Voss, a small town in Norway, is the proud host of Ekstremsportveko that takes place every year.
Ekstremsportveko or “extreme sports week” in english, otherwise referred to as “Veko”, is one hell of an event. Whoever came up with the concept and made it work needs a medal of large proportions.
Bringing together people from all over the world to compete as both amateurs and pro’s in all disciplines of extreme sports from base jumping, to white water kayaking, paragliding and even in the middle of summer there is mountain skiing – so of course a big air comp is essential. This would be enough to make a small town explode with energy. But then throw in concerts, festival camping, activities, daily viewing of all the action that takes place around the area, large cliffs, clear days sunshine and fjords, and you get extremsportveko. All-in-all it blew my mind.
‘Inspiration’. Pretty much the main word to sum up my Veko experience. Whether I was at an event shooting the athletes hurtling over waterfalls or watching the daily video edited to perfection and packed with extreme action, all I was thinking was, “I’m going to start base jumping! No, I’ll pick up speed riding, mmmm, or perhaps white water kayaking will be my new summer sport”. Now I just need to implement some time management strategies in order to maximize time each day to allow for the new means of getting the stoke on.
At Vallerret our vision is to enable photographers to push boundaries, enjoy and maximize their free time and ultimately do what gives them a kick each day. This week and being surrounded by extreme sport people, fully enforces that philosophy.
Being involved in such an event and talking with people who are lifestyle orientated and not just career orientated creates huge motivation to keep pushing for those small adventures each day, to get your kicks and highlight the adventure in life as much as possible.
Photo | Frøydis Asp Ormåsen
Throughout the event I got to work alongside some very talented photographers, both amateurs who have a passion for adrenaline and capturing the adventure and pro’s who make a living from doing what they enjoy. I learned a lot, had a blast and got to meet people like Frøydis Asp Ormåsen. She sums it up great by saying “It’s a lot of fun, even if it’s still photography, it’s different and exciting during Veko. There is a lot of action, emotion and energy, plus a lot of socializing. As most people in town take the week off to enjoy the festival, you get to hang out with a lot of friends throughout the week”.
Frøydis Asp Ormåsen is a very bubbly and talented local professional photographer. Originally from Oslo, she came to Voss a few years ago during Veko. She met a group of base jumpers during the week and ended up following them around for a year shooting for them as the left the exit points. Veko adds value in many ways, fun, lifestyle and career opportunities as a photographer.
”I really like to shoot action. I focus on the face because it gives it feeling and adds emotion to the shot. Seeing what the athlete is feeling makes a great shot. I still try to tell a story by shooting the surrounding, but the focus point is on the athletes face. This is highlighted directly with base jumping as the athletes are completely focused and your immersed in their experience.
I also really like the kayaking, specifically the event called Brandseth, because the emotions of the kayaker’s are so visible on the face and they are close enough to get detail.
There are so many disciplines throughout the week, thus a lot of athletes around. They are very easy to pick as they glow with adrenaline and excitement after their days’ adventures.
I didn’t participate in any of the extreme sports this year. I was content in shooting the action. Now after watching some of the events, inevitably getting wrapped up in the atmospheric hype, contagiously soaking up the energy that the athletes beam, I’m definitely going to put down the camera for a day or two next year in order to compete.
I may be overusing the quote that life isn’t just for the weekends, but the week of ‘Veko’ sure engraved the notion of doing something epic each day, big or small.
Its an amazing festival for athletes, spectators and photographers alike. As a photographer this is the pinnacle of shooting action sports with it’s smorgasboard of events.
If your thinking of coming to Extremsportveko, here’s a couple tips for you: Get involved, go to the different events to watch them live – not just in the tent for the daily video. Talk to the athletes and soak up their vibe. Try some of the activities too. Participate in the events and experience what it is you are trying to photograph.
I had an absolute blast over the week. Was fully inspired, tired and stoked all at once. I’ll be making the effort to get even more involved next year.
Check out http://ekstremsportveko.com/ for info on the event. Don’t forget to rummage through the photos
Also feel free to chuck me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Veko or this blog.
Christian Hoiberg: This winter I spent three full months living and guiding in Arctic Norway. While I’ve spent a lot of time there previously, staying there for this extended period of time led to me getting a more intimate understanding of the surroundings.
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