Words and Imagery: Adam Barker
Skier: Marcus Caston
Location: Wasatch Backcountry, Utah
Just the mention of that one, innocent two-syllable word ignites a firestorm of excitement in the brains of skiers the world over.Come on. Say it with me now. Niiiiice and easy. “Powwwwwwderrrrr”. Oh yeah. That’s it.
Now we’re on the same page.
I can remember the first time skiing powder actually clicked for me like it was yesterday.I was skiing the West Face ofPark City Mountain Resort’s Jupiter Bowl. It’s no Gnarlsville, USA and it likely occupies few spaces of prominence on most skier’s bucket lists, but for my then 12-yr old self, it was everything. Wide open, inviting and the best place I could imagine to learn that skiing powder was much more about a feeling than it was about an action or method.
Fast-forward 25 years to present day.I’ve moved on from the gentler slopes of PCMR,but skiing untouched blower still remains every bit as engaging and euphoric as it did that day.
I ask myself often, as a photographer, how can I capture that feeling??? It’s one thing to photograph skiing and see your work in print, but it’s another thing entirely to connect with a true skier viewing your work.
For me, clicking the shutter means more than simply capturing an action—I want to evoke emotion. I want you, as the viewer to understand that moment.
I want you to study it.
I want you to revel in it.
I want you to pine over it.
From this photographer’s standpoint, it all begins with light. I have a plan for what I want to capture each day I head out with the camera.
Very rarely do things go according to plan, but that plan consists primarily of following the light. Pink light, backlight, bounce light, side light, overcast light—it all has its place. And understanding how to maximize that light and how it will interact with the snow is and endless process that takes years and years behind the lens.
Most definitely, when it comes to ski photography, the more I learn, the less I know. I’m still learning each and every day I go out…
"Its always hard to get up before sunrise to go skiing, but its always worth it when you see the sun come up. The last time I Shot dawn with Barker I missed my alarm and almost blew the day.
This day I had 5 alarms set to make sure I made it. We skied opposite side of the canyon of Snowbird/Alta and had a mega morning. Afterwards we were sitting in the lodge checking out the shots and warming up, and Adam says something about going back out for the afternoon. I was fried and didn’t really want to go, but was eventually convinced.
ts a good thing we did because we experimented with backlit sparkle shots that turned out really beautiful.
Heres to always getting up early and going back out!" -Marcus Caston
I’ve always said that given the right day, with the right combination of snow, light and talent in front of the lens, I can get a season’s worth of work done in one day. I had two of those days last season and boy did they pay off. Every image from this post is a result of one of those days with Blizzard Tecnica athlete Marcus Caston in the Wasatch Backcountry of northern Utah. Here’s to a deep 2018 season. But more importantly, here’s to a season filled with more than just deep snow—I want more epic light!Bring on 2018!
A veteran in the world of outdoor photograpyhy, Adam Barker hails from the mountain metropolis of Salt Lake City, UT. Specializing in active lifestyle, outdoor and travel photography, Barker has traveled the globe capturing five-star imagery from Southeast Asia to Antarctica. His work has appeared on countless magazine covers and editorial features within the skiing, flyfishing and general outdoor genres including publications like Powder, SKI, Skiing, The Flyfish Journal, Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal and many more. Barker regularly produces work for commercial clients including Lifestraw, Utah Office of Tourism, Panasonic, Manfrotto, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort and others.
Barker’s work is summed up by a transcendental style that takes the viewer “there”. A true student of and scholar to the craft, Barker seeks to convey a sense of place and purpose in his imagery through three-dimensional composition and, most importantly, inimitable light. When not working in the field, he can be found spending time (preferably in the big beautiful world) with his three sons and wife, on his road bike or neck deep in Utah’s finest blower.
For more of Adam's work please visit his website, Instagram account and print media world wide!