-Guillaume Le Guillou-
La Grave is different, the skiing here is different, and the people who ski here are different, really inspiring and motivating. For sure it would be way different in another place. Ten years ago I just wanted to be able to keep up with the best riders, doing the best lines around. After a few years, I realized that I had to capture this evolution of the riding. We’ve been pushing the way we ski (and ride) in La Grave and big mountains with the local scene. For me it’s a great experience to interpret, in my way, this evolution of the sport.
As North Americans we’re used to a certain aesthetic in mountain photography. Moreover, we’re used to certain conventions when it comes to action shots and the ways in which we interact with mountains. But the ways people move through mountains all over the world vary according to the conditions, scope, and traditions of those particular mountains. So when I spent last season shredding in France, I had to develop a whole new lens to see the mountains through. One of the things that helped me out throughout that joureny was the actual lens of one particularly talented French photographer Guillaume Le Guillou.
Based out of La Grave, Guillaume (or Gui Gui as he’s more often called) stunned my senses last season when I was first introduced to his images. I’d never seen motion, landscape, and contrast used quite the way it is in his shots. Having a bit of a background in visual art, what impresses me about Gui Gui’s images (particularly the black and white ones) is that if you took the skiers and snowboarders out of them, many would still look like they could be hanging from gallery walls.
Gui Gui’s particular vision of the massive landscape within which he resides is at the core of almost every image. There’s a unique fusion going on in his photographs that brings together a deep tradition of both big mountains and visual art.