Much of the outdoor adventure photography in Whistler captures skiers or snowboarders suspended in mid-air in the midst of a jaw-dropping jump or trick.
Revelstoke photographer Zoya Lynch, however, took another approach for her submissions to the Out of Bounds: Tales From the Backcountry photo contest, launching Sept. 23 at Millennium Place.
One image is a simple black and white photo with a group of skiers making their way up a mountain at Rogers Pass. Another features a skier colliding with the sun on her trek up in the Rocky Mountains. "When I'm ski touring, going up hill, I get pretty inspired to take good photos," Lynch says. "Composing action sports shots is not my forte because I'm more looking at the terrain as a skier, not a photographer. I love skiing."
Lynch, who has been a professional photographer for the last three years, but has been shooting for the last six, is drawn to all kinds of subjects, not just sports shots. "I like shooting everything from recreational tourism, adventure sports, weddings, landscapes, nature shots," she says. "Pretty much anything. I also do lots of filmmaking work."
She's the only female photographer in this year's show and contest (she also competed last year), which features work by 16 other photographers, including Mark Gribbon, Reuben Krabbe, Russell Dalby and Pique freelance writer Vince Shuley.
A total of $1,000 will be awarded with judges choosing the Best in Show winner and the public voting on the People's Choice Award. The exhibit will be up until Oct. 25.
"It would be really awesome (to win), but I'm not overly competitive with all the other photographers," Lynch says. "I'm just happy to be chosen."
The exhibit opening will kick off a month of events that fall under the Out of Bounds umbrella at Millennium Place on Sept. 24. Dubbed the Cabin Fever Launch Party, Scotia Creek Gallery will be transformed into an old-style ski cabin, complete with wooden wall decor, rustic furniture and old-school skis. "I wanted to do something new this year, so we came up with the idea of doing cabin fever as the theme," says Andrea Mueller, event organizer with the Whistler Arts Council. "The idea is to come wearing plaid or something that you think you would wear to a cabin. An ugly ski sweater or hunting jacket will work. We'll be giving out some prizes and giveaways."
The event will also serve as the kick off for Prior's Topsheet Contest, which will be displayed concurrently with the photography exhibit. In that competition, artists have submitted their work with hopes it will be chosen to adorn the 2015 line of Prior ski and snowboards. Those pieces will also be on display until Oct. 25 for the public to vote on their favourite. The winner and a voter will score skis or a snowboard.
"Because it's in the same location, we decided to amalgamate the openings into one night," Mueller says. "It really makes more sense. It's nice to have both the photographers and visual artists together. It's a broader audience and demographic for us."
Also part of the fall festivities is the Whistler Outdoor Photography Summit, which features workshops for aspiring outdoor and adventure sport photographers at Millennium Place from Sept. 26 to 29. The classes are run by esteemed local photographer Blake Jorgenson with sessions taught by Jordan Manley, Scott Serfas and Eric Berger (More info on that is available at whistlerphotosummit.com).
Also keep your eyes peeled for a pair of ski and snowboard film premieres at the Millennium Place theatre (Absinthe Films' Dopamine premiere and Valhalla by Patagonia Productions and Sweetgrass have already screened.). On Oct. 19 Doglotion is presenting TGR's Way of Life with McConkey, a Matchstick Production, capping off the series on Oct. 30.
Finally, the International Freeski Film Festival will arrive in Whistler at Millennium Place Oct. 12 for a day full of premieres of the year's top ski movies. More on that can be found at if3.ca.
"At the Arts Council in general we like to think of new things every year and see how it works," Mueller says. "We've expanded Out of Bounds and started working with different partners in town to combine our efforts... There's going to be a lot to see."