“It’s not the right angle that attracts me, nor the hard inflexible straight line, created by man. What attracts me are free and sensual curves. The curves in my country’s mountains, in the sinuous flow of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman…” – Oscar Niemeyer
That’s the quote that inspired action sports photographer Reuben Krabbe’s winning photo slideshow, “Kinetic,” in the 2014 Hot Lapse Photo Competition.
Now in its third year, this Revelstoke, British Columbia-based photo competition gives six photographers (and their team of athletes and crew) 72 hours to shoot, edit, and present a slideshow showcasing winter in Revelstoke in all its glory.
Whistler-based Reuben Krabbe was awarded both first place and the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Hot Lapse competition. Of course, he’s no stranger to the world of action sports photography competitions—he won the Deep Summer Photography Competition (2012) and earned Best Image in the Deep Winter Photography Competition (2012), plus a second place finish in the same contest in 2013.
We asked Reuben to fill us in on his Hot Lapse experience. Here’s what he had to say.
The Clymb: Congratulations on your big win! Was this your first photo competition outside of Whistler? What was it like competing in foreign territory?
Reuben Krabbe: Three years ago, I competed in a photography competition in Banff. However, at that time I was living in Calgary, so it was familiar territory.
I’ve skied in Revelstoke before, so I’m familiar with the area—it’s simply not my day-to-day playground. Foreign territory makes it more difficult, however I had some great local athletes, Sean Cochrane and Gord Spurgeon, who pointed me in the right direction while shooting.
The Clymb: How long has the idea for this show been brewing in your head?
Reuben Krabbe: I’m always working on concepts, so it’s hard to say how long I’ve had the concept in my head. I had thought of similar themes before, but only found the quote for this show a couple months back.
The Clymb: How were conditions during the 72 hours of shooting? Were there any unexpected challenges?
Reuben Krabbe: Conditions were great! Storm skiing and shooting makes my job easier. Sometimes the light wasn’t great, but I’d rather have snow than light.
The most difficult part was finding out I had mis-scheduled the shoot, and that we were supposed to begin 24 hours earlier than I originally planned. A very big issue, but the athletes made it work.
The Clymb: Tell me about your team of athletes. Did you import them along from Whistler?
Reuben Krabbe: Stan Rey and James McSkimming are two great friends from Whistler who I’ve worked with before many times. It’s great to have friends and dependable athletes who all understand each other.
Meredith Eades is an incredible gal who skis off anything the other athletes were hitting. She competes on the North American Comp Circuit and is from Vancouver.
Sean Cochrane is from Revy and I’ve worked with him before. Gord Spurgeon is also from Revy and came by recommendation of another friend. It was an interesting mix of different athletes who I did and didn’t know. We only had four people on any given day, but even that was too many people.
The Clymb: How did this competition differ from ones you have done in the past?
Reuben Krabbe: The biggest differences between this competition and previous ones were the fact that it was actually snowing and the skiing was amazing, but also the foreign territory issue. It changes your process, and you depend on others’ decisions to make it work.
The Clymb: Let’s talk about your fellow competitors. Did any of the other shows stand out for you? Was there an intimidation factor going up against Zoya Lynch, who is fresh off a win from Deep Winter Photo Challenge based in your home, Whistler?
Reuben Krabbe: I knew very little about the other photographers; I knew most of their names but didn’t really know their work.
Zoya’s slideshow from Deep Winter this year was great. In her Hot Lapse show, she had athletes that I asked to shoot with me, and she also had the home court advantage, so her slideshow was the one I was most excited to watch at night.
However, for me these competitions aren’t about winning. Yes, it’s an objective, yes it motivates you, however I’m more interested in trying to share great stories and celebrate ski culture.
The Clymb: I’ve often heard that you learn something new every time you compete in an event like this. If that’s true for you, what did you take away from the experience?
Reuben Krabbe: Tough to say.
I don’t think there were specific lessons I pulled out of this one, other than double-check the dates before booking trips!
I did, however gain an appreciation for Revelstoke. There is an incredible volume and diversity of terrain, even within familiar areas we still uncovered gems I wouldn’t have expected.
On our last shooting day we were skiing through pillows in old growth trees that were six feet in diameter. Where else do you get to do that? It was incredible!
The Clymb: What’s next for Reuben Krabbe?
Reuben Krabbe: I have a couple plans and tentative trips, however nothing is booked solid. I’m hoping to spend some time in a tent on a glacier skiing big alpine objectives this spring, but otherwise, keep shooting, skiing, and playing in snow.