“I was thinking maybe you could gap this ravine?”
James Geen, local Portes du Soleil photographer, was piecing together a photo he had visualised for some time. We had arrived at the location and he was sharing the vision with me (directing the performing monkey).
It was a phrase that reminded me of Shane McConkey’s impersonation of ski photographers in one of his films: “Just ski down there and jump off something, for cryin’ out loud!”
While some ski photographs materialise as a result of something the skier spots and wants to do, others, such as this, come from the photographer’s eye for a good shot.
So, somewhere in the collection of giant boulders up near the top of the Brochaux chairlift in Lindarets, Avoriaz, there was a 25ft x 25ft gap that needed jumping.
On inspection, there was a fine line between undershooting and overshooting the landing on the other side, but I figured the undershoot and resulting clatter to the bottom of the chasm was probably the least desirable of the options, so I made sure I had more than enough speed.
There wasn’t any space for trickery so I went for the simple tuck and enjoyed the ride as the ground opened up beneath me. The truth is I just made it.
James shot with a Canon 7D and 17-40mm and had a strobe at the bottom of the gap to uplight me to balance the backlighting from the sun.
In the original shot, there was a backlit trail of snow in the air which flew up after take-off because the snow was so light. Great fun.
Thanks James. Looking forward to getting more goods this coming season.