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Alpine Exposures: A Photo Gallery

Posted on: August 22, 2014


Over the last decade behind his lens, Jon Griffith has focused on mountain sports photography: alpine, rock and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, BASE jumping, paragliding and speed riding. But beyond the dusky alpenglow and crisp ridgelines, the bulk of Griffith's oeuvre is extraordinary in another important and more unusual way: it's real. In his work he is an advocate for what he calls "honest" photography, eschewing industry-standard staged or reenacted shots. He uses his own technical mountaineering skill to access and shoot compelling photos of important ascents and descents as they happen. "[T]hat also goes with my views towards the heavy post-processing we see in images nowadays," he told Alpinist.

That ethic is the fulcrum of his current project, which started out as a coffee-table book, but as he sifted through his body of work to make selects "it brought me back to so many climbs, emotions and adventures, and climbing friendships," he says. "I felt that those feelings are an intrinsic part of my work—behind every shot there is often a huge amount of work or a great story of a real climb." Griffith hopes to convey those stories in something like "a stunning scrapbook of what it's like to do what I do."

Speaking on Griffith's ethic as an expedition photographer, Ueli Steck writes, "The one thing that will always be hard for me to accept is when we pack our bags and Jon puts in his heavy camera—I'm quite a stickler when it comes to keeping weight to a minimum, and my consolation for that now is in this book."

What follows is a curation of Griffith's alpine climbing work and the forward to his book.—Ed.

To help fund the Alpine Exposures project Griffith has begun a crowdsourcing campaign. Click here for details. [Photo] Jon Griffith
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