Behind the Shot: Light, Shadows and Snowshoeing

Photo by: Scott Rinckenberger

My assignment was to shoot the new MSR Revo Explore snowshoes in their element: long distance treks without a defined trail, without getting into the realm of technical terrain. I pulled together a group of outdoor athletes with some serious snowshoe experience, and booked a yurt in the Oregon backcountry to make the most of a late spring snowpack.

Beyond the fact that it gives me an excuse to spend time in yurts, there are two things I love as a photographer. The first is using my craft to explore the wild and beautiful places on our planet. The second is the feeling that comes from getting a shot that nails the shoot objective. It’s the payoff for all of the hours of emails, meetings, documents and logistics that go into creating a shoot.

My favorite image from this project came late in the final day. We had spent the entire day exploring the vast terrain beyond the yurt and shooting images as they presented themselves, which is my preferred method of outdoor photography. At the point when we gained this ridge, the background peaks were beautifully lit on the horizon by late afternoon sun, and long shadows from the treed slope above created a beautiful highlighted lane for the snowshoers. As they moved smoothly across the lit pathway, I knew that we were getting ‘the shot’.

As we strolled the long miles back to the yurt under the light of a spring moon, we all agreed that there’s something about snowshoeing; the pace, the simplicity, the rhythm, that makes it a special way to explore the outdoors. I expect that my set of snowshoes will see me through a future of many happy hikes in the winter wilderness.