INTRO ? In a photography career spanning over ten years, Craig Kolesky has captured images for a wide range of youth brands, local and international publications, fashion labels, models, actors, celebrities and performing artists. His regular client list of course includes Kiteworld, but also Red Bull and Sport Illustrated. He's photographer of choice for Ruben and Aaron when they're in Cape Town and he's even had time to help start up a South African kite mag. He believes that 'in a fast moving world, a beautiful image happens in a fraction of a second, but no matter how slow the film, the spirit will always stand still long enough for the photographer it has chosen.'
More on Craig at: www.craigkolesky.com Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa and moved to Cape Town when I was in high school.
Where do you live?
Cape Town, South Africa
How old are you?
What was your first camera?
CWhen I was in school I picked up an old second hand Canon manual focus camera, but I can't actually remember the model
What is your current camera set-up?
I use a Canon 1D Mark 111, Canon 50D, Canon 40D x 2, Canon 30D, 3 x 580ex Speedlites + battery packs, Pocket Wizards & Monfrotto stands, SPL water housing with fisheye and 70-200mm ports, 10mm Tokina Fisheye lens, 10-20mm Sigma, 12-24mm Sigma, 24-70mm Canon, 70-200mm Canon, 300-800mm Sigma, Remote Cameras, MacBook Pro, SanDisk Memory cards and accessories.
How did you get into photography?
I started shooting when I was in high school. My friends and I would all go skateboarding or surfing and one day we borrowed a camera and I ended up snapping some sequences; I've never looked back since!
When did you become a professional photographer?
I've been shooting pro for about eight or nine years now. Somehow I've always found myself wanting to be behind the lens. I started a bodyboarding magazine (Logic) and then a kitesurfing mag called Gust Magazine in SA about 5 years ago, which gave me great insight into what images work and which don't.
When did you get into shooting kiting and how did it come about?
I started shooting kiting when we decided to start a kitesurfing magazine in SA. My first shoot was with Sebastian Cattelan; you can just guess how that ended up! The first thing he asked me was if my lens was big enough and if I would be able to keep up with him. This was when he was still doing freestyle and was full of attitude. Since then we have become very good mates and he helps me out a lot. He is a great rider!
Can you remember the first shot you got published?
I was still at school and I had taken a pic of a bodyboarder. The best part of all is that I even got paid for it, I remember being so stoked!
Which is your favourite shot ever?
I have so many special photos, it's tough to single out one particular shot, but I have an image of Greg Thijsse wave riding and doing a bottom turn around me with all this water cascading over me. Epic!
Who is your favourite rider to shoot with and why?
I shoot a lot with Aaron and Ruben. I've have been shooting with them for years, we work well together and seem to always get good images whenever we shoot. They just know how to work with a camera.
Where is your favourite place to shoot and why?
Cape Town is an awesome place to shoot ? there's so much to work with here. The whole of South Africa is pretty much paradise for a photographer.
Where is the most terrifying place you've ever shot?
Back Door, Hawaii as well as some crazy snowboarding shoots in Austria.
Do you have any advice for aspiring kiting photographers?
Don't be afraid to try new things, ask lots of questions and always try and understand the sport and athlete that you are shooting with. Know your gear and always make sure it is in good working order.
Galleries - Craig Kolesky - Pro
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Nomad 136-Team series
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
North Neo 9m
Kitesurfing travel directory
South Carolina - Isle of Palms