Letters 14.8

What to do now that we’re nearing the end of the season … it’s time to get into summer mode, feel the sun’s warmth on our bare skin, and have fun! Winter will be back before we know it, so there’s no sense in getting all depressed about the snow melting. Plus, it’s not healthy to always be livin’ in the past or lookin’ into the future. Maybe you all have heard this before, but today is a gift, and that’s why it’s called the present-you best enjoy it while it lasts!For this final issue of the season, the Photo Annual, Gina from Ben Lomond, California is receiving a Volkl board, Technine bindings, and Heelside boots for sharing her interest in photography and snowboarding with us. Also, Kelly from Wolcott, Vermont is getting hooked up with a Palmer board and bindings, and Heelside boots for stoking us out on our jobs! Thanks to everyone for writing in to us, and don’t worry … if your letter hasn’t been printed, there’s still a chance it will be next year-and keep writing!

The Best Of Both Worlds
I have aspirations to become a snowboarding photographer, and I’d be stoked if you guys could send me any tips on what you look for in photographers or refer me to any books that could help me. I’m extremely addicted to snowboarding and passionate about photography, so this would be the perfect profession for me. Also, what kind of equipment would I need? I’ve got a manual camera, and I’m hoping to get a tripod soon, but what about protecting my camera from harsh conditions or whatever? Oh, and huge props to Derek Kettela, Vianney Tisseau, and Torey Piro. I think photographers in general don’t receive the recognition they deserve-not to imply the riders aren’t awesome, it’s just that the photographers should get their face and name on a page or an article here and there. You photographers rip, and the Crystal Awards was a brilliant idea. Thanks for your time.
Gina Wilke
Ben Lomond, California

For most of the snowboarding photographers I know and admire, riding was their first and foremost passion, and they’ve chosen to couple that love with their skill and devotion for photography. As far as I know, there are no instructional books on the specific subject of snowboard photography, but I can tell you that good photography is an amazing skill that requires a lot of practice. Obviously a basic knowledge of photography is necessary, but there are certain valuable lessons that can only be learned through experience. First of all, shooting in the snow is one of the most challenging locations. The more you do it, the better you will get at understanding weather, lighting, snow, and framing conditions. So go out and shoot. As far as equipment goes, a manual camera is fine for starting out and learning the basics. One of the advantages of having a camera with auto focus and a motor drive, however, is you have the opportunity to selectively focus on a predetermined spot in the scene or on the rider. Also, you can blast off a quick burst of photos or an entire sequence to capture the tricks in their entirety. Most professional-level cameras such as Canon and Nikon are somewhat weather-resistant and are able to withstand most elements. If you aren’t ready to drop in on a massively expensive pro setup, then just keep your camera as dry as possible and experiment.So although shooting snowboarding can keep you from riding as much as you’d like, it will allow you to do two things you love instead of beating your head against a wall in some job you hate just so you can go shred on your vacation time. After all, vacation time is for surfing.-Embry Rucker, photo editor

Hook It Up Without Going Pro
Hello there from the Green Mountain State (yes, that’d be Vermont). I’ve landed myself here in front of this blank computer screen, not to boast that I’m the sickest rider in the east or to beg for goodies, but more or less in hopes of connecting with fellow riders and to inquire about how to be happy. I’m currently a junior at a ttle ol’ place called Lamoille Union, and I’m an avid rider at a place called Smuggler’s Notch. The past few days have become increasingly dreary and soggy around these parts, resulting in the deterioration of my crystallized heaven. Just short of being hit upside the head with a wrench, I’ve become blatantly aware that snowboarding and I were meant to be. Today, with the decreasing amount of snow, I’ve settled into a translucent daze of the infamous “I can’t wait for next year” syndrome and picked up one of your mags. While flipping through the pictures, I’ve come to the rational decision that the chances of little old me becoming a pro are slim. That brought me to thinking, what jobs are out there behind the scenes? And that’s why I wrote this letter to you guys. With the SAT buzz swimming through the air and college junk mail oozing through my back door, I’ve realized that my life without riding would be scarcely tolerable. I’m deciding on colleges based on the closest mountain and annual snowfall, but when I’m there, I know all I’m going to want to do is ride until my kneecaps bust. I’d be more comfortable jumping into the college scene with a concrete idea of what’s out there as far as jobs go related to riding. Perhaps tips as to what skills are needed, class suggestions, etc. My ideal job, to be quite honest, would be to write for a mag like yours. Travel the world, mingle with my own kind, shake hands with the sickest riders of my time, and live my life in search of virgin powder-the diehard snowboarder’s dream. So yes, I’m going to leave soon. If someone could give me a little insight on jobs that keep you riding without having to spend my life savings on new gear and attempt pro status in a year, I would be forever thankful.
Kelly Stoecklein
Wolcott, Vermont

If it’s writing you’re into, then you should look into a degree in journalism, which is more specific to and most common in the magazine industry. You could also get a degree in communication, which is a little more general but useful in any given situation. On the other hand, think about all the companies that are involved in the snowboarding industry and run like any other company would. Those companies need business-minded, educated people, therefore, a business degree is always a good one to have no matter what you get yourself into. Positions to keep in mind are advertising, sales and marketing, public relations, and/or management. Good luck, and one more important thing to do is look into getting an internship-it’ll provide great experience for the future! (We even offer them here.)

The Anxiety/Excitement Connection
I’m writing a glowing letter of appreciation. Your fine magazine guided me to attend Whistler Summer Snowboard Camp last summer, and I found it a truly wondrous experience. As an older snowboarder (52), I’ve been riding for six years but improved dramatically the very first day at camp. The other campers thought I was a staff member at first, but I kept assuring them I was a “camper,” too. There is a definite place for adults wanting to learn more about their passion, and I think Greg Daniells and Christian Saxvik are running an exceptional educational adventure opportunity. Aside from catching big air the first day, I was happily reminded of what it was like to be among “friends” sharing a common interest. The very first day I felt I had known Greg, Christian, and several of the gifted coaches all my “long” life. As a therapist, I’m pleased to see well-honed people skills in use. Although I could’ve had a single room, I opted for a couple of roommates. It has been 30 years since I’ve had that experience, and it was great. I felt as though I were in an episode of Friends. Sharing meals with Greg, Christian, and my coach Todd was an added bonus to the experience. That “hang time” with humble, good-humored, advanced instructors reminded me to spend more time with my friends when I got back home. My professional specialty is in the field of anxiety. I was a member of the behavioral department of Canyon Ranch for eleven years where I focused on the anxiety/excitement connection, which evolved into my first book. At camp I was able to use fear in the way I knew was beneficial. Todd already knew all about the “fear turn around” phenomenon that took me years to discover in practice. You can learn a lot on the slopes about yourself. Amen.
Sincerely,
Craig B. Mardus
Williamstown, Massachusetts

That’s great you had such a positive experience. Summer snowboard camps are a perfect way to take advantage of the off season and devote some time and energy to specific areas in need of improvement. To find out more on summer camps, check out Yellow Sno toward the back of this issue.

I Can See Clearly Now
I love all your photo features! I’ve been shooting all winter, which is a switch from my usual indoor, night, dark, and grainy stuff-pretty primitive flash, crapola film … think you could reach out to your pro-photographer types and get some favorite film and lens suggestions? I’d really appreciate it.
Katherine
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Shem, who has been our photo editor for the last five years, prefers Fuji Provia or Kodak T-Max film, and his favorite lenses are the Canon 17-35mm and the Canon 70-200mm. He says Nikon’s good, too.

Letters (which may be edited for clarity and space, or passed on to those ornery Angry Interns(tm)) should be sent in marked: Letter To The Editor, TransWorld SNOWboarding. By snail-trail mail: 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, CA 92054. By FAX: (760) 722-0653. By electronic mail: snowletters@twsnet.com.lty is in the field of anxiety. I was a member of the behavioral department of Canyon Ranch for eleven years where I focused on the anxiety/excitement connection, which evolved into my first book. At camp I was able to use fear in the way I knew was beneficial. Todd already knew all about the “fear turn around” phenomenon that took me years to discover in practice. You can learn a lot on the slopes about yourself. Amen.
Sincerely,
Craig B. Mardus
Williamstown, Massachusetts

That’s great you had such a positive experience. Summer snowboard camps are a perfect way to take advantage of the off season and devote some time and energy to specific areas in need of improvement. To find out more on summer camps, check out Yellow Sno toward the back of this issue.

I Can See Clearly Now
I love all your photo features! I’ve been shooting all winter, which is a switch from my usual indoor, night, dark, and grainy stuff-pretty primitive flash, crapola film … think you could reach out to your pro-photographer types and get some favorite film and lens suggestions? I’d really appreciate it.
Katherine
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Shem, who has been our photo editor for the last five years, prefers Fuji Provia or Kodak T-Max film, and his favorite lenses are the Canon 17-35mm and the Canon 70-200mm. He says Nikon’s good, too.

Letters (which may be edited for clarity and space, or passed on to those ornery Angry Interns(tm)) should be sent in marked: Letter To The Editor, TransWorld SNOWboarding. By snail-trail mail: 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, CA 92054. By FAX: (760) 722-0653. By electronic mail: snowletters@twsnet.com.