I received a text from my buddy Kurt Jenson saying how good the following days weather conditions up at Stevens Pass Ski Resort would be for filming, and I soon after started putting things in gear to see if I could make this mission happen. Within a couple hours I had my equipment packed and ready to rock for the morning.
After a quick hike out to Hollywood Bowl in the backcountry, I arrive with Kurt standing on top of a cliff and the crew yelling for me to put the drone in the air. My entire creative career spawned from filming snowboarding way back in the day and now my first opportunity to film with a drone was under pressure! I quickly set up and got it hovering just in time to record him stomp a solid backflip in the deep powder. Battery life became an issue for filming each rider so I tried to be productive by capturing scenic shots while they got ready. I had a little trouble keeping snowboarders in frame as they rode away but it definitely was a good learning experience.
After the cliff session, the crew built a jump below some ice crusted power lines. I brought a Canon 40mm Pancake Lens to test on my Panasonic GH4 so I shot a couple time-lapses and a panorama of the valley. The biggest challenge I ran into, was trying to stay organized with all this equipment in waste deep snow. I laid my coat out next the backpack for some extra table space but things still got a little messy and some lenses got snow on em.
The power line jump was blessed with epic lighting as sun rays poked through the hazy fog clouds rolling into the valley. My drone second battery ran out mid session so I scrambled to get packed up with frozen fingers, eager to get my coat back on. Moving closer with the Tokina 11-16mm lens, I was a able to capture the last couple riders with a wide view from below. The chairlift ride back to the lodge was a cold one but there was a good feeling of accomplishment. Once we were back in the bar thawing out with food and drinks ordered, everyone was passing around phones and cameras reviewing the different angles from what went down. This scene was a big contrast from back in the day when everyone huddled around one camera hitting rewind and fast forward on a SD tape.
Snowboarding by: Kurt Jenson, Scott Witsil, Ari Strickland, Travis Claughton and Matt Wainhouse