Motion lady extraordinary – mountain and ocean photographer, skier and free-diver Melody Sky actually lives life on the sting. We requested her how she bought to the sting within the first place and which got here first, the ocean or the mountain.
“The ocean positively got here first. I’m from Scotland, however by no means skied as a toddler. I spent till 11 years previous in Cornwall, so I used to be a seaside lady from the very starting. Then we lastly moved again to Scotland, just because again then training and the medical system wasn’t that nice in Cornwall and my mother and father had a little bit of fear about how we had been going to develop up. So we moved again to Scotland.
Swimming was my old flame. I used to compete from a really younger age. And really I nonetheless swim now; I like the water. I took off to do a season in Cyprus straight from college, and simply by probability ended up doing a PADI dive course and from there ended up working in a dive college as their underwater photographer. So it wasn’t alleged to be that approach, however that’s what began all of it.
I ended up doing a five-day open-water PADI dive course. Then simply by probability, the boss of the dive college was loading his digital camera in a extremely ridiculous approach. So I stated to him, ‘Would you want me to point out you ways to do this in a better approach?’ He was actually sad with me. He threw the digital camera at me and instructed me to go underwater and take the pictures of the 12 purchasers who had been occurring a dive and see how straightforward it was.
He anticipated me to provide a horrible pictures, however then I went underwater…he got here underwater with me. I took the pictures, then he took the digital camera off me. That night time he had them developed. The subsequent day after I went into the college, he simply checked out me and stated, “So what are your plans for the remainder of the summer season?” In order that’s what I did that summer season and I turned knowledgeable diver and underwater photographer, which I continued for the subsequent few years earlier than snowboarding.
It was a really odd scenario,’ she stated. ‘I used to be residing with a pair referred to as JB and Claire. They’d been going to Tignes within the French Alps for 9 years. She was within the French ski staff and he was only a very passionate skier. They had been each dive instructors, and I lived with them on the time I used to be in Cyprus; they had been my instructors, really. They put me by all my programs.
I went out to expertise their life in Tignes. I actually wasn’t within the chilly, I wasn’t considering snowboarding. They tried to persuade me to go there for 3 years, I believe it was. I stated, ‘I don’t get why you folks put items of wooden in your toes and go down a mountain. I don’t get it. I’m not within the chilly.’
Mainly I went out to shock them in November time and I’d by no means seen snow prefer it. It was simply unbelievable. I got here from Scotland the place you had moist, not deep, moist snow and it was simply unbelievable. I went to Harry’s Bar, which is the place I ended up working for some time and it turned out that they weren’t there…and I used to be. They’d gone off to Canada for the primary time in 9 years. pal of mine who owned Harry’s Bar on the time stated to me if I used to be to remain for the season, he’d give me a job in his bar. So I took the job in Harry’s Bar and ended up with a job educating ice-diving in Tignes.
That season I went straight into scuba diving as a result of the ice-diving college there, they heard that there was a younger lady on the town who was a scuba diver. However the one drawback was I used to be a PADI diver and the French – very very like with their ski system – they such as you to observe their system.
So that they stated to me, if I might be taught French and undergo the French system or SSI, then they’d give me a job. In order that’s what I did. I did my dive programs yet again from the start and learnt French as quick as attainable and ended up with a job because the ice-diver in Tignes.
All people’s seen a horror film the place you undergo the ice and you may’t discover your approach out. It may be a bit like that. However we had been very, very safety-cautious and we used to chop three holes in form of a triangle. I’d say it was most likely 30, 40 metres other than one another. Firstly of the season we’d connect a line beneath to observe that triangle, in order that no one would get misplaced. That was mainly the route we caught to. There have been solely a few occasions I needed to go together with a journalist, as journalists love to do issues a bit extra adventurous, I’d should go off a bit additional out of this loop. However when it snowed, it was actually, actually darkish.
My first season it was an enormous season and the ice was at the very least a metre, a metre and a half thick with the snow on high. It was very, very darkish. But it surely was very nice the place the sunshine got here by the holes, it could simply form of shimmer within the water and you might simply see that within the distance.
Often, if I had a consumer who was fairly humorous or appeared to need to take pleasure in themselves underwater and have some enjoyable, I might inflate my dry go well with, flip myself the wrong way up and form of stroll the wrong way up below the ice after which stroll in the direction of them, waddle in the direction of them.
The varsity that owned the dive centre on the time had been additionally a ski college. Evolution 2 had form of all types of sports activities occurring. So I used to be clearly actually into pictures and I used to be a horrible ski photographer. I used to take the odd ski photograph of buddies and, after which can’t keep in mind why, however I believe I watched my first ski film there. I knew nothing about snowboarding and the primary film I noticed was an area ski movie from three native guys. I watched it and stated, ‘That’s what I need to do with my life. I need to make ski films.’
I’d by no means even used a movie digital camera earlier than, however then I did. I bought myself a digital camera, after which Evolution 2 provided me a job filming their ski teams. So on my first season’s snowboarding ever I’m up there making movies.
Any individual as soon as stated to me that they suppose I used to be the primary feminine ski movie maker ever to have my movies and TV exhibits or movies proven on a cinema display screen. However I don’t know, there could have been one other lady earlier than me who was on the market. I’m positive there was, however can’t discover any info on that. So sure, I used to be very younger and it was a few years, many, a few years in the past. So who is aware of…
I really determined after I was in Tignes and doing the ice diving and making the ski movies and so forth, I got here to a crossroads and thought, if I need to do that professionally, perhaps I’ve to go and research it. However then I additionally wished to go to Australia at that time – 26 years previous was the cut-off level for the work visa when you wished to go and work and journey in Australia.
So mainly I flipped a coin on college or Australia and I bought college, and so I did it. I seemed for anyplace that will do a combined diploma of movie and sports activities science as a result of I wished to check each movie and sport. I discovered a college in London that did that. I used to be 26, a mature scholar after I began college and did a level in movie and sports activities science. However what was nice about that was on the primary yr, after all, you had summer season holidays and so I took the summer season off and labored in a dive college as a photographer in Barbados.
After which on the second yr I found you might do an trade placement. So I transferred to Melbourne for the second yr. I learnt extra in Australia than did within the UK, just because it was a really sensible diploma in Australia – we had been chopping and splicing previous movie and I needed to act and direct and edit, and it was actually being out on the sector.
I managed to journey loads as effectively. We had a chalet at Mount Buller, so within the winter I used to be snowboarding and in the summertime I used to be on the ocean. Then within the third yr I went again to London and did my dissertation on the affect of mass media on the intrinsic tradition of maximum sports activities. I mainly studied freeride snowboarding for a yr, after which the yr after I ended up in Verbier making ski movies.
Till about 12 years in the past, I used to be largely filming, so I made numerous ski films and filming freeride occasions. Then I began doing extra pictures than filming. So it’s a bit just like the ocean and the mountains: for a few years I’ll favor one to the opposite after which I’ll change. And it’s the identical with filming and pictures. Proper now I’m actually deep into the pictures aspect of issues and subsequent yr I is likely to be filming loads once more.
I typically get requested the query, ‘Would you advocate this job to anybody else?’ No approach. It’s such onerous work. I find it irresistible, however I believe that’s what folks don’t realise is that I’ve a 15, 20 kilo bag on my again and I’m having to hike to the identical locations because the athlete. I’m not an athlete and it’s actually bodily.
What folks additionally don’t realise is that after I’ve finished my full day on the mountain, a full work day, then you definately go house and have a little bit little bit of dinner, perhaps do a little bit of yoga or one thing. However then my workplace hour begins…my workplace eight hours. So I’m normally at my pc till midnight on daily basis until I’ve a dinner out or one thing. I’m not often not working within the evenings. So sure, it’s plenty of work. It’s not like I’ve weekends off or something like that.
You by no means have a set sample, you simply don’t know what’s going to be across the nook. It’s that selection I like. I don’t know what’s developing subsequent and it’s by no means boring. I additionally like that I can plan my very own life. I can tackle the roles I need to and switch down the roles I don’t need. And if I really feel like an extended lie-in, I can take an extended lie. Although I’ve chosen to be self-employed and work these lengthy hours, I don’t should stand up. If I don’t have a job, I can sleep so long as I like. So there’s execs and cons to the entire thing.
I simply completed a extremely enjoyable undertaking and truly it’s actually attention-grabbing as a result of there was a manufacturing firm from Norway referred to as Course of and a model referred to as Klätternmusen from Sweden who had the concept to make a movie about photographers. Mainly they only took us to Senja, Norway, which is an unbelievable place, and we skied in essentially the most unbelievable surroundings and mountains. The movie was how we could possibly be in the identical location and the way completely different our pictures may end up.
There was a Finnish photographer from Verbier who’s a extremely good pal of mine, and a Swedish photographer as effectively, and we didn’t have athletes with us. We had been the athletes, so we had been taking pictures one another, which was fairly comical. Then we needed to ski to have photographs taken of us. We needed to ski with our digital camera baggage as effectively, having to look elegant snowboarding with our huge packs. Generally you may get away with it since you’re not in entrance of the digital camera, however we really needed to attempt to ski very effectively in entrance of the digital camera as effectively.
But it surely was actually good and it was a pleasant undertaking as a result of folks really get to see within the movie what we undergo, the place we’re really doing the identical ski excursions, we’re climbing the identical mountains and we’re snowboarding the identical snow, however now we have an enormous digital camera bag on our again.
I’ve additionally turned a few of my pictures into art work. That was born out of a charity occasion. A pal of mine bought married in Sri Lanka and her mum runs a tremendous charity taking care of 5 villages in Sri Lanka. She’s all on her personal, however she brings meals and drugs to them. I went to go to the slums that she was working in and so forth, and I couldn’t consider the work she was placing in simply on her personal.
So after we bought again to Verbier, my pal and I – really it was her daughter – we determined to run a fundraiser in Verbier for her charity, and had all these stunning photos from the slums, these unbelievable black and white pictures of the folks and in addition the elephants. We went to see a lot of elephants and I then thought, ‘Oh, that is so finished. I’ve to provide you with a unique concept.’
In order that was after I began creating artwork out of my pictures. So I took numerous the pictures of elephants. I performed round with patterns. My pc turned them into graphic artwork and it turned fairly a preferred product in Verbier. I really did an Alpine collection as effectively. The W Lodge in Verbier, which was voted the world’s finest ski lodge….all their lifts now have my graphic artwork they usually’ve bought it of their suites as effectively. I’ve began working loads with prints and art work and very often folks in Verbier will ask if I can go and take a look at their chalet and provides them an concept of what I believe will work effectively on their partitions.
Generally. I’ve checked out a wall and it’s been a three-metre-long wall and I’ve stated, ‘Oh, okay, let’s do a Japanese scroll there with some gold leaf on it on a photograph, and drop some material.’ And so it’s not only a photograph print; I wish to provide you with completely different concepts and be a bit inventive and inventive with it. So I’ve labored with a few inside designers now, and that’s a pleasant sideline.
My web site is MelodySky.com and my Instagram is @MelodySkyphotography. There’s a print store on my web site as effectively, so folks can purchase work on there, but in addition they will contact me and I can utterly customise or personalise one thing. Additionally I can produce work that’s not on the web site.
Till now I’ve finished largely non-public pictures programs or weekend programs, however this summer season I’m really contemplating performing some larger workshops with glaciologists and astronomers additionally there to assist educate folks on the pictures we’re doing – a bit deeper than the standard workshop.”
You may learn a fuller model of this function on the Motion Packed Journey web site and listen to our interview with Melody on Spotify or Apple podcasts.