Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Scott Markewitz: Go Large Or Go Home!
Scott Markewitz is one of the top outdoor sports photographers in the world. He takes a studio photographer’s approach to shaping light and applies it to action sports.
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
It's not everyone who can mount successful back-to-back careers in separate, highly technical, highly competitive industries, but that's exactly what Scott Markewitz has done. His first career was professional snowskier, but these days he photographs skiers—as well as runners, bikers and just about anyone else involved in action sports and outdoor life.
You really have to connect with the right people," says Markewitz. "You have to shoot the right athletes, you've got to know the people in the industry.
"Funky fashion" taken for a personal project in the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.
That was 25 years ago. Industry connections from his pro skiing career meant Markewitz was able to show his work to those who could use it, and since his prowess was obvious even at that early stage, he was hired for catalog and advertising assignments. His work evolved from there.
From the beginning, he incorporated a studio photographer's meticulous use of light as a shaping, texturizing, storytelling tool in his sports photographs. It helped set him apart from the competition then and even more now in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Pro mountain biker Paul Basagoitia launches into the air in this image of athleticism. Markewitz relies the most on his lighting, but will use basic postprocessing and HDR as needed.
But now here you are, and the weather is terrible and conditions aren't perfect, and all these factors aren't really working in your favor. Now what are you going to do? It's one thing to make some nice photos, and it's another to be able to produce on the spot every time. These companies know who's gonna come back with good stuff.
"I think that's been one reason I've been able to keep going all these years," Markewitz continues. "People hire me and I always come back with good results. I've gone out with some of my clients on shoots, and it's really foggy or ugly, and they look at me, like, 'What are we going to do? Is this okay?' And then we come back with something, and they're really surprised. Once you understand how I work with certain situations, there's usually a way to come up with something pretty productive."
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