SALEM, OR -- Andrew Studer has made a name for himself by capturing small people in gigantic natural scenes.
The 2013 graduate of Sprague High School, who travels the world as a freelance photographer and videographer, has honed a unique ability to capture people in front of towering mountains, waterfalls and even the Northern Lights.
"When you have the human element, I feel like it connects the viewer to the scene," the 22-year-old said. "You can see the scale but it also helps people to see themselves there."
Studer used that skill to capture one of the iconic — and most widely circulated — photos from Monday's eclipse.
To the ends of the earth.... MASSIVE thanks to @thistommysmith @tedhesser and @martinatib for the preproduction on this shot and climbing expertise! Would have been absolutely impossible without them. This is a single photo, no photoshop.
A post shared by Andrew Studer (@andrew.studer) on
The photo has become so popular that Studer emphasized the photo was a single picture, not stitched together using photoshop.
He set up the picture in partnership with a rock climbing team and Columbia Sportswear. Studer coordinated with a team of rock climbers in advance so they'd be at the perfect spot on Monkey Face — the feature at Smith Rock in the photo — during the moment of totality.
"It took a lot of planning, and we weren't 100 percent sure it would work," he said. "Totality is so short that we were either going to have it, and it would be great, or completely miss it."
Studer said Ted Hesser coordinated with the climbers, Martina Tibell and Tommy Smith. They communicated over radio to get Smith in the right spot on the rock.
"We got pretty lucky — and I had a lot of help — but having a sense of what works and what doesn't was really helpful in this case," Studer said. "I knew to position him right in front of the light and to make sure he wasn't in an awkward or confusing position since that can change a photo so much."
"It was kind of weird in the moment. I was so overwhelmed with how incredible totality was and that this actually worked, I got goosebumps. It felt really special."