Season Highlights from Spyder Photographers

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Our photographers, Drew Clark and Max Nolan, handpicked some of their favorite photos from this past season and gave a little context about the moments themselves. From X-Games, to Birds of Prey, there were some amazing ski moments captured. As snow-sports are temporarily paused for now, sit-back and reminisce on an incredible season and know that new memories to capture will be back again soon.


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It always feels good when you can visualize a shot before it happens and then actually capture it. During finals of the Visa Big Air in Atlanta, GA, I did just that. I decided to park it on the top of the ramp to capture some portraits of athletes as they were preparing to drop in for their final runs. The lights in the stadium were really dramatic giving some interesting rim lighting, which you normally don’t get when you shoot an event in daylight. Having been at Big Air events before, I knew Alex Hall would do his usual stretch/practice grab before he dropped in and thought this would make for an epic shot. From there all I had to do was line up behind him and wait for the perfect moment. -Max

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At World Cup races I love being at the start to capture the intensity of pre-race preparation. The finish corral, however, provides opportunity to capture unique post-run expressions. This shot of Mikaela Shiffrin was right after her first run of Slalom, where she took a commanding lead. What was interesting was how intense she was after the run; just focused on what she had to do next. When she came around the corner of the finish corral exit, I snapped a few photos and thought nothing of it. When I flipped through them later on the computer, I noticed she was looking right at me in this one, truly capturing her intensity. -Max

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We only get to see one Men’s race a year in the US, and we’re lucky that it’s in our backyard. I’ve been going to the Birds of Prey race my entire life, and I have only been lucky enough to see an American win a handful of times. When Tommy Ford was in first place after run one I was immediately thinking about where to be if he came down in the lead after run two. I thought it would be a strong photo if I could get his reaction along with one of the clocks in the finish showing his result, and he did not disappoint. -Max

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X Games this year had a new event that is now my absolute favorite: Knuckle Huck. What was interesting though was how hard it was to shoot. We weren’t allowed to be on the knuckle and had to be in the finish corral, so shooting up to the knuckle left a lot to be desired. Instead I focused my attention on the athletes as they watched each other come down, building hype one after the other. This photo of Spyder Athletes Quinn Wolferman and Alex Hall witnessing Henrik Harlaut’s final hit captures it all. It’s humbling to see how much support and stoke there is between all the competitors as they just want to see something awesome like the rest of us. -Max

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Of all the events I shot this season, Atlanta was by far my favorite. It was such a foreign setting for a ski event and not just because it was in the South, but because it was also in a baseball stadium. This shot was from the first practice that any of the skiers got to hit the jump. I was up there before them and the sunset was stunning. As soon as the first athletes got off the elevator and saw the sunset, you knew it was going to be a good time of warm vibes and big tricks. -Max

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Last summer, we joined our freeski athletes at Mt. Hood to shoot photos and videos for the forthcoming Spyder Freeski collection launch. We arrived on June 21st—the Summer Solstice—and we set out for our first session that same afternoon. With a bunch of friends, skiers, and Hood locals, we climbed up to Illumination Rock near the summit of Mt Hood, to hang out and watch the sun set. It wasn’t long before a little kicker had been built up, and Quinn Wolferman immediately started sending flat 5’s while perfectly silhouetted against the clouds below. It was a super fun way to kick off the photoshoot and to spend the longest day of the year. -Drew

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Our team linked up with Spyder Athlete Chris Davenport after an early season storm blew through his hometown of Aspen, CO. While shooting video to launch a new product category, we had Dav leading us into the backcountry to capture the gear in context. This photo took some effort, mostly on Dav’s behalf, as he had to hike a long way to carry speed through such a short slope (due to early season avy danger). It’s a pleasure to work with Dav; he’s always willing to work hard for the best results and I appreciate his safety-first mindset. -Drew

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I’m new to the world of ski racing, and I have enjoyed learning the nuances of the discipline. At this year’s Birds of Prey, Max helped me find the best spot on the course, which isn’t always easy to get to. Skiing into position on a World Cup Downhill course 90 minutes before the race starts is cold, icy, and nerve-racking (especially on de-tuned, center-mounted park skis). This image (really, 2 images) is of Jared Goldberg during the men’s DH race. I like how calm and focused he looks while in a full-speed tuck. - Drew

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We were standing on the knuckle for Knuckle Huck practice at X-Games, and it was a wild experience to be inches away from the athletes as they sped past us. I really liked how the slower shutter speed, originally set to accommodate low light and heavy snowfall, added to the intensity and power of the tricks. This is an image of Quinn Wolferman’s switch front flip, a trick he perfected en route to 3rd place in the final event. -Drew

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Not much to say here, except that Jenny is a super good skier and skiing pow is fun. Thanks Taos for hosting us! - Drew

 

What is your favorite moment from the season? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram by following Spyder Active and leaving a comment.
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