One Flew Over the Impossible
Predrag Vučković
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return“
Leonardo da Vinci
Predrag Vučković
Who is Predrag Vučković?
A professional extreme sports photographer and one of the few international photographers for 'Red Bull'. A photographer of vast experience who, through his fitness, knowledge and special skills, manages to reach places not normally accessible to ordinary people.
What turned you to extreme sports and made you engage in them professionally?
It all started as it usually starts for most people, as a hobby, turning later on into professionalism. Basically, the adrenaline rush and the possibility to do something others cannot do, moves you forward and shifts the boundaries.
Apart from being an extreme sportsman yourself, you are a top-notch extreme photographer. As you have put it, "there is no spot on Earth I would like to take a photo of that I have not already done". What then is your challenge today in photography?
Frequently some places emerge enticing you this way or that to visit, since this planet has so many particular spots, all posing different challenges. The challenge in photography is always different so the journey to a destination depends fully on where your imagination might take you. I like to say that photographers view all those sites through different lenses; hence, some common places, seen through the eye of a camera, may project something totally different from what there actually is. That is the very reason why photographers stand out from each other and what distinguishes a professional from an amateur photographer.
What does courage mean to you?
I would always put fear before courage because that is the guardian preventing you from crossing the forbidden boundaries. Courage, experience and training all help you move those boundaries under certain circumstances.
You have the courage to go to places never trodden by human feet; you have ventured into ravines, taken shots of sharks, underwater, various extreme sports in the deserts and other places, wanting to keep a record of it as a moving or still image. Do you have fear of the unknown and when was it most palpable?
As I said earlier, fear is always present because going into the unknown always brings some surprise. There were several situations when fear would appear disguised in a different form, but with my presence of mind, quite often teamwork, and control over the developing situations, I would overcome the fear. I could not single out any specific situation since each brings something different.
Apart from your love of photography, you said that the safety of the team you work with comes first. Have you ever been in a situation when you were unable to anticipate all the circumstances and something got out of hand?
There is no single photo for which I would expose myself or the sportsmen I work with to danger; should anything happen, that photo would be of no value. I plan each photo shoot thoroughly and prearrange the communication with the people I am to work with down to the tiniest details. Such an approach has never led me to anything unforeseen up till now.
How important are the place and the time when you want to take a specific photo?
The location and the weather and light conditions are more than half of your future photo. If all that can be controlled, then it is very important for me where and how I would take the photo, but since it is not always easy, then I try to stick to the theory that photos can be taken at any time and at any place. Having this approach, you are bound to get back home with at least one good photo, which is rewarding and up to your own standards.
(Read the complete interview of the printed issue of Renome number 8)
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