INTERVIEW IN KURIR MAGAZINE - BELGRADE / SERBIA
Serbian most famous daily newspapers Kurir in its special bimonthly magazine edition published exclusive story about my photography work that I'm happy to share with everyone. Kurir is a high-circulation daily tabloid published in Belgrade. Its first issue appeared at the news stands on May 6, 2003. Since May 6, 2006 there is a special issue of Kurir for the western European countries. Kurir info Ltd, become a leader publishing house in daily newspapers, digital and custom publishing business in Serbia and the West Balkans region.
ADRENALINE DRIVES ME TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY!
He is one of only a few international photographers of company Red Bull, which allows him to photograph some of the most extreme competitions. In his career to date, Predrag Vuckovic has shot images of over 400 sporting events in over 60 countries, with the world’s top athletes. His lens has captured the likes of Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard, and skier Lindsey Vonn, but also some of our most successful lady athletes – Ivana Spanovic and tennis player Jelena Jankovic. However, he reached the peak of his professional range by photographing Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space.
- That is, in the truest sense of the term, an historic event that I will remember forever. The aim of the mission of Red Bull Stratos was to push the limits of human endurance, and Felix Baumgartner breaking the sound barrier in free fall from a height of 39 kilometres did precisely that. Given that I was one of only three official photographers for this project, and that preparations lasted more than a year, I now very happily remember the whole project and my role in it. My task was to follow the story photographically from beginning to end, every step Felix took: from arrival at the launch site,
entering the capsule, taking off and ascending, all the way to the jump and landing by parachute. So I photographed from various locations – from the ground and from a helicopter – for a little over a year, which was how long the whole project lasted – says Pedja, recalling the events of 2012.
His speciality is underwater photography, and his website contains a huge number of images from around the world that literally take the breath away. His story began as a hobby, which then turned into a profession.
- Simply, adrenaline and the ability to do something that others cannot do in extreme sports drives me to go forward and push the boundaries of photography – says Pedja, who was himself one of the pioneers of extreme sports in the former Yugoslavia.
Sky, air, water or land – which of these four do you most enjoy being in while shooting?
- Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages, and I always try to take maximum pleasure in every project I work on. I’m most relaxed in the water, as it is a completely different environment to the one filled with the adrenaline of extreme sports, and I’m most active on land, in projects like BASE jumping or canyoning adventures.
What still represents a challenge for you?
- In photographic terms, there are always many challenges. However, when they are less of them I try to create them by thinking creatively with the aim of creating pictures that are as unique as possible. Underwater photography is something that is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, but more often lately a challenge has been presented to me in terms of combining different techniques of shooting and connecting various disciplines into something new and previously unseen.
In which situations does your adrenaline run?
- Adrenaline is ubiquitous in many situations in sports photography, but the most recent example has been flying in a sports plane while photographing the Red Bull Air Race.
You’ve cooperated with the world’s greatest athletes? What is it that all these people have in common? What makes them different from the “ordinary” world?
- I would say that they all share the energy that stems from the love of what they do, and without which they would not have achieved what they have. I think some sort of mental freedom makes them different from the “ordinary” world.
What is your limit when taking pictures? Are you ready to take a high risk to get the shot that will satisfy your criteria?
- In extreme sports it is very important to communicate between the photographer and the subject, because sometimes a lot of unexpected situations arise. Very often you do not know exactly where the athletes will jump, which part they will fly over, in which place they will dive, so all communication before the actual shooting is of the utmost importance. I always try to put safety first. Fortunately, there haven’t been situations where my life was threatened, but a lot of times I found myself in unforeseen circumstances. Tere is no photo for which I would endanger myself or the athletes with whom I work, because if something happened that photo would have no value later.
How important are talent, hardwork and constant training when it comes to dealing with this business? Can expensive equipment replace talent and vice versa?
- Many factors contribute to this work, and talent is certainly the foundation. The possibility to have a mental image of the scene one wants in a photograph is quite important. This is also
what makes you want to seek perfection, because new ideas require new techniques, technologies, etc. As for expensive equipment, there are two folk proverbs. The first is: “Clothes don’t make the man”, thus expensive equipment is not a measure of the quality of a photographer and his photographs. The other proverb is: “Without tools there’s no trade”, in other words, expensive equipment is not necessary for someone to be recognised as a high quality photographer, but it certainly contributes to that.