Capturing the GoPro Mountain Games with broncolor

Catherine Aeppel shares her experience photographing the GoPro Mountain Games with broncolor.


My goal going into photographing the 2019 GoPro Mountain Games was to get creative with light while maintaining as lightweight and nimble of a setup as possible. I am not a huge fan of shooting shoulder-to-shoulder with other photographers and much prefer putting in the work to find the unique angle that no one else is capturing.

For my favorite setup of the weekend, myself and an assistant hiked a Move 1200L pack, 1 mobiLED head and the Beauty Box 65 two and a half miles up Vail Mountain in order to get into a position where the mountain bikers on the cross country race would be coming uphill towards us.

With snowcapped mountain peaks perfectly positioned in the background, I selected a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in order to compress the scene. I laid on the ground to get the optimal angle and positioned the light ahead of/to the side of the riders as the key light with the sun acting as an edge/back light. The lighting, composition and facial expression of the athletes are what make these shots my favorites of the weekend.

The benefits of the Beauty Box 65 are how lightweight, small, and easy to setup it is. When I was tasked by LifeProof to capture some shots of the Mud Stud, with the Beauty Box 65 on-hand, I was able to make the best of the high noon light situation. I setup under the shade of a tree, brought the background down a stop, and quickly nailed a couple of portraits, and then captured a few dynamic mud pit action shots. At the end of the day, the Beauty Box 65 met a diversity of needs and proved to be a great modifier for both close action as well as portraiture.

Catherine is an adventure photographer and filmmaker based in Colorado. From the beaches of Israel to the slot canyons of Utah, from remote islands in the Pacific to as far as Western Australia, Catherine’s explorations through the lens have taken her around the world. She thrives with a camera in hand — and lives the adventures she captures. When she’s not shooting, she’s playing in mountains, deserts and oceans far away from crowded cities and civilization.You can check out more of her work at catherineaeppel.com and on instagram @CatherineAeppel.