"Chile is always a nice break from the summer heat," says Grant Gunderson. But he's not inviting you to Valle Nevado Ski Resort just to cool off in the Andes and drink pisco sours. Gunderson, a Mountain contributor and renowned ski photographer, will instruct at the Valle Nevado Image Quest this September.
The photo camp provides an opportunity for amateurs and professionals to hone skills during outdoor shooting sessions with Gunderson (and photographers Nils Schlebusch and Tom Winter) on Valle Nevado's 7,000 acres and nearby backcountry terrain. "There's access to absolutely huge mountains, and the sunsets are the best in the world," Gunderson says. Professional skiers will also be on hand to work with photographers. The Southern Hemisphere season looks promising: Valle Nevado opened on June 22 with a base of 80cm, and the forecast calls for more snow this week.
Gunderson will also lead après-ski seminars on workflow, computer software, working with video and fine art, and building client relationships. "We're going to cover the stuff that I wish I had access to when I was getting into ski photography," Gunderson says. "Taking good photos is ultimately easy. The business side of it is challenging."
Valle Nevado lies just over an hour from an international airport in Santiago, Chile's capital city. Gunderson says the easy access to one of South America's cultural centers also provides shooting options for bad-weather days. Or visit the local vineyards for $3 bottles of wine, an après staple in Chile. "The culture in South America is so different from what people are used to in skiing," Gunderson says. "It's a little more laid back and the people are amazing." Attending the camp costs $500, plus airfare and accommodation. Guide services, a photo contest, and ongoing feedback after the camp are included. —Olivia Dwyer