Jason Thompson is a professional mountain guide and photographer whose work has recently appeared in National Geographic Adventure, The Alpinist, and the Patagonia catalog. Mountain called him up for some quick photography tips.
Easy accessibility to your camera is really important. When I'm skiing, I keep my camera in a chest harness pack along with an extra battery and extra memory cards. When I'm climbing, I store my camera in a hip bag attached to my backpack or climbing harness.
Keep your equipment clean. If it's windy or dusty, wait to change your lens so you don't get dust inside the camera. Having the sensors on your camera professionally cleaned every once in a while is a great idea. It saves time and hassle, and means you don't have a speck of dust in your picture.
I carry a polarizing filter, and all my lenses have a UV filter on them. They do double duty. They reduce glare, but they're also nice to help protect the lens itself. If the camera gets hit with something or scratched, replacing a damaged UV filter is a lot less expensive than replacing a damaged lens.
Communicate with your subjects. Make sure that they know how you're trying to shoot a scene. If you're on skis, you can ski downhill from your subject, then throw a snowball out onto the slope to show them where you want them to turn.
You've got to be out there doing it. Work on your skills as a skier and climber so you can get to where the action is happening. Digital photography is cheap, so experiment with different shots and different angles. The more you're shooting, the better the chances of getting the shot. Just try to tell the story. —Charlotte Austin
See more of Thompson's work at jthompsonphotography.com.