Galleries We Like: BASE-Jumping Baffin Island

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Australian adventure photographer Krystle Wright has toughed out a lot of assignments in her first six years of shooting. When the now 25-year-old showed up to the Elephant Polo Championships in Nepal, there weren’t enough teams, so she volunteered for a new squad, hopped on the back of a pachyderm, and started swinging a 10-foot mallet. During a trip to Yangshuo, China to shoot climbers, she crashed a mountain bike into a ditch and lost a couple of her front teeth. A dentist shoved cotton over the exposed nerves and she finished her assignment. During a paragliding shoot in Pakistan, she and her partner crashed into a boulder on a steep hillside and that accident left her with a black eye, bruises all over her body, and fractured bones in her foot. Even though it led to an emergency evac on a homemade stretcher and a stay in a military hospital, she plans to go back next year to paraglide and shoot more. The only thing more fantastic than the spills she’s survived in foreign countries, are the photos she brings back. For one of her recent series, she went on a month-long trip to shoot BASE jumpers on Baffin Island. We caught up with her in Australia to find out more about it.

Click to view the full gallery BASE-Jumping Baffin Island.

Do you consider yourself an adventure photographer?
Yeah, certainly, that’s how I promote myself these days. I think when I’m back in Sydney everyone thinks I’m a nutcase. When I came back from that shoot in Pakistan all of the guys were just staring at me because I had crutches, a moon boot, and a red eyeball for five weeks. There were all just like, “You are insane.” But I didn’t think it was that bad. I’m just addicted to adventure. But I’m also addicted to going places you normally wouldn’t go. I think it’s for motivation—for the awesome feeling that results.

Hope Island

Was their one moment when you knew you could make it a career?
I got up really early one morning when there was a really good swell down on the Gold Coast and I drove to Snapper, and I shot this surfer walking out. At Snapper you get this backwash that happens, and when it hits a wave, it really jacks the water up. You know when you take a photo that’s pretty good. You know it’s pretty special. That was when I was 21.

Water 28

How do you pick your assignments?
It’s a funny way of how I stumble onto things. I guess I’m kind of young in the industry so I’m certainly not at a level where I get to pick and choose what I want. The Pakistan gig actually came from a trip where I went to Nepal and I met the world acro paragliding champion Horacio Llorens. He told me he was going to Pakistan and I waited for two years and we finally made it happen last year. I think it’s through constant networking. I got these BASE assignments through constant connection with the BASE community. I kept hanging out with them and photographing and sort of kept pushing them, and they were like, we're going to do this thing.

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