ARTICLE

Samo Vidic

Surfer Tao Schirrmacher rides a powerful wave, photographed by Samo Vidic on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.
"The Eisbach river in Munich has a very unique surf spot where surfers are active most of the year, making them a popular tourist attraction," says Canon Ambassador Samo Vidic, who shot this image at night. "This is Tao Schirrmacher, one of the best surfers there." Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM (now succeeded by the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM) lens at 1/250 sec, f/3.5 and ISO400. © Samo Vidic

Sport, adventure and commercial photographer Samo Vidic is driven by a desire to achieve and create images that often defy the odds.

Canon Ambassador Samo doesn't believe in the word 'no'. He has spent his career impressing his many clients with a determination to achieve the impossible. Whether he's emphasising the raw energy of whitewater kayaking, creating a colourful motion blur behind a sprinter or giving a disabled cyclist the freedom of a mountain bike again after a paralysing injury, Samo is a master of illusion.

Canon Ambassador Samo Vidic.


Location: Slovenia
Specialist areas: Sport, commercial, adventure
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

He started his photographic journey at the age of 17, teaching himself the basics by taking pictures of his friends while on hiking expeditions. His fascination with what could be achieved by using different cameras, lenses and films meant he rapidly gained knowledge and soon realised that photography could be his dream job. Four years later, he sold his first image and turned professional at the age of 23. Now he shoots live sporting events for clients such as Limex Images, Red Bull and Getty Images. His photos have been published around the world in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines such as Outside, L'Équipe, ESPN, The Boston Globe and The New York Times.

Cliff diver Orlando Duque swims underwater, photographed by Samo Vidic on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.
Samo photographed Colombian cliff-diving legend Orlando Duque underwater after his dive from 28 metres on the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo in São Miguel, Azores, Portugal. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/1600 sec, f/4 and ISO400. © Samo Vidic

He regards the most outstanding achievement of his career to date as: "getting to where I am today; to have become a professional photographer who gets to do amazing projects, work with great clients, travel all over the world and transform ideas into reality is a dream come true. The fact that my work is recognised and has been given awards is another great achievement for me personally. Each of the projects I have done was interesting and somehow different, so I cannot choose only one."

Samo has won multiple prizes at the Slovenian Press Photo awards and he won the Wings category at the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2013. Recognition is all very well, but Samo loves nothing more than to inspire and engage. When he's not busy on a shoot he teaches in workshops where his infectious personality and 'never-say-never' attitude wins him fans and prompts them to pick up a camera.

Snowboarder Tim-Kevin Ravnjak stands at the top of a Swiss mountain, surrounded by lens flare from the sun, photographed by Samo Vidic on a Canon EOS-1D X.
"This photo was taken in Lax, Switzerland. I spent a few days there with snowboarder Tim-Kevin Ravnjak," says Samo. "I put a little bit of snow on the lens which melted and took some photos against the sun." Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X (now succeeded by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 31mm, 1/8000 sec, f/5.6 and ISO200. © Samo Vidic

Samo mixes technique and ingenuity with a preference for experimentation. "It's always good to think outside of the box. You should try different things and keep pushing. I have tried many things that didn't work. If you have an idea, try it two or three times. Maybe the first time it won't work for you. Maybe you need to change a few things and then it might be something really good. From small, stupid ideas you can get something really cool," he says.

Samo has worked with Canon on a number of eye-catching video projects with top sports stars and reveals: "I'm planning some interesting and different projects."

Slovenian hang glider Matjaž Klemenčič in flight, photographed from above by Samo Vidic on a Canon EOS-1D X.
"I was on a shoot with Slovenian hang glider Matjaž Klemenčič when he landed on the wing of the glider plane. This photo was taken when he was descending back to the base and I was on the helicopter. I saw this beautiful light and the shadows and took the photo right away," says Samo. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens at 1/2500 sec, f/3.5 and ISO400. © Samo Vidic

What inspired you to pursue photography as a career?

"There was always something about photography that I found interesting. When I was younger I was always shooting hiking trips with a very simple point-and-shoot camera. I was clueless then but always wanted to capture my friends a little bit differently. My friend's father, who was a photographer, was the first person to notice my photos and told me I had an eye for it."


What is the best lesson you have learnt during your career so far?

"If you work hard and play fair, you will succeed."


What drives your creative ideas?

"The best time to figure out something creative is when you don't have jobs. That is when I relax and think about doing something new."


How has Canon technology helped you to shoot your projects?

"I've been with Canon since the beginning of my career and it has never let me down. On those rare occasions when I, for example, needed to clean the camera urgently, the Canon Professional Services support network does a great job. The newest technologies are helping me to finish my job faster and better."


Why do you think the Canon Ambassadors Programme is important and what do you hope to achieve by being a part of it?

"I remember when Canon launched the Ambassadors Programme – I was checking Ambassadors' profiles and admired their work. I am really honoured to have become part of the great group of professionals. This isn't only a validation of my work but also Canon's support of some of my projects means I can focus on doing what I do best. I also value the opportunities of knowledge sharing between the photographers in the forms of lectures and workshops. I hope that with Canon's support, I can continue realising my ideas and also to contribute in any way I can."


Instagram: @samovidic
Facebook: Samo Vidic Photos
Website: samovidic.com

One thing I know
Samo Vidic

"Work harder than the rest of the photographers and work differently. Innovate and come up with new concepts. Follow your dreams but don't expect instant success."

Samo Vidic's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Samo Vidic's kitbag, containing Canon cameras and lenses.

Cameras

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Sharp and precise autofocus in a compact package, and legendarily fast, this is the favourite camera of many professionals. "Fast AF, great high ISO, plus it's durable, robust and reliable. I always have two of them in my bag," says Samo.

Lenses

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

The predecessor to the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, this high-performance super-telephoto lens has a 4-stop Image Stabiliser that is ideal for capturing fast-moving action. "My favourite lens for shooting sports," says Samo. "It's fast, sharp and offers great colours and contrast."

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

A much-loved kitbag standard, the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM can limit depth of field at wide apertures and make the subject stand out against the background – ideal for documentary photography. "My favourite lens for shooting lifestyle – it has amazing colours and sharpness," Samo says.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

A fast, lightweight, high-quality telephoto lens, ideal for capturing fast-paced sports in low light conditions. "It's a great lens for shooting sports indoors," Samo agrees. "It has a fast aperture, plus great AF and colours."

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM

This high-magnification, super-telephoto lens has integrated Image Stabiliser technology, making it ideal for wildlife and sport photographers working in the field. "It's really sharp, with great colours," says Samo. "It's also light, so I can shoot handheld if needed, and it works great with extenders."

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