Semi-finalist, Best of Instagram by SanDisk: Hamish Frost
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Semi-finalist, Best of Instagram by SanDisk: Hamish Frost

Semi-finalist for the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category, Red Bull Illume 2019: Hamish Frost, United Kingdom

Location: Bidean nam Bian, Scotland

Biography: I’m an adventure and mountain sports photographer based in Scotland. My journey into photography began capturing images of the Scottish backcountry skiing scene. However since turning professional three years ago, I’ve expanded into shooting climbing, fell running and basically any sports which allow me to spend as much time out in the mountains as possible.

I find the creative process of trying to produce exciting images in tough and inhospitable environments really appealing. If it’s a particularly cold or wet day, then you’re fighting the conditions trying to look after yourself and keep your camera kit working; if the best position for a shot is half way up a cliff face, then you've got to work through the logistics of getting to that position. I also love the physical challenge - being fit enough to lug lots of camera gear around and stay motivated to keep pushing the shutter button even when you’re exhausted, maybe also a little scared, and overall would probably rather be anywhere but there. I think the combination of all these aspects is what draws me to this genre of photography over anything else.

About the photo: 'Guy [Robertson] and Greg [Boswell] had invited me along to get some photos of them trying a new winter route on Bidean nam Bian. They’d been casually vague about their objectives for the day – 'we’ve got some unfinished business on Bidean nam Bian, get you at the car park at 5.30am!' It’s nice to be able to do a bit of planning before photographing a climb, however I also enjoy the challenge of having to improvise on the hill. Reaching the foot of the imposing Church Door Buttress just before first light, their "unfinished business" became apparent. The summer line Lost Arrow Direct - an impossibly steep looking series of cracks and roofs leading up the cliff.

The weather that day had been poor for photos, however I knew that if the clouds were to clear slightly, then the west face of Stob Coire nan Lochan might come into view in the background. I waited patiently for a few hours and sure enough, just as Guy was making good progress on the third pitch, the clouds broke momentarily and I was able to get the shot I’d hoped for. Four hours later, Guy completed a sequence of grade 10 moves (in the dark!) to pull through a final roof section and top out on the route,' explains Frost.

Gear and specs: Sony A7RII; Sony FE 70-200mm f4.0 OSS lens; ISO: 250; F-Stop: 7.1; Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec.