Unpublished Images from 2008 season

by Andy Wright

Although it’s hard to estimate, I’d say somewhere around 90% of the photos I shoot never get to see the light of day. Of course a great deal of those are not of publishing caliber, but every year there’s a decent selection of images that for some reason just fall between the cracks. With all the work and risk to bodily injury that goes into getting a shot it can be heartbreaking to see even one A grade shot go unused. But such is just part of the game and always will be. This year I decided to be pro-active with my frustration and put together a gallery of images of the ones that got away. These are all shots from the 2008 season that I feel could easily hang with any of the shots I had that were lucky enough to find their way to print during this
volume run. -Andy Wright

***Check out extended captions of all the photos below the gallery***

Jordan Mendenhall – Edina, Minnesota
This was the first trip of my season, a 4 or 5 day urban mission to Minnesota, which typically has snow this time of year. To get this bench to stay in place we had to overcome many hurdles. The best solution was the obvious one, pour water all over the stands the night before and freeze it to the cement.

Jordan Mendenhall – Minneapolis, Minnesota
One of my favorite shots from the whole year, shot in early December on a bitterly cold day in the Minneapolis suburbs. It got even colder when after the session we figured out that Jon Kooley had lost the
keys to the rental car! Joe Sexton had a f/s board shot run from this in an early issue in the year. Even though it was shot from the front, low and wide, it had enough similarity to hinder this shot’s chances of getting run.

Bjorn Leines – Salt Lake City, Utah Although Bjorn’s typically not knows for getting his jib on, he likes to stay busy while waiting for the mountains to fill with snow around Salt Lake. This was early in the season and I was experimenting with some new lighting techniques to get his reflection in the marble.

Erik Christensen – Salt Lake City, Utah
I called this shot the Christmas method because, well, you might have guessed it was shot on Christmas Day. If you look close you can see that EC is wearing a Santa hat. The bust factor is always high in Salt Lake due to the high number of film crews that are out on any given day when there’s snow in the city. Some spots are such a bust, like this one that you have to wait for a big holiday when you know there will be no one around to kick you out. We had a sweet 2 or 3 hour session before security showed up.

Laura Hadar – Salt Lake City, Utah
I used to go this water park when I was a kid and at some point over the years it became abandoned. Laura hit me up to come shoot it a few times last season. This particular day was bitter sweet. We got an amazing photo together, but a few jumps after this shot she landed a little weird and ended her season with a blown out knee.

Darrell Mathes – Salt Lake City, Utah
Wow! That’s all I can say when I was putting together this gallery and realized this shot didn’t run. Gap out to f/s board, a new trick and old familiar place. If I went back there tomorrow it would be hard to fight the temptation to shoot this same angle again. There will be a few shots in this gallery that hurt, this is most definitely one of

Jeremy Jones – Salt Lake City, Utah
This was a new spot in Salt Lake, one of many that we found this season. It had been a few years since the snow had been so good close to home, and in the meantime a lot of riders developed a new eye for looking at terrain. Flat bar 5-0 transfer into the stairs.

Darrell Mathes – Ogden, Utah
Not to sound like a broken record, but one of my favorites from theyear and a possibly of my career. (I love being dramatic in case you can’t tell). So no bitterness on this shot not getting used because a shot of equal caliber ran on the cover of JP Walker in the November
issue. Such is the breaks, and a lot tougher one for Darrell than me.

Darrell Mathes Ogden, Utah I owe this shot 100% to Darrell, not just for the snowboarding, but he actually climbed this tree and found this angle when I was at a lossfor one. He’s slowly acquiring camera gear himself and it’s probably just a matter of time before he takes me out.

Jeremy Jones – Ogden, Utah
Seth Huot jumped this gap with Jeremy and had a photo ran in the Photo Annual. There was only one shot that was gonna get used and Seth’s number got called. Making me choose between the two shots is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. What makes one shot get picked o over another is mind boggling. Jeremy may done a harder trick (b/s 180) but Seth had better colors (yellow shirt, red base). These things matter.

Jeremy Jones – Ogden, Utah
Whenever a single image can tell the story of what is going on, I know I’ve done my job. Yes, there will always be a time and place for a sequence, but those are a few and far between in my book, especially since a trick rarely gets done without a video camera(s) present. Jeremy came up with a variation on the wall ride this past year in which he basically 450’s out. Sure you might not get the full amount of rotation from this shot, but it’s fairly clear that he’s winding up for a spin and using the wall as his launching point. Let the imagination fill in the missing frames.

JP Walker – Ogden, Utah
I always thought this shot of JP looked like he was snowboarding on a space station or something science fiction-y. For every extra foot he’d would stay on the flat bar, it would be an extra 5-10 feet of drop. Epic light, good style, consequence, A-list rider, never been
shot location: sometimes this job is not easy, but when a shot does run, it more than erases the frustration from the ones like this that got away.

Seth Huot – Ogden, Utah
I think a frontside boardslide is quite possibly the most aesthetically looking moves you can do on a snowboard. I’ve shot a lot of these over there years, and this one ranks right up there as the most perfect. oh, that and the fact that Seth has to pop out over corner of the ledge and pole in landing makes for one of those shots i would have really like to have seen run.

Desiree Melancon – Salt Lake City, UT
Although this looks a lot like the rail garden, it’s acutally not. And even though this a rare photo of girl putting in a backside lip, you’d think it would have run, but it did not. Red gloves make the shot for me.

Jeremy Jones – Tahoe Backcountry
This road gap was in the shade, I brought the flash out, waded through hip deep snow to set it. Jeremy Jones mid backside 7. Hate to say it, but I feel like people only want to see shots of this guy in streets when in reality he can hold his own in a kicker session.

JP Walker – Tahoe Backcountry
JP Walker boning out a backside 7 tailgrab in a frozen moment that reminds me of an old photo of Terje from back in the day. JP had a shot in his interview of a backside 1080 tailgrab, so there was little chance of this getting used. If that wasn’t enough, just around the corner from this jump was a smaller road gap that he had shot pole-jamming over in the same interview. This shot was as good as dead at that point.

Jusso Lavisto – Salt Lake City, UT
I was doing a photo shoot for Ride one evening with Darrell Mathes and Jusso showed up toward the end and wanted to get in on the session. He’d never tried wall rides before and within a few tries, he was turning them over the top into backside lipslides. It was really impressive, not to mention photogenic. 2 years ago this would have been a cover during the wallride craze. Now it’s in the garbage bin.

Iikka Backstrom – Cooke City, MT
Incredible backside slash basically on a cliff and he pulls out in time to jump the bottom 15 footer. This is basically snowboarding to me.

Chris Grenier – Ogden Utah
This rail might as well be located inside Ft. Knox with the amount of bust factor it is. As always happens we had this thing set up and ready to go when someone comes out yelling and screaming about liability and that they are calling the cops. Most of these people cannot be reasoned with, once someone is convinced you could possibly sue them, there is no rational thinking left in the mind. We faked like we were going to leave to put them at ease and then Grenier ran up and squeezed into two tries before we heard sirens in the distance. He got this on the second attempt but had a weird arm-wave or something in the landing so never used the shot in the Grenade movie.

Chris Grenier – Ogden, Utah
Thought this one could have been a cover as well, but because Grendy went and did the exact same move on a similar setup for a nova scotia story with Serfas, my photo got the shaft. Great.

Louie Vito – Northstar
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t shoot me much pipe, nor am I all that great at it. Average at best. Thank god for louie’s stellar alley frontside and my photoshop toning skills.

Devun Walsh – Chugach Mountains, Alaska
Shooting from inside the heli can be really hit and miss, but when it comes together, it’s like no other. This natural windlip of Devun is just classic to me.

Jussi Oksanen – Chugach Mountains, Alaska
Setting sun, glacier background, wicked style, snow trail, and one of the best jumpers of all time. Throw in a good vibrations feeling with the lens flare and I thought for sure I had all the ingredients for a wall paper full page. Apparently you can’t win them all.

Wille Yli Luoma – Chugach Mountains, Alaska
About an half hour before this shot was taken, I was taken on first ride by an avalanche. This whole face actually slide right after this turn as well. It was just one of those days in Alaska where we got away with one. 9 lives minus a few.