Photographer Zandy Mangold's favourite Atacama Crossing 2011 shots

New York based photographer Zandy Mangold was shooting his fifth event for RacingThePlanet when he travelled to San Pedro de Atacama in March 2011.

The first time Zandy was our photographer was back at the Atacama Crossing 2009, and he relished the opportunity to go back to revisit the Chile course and tackle it from a position of experience.

The photos are fantastic and Zandy trekked into locations that previously we haven't been able to insert a photographer, so there's a number of landscapes that have been captured on film for the first time.

We'll be seeing Zandy next when he shoots RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 in November. He says, "I am particularly looking forward to my next assignment in Nepal to photograph what is shaping up to be an epic race set against breathtaking scenery."

When we asked him to pull out his top 5 shots, his response was "Just 5 shots? impossible to choose!" But he's given it some thought, and managed to contain himself to the six below.



"In order to frame Darren [Nichols] in between Anders' [Jensen] stride I had to sprint full tilt down a steep dune without regard for life or limb and fire off several sequences of rapid shots in order to capture the moment. An exhausted, but exhilarated-to-be-going-downhill Anders mustered a final leap in which we made the photo."



"Camping under the night sky of the Atacama is a unique experience."



"Numb from my knees down, and half submerged in the icy stream i was able to catch a competitor struggling through the slot canyon.  This image represents one of the many challenges competitors face throughout the week."



"I was touched by the support shown to Ali Kedami by the entire RacingThePlanet community, both racers and staff, as he struggled to finish Stage 3."



"Save for a brief moment at the start of each stage, one rarely sees the competitors racing all together."



"The sustained concentration required to not injure oneself yet maintain a competitive pace on the treacherous course is captured in this image of Darren Nichols descending while Michele Ufer, above, is next to negotiate the course."

Working in such hostile environments is a challenge for photographers. We asked Zandy about the equipment he uses.

"I mainly use a Canon Mark III with 2.8 70-200mm lens and a 5D Mark II with 2.8 24-70 lens. I try to never change lenses because it is impossible to clean the sensor in the outdoor conditions. I also bring a 5D back up with a 1.4 50mm and a 14mm recta-linear 2.8 in case i need to go super wide for those awesome landscapes."

To see all of Zandy's photos from the Atacama Crossing, visit the race gallery here. And to find out more about our intrepid photographer, you can visit his website www.zandymangoldnyc.com.

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