Photo of the Day: Grant Gunderson

Bryce Phillips. Alta Backountry, UT

Photographer Profile

Grant Gunderson

Grant Gunderson

One of the ski industry's most dedicated photographers, Grant has shot for every major snow sports and outdoor publication world wide, including: ESPN, Outside, FHM, Powder, Skier, Skiing and Ski. In addition to his editorial work, From Iceland to Patagonia, Grant routinely produces deep powder images, and authentic ski bum imagery define the culture of skiing. He has been recognized by numerous groups as one of the world's top action sports photographers, and he continuously strives to constantly produce unique imagery. He skis close to 200 days a year and makes a high quality (and high-octane) homebrewed ale. Currently he is serving as the Photo Editor of The Ski Journal, while working with a broad range of high-end commercial and editorial clients. You can purchase prints of any of his acclaimed work that will add a bit of class to any skiers home or cabin at:


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  • sam

    Beautiful shot. Some ski rag ran that as a cover shot, right?

  • Imagol4

    Cool and all, except it didn’t happen. It would be impossible to capture this scene with a single exposure. This is a composite of two shots. The night scene which was shot on a very long exposure, judging by the length of the star trails, about 90 minutes, and the skier which was shot with a typical exposure for action shots of 1/500th of a second. So, it was indeed, ‘shopped’.

    • Adam

      You are half wrong. It was not shopped with two separate photos, however it was an exposure. The skier skied through the shot at the very end of the exposure. Ton of patience on grant and bryces part.
      Grant it was and still is a great shot.

  • Jim

    My bet is that this a single shot. Although timing, framing and exposure control would be critical, shots like this are possible with electronic flashes that can be controlled manually and not triggered by the camera shutter button. Gunderson is a pro, he can obviously handle it. You set up your shot and open the shutter. As the skier creates that perfect moment you pop the flash but you keep the shutter open and continue to get the perfect long exposure for the dark scene on the other side of the ridge that didn’t get hit with the flash.
    This is a popular fashion photo technique, popping a flash during a short time exposure to capture some motion blur of the subject but recording a very crisp image of the model’s dress or whatever.

  • SnowSkool

    Just stumbled across this quite literally (via stumbleupon). A fantastic picture – surely not shopped but even so, stunning like all Grant Gunderson’s work

  • Umar Khan

    this picture is gripping

  • Randall

    Great photo. I am not sure if you can do this or not but as a pro photographer perhaps he has worked out how to do it like Jim points out. Is it early morning or early evening is the question.

    No ski tuning needed in this snow

  • Craig

    This photo is possible to do in one shot. Simply put the camera on a tripod and leave the shutter open for however long it needs to be to get the star trails, right before you close the shutter have your skiier come through the scene while simultaneously popping a really powerful flash. That should produce those results

  • Matthew Prazak

    Actually Imagol4
    it isnt impossible… if they set the tri pod up and began the exposure with a flash when the skier passed, then the camera would record the foreground as bright as it is… and if they had the settings on bulb or 2 hour exposure then the the remaining light from the back ground would fill in the rest like a time lapse… 100% possible without photoshop.

  • taylor

    coolest picture ive ever seen in my entire life

  • Niles

    It would infact, be early evening. He is skiing a mostly north westernly facing slope. Alta is my home resort and I have skied those hills many a time. This particular run is more up what they call Coyote Gulch, where if you can remember a certain Tanner Hall broke both his ankles on a famous backcountry jump called chads gap. Great place to ski and this shot definately captures the pure essence that is Utah skiing. Great photo and I am always glad to see these hills get such good praise.

  • kpt_haase

    This is photoshopped, right? he should be translucent otherwise.
    nicely done, anyway, i like it very much :)

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