Getting Out of Bounds 

Professional and amateur photographers showcase beautiful backcountry in photography competition and exhibit

click to enlarge Making Tracks into the Backcountry Photographer Joern Rohde had only minutes to capture the panoramic image of the Skeena Mountains before catching up with his group. The Insight Photography shutterbug is competing in the Out of Bounds photo competition, which kicks off with a reception on Sunday, Feb. 3 at MY Millennium Place.
  • Making Tracks into the Backcountry Photographer Joern Rohde had only minutes to capture the panoramic image of the Skeena Mountains before catching up with his group. The Insight Photography shutterbug is competing in the Out of Bounds photo competition, which kicks off with a reception on Sunday, Feb. 3 at MY Millennium Place.

What: Out of Bounds artist reception

When: Sunday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Admission: Free

By Nicole Fitzgerald

Photographer Joern Rohde is a regular lens around town.

News, events, lifestyle and sports, he does it all as a staff shooter for Insight Photography and as a freelance shutterbug for his own company, www.whistlerlife.com.

With the exception of an occasional snowshoe trek into the backcountry, Rohde’s images have always stayed in-bounds. Until now.

For the first time Rohde has entered Whistler’s biggest backcountry photography competition, Out of Bounds: Tale from the Backcountry.

The photography exhibition shows for the entire month of February with the launch party kicking off on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.

“I didn’t have a lot of out of bounds pictures in the past,” Rohde explained. “This year I went heli-skiing in Terrace, so I got some good stuff.”

All photos exhibited in the Out of Bounds competition must have been accessed by foot, snowmobile, helicopter, skis and/or dogsled. No chair lifts allowed.

“The competition is a good way of seeing what everybody else is doing and realizing, after I went out and shot for myself, the amount of effort that goes into those images,” he said. “It’s not just about going into the backcountry and going skiing, but going through the work of taking all your camera gear up there.”

Hauling around 25 kilograms (50 pounds) of camera gear, ensuring extra film, batteries and extra everything is packed, and keeping up with your guides and ski group while still getting your shots is always a challenge. And then, of course, there’s the weather.

“It’s not just a matter of if the shot didn’t work out, that you go back and shoot it again,” Rohde said. “A lot of those scenes will not present themselves twice.”

One of those scenes was what Out of Bounds jurors picked to compete. The panoramic image encapsulates the never-ending Skeena mountains just outside Terrace in Northern B.C.

“It’s a fairly simple photo,” Rohde said. “I had a minute to take my camera out and get the shot I wanted. My skiing group was almost down at the bottom of the bowl. I liked the way the skier’s tracks looked leading down and with all of the mountains and clouds surrounding them.”

Rohde will compete in the fourth annual Out of Bounds competition. Photographers competing in the competition were selected by a jury of four professionals. The public will vote for Best in Show with the winning photographer and one member of the voting public being awarded a heli-skiing trip with Coast Range Heliskiing and an Arc’teryx backpack. Winners will be announced in early March.

Rhode will be competing against amateur photographers and industry pros like Dano Pendygrasse (Transworld Snowboard Magazine contributor), Jordan Manley (recent winner of the King of the Storms photo competition), Eric Berger (founder of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s Pro Photographer Showdown), and Brian Hockenstein (Snowboard Canada Magazine contributor). For the past two years, photography legend Blake Jorgenson has won Out of Bounds. However, he will not return to defend his title this year.

The juried show will also showcase the works of Alex Wigley, Andrew Bradley, Andy Anissimoff, Angela Percival, Anne Price, Bradley Slack, Dave Smith, Duncan MacKenzie, Greg Griffith, John Irvine, Matt Watkins, Nicolas Teichrob and Rich Glass.

Along with the photography show on Sunday, Feb. 3, the Out of Bounds reception will also include music from DJ Mister Fister, appetizers, snow “cougar” sightings, Arc’teryx backpack draw prizes, and cash bar. Many of the photographers will also be in attendance.

Admission is free.

New this year, Out of Bounds will also host an evening slideshow event with Jeff Lowe on Feb. 20 at MY Millennium Place.

In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, he specialized in big-wall climbing, including numerous early ascents of the Yosemite classics. He is also a free-climbing master, and the author of hundreds of classic traditional rock climbs throughout the western U.S.

Along with the slide show, Lowe will also read an excerpt from his new book, Many Climbs, which chronicles 100 of his favourite first ascents.

Tickets are $17.

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