Gallery: Extreme shots by daredevil adventure photographer
Although he's often called one of the world's greatest adventure photographers, Tyler Stableford, 37, is uncomfortable with the label.
"In some ways it connotes a profession more interested in thrill-seeking, and that couldn't be further from my goals as a photographer and director," he says.
The Colorado-based photographer says he's more interested in "soulful storytelling."
Yet, for lack of a better term, Stableford admits that "adventure photography" comes closest to explaining what he does.
Harnesses, axes, crampons and ice screws are as much a part of his kit as his cameras as he combines a passion for climbing with a desire to document it.
Stableford seems to take a masochistic joy in the extreme challenges of his environment.
Many of his shooting locations are in some of the most remote and challenging environments on the planet, from mountains ridges and glacier caves to the bottom of coal mines.
"Really the joy for me is in the process of tuning out the adversities and focusing on creating high-level imagery," he says.
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Stableford's favorite shot is one he took of adventure writer and climber Mark Jenkins on an Iceland trip to a rare ice cave (first image in the above gallery).
As serene as the photograph looks, it was a terrifying one to take, as the ice inside the glacier cave was shifting and cracking. In order to get the shot Stableford had to attach himself to the ice below his subject.
It was totally worth it: he counts Iceland as the most photogenic country he's ever visited.
"One of the joys of shooting travel images is that having a camera in hand gives me an excuse to walk up to somebody interesting (photo-worthy), whom I'd never talk to otherwise and have a conversation," says Stableford, who travels at least one week per month for work.
"Tha'ts my number one tip for photographers at any level. When traveling use your camera as a way to introduce yourself to locals and to gain access to scenes that other tourists might not get."
Any final word of advice?
"Be sure to send the subjects the images!" he says.
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