Backcountry Skiing Photography

Post by blogger | December 24, 2005      

In a former blog post photograher and guest blogger Michael Kennedy said that one key to getting cool photos was to keep shooting no matter what the weather throws at you. Yesterday we were hiking up Highland Peak doing some frontcountry skiing at Aspen Highlands ski area. The wind was blasting so hard it knocked me over once, probably a 65 or 70 mph gust. To save weight I’ve been experimenting with a smaller digicam, a Canon PowerShot A620, good because it’s got a manual mode as well as point-and-shoot “snow” mode, menus I can see in bright sunlight, 4x optical zoom, and it runs on AA batteries. It’s not the smallest of the “small,” but most of the really tiny cameras lack modes such as a “real” manual that lets you set shutter speed and aperture, and they use proprietary batteries (I’m so sick of having 16 different battery chargers). That said, if you want a slightly more robust yet compact camera with a larger LCD as well as a top-view LCD, the Canon G6 is also worth considering. But it’s larger, costs more, and doesn’t use AA batteries.

The gale force wind yesterday was carrying an amazing amount of snow from the previous night’s storm, swirling the white stuff around like some kind of Bermuda Triangle maelstrom effect. Per Michael’s instructions, I yanked the A620 out of the napoleon pocket on my Cloudveil Serendipity Jacket (yes Virginia, a shameless product promo) and kept shooting. Below is one result. Fun stuff.

Highland Peak sort of backcountry skiing
On the Highland Peak hike, Highlands Ski Area, Colorado. Not exactly backcountry skiing, but it can be an adventure nonetheless.


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2 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing Photography”

  1. Tippie December 24th, 2005 9:43 pm

    Great pic Lou! Did you have to slow the shutter speed to make the blowing snow look like that or was the snow just moving that quickly??? You ever mess around with shooting video? I’ve been looking the Samsung SC-X105L ( The helmet cam attachment looks like that would be a blast.

    Happy Holidays Lou!

  2. Lou December 25th, 2005 12:07 am

    Thank Tippe, I shot that photo on P mode with some exposure compensation because I was shooting into the sun, it was pretty much point-and-shoot. Wind was blowing so fast I figured it would motion blur the snow just fine. I like the arty effect, looks kind of like a Photoshop drawing filter, only better cause it’s real. My only real gripe with the A620 is that with older eyes I need a 2 inch or larger LCD to check photo results. I can use reading glasses to view LCD when the weather is okay, but that option wouldn’t have worked yesterday. Of course the LCD also zooms, but that’s not as good as looking at the whole image on a large LCD.

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