Behind the Lens: Vitek Ludvik

Czech photographer Vitek Ludvik employs DIY construction and ingenuity to create a dynamic angle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Czech photographer Vitek Ludvik employs DIY construction and ingenuity to create a dynamic angle on a whitewater kayaking image.

The shot:
Olympus E-M5 with and Olympus M.9-18mm f/4-5.6 at 10mm
1/640 sec at f/6.3 – ISO 320
Custom mount

CanoeKayak.com: Can you take us through the construction process and idea behind this image?

Vitek Ludvik: A few years ago I made short video about making a kayak shot with Czech Olympic paddler Vavra Hradilek. I was quite happy with the image that I made during filming. You can see the video here:

After some time I started thinking on how to improve the shot. I had a few meetings and discussions with Hoza “Zajic” Lasko, the producer of Zet kayaks about the construction. We tried an old tripod, but it buckled after a few minutes of testing. We knew we needed a more solid camera mount and drew up a new layout. My neighbor is a craftsman hobbyist and he helped construct the mount just two days before the trip began. It was light, solid and reliable.

Some might say you went through a lot of trouble and wonder why not just use a small POV camera… Can you explain your reasoning?

Using a camera with DSLR sensor size allows me to use the image for any kind of print.

What were some of the biggest challenges making it all work and come together?

The most difficult part was to find the right spot. Last year there was a lot of water everywhere in Norway. And the weather was awful as usual. So finding the right sized drop and being there on sunny day – that was the real challenge.

Do you continue to use the rig? 

We use the mount for filming with GoPros now. But one of my clients asked me to create a similar image again. I will have to improve the mount a little before we try again.

What’s next on your list of photographic adventures?

My best assignment of the year starts this week, the Red Bull X-Alps! It’s a paragliding competition that goes through the Alps from Salzburg to Monaco. I can’t wait for that!

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