Behind the Photo Annual: Scott Markewitz


<!–break–> shoots the, um, photos with SKIING photog Scott Markewitz. shoots the, um, photos with SKIING photog Scott Markewitz.

Scott Markewitz
Salt Lake City, UT

Are you a good skier?
Before I was a photographer, I was a pro mogul skier and a published ski model. I still ski more days than I shoot.

What kind of skiing do you most like to do?
My favorite skiing is the big, steep powder lines in Valdez, Alaska.

Who’s your favorite skier to shoot?
There are so many good skiers to work with, and everyone has their own specialty, so it really depends on the kind of shots we’re trying to get.

What’s your favorite resort to shoot at?
Valdez, Alaska: It’s the best skiing in the world.

How did you get into photography?
I was always interested in photography and got into it through ski modeling.

Talk about your photo shown above in SKIING’s 2001 Photo Annual.
That rock in the Dolomites is so dramatic — huge towering pillars of gray, white, and orange. I really like this shot because of the contrast between the skier and the rock. It seems like the skier is jumping out of the rock.

What do you look for in shooting skiing action shots?
I try to capture a feeling of what it’s like to be in that moment of the photograph — the intensity of the action, the beauty of the place, the excitement of the skier, things like that.

Do you shoot photos with the intent of capturing something in particular or do you go through your slides afterwards and try to fit what you’ve done into the parameter of a magazine?
Unless I am on an assignment to capture a specific shot, I just shoot whatever I think looks best for a given situation and then go through my shots afterwards and pick what I think is best for a certain magazine or photo request.

What is your most memorable experience of your photo career?
My most memorable photo experiences are all in Alaska. The skiing is so intense and the scenery is so incredible that every day there is unforgettable.

Describe your craziest photography experience.
I think the craziest experience I’ve had was when we went to Mt. Cook to attempt the first descent of the Hooker Face. We hiked in for four days across huge moraines and through dangerous, broken glaciers to get to the base of the face. With my camera gear, my pack weighed over 100 pounds. It was a brutal approach. When we got there and looked up at the face, it was unskiable blue ice. We rested for two days and then hiked out. Seven brutal days and we accomplished nothing.

What type of camera do you use?
Nikon F5

What other equipment do you bring with you?
I usually carry a 45-pound pack with a couple of cameras and a variety of lenses from 16mm to 300mm.

What’s your favorite type of film?
Fuji Velvia

Do you have any advice for photo enthusiasts?
Shoot a lot, always experiment with new ideas even if they don’t always work out, and shoot things that you are really interested in.

What do you see yourself shooting in the future? Is there anything else you’d like to do?
I will continue to shoot skiing and other outdoor sports as long as I can.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Ever since I was three years old, the only thing I have wanted to do is ski, so for me to live and work through skiing is a dream.