Photographer Profile: Grant Gunderson on true locals and finding the sweet spot

In the 2018 Photo Annual, we asked seven photographers to dish on the inspiration behind a favorite photo of their choosing. These featured photographers capture the landscapes, community and emotion that that evoke the untracked experience, from dawn’s light to skintracks cutting across a blank white canvas.

In this week’s profile, photographer Grant Gunderson of Bellingham, Wash. talks about finding the ideal vantage point. 

Gunderson in warmer elements. [Photo] Courtesy Grant Gunderson

I took this photo at the end of the day on probably one of the best days of powder skiing in recent memory at Mt. Baker. It was one of the largest snowstorms we’ve had in years—it snowed all the way down to sea level.

Wanting to cap off a perfect day of powder skiing, I went to a place that I’ve nicknamed the “Money Hole” because I have pulled so many photos out of it—numerous magazine covers. Every time we go to the spot, it’s completely different depending on the light and how the wind’s blowing the snow in, but no matter when we go there, it always delivers. Knowing that, at sunset, it lines up with the sun and Mt. Baker, I went to try and get a sunburst shot. I positioned Mattias Evangelista in the frame where the sun might be, and it worked out pretty well.

Mattias Evangelista, Mt. Baker bc, Wash.

Mattias and Micah Evangelista are the only true Mt. Baker locals who grew up in the town of Glacier that’s closest to Baker. I started to shoot with them at quite a young age. The first photo I ever took of Mattias’s brother, Micah, became a two-page cover for Backcountry’s 2013 Photo Annual. Those kids are phenomenal. I love skiing with them, and they still show me places I’ve never been to at Mt. Baker.

To see more of Gunderson’s photography, visit grantgunderson.com.

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