Elevation Outdoors has the pleasure of having their instagram account taken over this week Monday-Friday by the talented Bjorn Bauer. Here’s a little insight into Bjorn’s process. Check out his work on our instagram account (@elevationout) this week.
Bjorn Bauer is an adventure photographer born and raised in the Vail area. After four years of being
locked in an architecture studio at CU Boulder, he decided to spend life playing outside with his
friends. He can nearly always be found in the mountains or deserts, pursuing climbing, skiing, and
kayaking. Seeing what his friends are doing and meeting new people who push their bodies and
minds is the main source of his inspiration, and being able to make a ridiculous idea a reality,
his drive. His next big trip is a few weeks of filming alpine climbing in the Bugaboos of British
Columbia to continue our Type 2 Film project. You can find me on social media and
EO: What is the longest you’ve had to wait for the perfect shot?
BB: As an adventure photographer, most of the time I am shooting on the move climbing, skiing or
hiking. Very seldom do I get the chance to set up a shot and wait, but I do put in a lot of time
and effort to reach a location at a certain time during specific weather. On one mission we were
awake in Boulder at 2 a.m., drove to Rocky Mountain National Park, and started climbing
around 5 a.m. We made it back to Boulder fourteen hours later. I wouldn’t consider the photos
I got that day perfect, but this is typical of the amount of effort that goes into all of my shots.
A gopro shot of another shot in the making 5 pitches up Hallett Peak
EO: Your craziest failed attempt to get the perfect shot?
BB: We were shooting kayaking for Type 2 Film in June at a deep, gullied-in creek near Marble.
We’d rallied after the homies got off work and drove two hours before rappelling in and lowering
the boats. I then had to ascend back up and rappel back in a few hundred feet downstream to
get the action. The rap was over 200 ft and I unclipped from the rope on a shale bank above a
burly slide the kayakers were about to run. The angle was perfect, but as I started to shoot the
first boater my lens got covered in mist and the shots came out horrible. I scrambled further
across the shale hillside to get dry and line up for the second boater. I now had a clean, dry
lens, but as the kayak slid over the lip, the ground underneath me began to move, taking me for
a terrifying ride that would end in some messed up class V rapids. I had to let go of my camera
and dig my hands into the unstable hillside around me to stop the fall, and missed two attempts
at a banger shot.
Ben Hymes braces on Oriental Massage, the next slide after my failed shots.
EO: Most expensive shot?
BB: The expenses I associate with a particular shot are in camera & technical gear, travel costs,
amount of time getting the shot, and time editing. Aside from travel to Asia or South America, I
would say my most expensive shot was this spring in the Chicago Basin of the San Jaun Mountains. I am a telemarker and chose to rent Dynafit skis, bindings, and skins for weight and stability climbing &
skiing 14ers. Even with a discount, this one was pricy. Then there was gas from vail to Durango
and the train fare for me and my friend/athlete I was paying for. Tack on food costs and healthy
supply of whiskey for three days and things add up. For a big production company this would be
nothing, but for a little solo photog like myself it got expensive. When all was said and done, the
mission over, and all the editing finished, it was well worth the adventure.
EO: Earliest wake up call for the perfect shot?
BB: 11:00pm. I’ve stayed up through the night or woken up in the wee hours of the morning for
missions, but never have I napped for a few hours just to get up before midnight and start
hiking. In May we were attempting to photograph Austin Porzak & Michael Steinman’s last 14er
ski descent on Capitol Peak and needed to beat early afternoon wet slides on our exit. We
made it to K2 (the high point before the summit) just as the sun was rising for this photo. The
team had to bail soon after due to unstable snow, but they made it back a few days later without
me to complete their descents. Determined dudes!
Dr. Jon Kedrowski laying turns on the return from out Capitol Peak bail
EO: Most surprising successful shot?
BB: Last week I was at the Utah Olympic Park with the US Aerials Team helping with a video project.
The first morning was a sunrise shoot and I started out by blasting a few shots of jumpers with
the sun behind them. After reviewing a few frames I abandoned the angle, seeing the subjects
as too small with too much light washing out the silhouettes. Maybe it was my sun-blasted eyes
or the excessive lack of sleep, but I wish I had taken more. This one turned out sick!
Be sure to follow Bjorn’s takeover on Instagram this week.