A Black and White Life

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Ray Atkeson 1001 Pic A

Ray Atkeson started taking photos in the Twenties, before the chairlift was invented. At first, skiing, like photography, was just a weekend passion, enjoyed between work weeks as a freight-elevator operator in Portland, Ore. On weekends, Atkeson would hitchhike to Mt. Hood to capture images like the one of Timberline Lodge below. Mornings, he'd rise long before dawn and wait for just the right light. In time, he and his 25-pound knapsack, containing his six-pound Speed Graphic camera, cut-film packs and a tripod, traveled to ski hills throughout the country. Ski photography became his full-time job, with his work appearing in newspapers, magazines and on posters. His images offer not only a perspective into the early days of skiing, but also a chance to see through the eyes of a man in love with the winter landscape.