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12 Questions with Reuben Krabbe

Reuben Krabbe is a British Columbia based adventure and action sports photographer. His work has been on the cover of Powder Magazine, SBC Magazine, Bike Magazine and many others. Reuben possesses the innate ability to capture the natural beauty within the region he explores. We had the pleasure of speaking with Reuben to learn more about his craft and creative process.

DOA, Blackcomb Mountain | Skier Tobin Seagel

Can you pin-point the moment when you said this is what I want to do for a profession? If so, what was it about that moment that resonated with you?

Around the age of 17 when every adult interrogates you about what you want to do with the rest of your life, I started offering ‘action sports photographer’ for two reasons: it sounded like an amazing life that used my budding skill with a camera, and second, it simply stopped them from asking more insane questions about my ability to predict the future.

Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and career path? 

A couple photographers stand out, Philippe Halsman, Philipe Ramette, Sterling Lorence, Blake Jorgenson, but most of all Jordan Manley. Among them, they all do creative work that cuts away from common styles of their time and move towards their own niche corner. I both emulated them, and their posture of diverging in style.

DOA, Blackcomb Mountain | Skier Tobin Seagel

What was your first “big-break” in the industry?

The first time I got into the Deep Winter Photo Challenge in Whistler was a huge opportunity that I thought I could handle, but was really under qualified. Luckily I was able to wrangle Dan and Dave Treadway whose combined decades of experience did most of the heavy lifting of the slideshow.

What motivates you to continue taking pictures? 

I used to be motivated by photography, however I’m now much more interested in skiing, good stories, and great experiences. I still also really enjoy it. If I’m tired, burned out, or getting cynical, shooting photos of skiing or mountain biking still gets me back to a happy place.

Deep winter photo challenge | Skier Dan Treadway

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

As a teenager, a group of friends and online forums gave me a huge jump start on photography prior to arriving at photography school for one year. After that, I’m continuing to learn, since photography is tech dependant, and has ushered me into filmmaking, I’m never not learning.

Locations and weather conditions. How do you handle these unpredictable factors? 

If there is a specific objective or a certain photo, weather can be inconvenient, stressful or uncomfortable. However, the changes in nature also bring excitement and problem solving to any shoot. On more open ended projects and trips, weather is simply an additional character in the experience.

What are the biggest challenges or dangers when shooting adventure sports?

Dangers would be self injury from participating in a sport, and for skiing, the avalanche risk is real and dictates how and when we move. Challenges may be the athletic and skill difference between me and an athlete, continued education with mountaineering rope systems, or simply a mental game of staying motivated and clear headed when a trip or shoot gets tough.

Squamish | Skier Tobin Seagel

What are you currently shooting with and what are some features that are particularly notable?

For still images I primarily shoot on Nikon SLRs for their diversity, and I love their in-camera multiple exposure feature. Otherwise they’re nearly identical to Canon. However I also shot assignments on cell phones and Leica Rangefinder cameras this year. For video I’ve worked on Sony A7s for it’s low light functionality, or RED for it’s overall superiority.

How would you describe your style?

Haha, this kind of question always entertains me, cause I’d love to know myself! When I look at my photos I see them pretty mechanically since I understand and dictated everything within them. I think what people may see in my photography is a pursuit for divergent images, or shots that aim to encapsulate a person, landscape, or pursuit in a single standalone frame.

Deep winter photo challenge | Skier Dave Treadway

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?

I think the Eclipse project will end up being the most memorable since it’s the one I most often get asked about. But, right now I would say the Northern Lights ski trip to the Tombstone Mountains of the Yukon, since that trip kickstarted my real love for distant expedition style ski trips.

Svalbard Eclipse

You recently returned from China, can you tell us what was in your carry-on bag?

China was a trip for a film festival, so I was only carrying a lap top onto the plane with earbuds and a geeky neck pillow. My normal carry on will be my camera bag, a F-Stop Satori bag. Inside you’ll find a Nikon D750, 17-35mm, 70-200mm, 50mm, lap top, backup drives, spot beacon, sunglasses, ski straps, a disposable camera, sunscreen, and a couple old energy bar wrappers.

What’s on the horizon for you in 2017 and beyond?

There’s two big expedition trips that I could pull off this year, or could very well sit on the back burner for a decade before they get done. I’m looking to concentrate a bit on my own skiing, since athleticism, skill, and rope work are needed to get me towards the projects I want to do more of in the future. There’s also this couloir that I look at every day from my deck, I don’t think it would be a good ski, but I want to ski it anyways…

Learn more about Reuben Krabbe


Written by noravera
November 7, 2016

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