Ahriel Povich - Whiteout Mag. photographer & editor | Switzerland

words & Q: Costa
photo & A: Ahriel

L-am vizitat în această vară pe prietenul nostru elvetian, Ahriel Povich, editor și fotograf la revista Whiteout Magazine. După o pizza și câteva beri de soi, i-am pus cateva întrebări pentru a afla și noi cam cum mai e situația în occident. Lectură plăcută!

Can you give us some background about yourself; what you do, where you’re based, and how you became a photographer?
I live near Lausanne in the French speaking part of Switzerland and I help run an independent publishing group of magazines call Whiteout. I'm mostly focused on the snowboarding side of it but we're a small business so I stay pretty involved with everything. My favorite part at the moment is photography and we always need photos and stories for the magazines, so it works out well.
It's a funny story how I first got into photography. I made snowboard movies from 2000 to 2006. It was lots of fun, but it was also pretty difficult to make enough money doing only that, so I also helped a bunch of brands with their teams and marketing. In 2005 Markus Keller won the Arctic Challenge and the guys from Dragon asked me to go on a trip with him to make a story for a Swiss magazine. I kept telling them that I was a filmer and not a photographer, but they didn't really get it and I couldn't really say no to a free trip. So on the way to the airport I bought a camera and read the instructions on the plane ride.
All of the crazy stuff that happened on that trip is a whole different story, but in the end I came home with some pretty good pictures and got an eight page story published. From there I slowly made the transition away from filming and into photography.

Doran Layborne - Saas Fee - Switzerland

Amaud Jaccoud Gryon - Switzerland

Cyril Neri Whistler - Canada
How do you get around the mountain/locations while you shoot? Do you ride, too?
I snowboard and for certain backcountry spots I also have to hike a lot. Sometimes we get a helicopter ride, but it's not often. I love to ride and I try to get as many days as possible for myself without the heavy photo pack. It's a lifelong addiction. I can't imagine staying involved in snowboard photography if I didn't have real passion for riding myself.

What gear do you usually bring on a shoot?
My avalanche beacon, shovel and probe are always with me when I'm in the back country. Otherwise I get great support from a bunch of really good brands: Nikon cameras and lenses, Dakine photo packs, Burton boards, boots and bindings and Eleven Outerwear. Thanks a lot to all of those guys for making such amazing gear! I also bring a bunch of small flashes if I think I'll need them, but it makes the backpack really heavy.

Can you tell us about the most extreme or difficult weather or mountain conditions you’ve shot in?
I've had a few sketchy avalanches. Luckily no one has been seriously injured so far, but that's by far the scariest stuff I've had to deal with. It's usually when you least expect it so you have to be really careful out there. Educate yourself and don't take stupid risks!

JP Solberg Portes Du Soliel - Switzerland

Nanshan China

Do you feel that people fully appreciate the work that goes into a shot?
I try not to worry too much about what other people do and don't appreciate. I'm super critical of my own work, and that's what matters to me most.

How important is the communication between rider and photographer for a good shot?
Usually, who choses the spot for a shot, the rider or the photo-man?
Communication is essential! I rely on radios and hand signals a lot and if communication goes bad it can be really frustrating and dangerous. Sometimes I suggest spots, and sometimes riders have ideas. I love it when there's creative input coming from both sides.

How many days a year you travel? How many countries you traveled to shoot snowboarding? Any favorite place?
It really depends upon how the snow conditions are. If there's good snow in Switzerland I really don't have to travel so far. Within two hours of my house there's at least 50 resorts and I probably only know half of them, so I'm happy to stay at home when it snows. But I usually do one or two big trips every season. I had amazing snow in Whistler, Canada and Jackson Hole, USA, but I also really enjoyed visiting new places like China and Romania. When you get great snow it's amazing, but traveling and meeting new people and learning about different cultures is always very rewarding.

Do you have a favorite location to shoot at?
Les Portes du Soleil is my home resort at the moment and I love shooting there. But it's hard to pick a real favorite. So much of it has to do with good snow and a good crew.

What is the favorite part of your job?
Working hard with great people to create something unique together.

What is the worst part?
Politics and egos.

What are your ideal shooting conditions?
Lots of good snow, motivated riders and unique features.

Nicolas Muller

Tell us a bit about your work at Whiteout Magazine, how it started, where is going?
Which work is harder, photographer or editor?

Whiteout got rolling at about the same time that I started to re-think my filming career. I was just discovering photography and it was an exciting transition. I joined forces with an ex-pro rider from Zurich named Mo Frey and the two of us turned the magazine into a business. It's working pretty well and hopefully we'll continue to grow in the future. At the moment we're the only Swiss Snowboard magazine so I think we're pretty well positioned, but things change so quickly in this industry, so we'll have to stay creative if we're gonna make it.
love my work as a photographer and editor, but the editor position is a bit more challenging for me because of all of the languages in Switzerland. Making magazines here is a real challenge because of that!

You have seen the evolution of snowboarding over last years - what do you thing? How much did it changed? Where does it go now?
'm constantly impressed by the growth and evolution of snowboarding. I'm sure it will continue to change so my plan is to stay focused on the parts that excite me most: The amazing people and personalities, creativity and innovation, art and nature.

First four words that come to your mind:
Thanks for the interview!

Future Plans?
I've got a few concept photos that I'd like to put together this winter. Hopefully my ideas will work! Otherwise I'm just going to try to live in the moment and enjoy the ride…

Anything you would like to say to our readers?
hanks for your time! Now turn off your computer and go outside!

Gian Luca Cavigelli Nanshan - China

Christian Weber Romania

Markus Keller & Simon Abt Hemsedal - Norway
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