Snowboarding has always been a photogenic sport. Jaw-dropping athletic feats framed by pristine mountain backdrops have generated hours of film and millions of photographs.
Since its origins the sport and the technology that captures it has come on a lot, constantly striving to find new and creative ways to channel the spirit of the sport, the daring of the riders and the terrain which they ride into stunning visual content. Applying original creativity into depicting the sport was at the centre of a recent initiative by Nokia who set an open challenge of summarizing the sport through either film or photography to the creative community, hosted by online creative hub Talenthouse. Submissions were put to a public vote and the eventual winners, filmmaker Jack Tompkins and photographer Stefanie Suchy’s were chosen. The Prize? An all expenses paid trip to the US Open Snowboarding championships with exclusive access to capture all the action on one of Nokia’s Lumia 920 phones.
Stefanie, 26, is a Freelance photographer currently living in Düsseldorf. She studied Fashion & Branding in Amsterdam, before returning to Germany to take up a career in photography. A board sport enthusiast having surfed and skated, but strangely she had never been on a snowboard before winning the chance to go to Vail.
Her entry to the competition was with a portrait of Gabby Maiden, the first professional black female snowboarder, shot whilst on a photo shoot in New Orleans.
She found being on the mountain in Vail a big thrill and said of her experience at the US Open: “I really enjoyed the diversity of atmospheres at the event - the quiet yet strong nature when you're alone on the mountain riding down, the focus and the tension of the riders up the half pipe, hugs full of love and respect when getting down, chilling in the rider's tent, the fun jokes in the sponsor village and the parties that where really going wild.”
Armed with the Nokia Lumia, she set about capturing the riders both whilst competing and when not on their boards. Throughout the week she was able to shoot in a variety of environments and found the camera to be more than up to the task:
“The Nokia Lumia 920 was the perfect tool to capture the whole thing. It's way faster to just point and shoot with such a little device than using a big DSLR camera that you have to set up every time before taking the picture.”
Jack Tompkins Profile:
Jack Tompkins, 22, in his final year of Sports Management at Loughborough University.
Jack’s been filming action sports for the last 5 years having got more serious when he started skiing and has been developing his skills ever since. He’s been the videographer for Onyx Snowboard School for the last few years and the idea behind his submission was a collaborative effort between him and Baden Knifton, Head Coach of Onyx Snowboard School.
The submission was part of longer video from Onyx's summer snowboard camp in Les Deux Alpes France, entitled "Throwback Friday" which is the final day of the camp where everyone heads up the mountain and spends the day throwing old-school tricks dressed in bright retro one piece suits.
Like Stephanie, Jack had a memorable time in Vail at the US Open describing his experience: “I felt so incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to film at the US Open, to see incredible snowboarder's like Torstein Horgmo, Mark McMorris and Shaun White riding right in front of you was amazing and hopefully the video does justice to how dedicated they are to snowboarding.”
The video can be watched below and you can see from the results that the camera was more than adequate at capturing great images, a sentiment that Jack wholly agrees with. ”It was great fun using the Lumia 920 to film the event and I was really impressed with the quality of the 1080p HD video, I took my DSLR on the trip but hardly used it as the Lumia was so good!”
Check out more of jack’s work at https://vimeo.com/jacktompkins