How to Snap a Magazine Cover Shot

Photographer Lee Cohen outlines what you need to create to cover shot.

Ditch the point-and-shoot and grab a digital SLR. The former takes fine pics, but many models fire a good second after pulling the trigger. Great photos require an immediate response.

Understand how your camera works. Set your ASA/ISO (light sensitivity) at 100 on a sunny day; 200 or 400 in flat light. Shoot at 1/800 of a second or faster to freeze action. Snow can fool a camera and look darker in photos. Try auto mode first, but if it’s too light or dark, use exposure compensation. Plus will let in more light; minus will let in less.

What will your frame consist of? Look for interesting light and composition. A useful guideline is the rule of thirds. Imagine your image split into thirds, vertically and horizontally, like a tic-tac-toe grid. Use the lines as guides for linear arrangement and the intersection points for subject matter. You can prefocus on a point of action or use autofocus to get more than one shot in quick succession.

Even pro skiers don’t always look solid, so use the terrain and your skier to anticipate the peak moment of action. Identify the points of a turn or an air when form comes together. Communication between skier and photographer is key for figuring out when and where to grab the best image.

Nail the shot. If you don’t, there’s always Photoshop.*

Utah-based photographer Lee Cohen has shot five covers for SkiingMagazine,

*What You Shouldn’t do With Photoshop: Over-cropping. Over-adjusting color. Over-sharpening. Over-blueing the sky. Over-tilting steeps. Over-anything, really.


Dan Carr Photography Tips

How to Shoot Ski Photos from a Helicopter

The work of Whistler-based ski photographer Dan Carr has been featured in ski magazines and commercials across the world. He recently returned from a heli-skiing trip to Alaska and spoke to us about what it’s like dangling from a chopper by a harness and how you can get a bird’s eye view without a helicopter.

“Cleaning” a ski consists of stripping the base of any fluorocarbons or other materials that might harm the ski. To do this, use an iron to apply a generous amount of hydrocarbon wax, and quickly scrape it off before it cools. Once the wax is removed, use a steel, brass, or bronze brush to further clean the bases. 

How To: Summer Tuning

When you pack up your skis at the end of the season, it’s important to retire them properly — they’ll most likely need a little tuning and TLC after a long season of abuse. We asked General Manager Brian Foley at Pierce Skate & Ski in Bloomington, Minnesota, to share some of his summer-prep techniques — here’s what he had to say.


The Year's Best Shots

After seven issues and a ton of great photos, it is hard to wittle down the best pictures. Here they are in all their glory with info on how the photographer captured it and how you can do the same.