Ok so I am still in Switzerland and I have this friend I used to train with who has super neat techniques… But I just couldn´t think of a location to put him in. While talking to a Judoka about a possible shoot with one of the Guys from the Swiss National Team, he mentioned that it would look cool to shoot in the snow. But that connection did not happen and I thought why not use the snow idea with Karate. That was end of September – and usually there is no snow until November or December unless you go quite high up and that wasn`t the best idea with my still battered lung… But during a hike in Appenzell I came across this “hilltop” on 1600m that was surrounded by high mountains and had an amazing panoramic view… it seemed just the right spot to do the shoot. We set a date mid October and once more the weather gods were with me: when we got up there the hill was perfectly covered in snow. I was literally doing a happy dance when we got out of the cable car and everything was white.
Shooting in the snow is not easy as you have to make sure not to overexpose and loose detail. I had been hoping for a more dramatic sky but in the end I got this great grey background to contrast with the white of the snow and the Gi. Glenn was a trooper – obviously I wanted him barefoot on the jumps and kicks as Karate and any sort of shoes just doesn`t cut it. He was standing on a towel for most techniques but as we did the series of Yoko Tobi Geri (the jumped sidekick) he was literally running around barefoot in the snow. And he did quite a lot of those kicks. I was amazed that he still managed to control his foot position despite the cold. We went to warm up with some Tea & Schnapps after the shoot!
I used my 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM Canon Zoom lens on a focal length of 200mm to get a nice and compact shot. And of course the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger Kit for lighting. The light kept changing and I kept having to run back and forth from the battery pack to my camera but apart from that, the shoot went very smoothly and we had a lot of fun. One day later, the snow had melted…. As I said before, I don´t believe in coincidence.