Red Bull Illume recently caught up with Ray Demski, finalist from the 2010 Image Quest, to discuss his latest night ice shoot…

What was the idea behind the shoot?
I wanted to bring a different look to ice climbing, lighting an entire ice fall with high quality light to bring out the magic of the ice to create some stunning images! The whole idea started to form last Autumn while shooting bouldering in the Himalaya with Bernd Zangerl and Alex Luger. We did a night highball shot with flashes that got me thinking… that would be amazing to do with Ice!

Were you hanging from a rope to get the shots?
All of the images from above were shot while hanging from a rope anchored from the cliff above the icefall. The other shots were done from the bridge.


How was that?
We had very solid anchors and a backup, so pretty much daily business.

Are you a climber?
Yes, more than anything else I love to get outside and go climbing!

How cold was it?
Probably bottomed out around -18°c, cold enough to keep you awake!

Featured behind the scenes video was produced by LM-Media.

What equipment did you use?
Along with all the climbing and rope access gear, I used the Phase One iq180, 80 mp back on the 645DF camera with Schneider Kreuznach and Phase One lenses all packed into an F-stop Kenti for easy access.
 Lighting was entirely Broncolor, with three of the new Move 1200L battery units. We used two with the new Para 88 reflectors and one alternately with a standard reflector or bare bulb. We also had a few of the Broncolor Kobold units for working light and the video crew.

How was it shooting with the Move?
This was my first time working with the Move, with a full 1200 w/s in such a small and light package it´s a dream for location work. First time I picked it up it felt so light I had to check if the battery was really in!
 The new heads are also very small and light, making it all very portable without technical compromise.

Towards the end of the shoot, we used just one unit for the action portraits with 2 Para 88 reflectors, trying out the full asymmetrical capability of the unit, just amazing flexibility! 
The blazingly fast flash durations completely froze the water and snow as it flew through the air, like no other battery flash I´ve ever used.

Were you happy with the shots?
Very much so!

What’s next for you?
After this shoot I had 3 weeks straight of shooting in the mountains for commercial clients. I have some exciting plans for expeditions this year and am also looking forward to doing further episodes of the Ice nights project!


Have you entered Red Bull Illume?
I´m putting together my selection to enter Red Bull Illume at this moment!

See the full results of Ray’s cool shoot over on his website.