His or Hers? A Battle of the Climbing Photographers

Niko and I are constantly engaged in war – an ongoing battle between our climbing photographs. If I take a particularly impressive shot, he’ll quickly snag the camera and one-up me with an even better composition. When he finds the perfect lighting, I’m quick to steal the Nikon to shoot some photos of my own. Our little feud has become the best tool to pushing us to get the best climbing photos we can – but we can never decide who took to the better shot, so we’re asking you to help us decide.

Check out these two climbing photos, and choose your favorite (*click the photos for the full-sized view). Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post letting us know which one you prefer. We’ll reveal who shot which photo once the votes are tallied and a winner is chosen!

These two photos were both taken at Indian Creek in Utah. We spent three weeks living in the desert, and snapped some of our best climbing photos of all time while we were out climbing sandstone cracks in the sunshine. There were dozens of photos that blew us away, including a few I shot of the fellas climbing Scarface while a thunderstorm rolled in – but these two are our favorites:

1. Jeremy Rush with a desperate face-press on Incredible Hand Crack (5.10c).

Jeremy Rush using everything he has on Incredible Hand Crack (5.10c) at Indian Creek in Utah.

2. Bryan Cox illuminated on Anunnaki (5.12).

Bryan Cox crushing Anunnaki (5.12) at Indian Creek in Utah.

There can only be one winner, and the choice is up to you. We’re pretty competitive with this idea, so we reckon it’ll become a series of photo contests – and the loser has to buy the winner a sweet treat of their choice. Glory and the promise of a free snack, it’s on!

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45 thoughts on “His or Hers? A Battle of the Climbing Photographers

  1. Shay Skinner says:

    Oh man. Those are both great shots. However, coming from a photographer’s perspective, Anunnaki is an INCREDIBLY difficult climb to photograph in my opinion just due to it’s location and the way it faces. I’m going to have to go with Anunnaki just because I must give props.

  2. Corey says:

    #1…Jeremy’s…A climbing photo showing the face is almost always going to be better then without the expression being visible. #2 would win if the climber was laid back shaking the arm out. Both are good though and well deserving of some ice cream!

  3. Jody Dingman says:

    This is a tough one but I keep leaning towards the face press photo so I’m gonna have to go with that. It shows the intensity of the climb that you don’t normally see. The other photo is great also as far composition goes. I can totally see that as a canvas framed print in someone’s office. Great job!

  4. Hannah says:

    I agree, they’re both killer shots. I love the character of #1. It grabs you and has you rooting for Jeremy like you’re right there alongside him. But the perspective and lighting of #2 is sick. The colors are gorgeous.. and although slightly more detached and even ominous, i find myself holding my breath a little while looking at it. Lots of words to say #2,
    But bring on round two, I like this game 🙂

  5. Colorado Gal says:

    #2! And I love that you two can both take photos! Will tries to hand me his camera for five seconds and I go into panic mode because I’m scared I’ll drop it 🙂

  6. Steven A says:

    Katie is family so not sure if that negates my vote… I’d have to say #1. spirit of the climb and lighting +++

  7. Nate C says:

    Both are great but I enjoy #1 more, being framed by the rocks and the apparently parallel positioning of the photographer trumps the awesome lighting of #2. Additionally I like the detail you can see on the climber in the first one, with a belt full of anchors – its really cool, like the start of an epic journey.

  8. Monty says:

    Vote: #1

    My favorite thing about a climbing photo is the angle of the shot.. Although #2 has nice lighting, #1 captured personal expression, beauty of the stone, and the climax of the climb all while being shot from a unique perspective. With photoshop and other editing tools available in today’s photography world the lighting of any photograph can be manipulated to look unique. So I VOTE #1!!

  9. CB says:

    #1 is not as compelling as #2, but number 2 shows signs of manipulation in the upper right corner…

    #1 is also an abomination of hand crack climbing. He’s laybacking!!!!!!!

  10. Toby Butterfield says:

    The perspective on #1 is a little weird, so I’m going with #2. Why would you put in more gear right there, though!? Go for the chains!

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