website.

And to test the ‘happy snap’ part of this website I will drop in a recent photo of Australia’s hottest female surfer Sally Fitzgibbons (One could argue – both in and out of the water)… this photo was photographed for a new up and coming campaign for one of my clients, however it is all hush/hush at the moment so I cannot say much more for now (PS: Thanks Sal for a fun shoot – as usual it was more a laugh than most shoots)

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)