I am mostly after the soft light and tend to stick to early morning / late afternoon sunlight. This helps to calm the harsh and busy rock face, which helps separate the climber amidst the sea of rock. Skin tones take so well to soft light – they seem to almost glow in contrast.
I am lucky to have found some of the best local climbing spots. Here, I can shoot throughout most of the day, as light bounces off water and rock, and direct sunlight does not stay for very long.
With a bit of luck (and hanging in the right spot at the right time) you can get the perfect two-stop difference between your climber and the background – “studio” lighting done naturally! On occasion and depending on the environment, I do bring in artificial lights to separate the climber from the background.
Wesley Black opening a traditional climb in the Cederberg. © Michelle van Aswegen