This week’s “How I Got the Shot” takes us to Alta, Utah, where photographer and Altaholics Anonymous founder Lee Cohen reveals the value of repetition.
Name: Lee Cohen
Hometown: Sandy, Utah
Where: Just outside the boundary of Alta, Utah. Otherwise known as side country.
When: February 21, 2011
What the image was shot with: Nikon D3 with a 20-35mm 2.8 Nikon zoom set at 35mm 1/1000 F9 ISO 100
Who: Tyler Sterling
Why: All photographers have their go-to spots. One of mine is in the side country at Alta—just a little bit outside of the ski area. I have a go-to shot, for my go-to spot, too, one that I've shot many times, that comes out great almost every time. It may change a bit depending on the focal length of the lens; I either use my 70-200 zoom or fixed 300, but it's a big powder turn, with a lot of snow flying, featuring a sick down canyon view.
When I got to my spot, my instinct was to draw one of my usual longer lenses—I recalled having thought that I should try shooting it wide, from a distance. But the clouds spurred me on—they added something special to the scene that made the light better than if it had been a clear blue, Utah gem sky. So I switched to my short zoom and framed it up. It gave the shot I'd taken so many times before an entirely new and different look.
No matter how many times I nail this shot, I still think I can shoot it better. It’s surprising when all the crucial elements come together, but somehow they unite and give me something a little closer to perfection each time.
Magazine affiliation: This image ran in Powder. I am a freelancer for one and all.
Bio: Lee Cohen is a photographer, writer, and the founder of Altaholics Anonymous. He grew up in New York City. After two years of college, he took a break to investigate the skiing out west. The day he graduated, he moved to Utah to ski the deep, and he has been there ever since.
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