AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo Series by CHRISTINE BAILEY
"The journey began for me as an athlete...a rags to riches story you could say, except in my case, a rags to ragged since my thing is climbing. But I'm good at it...it's said I did some important stuff, I've gotten to see the world, experience stardom and meet a bunch of life-long friends along the way. It was meant to be. Eventually though I wasn't at the top of the pack and in need of a real job. So I picked up my camera and applied everything I'd already learned, and then a whole lot more to making pictures. My work got noticed and I jumped on the opportunity to build a portfolio and a client list that I'm extremely proud of."
Born: August 29, 1965
Raised: Provo, Utah
Current Residence: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: Photographer (20+ Years)
Height: 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m)
Weight: 150 pounds (68 kg)
Began Climbing: July 28th 1985
Most Difficult Ascents:
*Redpoint: 5.14c (8c+) Ice Cream
*On-sight: 5.13b (8a)
*Bouldering: V12 (8A+)
Clients: Red Bull, Adidas, Nike, Prana, Black Diamond Equipment, Patagonia, ESPN
Favorite Camera: i-Phone
Canon 5d2, 7d & 60d.
Favorite Lens: 24-70 2.8
Available on APPLE PODCAST
BOONE SPEED VIDEO
“Whoever had contact with Boone will have felt a force of a person,” says BD Athlete Sam Elias. To take it a step further, if you’re a climber, you’ve likely felt the force of Boone without having ever met him. Maybe you’ve tried one of his routes, which span across the western US like constellations, telling the story of progression for hard sport climbing in this expansive country. Or perhaps you’ve just picked up a climbing magazine at some point in the last decade and seen a photograph that has stirred a deep emotion inside your soul, caused your palms to sweat and inspired you to rope up again and again. Glancing at the byline, that ubiquitous name—Boone Speed—sits against the glossy page. The truth is that Boone, for many of us, is a living legend. From his routes and standard-raising ascents to his photos documenting this game we play in the vertical, Mr. Speed has helped sculpt what this sport is today. This film, made by Mike Call, is the story of climbing’s consummate artist.
BOONE SPEED PHOTOGRAPHY
"I would say that still fully 80% of what I shoot is for me. I love the photographic process, which is obviously digital nowadays, but digital photography is based completely on how the photographic process works. It’s how light interacts with our surroundings, and you can see examples of it everywhere, like in shadows or reflections. It takes years to get a good grasp of let alone master. And it’s not like you can just pick up a camera and you’re a photographer. I love that everyone is getting into photography now…everyone’s got cameras on their phones and whatnot…and no doubt a lot of great pictures will be made by a lot of different people. But it will also make people appreciate how intricate the process actually is. They’ll quickly realize that a lucky shot here and there doesn’t mean you’re a photographer. Look at it this way, it’s like everyone owns a pencil and paper but few people consider themselves a writer, make sense?"
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In 2013, Boone Speed photographed Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda for ESPN The Magazine "The Body Issue". Shown above.
"I started in college with black and white and fell in love with the whole process, especially in the darkroom. One of my jobs at the Foundry was processing signage. I’d use a stat camera to make crisp transparencies and then I’d slather photosensitive solution on a bronze plate and expose it in the sun, and then etch the detail with acid. I’ve always been fascinated with the photographic process and manipulating it in different ways. For years I shot cross-processed shots, or I’d shoot with Polaroida or Lomos in low light making pictures with texture, color, light. I like the picture making process from seeing it, to capturing it, to developing it. I consider myself more of a picture maker than a typical photographer."
"I’d like to have some gallery shows. I’d like to do more artistic stuff. I’d like to get into painting, more into sculpture and somehow work these processes altogether. I’d like to transfer some photographs into paint. I think if you want to be an artist, you have to stay put and do it for a while you have to develop it. This is a work in progress. But, I’m not going to stop traveling and doing what I’m doing right now. I want to enjoy my life. "
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