Red Bull Vampire Trails is one of the most difficult events what I shot for a long period! Starting at sunset and riding to the sunrise, with more than 10h of riding and more than 100km during the all night for all competitors!
How do you envision having a photo shoot that lasts all night? The dark, the cold, the cyclists who ride from dusk to dawn, all around the world-famous Dracula’s Castle. One of my last photo shoots was exactly like that during the Red Bull Vampire trials project in Romania.
Certainly one of the biggest photographic challenges ever.
I will also briefly explain why! Every location I wanted to photograph on the bike trail required a separate lighting set up. So if you consider that you want several different positions, you immediately get 7-10 lighting settings in very demanding places.
Also, keep in mind that all competitors have their route a little to the left or a little to the right, so your predictions for perfect lighting must be well planned … plus the luck factor goes up to an even higher level.
3-5 The Profoto B1 flash heads were an absolutely great choice of weapon for this lighting battle. Color gels have helped make photos come alive and gain a completely different dimension in the dark! And the most important thing I have to emphasize is that this is team effort and if it wasn’t so, the ultimate photographic outcome would surely be different!
The competitors started at sunset, in teams of two (formed by the pole), snaking through the dark of the night until the sunrise. The well-received route by the builders of the place extended over a distance of 4km legendary and carried them on the brave competitors through the ancestral forests around Bran Castle.
From the steep climb of the mountain ridges around the castle, which for a long time in history were the border of the Romanian Countries, to the footpaths walked by Princess Ileana and to the courtyard of Bran Castle with passes through the buildings of the old customs, riders passed, tour after tour, through almost 10 hours of cycling and legends, until dawn, before the rooster crowes!