How They Got the Shot: Photographer Ross Downard

Skiing Magazine chatted with Downard about this shot, which made it into the magazine's December 2008 "Best Shots of the Year" photo gallery.
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From sleeping in patrol shacks to get first light, to digging through snow banks in search of lost camera batteries, Ross Downard has done it all to get good shots. Originally from Park City, Downard’s favorite place to ski is still in Utah, where he developed his photo style with help from heavyweight photographer, Erik Seo. Skiing Magazine contributor William Drumm spoke to Downard about this Best of the Year shot of Dylan Natale at The Canyons, Utah. Check out the rest of the best shots of the year, featured in the December 2008 issue.

SKIING: How did you get this shot?
We were at the Canyons in Utah, where they had built a hip jump for us to shoot. I was uphill from the hip, looking down at the jump and the skiers.

SKIING: How long did it take to get the shot?
We spent the better part of a day standing around this hit. We had a handfull of skiers hitting it pretty much all day. This was one of the final shots of the day.

SKIING: What kind of camera did you use?
A Nikon D70s, with a 18-70 mm Nikkor ed lens. I also had pocket wizards and alien bee strobes.

SKIING: Were there any particular challenges with this shot?
The hardest thing about the shot was getting the whole shoot to happen. We needed clearance for the jump to be built, we had to use sleds to tow the skiers, and we needed the time of day to be right. It was a good start; the Canyons is really progressing in the park realm.

SKIING: Is there anything you wish you could change about this photo?
As soon as we wrapped up, the light hit the Uinta Mountains in the background and exploded. Maybe next time.

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