We were lucky enough to get Tal Roberts to come along on our lastest team shoot. The amount of shots he captured in the short amount of time is beyond us. Feeling nostalgic, we caught up with Tal to talk about the trip and learn a little bit more about our new favorite photographer.
Orage: Where in the world are you?
Tal: Right now I’m living in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been here for the past 5 months but before that I lived in Ketchum, Idaho for 10 years.
Orage: We noticed that you tend to shoot a lot of shadows and reflections. Is this something you’ve always done or is this more recent?
Tal: Those are a couple things I always try to keep my eyes open for, and I think I have for a long time but I’ve just gotten better at using them over time.
Orage: Which photographer currently impresses you with his work?
Tal: I’ve always been a big fan of Brian Gaberman’s work.
Orage: If you had to own only one camera, which one would it be?
Tal: Probably my Hasselblad 503cx, it’s the camera I’ve had the longest and I really like the process involved in shooting it.
Orage: Excluding skiing, what sport do you like to photograph?
Tal: Ever since I started to shoot photos, skateboarding has been one of my favourite things to shoot and one of my biggest influences. It still is really, I’ve been having a lot of fun bringing a film camera along on skate sessions this summer.
Orage: Who, outside of photography, do you consider successful?
Tal: People who can figure out how to be happy and survive living on their own terms.
Orage: What’s the last song you listened to on your music player.
Orage: Let’s talk about the trip we took together last year. What camera gear did you bring along?
Tal: A Nikon D4 along with Nikon 16mm, 85mm, 24-70mm, 80-200mm lenses, an Elinchrom Ranger strobe and a Hasselblad 503cx and Leica M6 for film cameras.
Orage: How does shooting skiing defer from snowboarding?
Tal: To me it’s pretty much the same, you just need to know the tricks and how they are done so that you can visualize how to make the best shot in every situation. For that reason, it’s really important for me to communicate well with whoever it is I’m shooting since there are differences in some of the tricks they are doing and the snowboard tricks that I’m more familiar with.
Orage: Favourite shot of the trip to Retallack Lodge?
Tal: A double exposure of the view the top of Hollywood Ridge during our very brief visit from the sun. I really like a lot of the images we made, especially some of the non action shots, but I picked this one because to me it is the best memory of the trip and Retallack as a whole.
Orage: Hardest shot from the trip?
Tal: The night shots of Banks hitting the bike park jump. There was a lot going on with that shot: the build, getting it lit up so he could see the take off and landing, finding an angle and finding way to light the shot with limited gear. It was also much more of a group effort than anything else we shot, Mike Nick shaping the jump, Karl getting the fire roaring, Jon A. trimming tree branches. Thanks everybody!
Orage: How awesome is Karl the Gnarl?
Tal: So awesome… What he does there is so important to that operation, he safely hauls you up the mountain to the terrain you want to get to and also keeps the laughs goings and the good vibes high.
Orage: How would you describe the Retallack Lodge?
Tal: Top notch everything. Terrain, staff, food, and lodging were all outstanding.
Orage: Where can people learn more about you?
Orage: By the way, can you let me know what is going out with the pic below?
Tal: Oh man, that’s an old one. That is Burke Gamblin from Boise, he is gnarly. He climbed up the back side of this sculpture in downtown Boise and stepped onto his board on the apex, rolled forward and ollied to flat.