Dora DC - Adventure Photographer
"I’m still trying to figure out what being an adventure photographer entails. I photograph anyone who’s really dedicated to their sport. I’m interested in people’s posture, how graceful they are and how they almost become one with their sport and the environment they're in."
"I got into climbing when I photographed the Women’s Climbing Symposium a couple of years ago. When I got the call I said I’d love to, but I didn’t know the first thing about climbing. It was so inspiring, there were over 200 women and it was all about visualising your goals and getting the most out of your experience. Being around so many ambitious women encouraged me to give it a go, that's how I found my sport.
Having a little understanding of the sport itself gives you an extra way in, because you know what to look for. I’ve photographed mountain biking, climbing, running, wakeboarding, highlining, skateboarding, road cycling and parkour. Climbing is my favourite, I really enjoy it, and as a climber I can understand the hard work of the athletes even more."
"I absolutely love photographing highlining. I think that will be my main sport to focus on. It has a fantastic community, it’s really welcoming and inclusive. Sometimes highliners are seen as adrenaline junkies or daredevils, but I don’t think you get an adrenaline kick from it. It’s about being in balance and harmony, sometimes even letting it all go and just being there in the moment.
My style is quite intuitive, I can’t really define it. It’s more about what feels good than what looks good, recreating the moment, whatever triggers that back again. You have to connect with the athlete, you’re trying to capture their style, not just something that looks good. If I can, I try to immerse myself in the sport so I have an understanding of what that person's about."
"In terms of composition, I like to think there's a few layers to my images. You can see it as a whole as a landscape photo, or you work your way through the image and you get to the final layer where the athlete is, and then back out again. I normally like to have the athlete really far in the distance, kind of blended in, so you really have to work to find them in the landscape.
I really enjoy the editing process, where you pair the images and you try to find the narrative between them. I don't have an all time favourite shoot, it tends to be the last one I was on. I just get so excited to edit straight away and go through all the photos. I was there, I should know what it was like, but I want to see them again, reliving the moment."
"For me it’s that buzz that you get from being around people who are pushing their limits physically and psychologically. It feels like such an intimate experience to momentarily be part of their world. You learn so many life lessons from them about endurance and perseverance. It’s the whole experience, not just the photos and the clients that you please, it’s something that you take away from it.
And performance aside, it’s amazing to see people just enjoy what they’re doing. I think we need to see that more, focus less on the results and more on the fun and the community. It feels good to be part of people's lives."
To see more of Dora's highlining photographs and learn more about the sport, read our interview with Sarah Rixham - Floating in the Sky.