About a month ago I got the opportunity to shoot photos with the US Women’s Ski Jumping team for a few stories ESPN was doing on the team, and the road to their first ever Olympic event as women’s ski jumping will debut in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I was out there to photograph a day in the life of the team, which not only involves the day to day training and jumping but in the case of this team it involves hustling in funds to support the team. The team members I got to work with are Abby Hughes, Alyssa Johnson, Jessica Jerome, Lindsey Van, Nina Lussi and Sarah Hendrickson. They are a great bunch of women that was pretty fun to work with. This is a selection of photos that ESPN used in a “Total Access” photo gallery. Check out the gallery here:
Archive for the 'Recently Published Photos' Category
The first few issues of the magazines of the season are always a bit more of a treat to see your shots in print as it’s been eight to ten months since I’ve seen a fresh ski magazine come across the newsstands.
John Ware (Left) – Powder Magazine – September 2013 Shooting Gallery – Hartford, CT – w/Level 1 Productions
Tom Wallisch – Powder Magazine – September 2013 – P72 – The Wallisch Project
The Wallisch Project Cover Art
Sig Tveit – Freeskier Magazine – 2014 Buyer’s Guide – Sun Valley, Idaho – w/Level 1 Productions
Will Berman – Freeskier Magazine 2014 Buyer’s Guide – p77 – Slopestyle Ski Shop Ad – w/4Bi9 Media
Sometimes I get the photo how I want pretty quickly, and sometimes, like this time it took a second trip, and a few more hours before I was able to figure out how to light this one. To add to this, it took two days, a new motor, and a ton of frustration until we were able to get the winch cranking fast enough to allow the skiers to get the tricks they wanted. There’s always that first jib feature of the trip that gets me shaking my head, thinking “you fuckers are crazy.” Well, this was it. Mike Hornbeck, sliding up, around and back down on this ledge was pretty nuts. I don’t always get to shoot near sunset but fortunately on January 3rd in Anchorage, Alaska, we had about an hour and a half of this kind of sky, which is pretty damn awesome when you’re trying to get just the right shot, on such a difficult feature for the skiers to get.
This is the time of year when I get really excited, then really disappointed at the same time. The photo annuals carry some of the best images of the year and every year my anticipation for what I could have in these issues grows as things get closer. I see my shots, I don’t see shots I hoped I’d have in there, and then there’s everyone else’s work, typically from Mattias Fredriksson, Jordan Manley, Blake Jorgenson, Nate Abbott, Bryn Hughes, Christian Pondella, Alex O’Brien, Adam Clark, Grant Gunderson, Steve Lloyd, Tero Repo, and with the new blood with guys like Darcy Bacha, Garrett Grove and Jim Harris. I see everyone else’s shots thinking how the hell did they pull that off, why the hell did I never think of that, those crazy bastards, or the one that gets me the most, I tried that, and I couldn’t pull it off. Regardless of seeing others pull off what I couldn’t figure out I’m always stoked to see great work, shots that make me think about how they pulled it off, where they had to go to get the shots, and of course the ones that drive me to try and come up with new ideas as well. This year’s images in the Photo Annuals were the same in those ways, but this season was especially a great collection of images as Powder Magazine’s photo annual was simply massive. Seeing all that great work in one place, it’s pretty rad and I’m glad to be a part of it.
Below are my images in the Photo Annual’s of both Powder and Freeskier Magazines. Thanks for looking!
Powder Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p89 – Tom Wallisch sliding a c-rail in Anchorage, Alaska – Level 1 Productions
Powder Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p104 – Sig Tveit at Sun Valley Resort, Idaho – Level 1 Productions
Powder Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p106 – Cam Riley hiking a stair set in Spokane,Washington – Poor Boyz Productions
Powder Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p148 – Random Joey walking around the streets of Helena, Montana, with a helmet on.
Powder Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p166- Steve Stepp Voice profile
Freeskier Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p8 – Niklas Ericsson at Sun Valley Resort, Idaho – Level 1 Productions
Freeskier Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p68-69 – Tom Wallisch disastering a flat down ledge in Anchorage, Alaska – Level 1 Productions
Freeskier Magazine 2013 Photo Annual – p81 (right) – Logan Imlach pulling the guts out of his winch trying to get her to behave – Level 1 Productions
Powder Magazine – November 2012 – p32 – Clayton Vila in Spokane, Washington – w/ Poor Boyz Productions
There’s always a bunch of cool back stories behind a bunch of the photo and video shots we take throughout the season. Most are just about the shoot, what went into it, how it came together, and the crazy ideas that the skiers came up with. This one however goes back a bit deeper. Heather Thamm randomly contacted me after seeing this shot in Powder Magazine of Clayton Vila w/ Poor Boyz Productions. Turns out, in this small world of skiing, her father John F. Thamm was commissioned to paint those murals on the Maple Street Bridge trestles 30 years ago in Spokane, Washington.
Just before she had seen the shot in Powder Magazine, she had just written this in her blog about the murals. Small, small world. Thanks for Sharing Heather!http://www.heatherthammphotos.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html
Three drive by’s, two inspections, killed a few hours, then we finally went in. 10pm-6am. Sometimes the features, the tricks we are shooting that the skiers do are more of something that works better in video and not so much photos. Sometimes it works for both, and almost never do I get to shoot on one that is more for photos than video. Fortunately on this trip the skiers decided to hook me up and we went to this location. Visually, this place was pretty awesome by itself. Great architectural lines, great texture in the materials of the building, good landscape to the building. Now, just add Tom Wallisch. Well actually, just add snow. A lot of it. The landing had to be completely imported, about 6″ deep of snow in a strip about 15×50 feet, also we had to pile snow on the stairs to act as the jump. We were there for a bit building this, well into the morning. For me, this came out exactly as I had designed the shot out in my mind, even the lighting. A good, long day, making the trip worthwhile this this North Face ad coming out of it.
As usual these days, this one was shot with the whole truckload of lighting. Everything I brought. This was also my first go with the Canon 5D MK3. All season I had been missing the low light capabilities of my old Nikon D3 but Canon finally caught up with the 5D MK3 which helped out a lot on this one since I only had my travel light kit with me. Since the scene was so large in this feature, I was forced to use each speedlight as if it was a full-sized studio light. With that, there was a lot less light/power available and I had to crank up the ISO to 1000 @ f5 to compensate as I’m usually shooting night shots at ISO 200 @ f8.
The last two years I’ve had the rare opportunity to literally stand on the rumble strips of the full configuration of Miller Motorsports Park. However, it’s at a bit lower speed from the normal 100+mph race car and superbike action usually seen here. The Tour of Utah has come to Miller Motorsports Park the last four years for the time trial event and the last two years I’ve gone out and assisted (strobe pack bitch) for my friend Re Wikstrom who was shooting photos for RealCyclist.com. I’ve spent a lot of time out at Miller Motorsports Park shooting photos of race cars and superbikes so coming into this I knew the venue, what turns looked good at what time of day, etc. It’s one of the few times I’ve stepped into shooting a fairly unpracticed subject where I wasn’t worried about coming home with good photos. This shot was taken on Devil, the triple apex turn 7 of the full track configuration. I’m looking forward to this year’s team time trials event!
Tom Wallisch at Breckenridge Resort, Colorado during a shoot for Level 1 Productions film After Dark.
Nikon D3 + Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 + Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed (2) + Paul Buff Einstein’s (2) + Nikon SB80 DX (5) + PocketWizard Plus, Multimax, FlexTT5 transcievers + industrial fog machine
It usually doesn’t work out where two of your favorite shots of the year end up being ads for the same company, with the same athlete. Last season I guess it just came together. Myself and Tom drove out from Salt Lake City the day of this shoot going from almost summer weather in Salt Lake to full to being slapped in the face with full on winter when we arrived to Peak 9 at Breckenridge Resort, Colorado. We were late and the crew was about an hour into the shoot. We unloaded our gear, got our gear on in the car and caught a snowmobile ride up to the feature. Level 1 Productions brought up a fog machine and combined with the snowfall, it made the shot for me. If you haven’t worked with a fog machine outside before, you’re in for one hell of a treat. I mean frustration. If the wind picks up at all, you lose all control of the fog and with wind being unpredictable, it’s all the luck of the draw. Fortunately this photo happened about half way into the session since the wind picked up a bit after that and made things difficult to say the least. With the wind being one of the elements of challenge in this shot, the snow became another challenge. None of the skiers were really excited about the heavy snowfall, but of course it’s my favorite bit of conditions to work in. Shooting with heavy snowfall brings in some challenges with keeping your lenses clean and dry, but also keeping my strobes dry and working properly too. Something as simple as a large plastic bag going over your strobes can do it. So far the bags that my outerwear comes in have been the best ones for this as they are HUGE and of course, clear. I have heard that a turkey basting bag works very well and is a bit easier to come by, as just about any grocery store is going to carry these. All that being said, I love shooting with the snow falling. There’s so many things you can do with depth of field and all the different lighting options, it can add a bit of extra dimension to the shot. As with most times I go out to shoot at night, we finished this night up about midnight and the very long day finally came to a close.
I know this was an ad somewhere, I just don’t know where. If anyone has seen it anywhere, please let me know!