Jay Beyer grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and now calls Salt Lake City home. He shoots for outdoor companies and publications, from Powder to Climbing to Patagonia. Following the footsteps of his photographing father, he learned as much as he could until his wife bought him a camera that got him hooked for good. This photo of skier Jason West was taken in the Brighton, Utah, backcountry, for a competition where photographers spent a day shooting designated athletes, and were judged at the end. Skiing Magazine contributor Sally Francklyn spoke to Beyer about the shot, which made it into the magazine's annual “Best Shots of the Year” photo gallery (December 2008).
SKIING: What is your most memorable photo or shoot?
My most memorable shoot was this past summer in Argentina. Everything came together just right and I had the best day on snow I have ever had.
SKIING: What were the snow conditions like when you got this shot?
We had just gotten two feet the night before and it was cold and fluffy.
SKIING: What was the light like?
The light was really tough that morning. It was mostly stormy and the sun would come out for 20 seconds and go away. So we did some waiting and eventually the hole we needed appeared.
SKIING: What kind of camera did you use?
I was shooting with a Canon 5D for that shot.
SKIING: Were there any particular challenges with this shot?
I had to bounce a flash off of the cliff to fill in the shadows so the strips on the rock would show up better.
SKIING: What do you like best about this image?
The feeling of depth in the scenery coupled with the exposure that the skier is feeling.
SKIING: Any tips for snapping a shot like this one?
Always keep your eyes open for different angles that might be better than the one you are shooting.