When I was at Powder, I saw hundreds of photos like this, probably thousands. After the first few, you become calloused. The images, seen en masse, become commodities. It’s not that you aren’t stoked or moved by them but that you can’t let yourself be drawn into every one or you’d never get any work done. So you skim through the submissions and make an instant decision based on immediate reaction, intuition, experience. Hands in wrong place, no. Ski looks funky, no. Close, but is it a cover, no. When something outstanding stands out, it’s pretty obvious, and then maybe you give a little of yourself to the image.
The thing is, I’m not at Powder any more. And now when I see a photo like this it stops me in my tracks. Leroy sent me a couple dozen pictures to consider for Daily Pow and it totally blew the rest of my afternoon. With each shot I imagined I was the skier, the photographer, a bird flying overhead, the top snowflake on the highest chunk, a snow spider perched on a nearby rock. Time flies when you get weird. But that’s okay. For a photo like this, I have all day.
Photo by Lee Cohen.
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