Getting The Shot: Episode 1 Alberta Ice Caves With Stevin Tuchiwsky

Home » Getting The Shot: Episode 1 Alberta Ice Caves With Stevin Tuchiwsky

Getting The Shot is all about highlighting that process. It’s a look behind the curtains of what a niche outdoor lifestyle photographer does to get their shots. Because there are so many facets of outdoor lifestyle photography, we’re really focusing on specific “subcategories” like photographers who shoot climbing, trail running, wildlife, skiing, etc.

It’s a lot more dynamic for the viewers if we can display all kinds of outdoor photography.Our goal is to make each episode basically feel like you’re just hanging out with these photographers. We’re stripping it down, we don’t want the episodes to feel too polished.

The Series

I think that keeps the entire project more fun and fluid too. Because Getting The Shot is a passion project, viewers are basically watching the “director’s cut”. It frees everyone up to be as creative as they like without the fear of potentially missing high risk shots. We get to gamble with tougher objectives and shots that might be higher stakes for commercial shoots but ultimately low risk for Getting The Shot.

Getting The Shot Episode 1 Featuring Stevin Tuchiwsky In Alberta’s Canadian Rockies.

Getting The Shot Episode 1

Our first episode of Getting The Shot takes place in Alberta. We thought it would be fitting to begin the series from our hometown of Calgary. I’ve been paying close attention to a crazy talented photographer, Stevin Tuchiwsky since 2014. Stevin is also based in Calgary and I asked if he would be our first guinea pig for this series and he jumped in head first. Having someone as talented as Stevin jump on board really put some wind into our sails. I told Stevin I’d like to shadow him as if he’s just going out and taking some photos for himself on the weekend.

Locations

I knew that he had some pretty cool locations in mind so we planned a little bit ahead of time, mostly for logistics, safety, and timing. Otherwise, everything was just “as it happened”. Nothing was rehearsed. Everything was just happening and I think that comes across pretty naturally in the first episode.I’m really happy with how it turned out because I felt like Stevin had so many great gold nuggets and he was really informative and educational, yet it didn’t feel like a “lesson” or a “class”. It just felt like going to take photos with a mentor or teacher.

Outdoor Filmmaking

The unique thing about outdoor filmmaking is that your camera gear is just part of the equation. Firstly, safety equipment and outdoor apparel that will keep you protected from the elements is actually the foremost important thing. Coming home alive, and with all of your digits is the first objective, especially in remote and freezing landscapes like we were all weekend.A solid pair of gloves, a toque, extra puffy jacket, helmet, crampons, and ice pick are all the first pieces of gear to check off.

Once all of those essentials are in my pack (or on my pack) I throw in all of my camera essentials next. My camera essentials include a Sony mirrorless body with a 24-70 F2.8 and the other as a backup. For video I usually shoot cropped which makes the 24-70 more like a 35-105mm.On my Sony, I have a Rode Mic Pro Plus shotgun mic and a Joby Gorilla 3k for stabilized handheld shots. I’m typically holding this in my hands the entire time.

In My Bag

In my backpack, I have a Rode LAV Filmmaker kit, a Mavic Pro 2, a 10-14mm F4, 35mm F 2.8, a Zhiyun Crane 2, a MeFoto tripod, a GoPro Hero 7 and Hero 3 with spare batteries, a backup Sony mirrorless, a dozen sony batteries, an ND filter, and cleaning accessories.I also travel with a hard case that includes an Amaran Tri-8c light, extra tripod, spare parts for the Mavic Pro 2, charging cables, and remote charging devices.

Stevin snowshoes his way towards the toe of the glacier in Jasper National Park where we hope to find hidden ice caves.
Ryan asking Stevin some questions about the glacier and what he hoped to find as we were getting closer to the toe of the glacier (seen in the background).
Stevin spotted an ice bridge that must have formed as the glacier receded during the summer months. This ice bridge was a sort of entrance to where we would later find some cracks in the glacier. As I walked under the bridge, Stevin snapped this frame as we went deeper into the glacier.
The shapes of the ice bridge from the other side were otherworldly. Stevin gained a little bit of elevation by climbing up the glacier to get a higher perspective. He then asked me to walk back and forth along the ice for his composition, giving a sense of scale.
Stevin spent a few minutes assessing the scene, looking for different angle and perspectives before we move deep into the glacier.
After shooting the ice bridge we began looking for ways to get inside the glacier. Stevin found little cracks in the ice then followed them down below the surface. This small crack in particular opened up into a massive ice cathedral.
Stevin climbed down to the bottom of the glacier where he set up his tripod, preparing for a long exposure photo. The light was so limited in the caves, he relied on slower shutter speeds to allow enough light onto his camera’s sensor.
The entire scene was backlit by a sliver of light that came in from the surface. Stevin used the sliver of light to light up the entire scene. Many of his frames were 20-30 second exposures. Asking me to stand in the frame for scale, I stood as still as possible as Stevin took multiple exposures.
Before leaving the ice cave, I snapped this photo of Stevin just as he was exiting the small crack towards the surface and towards the light.
On our way to Nordegg AB, we made a stop at Panther Falls in Banff National Park. Stevin had never been to the frozen waterfall in the middle of the night before. He had a vision for photographing the frozen waterfall. Stevin wanted me to stand in the middle of the frame with a headlamp. As I lit the backside of the frozen waterfall, he snapped a long exposure. The long exposure allowed the headlamp to light the entire frame.
As Stevin says in Getting The Shot Episode 1, “Sleep takes a backseat to everything when you’re a photographer”. We had a few hours of sleep before heading to Abraham Lake where we hoped to find interesting methane bubbles frozen in the Ice.
As the sun began lighting the sky, we realized there were more interesting subjects to photograph than the famous methane bubbles. Watch the episode below to learn what we found.

GETTING THE SHOT EPISODE 2 FEATURING PAUL ZIZKA

2 comments

  1. Ryan, this is absolutely incredible. What an amazing feeling it would have been to find a week spot to get safely in to the glacier and discover these massive ice cathedrals. Enjoyed the video where Stevin gets you in different shots and different angles for scale. And those neat patterns in the ice near the end was really cool. Thank you for sharing. Hope you are well. Keep safe. 📷 🎥

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