Behind the Photo Annual: Adam Clark


Skiingmag.com shoots the, um, photos with SKIING photog Adam Clark.

Adam Clark
Salt Lake City, Utah
Age 22

Are you a good skier?
Yes, I have been skiing since I was two years old. You have to at least be able to keep up with all the athletes you’re shooting.

What kind of skiing do you most like to do?
My passion is for backcountry powder or a super-deep storm day at Alta.

Who’s your favorite skier to shoot?
I don’t have any single favorite skier. Anybody who wants to be out skiing and shooting and is stoked. That’s what is necessary for me. I shoot a lot with my friends. Of course it’s always a pleasure to work with some of the top skiers in the world, but it’s just fun to be a part of it and to help show the world how cool skiing is.

What’s your favorite resort (or destination) to shoot at?
One of my favorites is Davos, Switzerland. It’s kind of like a second home in Europe for me. The skiing is awesome, the crowds are low, and everybody is really friendly.

How did you get into photography?
I was never even interested in photography until my senior year in high school, when I met some photographers shooting whales in Alaska and they thought I should have a camera. The next winter was a big winter at Alta and I tore my MCL early in the year. By the time I could ski again, all my friends were skiing exceptionally well and I had a hard time keeping up. So I started taking pictures instead. I also took a photo class in high school that was very helpful, although I almost failed.

Talk about your photo shown above in SKIING’s 2001 Photo Annual.
It’s a good example of light and form. It was the end of the day and I knew of a few little spots that got good cross-light at the end of the day. Luckily it was still fresh and Steve Reska was skiing well.

What do you look for in shooting skiing action shots?
The most important aspects to me are light, form, and composition. Without those, even the most amazing places, craziest stunts, or perfect powder days will look bad. There’s always a little luck, too.

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?
When I’m out shooting, I usually don’t think of anything except getting a great shot. Some days, I have certain photos that I want to get, but I usually fit the photos to the needs after I get the photos back.

What was the most memorable experience in your photo career?
It was a bluebird morning with six or seven inches of fresh snow. By the time we got to the top of the lifts, the clouds had rolled in and everything was windblown. We decide to go hike around and ski anyways. When we got to our destination the sun was out, there were two feet of blown-in powder and not another soul to be seen. The clouds just seemed to part around us and all the guys I was with were really going off. It ended up being one of the most productive and fun days of my life. I also got to ski a lot of powder myself.

Describe your craziest photography experience.
The craziest for me was shooting out of a helicopter in Bella Coola, British Colombia. We had a really great pilot and both Seth Morrison and Wendy Fisher were skiing great lines. It was totally safe but I was hanging out of a helicopter in the middle of nowhere.

What type of camera do you use?
I use a Canon EOS3 and a Canon A2e.

What other equipment do you bring with you?
I always have a 17-35 at 2.8, 70-200 at 2.8, 15 fisheye at 2.8 and a 1.4 extender. Depending on where I am and what I’m shooting I will also bring a 300 at 2.8 and a 540ez flash — all Canon.

What’s your favorite type of film?
Fujichrome Velvia 50 and Kodak 100 Vs

Do you have any advice for photo enthusiasts?
Shoot what you like, pluss everything else. Then you really start to know what you like. The more varied stuff you shoot, the better your photos will turn out. Also, get to know your exposures. It sucks to get a great shot back and it’s exposed wrong.

What do you see yourself shooting in the future? Is there anything else you’d like to do?
I love to shoot biking and climbing because it’s what I like to do with my time. I also love lifestyle and landscapes. Right now I really like skiing and will focus on that for a while.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know? This is your opportunity to tell us anything.
I’m glad SKIING Magazine is finally doing a photo annual.