This Photo was a finalist in The Open photography awards. It was taken in Oregon’s backcountry near Mt. Hood ski resort. This shot took planning, preparation, and perfect timing to come out this well. The crew had to spend two days shoveling and hours hiking to make it happen. The weather in this area is unpredictable, so it was good luck that the clouds lines the sky so nicely.
The jump had to be built in this exact spot so that the skier, Sammy Carlson, would end up on perfect axis from the mountain. This placement of the skier is key in the composition of this photo because he is lined up right out from the point where the sides of the mountain meet. He is also just at the corner of the lower left third of the photo. The shape of the mountain is prominent in the photo, its curve on the left side compliments and accentuates the skier’s shape. If he was a few feet to the right, he would disappear into the texture of the mountain.
The lighting and color are also essential elements that makes this photo extraordinary. This orange light from the setting sun, must have only lasted a few minutes. The orange light on the mountain and the clouds also contrasts with the blue stripes of the sky, to make it more stunning. None of this was done on accident. Carlson would not have time to ride this jump more than once during the time the light was this color, so Bacha only had one chance to get this shot. He had to choose the exact moment, when the light was just right, to tell Carlson when to hit the jump.
I told Sammy to drop and moments later this photo was taken. I remember telling Sammy when he hiked back that I had shot the best photo of my life. – Darcy Bacha