Shooting in The Ice cave – Austria

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Shooting in The Ice cave – Austria



Working with Fel as the model again the challenge was set for day two. We had to head into the ice caves to shoot two looks but as it was day 2 we had to carry all of the equipment via the 3 cable cars once more to what was in fact a prefect day weather wise. Sunny and warmer we were on for look one. It was with that that we headed down into the depths of the glacier.

Logistically this was the most challenging

The location was very wet with water dripping everywhere not to mention the precarious footing. So despite these technicalities we knew working with LED lights and a timed exposure was the only way to go. Once we all adorned crampons and made our way into the location both Fel and I had to be lowered into the ice cave and onto it’s floor which in itself was frozen in time above a great deep lake under the ice floor. Health and safety did not feature here. As the minutes ticked by the cold began to penetrate both Fel and myself.

How it all mapped out.

Fel Cassieli was a flawlessly professional model, working within the ice cave in sub zero temperatures, there was the team wrapped up warm despite battling with the confines of space, severely wet atmosphere etc and Fel adorning nothing more than a beautiful gold dress – the consummate professional.

The platform on which we were shooting was particularly treacherous with James standing a hares width away from the ice cold cavernous waters within the cave, one false move and it would be a more than ‘invigorating’ icy bath!

Three cable car journeys again to get to the summit, this was not the end as it was a hike back down the mountain a way to get in to the ice caves with the equipment.


The map below gives you an overall idea of the location we had to shoot in, the mountain we were on exceeds 12000 ft and does give you the breathless feeling. We were there in August but as you can see from the material video etc more than enough snow was available and many people were popping up for the afternoon ski before dinner.

Video: The shooting of SKADI

In the video

You can see James working with the team and models to create the fab look for Goddess number 2 SKADI . Watch how he shoots though the streaming water and dampness and works with the  model to achieve the look. One of the most testing and challenging of shoots creatively and of course technically.

ice cave hintertux-james nader fashion photographer-lambertz


  • Temp: 0.01c
  • Camera: NIKON D3X
  • Lens: Nikon 24-70mm
  • Shutter: 1/50
  • Aperture: F11
  • ISO: 800
  • Any Problems: Freezing, Damp, lots of dripping water, danger to camera 
  • Model: Fel Cassielli
  • Photographer: James Nader
  • Senior assistant: Phil Connor
  • TeamNader
  • Producer Marco – Lambertz
  • Styling – Andrea Kiss
  • Makeup – Chris

james nader fashion photographer- hintertux

In this image of Fel as Goddess SKADI there is a little more grain by using the Nikon and not the Hasselblad, however it allowed a good timed exposure in a very wet environment and allowed me to compose effectively on the fly without worrying that much about water damage to the camera which may have been the issue with the Hasselblad. The has been  compositing to complete the look and colour balance. I remained in the hole after the shoot and the model had gone so I could shoot many images of the ice cave and any items that i needed to complete the picture. This was particularly for the foot and knee as she was kneeling on a dressing gown.

we had a total of two BOWENS LED lights powered from a Tronix battery pack and two smaller hand heldl 300 LED units held to illuminate the cathedral stele ice stalagmites and stalactites

A single light source powered from a battery pack created the mystical lighting that was required by the client and technically it gave me enough contrast to pull her out away from the background and create a little depth even though using a wide-angle lens.

Some other shots used in the Lambertz Calendar 2014

skadi calendar images by james nader

James Talks a little about the shots to be done and how teamnader went about delivering and with what

You can see below a generic video which was used in the Lambertz marketing campaign in Europe and UK it was featured in Stern magazine and in UK the Mail plus numerous news and online blogs. James was interviewed many times and in fact think did over 16 interviews and opinions on the shoot and how it all went.

James runs though some of the images at a daily client review and talks about the shoots done on the mountain in Hintertux and we also add in a few behind the scenes en route to Slovenia and Croatia

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