David “Powder” Steele enjoys a late-night turn en route to Yurt Ski, a yurt in Montana’s Swan Mountains.
David “Powder” Steele enjoys a late-night turn en route to Yurt Ski, a yurt in Montana’s Swan Mountains.
Gear Guy

How to Nail the Perfect Ski Shot with Your Phone

Six pros weigh in with their tips, hacks, and favorite gear


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The iPhone is a great camera for ski season as it's light and portable. To help you win Instagram all winter, I asked a group of pro skiers and photographers for their top tips and tricks on making the snow look pretty. 

Use Burst Mode

Press and hold the iPhone’s shutter button, and the camera shoots a series of sequential photos, just like a DSLR shooting multiple frames per second. Pro skier Sierra Quitiquit relies on this feature because it’s the best way to capture fast-moving action. Afterward, go in and pick the best photos from the bunch. Tip: Quitiquit has her subjects wear bright colors, which makes them pop against the snow.

Always Bring an Extra Battery

Pro photographer Christian Pondella always brings extra batteries for his DSLR. Anyone shooting with an iPhone should carry a portable charger, especially if you’ll be in the backcountry all day. I like the Enerplex Jumpr Mini L because it’s slimmer than a pack of gum and only a few inches wide. And keep your phone in airplane mode to extend the battery life.

Keep Your iPhone and Portable Charger Warm

Most of you have probably witnessed your iPhone go dead because the battery got too cold. Pro skier Lexi DuPont keeps this from happening by always storing her iPhone in her midlayer chest pocket. Unlike a hard shell, she keeps her midlayer on and her body heat keeps the battery warm, too. Keep the phone in your pocket until you're ready to capture the image, then immediately throw it back in your jacket again. 

Get a DXO One Camera Attachment

Pro skier Cody Townsend swears by the small DXO One camera ($500), which slots into the charging plug of his iPhone and is controlled by the phone’s touchscreen. He prefers the DXO over the iPhone camera because it has a much bigger sensor for higher resolution photos, a better dynamic range for bright- and low-light conditions, and shoots in RAW.

Learn How to Use Third-Party Attachment Lenses

Pro skier Brody Leven always brings a wide-angle 18-millimeter iPhone Moment Lens that attaches to the phone and allows him to capture a wider field of view. Each lens is made from high-quality glass, so it shoots crisper photos with more detail. 

Clean Your Lenses Carefully

Pro photographer Liam Doran says snow can scratch the lenses if you try to wipe it off with your sleeve. Instead, he breathes on the snow to turn it to water, then uses a soft cloth to dry it. 

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