Meet the man behind the lens: Bruno Long
Since the beginning, we’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to have Bruno Long on our media team. He takes race photography to the next level for us every year. He is one badass photographer, adventurer, and stoke capturer - just to name a few of his talents. We managed to get him to sit still for a few minutes and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of his larger than life images.
What brought you here to the Kootenays/Rockies, and how did you get into and develop your style of epic lifestyle photography?
After moving away from New Brunswick after university, I settled into mountain life in Jasper National Park for a bunch of years before moving to Revelstoke 12 years ago. I was shooting photos on film back in Jasper and just as I was on the tipping point of pursuing photography seriously, the digital camera revolution struck and made it much easier for a broke mountain dirtbag to learn the art of photography without breaking the bank with buying and processing film.
You have a knack for capturing high performances athletes in incredible environments using unconventional and captivating perspectives - describe your process during remote location shoots like these. What's involved in your decision making when choosing where to position yourself? What physical and mental demands do you encounter while working in varied/new/difficult terrain?
A lot of the time I just trust my artistic instincts when shooting in any location. Over the years, I’ve realized when something draws my attention, it usually means I should investigate that spot and figure out to shoot it. But I’ve also learned to search the area thoroughly (if time allows) and exhaust all the possible angles to make sure I didn’t miss something. The physical demands associated with my line of work are sometimes what separates me from other photographers. I try to stay in shape and take my gear into difficult places to access, giving me an advantage over other photographers who may not make the effort to search out those hard to reach places. Mentally, the demands of locations frequently has to do with not having another chance to be in this unique location. So making the right decision and creating a unique image in a short amount of time can be mentally taxing. When time is short or light is fading, that’s when I really trust my initial instincts as to the best spot to stand and shoot.
Do you have any experiences where the implementation / use of your technology and nature have clashed?
Oh yeah, many times. I run a pretty light camera and lens setup so that I can save weight for the running/skiing/biking part. Yet these activities can be notoriously hard on gear. I’ve been fairly lucky for the most part but I did splash one camera while shooting from a boat in Madagascar and ruined a full camera body. That was a tough pill to swallow but that is what a backup camera and insurance are for.
What draws you to shooting the Golden Ultra? What are some of the most amazing / bizarre / hilarious / heartwarming situations you've seen or captured during this race?
Shooting the Golden Ultra has turned from just another job to one of my favourite shoots of the year. Getting the opportunity to work with such a great crew and run large parts of this amazing course, all the while photographing the incredible participants, makes it an easy job for me. As far a unique situations on the course, the volunteers usually put on the best show, wearing costumes and overall keeping everyone motivated. Though I have a feeling the ‘Hobby Horse’ category this year will yield some bizarre images, which is right up my alley.
For anyone new to experiencing Golden - do you have any favourite places, haunts, or trails that you can't get enough of?
The trails in the Mountain Shadows area are by far my favourite to shoot. The fall colors are usually in full force and the single track in that zone are perfectly suited for trail running. When I’m shooting in that area, I always wish I could just catch my pack and join the participants in ending the wonderful forest running.
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