15 best shots of an epic adventure photographer

Globe-trotting adventure photographer Krystle Wright tells us the story behind her most epic shots.
Yoram Zekri freediving in Matavulu Blue Hole on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Yoram Zekri freediving © Krystle Wright
By Tarquin Cooper

The other day Krystle Wright was chatting with a random in a gondola. "You know that game, what's your dream job?" he asked her. Krystle, an award winning adventure photographer, replied she did not. "You know..." he pleaded, before asking, "Wait a minute, what do you do?" It's safe to say Krystle's answer silenced him pretty quickly.

As the images below show, Krystle has been to more than a few places and captured some epic shots of every adventure sport imaginable. She's also suffered for her art too – in 2011 she suffered multiple fractures and bruising after a bad paragliding landing while shooting Tom De Dorlodot, Horacio Llorens and Hernan Pitocco trying to break an altitude record.

"I've an insatiable desire to explore with a camera," she tells us. "Adventure photography is a lifestyle I live and breathe but also a passion and obsession."

Below, she talks us through some of her most memorable shots.
 

Sheldon Kerr skis past a glacier above the Barnard Glacier, Wrangell St Elias Mountains, Alaska.
Sheldon Kerr skiing the Barnard Glacier © Krystle Wright

Sheldon Kerr skis past a glacier above the Barnard Glacier, Wrangell St Elias Mountains, Alaska. "Our original goal during this expedition was to attempt a first female ski descent of University Peak, although as we flew around it, only rocks and ice were to be seen thanks to the lowest snow year in 20 years," says Krystle. 

Sheldon Kerr, Lindsay Mann and Erin Smart head out over the Barnard Glacier to explore new terrain in the Wrangell St Elias Mountains, Alaska.
Sheldon Kerr, Lindsay Mann and Erin Smart explore © Krystle Wright

Sheldon Kerr, Lindsay Mann and Erin Smart head out over the Barnard Glacier to explore new terrain in the Wrangell St Elias Mountains, Alaska.

Plan B isn't always a bad thing.

Says Krystle: "We'd been told that so few people – if anyone – had skied in this valley beforehand. The 'Alaska Factor' also played with our minds, for what seemed to be close was always twice the expected distance as the glacier played tricks on our eyes."

Brett Wright craves a turn whilst kite surfing off the coast of Eagle Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
Brett Wright kitesurfing Eagle Island © Krystle Wright

Brett Wright carves a turn whilst kite surfing off the coast of Eagle Island on the Great Barrier Reef. "July and August on the Great Barrier Reef offer some of the best conditions for kite surfing with high consistent winds thanks to the reef and relatively calm flat water."

Surprisingly Brett only hit the catamaran once with his kite.

"I took this trip whilst still recovering from the accident I had in Pakistan. I thought I was fine and ripped my moon boot off but on the first day, as we hiked through soft sand, my foot immediately blew up. I survived the week but as soon as I returned to the physio, I had to go back into the moon boot for another five to six weeks."

Red Bull Illume 2013 Top-250 Krystle Wright
Leaping off the Castleton wall © Krystle Wright/Red Bull Illume

Fellow BASE jumpers look on as Michael Tomchek free falls from Castleton Tower in Castle Valley, Utah, USA. The image, [a finalist in the Red Bull Illume photo contest] is a complete accident.

"It seems obvious that this would be the best angle to shoot from but originally I had another idea in my mind. Unfortunately things were not coming together as I had envisioned. The angle wasn't working, the light was wrong, and my pilot decided to do his own thing and started descending. I kept shooting, as I was always told to be prepared for the unexpected, and this is the result."

Red Bull Illume 2013 Top-250 Krystle Wright
Hanging out over the Himalayas © Krystle Wright/Red Bull Illume

Argentinian Hernan Pitocco performs a series of wingover manoeuvers high above the Karakoram Range in northern Pakistan.

"This was one of the great flights we had during the trip! Though with flying high comes with certain complications such as hypoxia and freezing temperatures.

My mouth was open to scream but no sound came out. It was excruciating!

"Flying at 6,000m without oxygen assistance for 20 minutes, I remember my head starting to droop as we were trying to save our oxygen bottle, as a refill would be a two day mission. As we climbed, we reached 7,000m in the tandem and my hands were freezing.

"At first they were cold but then I couldn't feel them. I reluctantly took them out of the glove and put my hand inside my down jacket and start to shake it around. Suddenly the blood came pumping back in and I experienced the 'screaming barfies' [AKA hot aches] well and truly."

On the outskirts of Kathmandu, local mountain bikers ride The Helipad, a favorite trail winding through the mountains.
Biking on the outskirts of Kathmandu © Krystle Wright

On the outskirts of Kathmandu, local mountain bikers ride The Helipad, a favourite trail winding through the mountains.

"Potentially the most enthusiastic athletes I've ever worked with. I was put in touch with a group of Nepalese Mountain bikers and they showed me their favourite trails outside of Kathmandu. Thankfully the fog really adds the atmosphere. Usually I've never been outdone by the athlete for being excited and enthusiastic, but these guys rode laps around me wanting to pose for more images."

Emily Sukiennik walking a highline between a natural arch in Moab, Utah, USA.
Emily Sukiennik walking a highline © Krystle Wright

With only a sash belt as protection, Emily Sukiennik walks a highline between a natural arch in Moab, Utah, USA.

Krystle has shot highliners all over the world. Check out some of her other images in this gallery.

A herd of baby goats and sheeps testing out the strength of a tent in Mongolia.
Hey guys, this looks fun. © Krystle Wright

Whilst camping outside a Ger on The Steppe in Mongolia, a herd of baby goat and sheep test out a tent in new ways.

Our driver encouraged us to drink home made vodka brewed from fermented milk.

"During a two month kayaking expedition, in order to cross the Russian border, we had to travel back to Ulaanbataar to catch the Siberian railway. On the way we were welcomed into a local family's Ger and soon enough, our driver encouraged us to drink home made vodka brewed from fermented milk. I had the sense to pause at teacup number four which meant I was up before the others..."

Red Bull Illume 2013 Top-250 Krystle Wright
Vertical attack © Krystle Wright/Red Bull Illume

Ben Cossey works through a difficult section on 'Groove Train' on the Taipan Wall in the Grampians, Australia.

"The time of year was hot and not usually ideal for the Grampians, but a friend of mine who was filming asked if I would like to join to take some photos.

"In order for the film to work, Ben had to complete the climb. The hot weather had him falling a couple times though by the time this photo was taken, and you can see how pumped his arms are and how tough he is working to get through the crux move."

Wingsuit flier Jim Mitchell leaps from Ottawa Peak (4800ft) overlooking Sam Ford Fjord on Baffin Island.
Jim Mitchell leaps from Ottawa Peak © Krystle Wright

Jim Mitchell leaps from Ottawa Peak (4800ft) overlooking Sam Ford Fjord on Baffin Island.

"This was taken during a month long expedition to Baffin Island, camping on the frozen fjord. Looking back, the first two weeks were glorious weather and even on perfect days, many of us would take rest. Had we known the last two weeks would involve multiple blizzards, I might've gone harder those first two weeks."

Tragically, Jim died six days before the end of the Baffin expedition.

 

Emma Starritt takes a moment to relax after competing in an ocean race off Mana Island, Fiji.
Emma Starritt takes a moment to relax © Krystle Wright

Emma Starritt takes a moment to relax after competing in an ocean race off Mana Island, Fiji.

"I have no idea on how the water came to look like this exactly though the beauty of shooting in the water is that its always different," says Krystle.

She adds that one of her projects is to capture a particular freediving image but it's under wraps at the moment.

Mario Richard doing a roll over manoeuvre during a BSAE jump in Western Colorado, USA.
Mario Richard roll over maneuver © Krystle Wright

Jim Mitchell prepares to throw his chute in Australia's Blue Mountains.

It was after this trip that Krystle got into expeditions. “I had already shot so much BASE jumping in the Bluies and I was craving something different,” says Krystle. “After that day Jim suggested I should join him on a BASE jumping expedition to the Arctic on Baffin Island. This was how I came to go on my first big exped.”

 

Brett Wright kite surfs off the coast of Eagle Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Brett Wright kitesurfing Eagle Island © Krystle Wright

Brett Wright kite surfs off the coast of Eagle Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

"It's a great viewpoint from the top of the mast although with kite surfing that usually means high winds and me being thrown around the mast, and my skin getting continually pinched in the process."

Spanish Red Bull athlete Horacio Llorens flies high above Rakapohsi (7788m) in Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan.
Horacio Llorens flies high above Rakapohsi © Krystle Wright

Horacio Llorens flies high above Rakapohsi (7,788m) in the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan.

"Our team chose to head to Pakistan when the weather was still unstable, as the great days offered huge potential to fly high and potentially break the world altitude record.

"Some picture perfect days saw us bombing out and it became a lottery to when we would have a great flight. This day we unexpectedly flew for six to seven hours and it will always remain one of the greatest sights I've seen, overlooking snow capped mountains that extended forever."

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