To make pure alcohol, start with a batch of raw ingredients. Distill it, and you’ll get a more refined batch. This is how we compiled this best-of-the-year photo gallery. We started with thousands of images. Gradually we selected the shots that illustrate skiing and photography in new and different ways, along with an explanation from each photographer. Please enjoy responsibly. Then we asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorite image. Introducing the Readers' Choice award for Best Photo of the Year.
Sweetgrass Productions isn't your average film company. Instead of shooting urban jibs and heli-fueled big mountain lines, they've made a name for themselves by filming in-depth portraits of human-powered ski culture, with a side of pow shots (see their last film "Signatures"). They've spent the past two seasons in South America shooting their 2011 production, "Solitare." Here's a behind the scenes look.