Last month The Castle hosted this years’ selection event for the GB bouldering team. I was involved with the filming of the 2013 Best of British event at The Biscuit Factory and really enjoyed the day, so I knew I wanted to be involved again this year. It’s always inspiring to watch climbers at the top of their game making short work of some seemingly impossible blocs! As a bit of a change from last year however, this time round I was on stills duty instead of video. I’ve been doing quite a lot of video work for The Castle over the last few months which I really enjoy, but it was really refreshing to be covering a comp in a slightly different way this time round.
The whole thing was on a slightly smaller scale than last year (crowd wise), and took place in The Loft. The comp was split into two rounds with four problems for the men and four for the women per round with a five minute on/five minute off format. Being up in The Loft was great for me as there’s plenty of sky lights windows up there to provide plenty of ambient light. The shape of the wall(s) itself meant that I could spend most of time up on top shooting down at the climbers which makes for much more interesting photos and shooting with the 70-200mm (predominantly) meant I could get up close and capture some of the amazing expressions. I was really pleased with the shots I got from the event and it was totally worth, once again, getting totally covered in dust and chalk (at least I remember to not wear all black this time).
As well as shooting the comp, Gaz asked me if I could do portraits of the team members for the GB climbing team website which I was more than happy to do! We managed to arrange things so I could shoot the photos (shown above) during the break between the two rounds. I wanted to keep them simple and consistent, just nicely lit portraits on white, so I set up a mini studio in one of the training rooms at The Castle and managed to get them all done in under an hour (thanks to Dave Mason for the help rounding everyone up and for the team themselves for being so easy going about the whole thing, especially while they were trying to focus on their climbing!).
The team put on a great show and I’m looking forward to the watching them on the next round of World Cup events. Unfortunately, there has been some financial issues with team recently, so if you’d like to donate to help the team pay for their travels, there’s a Crowdfunder campaign up and running now and all pledges are very gratefully received.
Here’s a selection of photos from the event!