High on the Mountain – Blind Magazine
Skiing is not an easy specialty, it is not always easy to control the intensity of the light reflection on the snow or worse, white day. This is the work of professionals. There are those who follow the various Olympic disciplines all year round, hunters of images buried in snow, resistant to the cold and able to freeze the downhill rolling at full speed.
It’s like a caravan traveling to places with names that make you dream: Schladming, Kitzbuhël, Val Gardena, Val d’Isère, Beaver Creek, among others, alpine skiing destinations that are as warm at night as they are icy during the day. and, for example, Oberhoff or Antholz, tougher for those who cover Biathlon.
They know where to stop to get the right shots, as well as the right places for the best mulled wine or the most digestible raclette. They were in the spotlight for the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and despite the extreme heat, we saw some great things happen.
Jérémy Bernard, a benchmark view of freeriding
I will not talk about them today, but about a specialist who works off-road, away from official competitions.
Jérémy Bernard is more of a reference to freeriding and his work is a tribute to free skiers, but above all to nature itself. I discovered him a few years ago, when he came to the gallery to present his series “Colors” that he made with his friends. A slightly crazy art project shot in the heights of Les Marécottes in Switzerland.
First, paint the widths of the virgin belly using natural pigments and slide them with a ski to push them. Then, or rather, at the same time, immortalize the performance through photography. No retouching, these images are the reality of a moment.
Climbing, painting the snow, then playing with an old agricultural product found at the market one day was the job of skier, leading figure Jérémie Heitz.
He and fellow photographer Jérémy launched just one pass to create an image worthy of the name. In the event of failure, the snow field was no longer like anything, and all these little people returned the next day for the same protocol. A busy season for the thirteen works that make up this series.
Jérémy Bernard simply introduced himself, telling me his story, his decisive meeting with Dom Daher, the reference photographer on the Freeride circuit: “I didn’t know what to do with my life, I saw that it worked, I liked it. »
Jeremy Bernard was 27 years old at the time, he had to get involved. He really became a photographer in Whistler, Canada, as an all-around assistant at the beginning. A year with skiers and mountain bikers filtering the light of the Rockies, leaning against the screen to release their first nugget and buy their first editions.
Clichés cut in the raw
A little later, he won the prize for the best photographer in Europe at the IF3 frisky film festival in Annecy. He is now one of the most sought-after eyes in the slippery and often corrupt world of ski photography. To work, Jérémy only draws from reality. So it bans flash and works only with natural light.
Its footage is cut in raw, not every pixel polished in photoshop. He seeks movement in the plan, wants spasms between the four right angles of the frame. He occasionally leaves his beloved Alps, but it’s for other mountains in Alaska, China or Japan.
A few years ago, he started a digital magazine with friends, including his mentor Dom Daher. nine tenths, his ambitions are to tell stories about outdoor adventures and his paper version Neuf dix by JC. Skis and snow are never far away. The magazine publishes their work and that of photographers and editors whose work they appreciate and agree with. The idea is to last.
Constant respect for nature
Jérémy Bernard loves long stories, and the format of the traditional press allowed him to publish only a tenth of his long works. The view allows him to show the rest, the missing 9/10, the submerged part of the iceberg. He is known in the industry for his eternal displeasure.
in exile, “We’ll Do It Again”, is a sentence that returns to his mouth like a mantra, and the skier almost dies of exhaustion, knowing that Jérémy will not let go. He’s always on the lookout for the ultimate photography, like Bodhi of the wave in Point Break, while at night, when he needs to stop, what’s in the box already borders on perfection. He is like that. The best picture will always be next.
His work is a hymn, a constant tribute to nature and the joys it offers, its magnificent offerings.
He likes to be on the road or in the mountains for trips of several weeks or several months. He always wants to speak, testify, because he wants to warn and protect through stories, visual narratives.
If I had to pick one piece to take with me to an island, I think I’d go for Myoko, a nugget made in Japan with skier Jérémie Heitz.
A lonely and happy skier who evolves in the magnificent Japanese powder snow in the forest of Broceliande. A mysterious and magical place. Definitely a skier’s and photographer’s dream.
Galerie Jean-Denis Walter exhibits and sells limited edition sports photographs: www.jeandeniswalter.fr