A couple of months ago I was invited to take part in the Deep Winter photo challenge here in Whistler, BC. The idea behind the competition is that 5 invited photographers assemble a team of riders to shoot with for 3 days and the resulting photos are combined into a slideshow of approximately 3 minutes. The shows are judged by a panel of photo editors from various magazines and all the shows are played to a crowd of hundreds of people at one of the hotels in Whistler. We shot the photos between the 6th and 8th of January and predictably for whistler, the conditions were incredibly challenging.
The first day was blowing a blizzard, quickly resulting in a lot of very very wet camera equipment. On the second day the freezing level went up to the alpine leaving all the fresh snow feeling like you were skiing through custard on top of that it was raining at some levels. The third day was somewhat nicer, a few rays of sunshine poked through but snow conditions were less than stellar and the alpine areas of the mountain remained closed due to avalanche danger.
Before the competition began i was somewhat apprehensive. Normally its a good days shooting if you get one or two great shots but to get enough shots to fill a 3 minute slide show in only 3 days was going to be a challenge. Add to that the unknown weather conditions and well…. you get the idea. It’s TOUGH! By the end of the third day we were exhausted and I only had a few hours to put together the show. In the end I was driving to the hotel to deliver the DVD while it was still burning in my laptop on the seat next to me!
I picked a couple of local skiers for my team , Leigh Powis and Pierrot Bernier. A bit of local knowledge was going to be a much needed asset for this comp. When it was all finished up I was pleased with what we achieved. The winners crown on the night went to Jordan Manley, with some incredible lifestyle work in his show and some great skiing by Chad Sayers. As part of my show I tried out a new rig to provide a different perspective on things. Mounting my Canon 5dMKII on a Manfrotto Magic arm and firing it remotely with a pocketwizard gives an interesting close up view of things. See below for the setup and example photo. This was certainly the toughest few days photography of my career, the atmosphere at the show in the evening was incredible. Its a great feeling to see a huge room full of people get so excited about photography!
I have been pretty busy the last few weeks so appologies on the lack of updates but expect a few more this coming week as I catch up on things!