Aaron Sedway will pack his camera and head out to just about any winter resort in the Sierra Nevada that offers nighttime snowboarding. For this shot, he snapped local boarder Mike Telega in the middle of catching some frontside air five feet off the ground at Squaw Valley.
"Some low clouds had come through, and you could barely see the other side of the half-pipe," says the Lake Tahoe photographer, who grew up skateboarding in southern California but took up snowboarding when he moved north. The cloud reflected Sedway's two strobes and the surrounding lights, giving a yellow-green glow to the 8 p.m. sky.
Sedway used 50-speed film and a 17mm lens set at f/5.6, holding the shutter open for about a second. Telega stuck the landing.
Embry Rucker and professional American snowboarder Todd Richards hiked up to Captains, a backcountry playground adjacent to New Zealand's Treble Cone Ski Area. They built a snow ramp, then Rucker photographed Richards from several different angles before capturing him pulling off this Cab cork-5 with Lake Wanaka in the distance.
"The snow was really good and rare for that time in New Zealand's spring," says the 29-year-old San Diego-based photographer. "Basically, it was just a perfect day."
Rucker used a 45mm lens on his Hasselblad XPan camera, 160-speed film, and an exposure of 1/1,000 second with an f-stop of 5.6.
Embry Rucker was snagging a final heli-snowboarding run on an unnamed peak in the Chilkat Mountains, near Haines, Alaska, when he nabbed this shot of French big-mountain maestro Axel Pauport sending up a rooster tail in virgin powder. "Pauport blew my mind," says Rucker, 30, who lives in Santa Monica, California. "It was the most impressive snowboarding I've ever seen."
He used 100-speed film and a 70-200mm lens set at f/7.1, with an exposure time of 1/500 second.
Damiano Levati searched Italy's 15,203-foot Monte Rosa all day to find the perfect pairing of crevasse and powder for his subject, Davide Capozzi. On the approach, "I was checking with my poles to be sure I wasn't on a snow bridge," says the 29-year-old from San Germano, Italy. "It was scarier for Davide; he didn't know where the snow stopped."
With an ISO of 100 and a 28mm lens on his Canon EOS-1D Mark II, Levati opened the shutter for 1/1,000 second at f/5.6.
Pro snowboarder Iikka Backstrom tried to check his speed before coasting off this fresh cornice in the Whistler backcountry last February. "Actually, I did go too big off it," says the 23-year-old San Clemente, California-based rider. "It sent me out and then I just started dropping, dropping, dropping...."
BACKSTORY: The space between background and cornice made the shot for 29-year-old Portland, Oregon-based photographer Jess Mooney, who picked a vantage that would both provide a great angle and allow her to respond in case of avalanche. "I like the line in it, to be able to separate the guy rather than have him be front-on and doing whatever he's doing over just a cornice," says Mooney. "Because of wind-loaded snow, we were all on our toes at that point."
THE TOOLS: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/1,000 second, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
Last March, during the filming of a Malaysian TV commercial on Hawaii's Big Island, Tim Calver photographed local stuntman Akoni Kama interacting with a crowd of spectators. "This is just him goofing off for the few seconds he had between shots," says Calver, who's based in Miami Beach, Florida. In the commercial, the 35-year-old Hawaiian mountain-boards down a dirt path while tethered to a chopper and then launches off an 800-foot cliff. For the stunt, Kama had to work closely with the helicopter pilot so he could be pulled safely down the path and slung into the air. "I felt like I was in a Tony Hawk video game," says Kama. "It blew any theme-park ride out of the water."
THE TOOLS: Canon 1Ds Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO200, f/10, 1/500 second.