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!

The Wasatch is Raging!

Forrest Coots sampling zee powdah at Deer Valley.

With 100+ inch bases before Christmas at many of the area resorts, winter is officially on like donkey kong here along the Wasatch Front. I get many questions from people wondering as to whether ski photography is simply a matter of lugging your camera up on the mountain and shooting random skiers as they shred by. This may come as a shock, but what many consider to be the best job in the world really is quite a good deal of work that comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles.

So the big question is, how does it all come together? In a nutshell, it goes something like this:

Check weather. Check snowfall. Text athletes. Check snowfall. Check weather. Charge batteries. Text athletes. Field bro-brah calls. Dismiss the guy down the street who says he loves to “get rad” and do “extreme skiing”. Check in with resort personnel for early chair or early tram. Finalize athletes. Have athlete bail. Text more athletes. Check snowfall. Check weather. Check avie report. Backcountry? Sidecountry? Resort? Hmm….

Hayden Price "getting rad" at Alta.

Get pack ready. Check batteries. Lay out gear so you don’t wake the kids when you wake up. Fill giant bag o’ stuff with apparel to throw on athletes. Check snowfall. Check weather. Set alarm clock. Hit the sack.

Wake up early. Throw gear on while still in a sleepy haze. Drive to resort. Pit stop at 7-11. Down breakfast of champions: Red Bull & Sausage McMuffin. Let recurring regret settle in after breakfast of champions. Arrive at resort. Bro-brah with bros. High five. Yell at token late athlete. Make him feel stupid for being late. Hug it out. Throw on more layers than you should. Check in with patrol. Get on lift. Freeze until sun hits you. Wish you had thrown on yet one more layer. Head to promised land of fresh snow, good light and milk and honey. Pull out camera. Watch athletes get rad like the guy down the street. Click away annnnnnd…voila! You’ve just captured one of your best images born to a life of sitting on a hard drive before being sent out to an editor who will call dibs, hold onto it for a couple of months, and release it back to you just in time to NOT submit it anywhere else for the season. Congratulations!

Drew Stoecklein at Alta, UT

Raise your hand if you want to be a ski photographer.

Oh. I forgot one more thing to add to the list. SKI POW. That seems to happen here and there as well…(but don’t tell my wife).

Photographer Adam Barker, product testing at Alta, UT.