11 Best of 2011 from AdamBarkerPhotography

2011 was a spectacular year on all accounts. Foot upon foot of pow skied, fish from Wyoming to the Bahamas hooked, festivals in the far corners of the earth, ancient pathways crossed–all contributed to what could perhaps be one of my most productive years behind the lens. Cliche as it may be, I can’t help but look back in review and share some of my favorites from the past year.  As always, many thanks to my sponsors: Arc’teryx, Suunto, Mark Miller Subaru, Mountain Khakis, Manfrotto School of Xcellence, Clikelite Backpacks and Singh Ray Filters. Hope you all enjoy, and here’s to an even better 2012! (click on images to view larger versions)

1. Jesse Hall takes a moment to ponder human flight, as he stands inside the hot air balloon from which he’ll subsequently launch himself into gravity’s liberating grasp. Park City, UT.

2. Angler Al Chidester finds himself surrounded by all that is good in this world: fresh air, fall foliage…and fantastic fishing in some of western Wyoming’s most treasured water.

3. Fire and rain over Warm Creek Bay, Lake Powell, UT.

4. Hazy skies make for ethereal and ancient interpretations of East Jerusalem, Israel.

5. First light envelopes Agua Canyon in a glow only Mother Nature could furnish. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT.

6. Ralph Lauren’s Double RL Ranch shows its true colors in crisp early morning light. Dallas Divide, CO.

7. Angler Geoff Mueller admires a healthy bonefish (caught and released) in Abaco Island’s skinniest of water.

8. Calm in the chaos of Hanoi traffic, Vietnam.

9. Bavaria’s finest color smiles upon a lone farmer’s shed in the fields near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

10. Skier Drew Stoecklein can, in fact turn right. At just the right time. In just the right place. Alta Backcountry, UT.

11. Angler Geoff Mueller and Oliver White tense up as they ply the waters off Abaco Island for huge permit.

Published Spread: Skiing Magazine Jan/Feb 2012

Published image of Drew Stoecklein at Alta Ski Area, UT by AdamBarkerPhotography

Stoked on this spread in Skiing Magazine of Drew Stoecklein at one of my favorite places to shred and shoot on this planet–Alta Ski Area. This was a beaut of a morning last year–frosty for sure. There’s nothing like those first warming rays of daylight. Chicken soup for the soul, and the foundation of all exceptional imagery. Here’s to pink light and fresh pow!

Still Photography: The Power to Stop Time

Skier Forrest Coots, getting a proper facial cleanse at Alta Ski Area, UT

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to stop time? You know–timeout, Zach Morris style (for all you closet Saved By The Bell Fans). Well then–pick up a camera and make it happen.

Each and every time we click the shutter, we are essentially stopping time. We are recording fractions of a second that, much of the time, simply occur too quickly for the human eye to fully perceive what just took place. While we can’t remain in that moment in a literal sense, we can relive that moment, and even rediscover it entirely, thanks to a little black box with a shutter button.

I shot this image of professional skier Forrest Coots earlier this week in downright frigid temperatures, as the sun was setting in Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT. Many of us are skiers, hopelessly impassioned to the pursuit of fresh powder. We know what it feels like. If you’ve had it good, you know what it tastes like. If you’ve had it even better you know what it looks like from the inside out (white room!). But what does it look like from the outside in??? Of the countless powder ski shots I’ve both captured and viewed, this one struck a particular chord with me.

The detail and clarity is beyond anything I could’ve imagined–mostly due to the fact that my eyes can’t pick that sort of detail out in real time (as mentioned earlier). The almost violent blending of shadow and highlight, coupled with the full gamut of snow textures from minute speck to all-encompassing powder cloud, reveal the true power and impact of still photography.

Remember that the next time you’re walking around with your big bad DSLR or itty bitty point and shoot–you’ve got the power to stop time and reveal something no one has ever seen before.

That.

Is pretty.

Darn.

Cool.