Christian Pondella action sports photographerBased out of Mammoth Lakes, California, Christian Pondella is one of the world’s leading action sports photographers. His work for clients like Outside, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Maxim, FHM, and GQ magazine see him traveling the world with some of the most extreme athletes on the planet. For over 10 years Christian has worked as the head photographer for Red Bull USA, capturing many of the amazing images of Red Bull athletes that we see throughout the media for projects like Red Bull Rampage and Cold Rush as well as covering countless X-Games events. He’s a member of the Sandisk Extreme Team and and the F-Stop Faction and works as a senior photographer for Powder magazine in the winter.

As Christian’s portrait image on the left shows, he’s not afraid to get involved in the sports that’s he’s shooting and this athleticism has lead to a unique portfolio of images that really captures life from an athlete’s perspective. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Christian in Hong Kong this past autumn when we were part of the Red Bull Illume ceremony and I can say that not only is he a legend in the world of action sports photography, but he’s also a real stand-up guy as well.

Location based sports photography like Christian’s work often involves a varying collection of photographic gear as situation, accessibility and location dictate. Below he’s shared with us his recent gear selection for a climbing shoot in California.

Bonus Video – Christian Pondella – Life In Focus

One Photo That Defines The Type Of Work You Do

Christian Pondella camera bag

Description: “Too Big to Flail” V10 – Buttermilks, CA – Lonnie Kauk on the second ascent.

EXIF: 24mm , 1/250, f/11, iso 200 with a Canon 17-40 f/4 L and a Canon EOS 1-Dx

So Christian, What’s In Your Camera Bag?

This is a great example of Christian’s kit because it’s actually the gear that was used to make the climbing image that you see above. An image that ran as a double page spread in Climbing Magazine.


Christian Pondella


Christian Pondella


Gear List

  • Bag 2: Fstop signature series prototype



Follow Christian

Website –

Instagram – @christianpondella

Facebook – Christian Pondella Photography



You may like

Support the site - It’s easy!

Did you find this post useful and interesting? - I’ve invested thousands of hours into creating the content you find for free on this blog. The best way to say thanks is check out our online store, or use the product links in the post when you make your purchases. We may make a small commission when you do this, and that helps to keep the site running. Click here to find more links that support the site, or use these primary ones: B&H PhotoAmazonAdoramaThink Tank (free gift on $50+ spend)MindShift Gear (free gift on $50+ spend)LensRentalsCoffee. - Thanks for your support and readership!.