Dave Black Brings Light Painting to Sports Photography

To get the shot, sometimes you do crazy things. Like clinging to a wall of ice in the dark, wielding a 2-million-candlepower spotlight. Then doing it over endlessly until you get it right. That’s what sports shooter Dave Black did to make this incredible image. With no prior ice-climbing experience, he spent four long nights perched on the edge of an ice gorge in Ouray, CO, as world-class climbers Chris Alstrin and Mike Anderson repeatedly ascended for his camera.

To get the shot, sometimes you do crazy things. Like clinging to a wall of ice in the dark, wielding a 2-million-candlepower spotlight. Then doing it over endlessly until you get it right.

That’s what sports shooter Dave Black did to make this incredible image. With no prior ice-climbing experience, he spent four long nights perched on the edge of an ice gorge in Ouray, CO, as world-class climbers Chris Alstrin and Mike Anderson repeatedly ascended for his camera.

Even crazier, he used a creative but unpredictable photo technique no one else uses for sports. He calls it “light painting.”

This involves holding the camera’s shutter open for a long exposure while sweeping light by hand across the subject.