Taste It: Local hero Aaron Carlson samples a mouthful of goodness on Vail Pass. Photo by Liam Doran


Here’s how to capture the perfect powder shot.

Few mortals have captured as many striking images of human beings experiencing that ineffable moment of living—the deep powder turn—as Liam Doran. The Breckenridge-based shooter’s work has appeared on the covers of Powder, SKI—and 17 times on the front of this magazine. “Getting a good powder shot is much harder than people realize,” he says. “All the elements—snow, light, action and backdrop—have to coalesce at a singular moment. When it does, be sure to capture the action with your camera shooting in RAW at the highest frame rate possible. You also have to mind your backgrounds and learn how to use your autofocus.” Doran shoots on a Sony α 7III (“soon to be α 9II,” he quips) with a Sigmas lens trinity of 12-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 A and 70-200 f2.8 S, and he blogs for Sigma lenses on how to catch perfect shots like this one from his backyard playground in Breck. The skier is Aaron Carlson, executive director of Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), which raises all-important funds to keep the service providing the most up-to-date information on conditions and safety in the state. You can check conditions and donate to CAIC at avalanche.state.co.us. “Staying safe is priority one,” says Doran, who stresses that he and skiers with him cary full avalanche kits and know how to use them. “I always check the CAIC website before I go out so I have the latest backcountry observations.”