Photographer, Yves Garneau and skier, Jonas Delonge hit the slopes after dark…
It’s the end of the most incredible powder day. Cold thick air is trapped against the valley floor under a sea of clouds that lights up like an oriental carpet just before sunset. Most of our friends can be found on the sidewalk outside the Fer a Cheval or on the terrace of the pub sipping a hot wine watching the last rays disappear to the west. The ridge line separating Switzerland from France boasts some of the best silhouettes in the alps. These early sunsets in December and January are a special event in Verbier and one of my favorite times of the year for shooting photos. The deep blue light of day followed by burning amber rays to the fairy tale sunsets, it’s all just one big visual feast for the eyes, and the camera. And after the sun has said it’s fair-wells and our friends have moved closer to the bar inside, there comes a light that few of us skiers normally get to see. Where the powder turns as black as soot and the horizon casts the only remaining honest light.
And after the sun has said it’s fair-wells and our friends have moved closer to the bar inside, there comes a light that few of us skiers normally get to see.
Jonas Delogne and I give our thanks to the day we just had by raising our arms towards the sky as if to thank the gods. The glasses of beer we just finished on the terrace of the Attelas restaurant have limbered us up just enough. We are now ready to try an idea I had months ago when the grass was still long and the mountains were tattooed with wild flowers. I pull out the flashes, cables and radio transmitters and rig up a system that looks like something out of the first Starwars movie and proceed to explain my plan to Jonas. It’s a night shoot and this is the plan….
Jonas lays down the turns with an accuracy suggesting he might be Swiss. But this Canadian has already done countless turns, leaps and tricks in front of the camera and is no stranger to the many ski magazines pilling up on your coffee table at home. We entertain ourselves with the fact that we are all alone and sing loudly to the cold that is now invading over our bodies. The dexterity in my fingers is gone and we agree that the shots are in the bag. An hour later we are back with our friends close to the bar and talking of what we just did when someone blurts out…hey I have a great roof I could jump off for your next shot.