FALL PHOTO GUIDE 10 TIPS FOR THE PERFECT NATURE PHOTOS
EMILY COOK PROFILE SKI PREVIEW OLYMPIC AERIAL SKIER PREPARES FOR GOLD
TOP 7 SPOTS FOR U STUDENTS
OCT. 2013 | vol. 2 | no. 3
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all is in full swing and the staff here at Wasatch Magazine know that many of you are chomping at the bit at the idea of snow. To appease you powder hounds and those of you looking to learn to ski or board, assistant editor Chad Mobley ranks Utah’s top seven ski resorts. Even though the best snow on Earth is on the horizon, we don’t want you to forget about how amazing fall can be along the Wasatch Front. Fall is one of the best times of the year for photography. To help you capture this wonderful time of year our extremely talented staff photographer Conor Barry, who teaches the PRT Nature Photography
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class, and myself give you our top 10 tips that will help you make the most of your fall photos — just in time to catch the changing colors. This includes tips for all skill levels. Even you, iPhonographers. We also offer up our opinions on the must have gear for nature photography at three different price levels: save, spend, and splurge. Photography is a very expensive hobby but you don’t have to be loaded in order to pull
off some amazing shots. We’re going to let you put the skills you’ve learned to the test by submitting your best outdoor images to our Instagram. We’ll be printing our favorites in next month’s issue. Courtney Tanner rounds out our content with her third winter Olympian profile in preparation for the next winter games in Sochi, this time on freestyle skier Emily Cook. — Chad Zavala
STAFF PICKS: FAVORITE FALL OUTDOOR ACTIVITY?
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“PHOTOGRAPHY IS A VERY EXPENSIVE HOBBY BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE LOADED IN
Trail running tops my favorite fall activity list. The weather is great, the leaves are changing, and it’s an all around good time. What better excuse do you need to get out and exercise? There’s something so liberating about hitting the trails for a run, especially in the brisk fall air. The summer heat is gone, and at higher elevations you might even have to wear a jacket. And who doesn’t love a good reason to break out that ultralight hoodie?
Courtney Tanner FALL FISHING Let’s face it — the best thing about fall is not the golden leaves, the warm apple cider, or the turkey on the table. And it’s definitely not the football. To me, fall is all about the fishing. It’s just a great time to grab the poles and head out to the lake for some tranquility from school and work. My dad and I love to fish in the fall at Strawberry Reservoir especially — there’s always big fish and even bigger stories.
Chad Zavala CANYON DRIVING There are few feelings that best driving fast through canyons on a cool fall evening with your radio blasting. The colorful leaves that branch out over the roadway make for a picturesque drive, an ideal setting to catch this rush. The contrast of the calming scenery and speed make the perfect end to the season by knowing that winter is soon on the way. The Wasatch Front is full of amazing canyons to drive through, though I don’t recommend that you speed.
Niki Harris HIKING THE CANYONS Since seasons change daily in Utah — especially in autumn — I try and spend as many of the nice days hiking in the canyons as I can. With the gorgeous weather and breathtaking colors, it’s the perfect activity for fall. I love wandering through the constantly shifting colorful maze in the mountains and finding shades of orange, yellow, and red that I didn’t even know existed. It’s part of the mystical beauty of fall — one that we only get for a moment.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MITCHELL HAASETH/NBC
graduate Emily Cook can’t help but jump in with both feet — she’s sort of attached. Strapped tightly to her fiberglass skis, where one foot goes, the other follows. Which is usually down a snowpowdered hill at over 35 miles per hour. But there is a calm right before her skis hit the slopes. Cook focuses inward. The snow becomes a blur and the crowd fades away. Her vision is limited to the starting line. And then she lets go. At that moment, everything is in reverse — what used to be a blur becomes vivid to her as she becomes a blur to the crowd. In a fit of speed, she jumps and flips 50 feet up in the air. In a matter of seconds, she has reached the once-hazy finish line. “I love the feeling of being at the top of the jump and knowing that it’s just me and the mountain,” Cook says. Cook hasn’t always jumped for the slopes. She started her athletic career at the age of four, jumping over hurdles and under bars as a gymnast. She then took up diving. When she was 12, she discovered aerial skiing and has pursued it ever since.
See COOK page 4
Leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, Wasatch Magazine will be featuring U alumni competing in the Games with monthly profiles. Check out NBCOlympics.com and TeamUSA.org for schedules, videos, photos, interviews and more with the athletes.
“Aerials was the perfect combination of both of my favorite sports, so it was a natural progression for me,” Cook says. “It combines power and grace.” But the path to success hasn’t always been graceful for Cook. When she was one year old, her mother passed away after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. From that point forward, Cook’s father raised her. “I have no idea how he did it on his own. He taught me to be strong despite any circumstance and to follow my dreams. I am forever thankful for his encouragement,” Cook says. “I couldn’t have done it without my dad by my side every step of the way.” Her father’s support didn’t end when Cook reached professional status. Two weeks after qualifying for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, she shattered both of her feet after suffering a crash landing. It took three years for her to fully recover, but her father was there to aid her. “When I watched her devastating crash, I was
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horrified,” recalls her coach, Todd Ossian. “She had worked incredibly hard, and it had clearly come to an end.” Cook had a different idea. She participated in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, and again in the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada. She placed 19th and 11th place respectively in women’s aerials. Currently, Cook is ranked second in the world in aerials. Her current goals include winning a Grand Prix World Cup globe and an Olympic gold medal. “Emily has evolved into one of the hardest working athletes I have ever worked with,” Ossain says, who has known Cook since 1999 but only started working closely with her in 2010. “After being at this for so long, it’s incredible to see Emily still making technical progress every day. The determination and will to win [is] there.” Although Cook is fierce in competition, she is altruistic in nature. She works with many charity organizations, including The Speedy
Foundation and Kids Play Int’l. In May, Cook travelled to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania with Right to Play to help children in poverty find an escape through sports. “I find that sometimes competing in an individual sport can be a very self-centered way of living. I love the platform the sport gives me to contribute and to make a difference in the world,” Cook says. “It makes it all worth it to see the smile on a child’s face when they discover sports for the first time.” Though training for the Olympics is a fulltime commitment, perhaps her ability to see the bigger picture is Cook’s biggest strength. She doesn’t view earning an Olympic medal in aerial skiing as her biggest achievement, but rather in persevering after an injury. “Being an athlete is pretty all-encompassing,” Cook says. “I know that at the end of the day I will be able to walk away from this sport proud that I have given everything I have to be the best I can be.” wm
PHOTO TIPS FOR fall
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CONOR BARRY & CHAD
all along the Wasatch Front boasts some of the most amazingly colorful backdrops in the country. We wanted to help you show off your beautiful backyard by giving you some tips to help you make the most out of your photographs this fall. Staff photographer Conor Barry, who teaches the PRT Nature Photography class at the U, and myself came up with our top 10 tips to making the best nature photos. We hope these tips can help photographers of all skill levels, regardless of what equipment they own. We invite you to try out what youâ€™ve learned from these tips by sending us your photos via Instagram. You can tag your photos with @Wasatchmagazine or #WasatchMag for a shot at being printed in our November issue.
#1 GOLDEN HOUR
PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
There is a golden rule in photography and that is to shoot at dawn and at dusk. This could easily be the most important tip for you to remember. The reason that it is paramount that you shoot during these two times is because the soft, warm light and shadows you’ll see create a sense of drama you don’t get at other time of day. Your colors will pop, and the textures in your land-
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D
scapes will be magnified. In order to catch these golden hours you need to be
LENS (MM): 148
awake and in place before sunrise and out past sunset. This takes dedication, but you’ll see an immediate improvement in your photos.
ISO: 200 APERTURE: 7.1 SHUTTER: 1/100
#2 THINK BIG PHOTO BY CONOR BARRY
Sometimes you come to a place so incredible you can’t help but pull out your camera and make your best Ansel Adams tribute. Those scenic overlooks are packed with tourists for a reason: they’re beautiful. Do yourself a favor and capture that iconic scene in a unique way. Don’t come home with the exact same photo that every iPhone-toting tourist gets. Take some time to find the best angle, or wait for the best light. Try to include an interesting or unique foreground to go with the great background. Bonus points for shooting with a wide-angle lens pushed in really close to that foreground object. Not only will it make the landscape look more vast, it will pull the viewer into the scene as if they were really there.
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II LENS (MM): 16 ISO: 250 APERTURE: 14 SHUTTER: 20
#3 THINK SMALL PHOTO BY CONOR BARRY
Sometimes the grand landscape just doesn’t work out. Maybe the conditions aren’t right. Maybe its overcast. Perhaps the stars aren’t aligned. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to come home empty-handed. Find a smaller, more intimate scene. Capture the individual pieces that make the grand landscape so grand. Macrophotography opens up a whole new world of opportunities. But don’t forget the basics just because it’s a small scene. Composition, quality of light and exposure are every bit as important as they are with a big one.
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II LENS (MM): 100 ISO: 320 APERTURE: 2.8 SHUTTER: 1/125
#4 SHOOT FOR THE STARS PHOTO BY CONOR BARRY
Photographing the night sky isn’t as hard as it looks, plus it’s really rewarding. Find yourself a good location, far from any major city, and a night with no moon. Get your tripod, shutter release cable, and a wide-angle lens. The hardest part is nailing the focus. Autofocus systems won’t work when it’s dark, so if you can, get there early and pre-focus the scene. Be careful not to bump the focus
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II
ring — or better yet, tape it down. If you can’t get there early, set your focus to infinity and tweak
LENS (MM): 50
it from there. Since stars are relatively dim, you’re going to have to crank up the ISO and open the
aperture. A good jumping-off point for your settings is 25 seconds ISO 3200 and f/2.8. Start there and adjust it as you see fit.
APERTURE: 2.8 SHUTTER: 30
#5 MAGIC WATER EFFECT PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
You see pictures of streaking mystical water and might think that only the pros can do this. But all you really need to pull this simple trick off is what should be your best friends by now — your tripod and a shutter
MODEL: CANON EOS 7D LENS (MM): 135 ISO: 100
release cable. If you don’t have the shutter release, you can also use the
timer built in with your camera. Start with a slow shutter speed of around
one to two seconds and adjust your aperture accordingly. From there change your shutter speed until you’re happy with the amount of motion blur in the water. Caution — be wary of overdoing this tip.
#6 PAINT WITH LIGHT PHOTO BY CONOR BARRY
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II LENS (MM): 16 ISO: 800 APERTURE: 11 SHUTTER: 30
Light painting can be a ton of fun. There are two major styles of light painting. The first is with the actual light source in the frame. Grab a flashlight, camera, and tripod. Set the exposure for at least a few seconds, or at least enough time to paint what you want. Stand in front of the lens and get creative. Write your name, draw a picture, have fun with it. Once you’ve got the basics down, start branching out and combining light painting with the rest of your nature photography. Some great subjects are cars, trains, athletes with headlamps — really anything that has a light. The second style of light painting is the kind done for this month’s cover image. The light source isn’t actually in the frame — instead it’s illuminating the subject of the photograph. Use a flashlight or a camera flash to illuminate the subject. These kind of shots look great when combined with stars or other long — exposure night shots.
#7 CONVERT TO B&W PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D LENS (MM): 16 ISO: 100 APERTURE: 16 SHUTTER: 60
If I could shoot either color or black and white for the rest of my days, I would choose B&W. Hands down. B&W adds drama by subtracting color. Color can steal so much of our brain’s attention. Our brain can only handle so much in one image, and at times color just complicates the image and distracts from the lines, shapes, tones, and texture. When shooting or doing post-processing work, ask yourself if the image really needs color. Is it stronger without it? Would it be a better photograph in black and white? Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes it easy to convert to black and white. Convert it and compare against the color version.
#8 SHOOT IN BAD WEATHER
PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
Don’t let bad weather deter you from breaking out your cameras. The drama of rain, snow, fog, and cold often make for some of the best images. Right before and after most
MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II LENS (MM): 35
storms you’ll witness ominous clouds and vibrant colors you would otherwise miss. Don’t
forget some sort of protective gear for your equipment. This could be as simple as a plastic
bag. We promise, if you tough out the bad conditions you’ll be glad you did.
#9 GET WILD
PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
Fall can be one of the best times of year for wildlife photography. Animals are generally more active because they are in a frenzy trying to prepare for winter, and many mating cycles begin during fall. For the most effective wildlife shots, get the animal in action to create drama in the scene. When possible, get in close to create a connection with the viewer. To do this you’re going to need telephoto lenses. Prices vary, but sadly the best ones cost more than a year’s tuition. MODEL: CANON EOS 5D MARK II LENS (MM): 400 ISO: 100 APERTURE: 2.8 SHUTTER: 1/1600
#10 THE BEST CAMERA
PHOTO BY CHAD ZAVALA
The best camera that you can ever use is the one that you own. It may sound funny, but it doesn’t matter how much you spend on your camera if you don’t know how to use it. You’d be surprised what kind of quality images you can capture with inexpensive cameras. Hell, even most smart phones today have extremely high quality cameras built in. These cameras often include editing apps that perform all the basic functions you might need.
MODEL: GOOGLE NEXUS AUTO MODE
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$100-$600 Cameras in this price range vary from the simple camera on your cell phone, many pointand-shoot models, and entry level DSLRs. In this range you’re limited to mainly auto modes and small sensors. Models in this range are generally smaller in size and simple to use, which can be positive features.
SHUTTER RELEASE FREE-$10
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This range of packs offer the largest capacities for all of your equipment. These backpacks often feature great protection against the elements, being waterproof, shockproof, or both. When you have such a large amount of money invested in your gear, it would be wise to protect them.
Moving into this range offers users large jumps in stability. Tripods in this range are now made with sturdier metals and carbon fibers. These tripods feature more options with positioning and adjustments. This price range offers interchangible heads for different sized lenses. Many tripods in this class feature reliabe levels to help you keep things straight.
The next jump in tripods goes in two different directions: small and light for weight-conscious backpackers and large and robust for the largest telephoto lenses. These models have several options for tripod heads as well, so be aware of what your specific needs are before you buy.
Use any available light source to help you with your light painting. This could include car lights, cell phones, campfires, etc. There are many affordable, high quality headlights in this price range. Most use interchangeable batteries.
Upping your carrying capacity substantially, these backpacks feature better protection for your valuable gear. This range offers better comfort for longer treks as well.
Backpacks in this price range will offer basic protection for your necessities. You won’t be able to carry much, but it may be all you need. Many side packs are available in this range which are light for shorter trips.
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By breaking into this price range you will find nice wireless options as well as digital timers that do a lot of the work for you. This option is especially helpful when blending multiple exposures or doing time-lapse work.
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$3,500+ With costs on par with a semester’s tuition, these cameras offer all the bells and whistles you can ask for. Cameras in this range are all full-frame, which is great for landscapes. They offer extremely fast frames per second, which is nice for shooting action shots such as wildlife. They also offer more robust protection against the elements. Don’t think that having these cameras will make you a better photographer. With great power comes great responsibility.
$10-$50 These models are often made by the camera’s manufacturers, and are better built than the previous group. Most models in this price range are all manual, which is often the most reliable. $50-$150
Sometimes all you need is a simple tripod for most circumstances. These tripods are generally made of plastic and easily break over time. They can be bought at most department stores. Cleats that attach to your camera are easy to lose, these options don’t have easy to find replacements.
This price range opens buyers to a wide range of choices across models and brands. Nikon and Canon are the traditional favorites for professionals who often own and use cameras in this range. Cameras in this price range offer a variety of accessories such as lenses and flashes as well as full manual capability, which will be necessary for many of our tips. This range and up also offers high quality video features.
You can get by in some cases by using the timer mode on your camera when you’re in a bind. Check various online sellers such as Ebay for aftermarket options to save on cash. These models are generally flimsier and sometimes break when you need them most.
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With the jump in price here, you will see a jump in battery life as well as a jump in the output of power. Lights in this range are lighter and offer more comfortable bands.
$60-$150 Lights in this range feature the longest lasting battery life combined with the brightest power. The power of these options make painting with light ideal when illuminating large, distant objects. These lights also boast the sturdiest weather protection.
s a retired ski bum, I get stoked on winter. Over the last three days of September, the Wasatch Front was socked in, and when the clouds finally broke, they unveiled snow-capped peaks. But that was just a preview to what’s sure to be an epic winter. After the past two seasons, we’re due for a good one, right? At a recent fundraiser for the Utah Avalanche Center, over 1,200 powder junkies gathered at the Black Diamond headquarters in Holladay to get pumped for the season. I surveyed 100 people at the event to see which nearby resort they were most excited to hit this winter. Keep in mind that these aren’t your average leisuretime skiers. People who donate to the Utah Avalanche Center probably aren’t spending much time enjoying the resorts’ amenities. They don’t care if there’s world-class dining, fivestar hotels, heated lifts, or a good ski school. These are the purists. They don’t spend any time on blues and greens. They’d rather dip into the trees and find powder stashes than carve up a groomer. They’re more likely to drop a 20-foot cliff than drop a hundred on lunch. With that in mind, here are the most hardcore locals’ top seven places to shred. If you’re new to Utah, this might help you decide where to get your season pass. If you’re not, then just see if you agree with these opinions. wm
Little Cottonwood — 34 of 100 student season pass: $599 Snowbird is simply the best because it has it all. Massive expansive terrain, challenging runs, backcountry access, awesome Après-ski, gorgeous views, and it accepts all kinds of people. From snowboarders to skiers, locals to tourists, beginners to experts and everything in between, Snowbird won this poll by a landslide, and I can’t say I disagree with the results. PHOTO COURTESY OF SNOWBIRD
Alta Little Cottonwood — 21 of 100 student season pass: $599 There must’ve been a lot of skiers at the party. Alta is one of three resorts in the U.S. that still doesn’t allow snowboarders. While that might be a draw for some, it’s mostly the super steep terrain and the abundant snowfall that gets skiers’ votes.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTA
Backcountry Wasatch— 7 of 100 student season pass: FREE Like I said, I was polling the most hardcore of the hardcore. A handful of people wouldn’t even admit to visiting resorts. Who needs a $100 lift ticket when you’ve got skins? If this is where you’re planning to spend your winter, though, make sure you take at least a basic avalanche safety course. The Utah Avalanche Center offers them for free. Also never venture out alone.
Big Cottonwood — 13 of 100 student season pass: $599 This is my favorite resort for the same reasons as a lot of other people — it’s not like a resort at all. There’s almost no lodging, almost no dining and almost no fancy amenities. This resort is all about the skiing and snowboarding. It’s a local favorite because it doesn’t attract many tourists, you can find fresh powder a week after a storm, the park is fun, and the terrain is gnarly.
Park City Mountain Resort Park City — 4 of 100
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIGHTON
Big Cottonwood — 9 of 100 student season pass: $549 These guys nailed it with their marketing campaign. I don’t know if people forget about this place or what, but it’s the perfect resort to ditch the crowds on busy weekends. You’ll rarely find lift lines at Solitude, and you’ll always find challenging terrain with plenty of powder stashes.
Park City — 6 of 100 student season pass: $429 Canyons is a great place for students to get a pass. It’s huge. In fact, it’s the biggest lift-served resort in Utah. It’s got a decent terrain park and easy backcountry access. It also has those heated chair lifts, which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing.
student season pass: $535 There’s nothing wrong with PCMR, but it’s not for skiers and snowboarders who live for deep powder and technical turns. It does have one of the best terrain parks in the country, but that’s not the type of winter sports enthusiast I found at the UAC fundraising party. If you live for park laps or Après-ski parties, PCMR is your spot.
Note: You may notice that the poll only adds up to 94 results. There were some outliers. I tried to stick to resorts within a half hour of the U. Three people voted for Snowbasin and two for Powder Mountain. One guy said Deer Valley, but he wasn’t being serious, citing its cuisine and ski valets as his reasons for loving the resort.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLITUDE
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Take a photo using our 10 fall photo tips. Post on Instagram @WasatchMagazine and #WasatchMagazine. Check the next issue to see if you are one of our winners.
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