Photographer: Dan Carr
Athlete: Sammy Carlson
Location: Whistler, BC, Canada
Camera Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Shutter Speed 1/1250
Sammy Carlson had just come off a gold medal win at X-Games in the slopestyle contest and settled in Whistler for a few months of backcountry filming. He wanted to find a location where we could string together multiple jumps into one line, to show his slopestyle skills in a backcountry situation.
When we found the perfect spot to pull this off, it was already late in the day. We had some sunlight as we built the jumps but the sun sunk behind the horizon before Sammy was able to get his first run at it. The only light that was left was a faint reflected glow from the surrounding peaks but there was just enough light on the slope for Sammy to have a go and for me to get a shot. As always with these sort of jumps the athlete wants to land it first time to show just one set of tracks. No time for test jumps or speed checks.
Thankfully Sammy showed why he had deserved the win in slopestyle and stomped all three jumps on the first try. My main worry was that my camera's internal memory buffer would not be large enough to capture the whole run in a sequence. I switched the camera (a Canon 1-Series) to JPEG mode as this allows a few more images to be stored in the buffer. Then I regulated the image shooting as best I could throughout the run to make sure there were no unnecessary shots taken. Every time he dipped out of view behind one of the hills I let off the shutter button for the briefest moment to allow the camera time to save one or two of the images. In the end we took 51 photos and it was just enough to capture the full line!
I was born in the UK and got my first taste of skiing and snowboarding during gap-year travels that took me to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. I returned to England to complete a degree in Aerospace Engineering but I could never really get Whistler out of my mind. During university I took regular trips to Europe and my love for the outdoors and mountain lifestyle continued to grow.
After finishing my degree, I headed back to Whistler for "one more year" and this time I purchased a camera just before I set off and soon found my passion for mountain life also extended to documenting it. Local magazines began asking to use my images and once I saw them in print I knew that the path in life that I had originally chosen was now changed forever. Within a year I had transitioned to shooting ski photography full time and my list of clients grew steadily to the point where I have done work for most of the major ski companies and many of the biggest ski magazines across the globe.
I live full time in Whistler now, and I am a permanent Canadian resident. My passion for photography has grown to encompass many other fields, including motorsports, landscapes and wildlife. As well as shooting I also love to teach and I split my time between working for my clients and writing educational photography content for a variety of websites and magazines. This year I have also launched my own educational company called Shutter Muse, a website where people can follow my adventures and receive in-depth educational content on specific techniques like sequences as used in Red Bull Illume ...