today is Nov 28, 2021

Photographer Tal Roberts got his start in the world of still image creation by hitting the pause button on his VHS player at the crux moment of tricks in skate videos of the 1990’s. Though he didn’t use a real camera until years later, the desire to document his passions was still intact. Fortunately for us, one of those passions includes skiing.

Originally from Gig Harbor, Washington, Tal spends his time bouncing back and forth between Portland, Oregon and Ketchum Idaho. He continues to focus on making pictures of his friends having fun.

Here’s what Tal considers his Top 5 skiing shots to date.

Karl Fostvedt. Idaho backcountry.

Photo Credit: Tal Roberts

Karl Fostvedt. Idaho backcountry.

I met Karl in Sun Valley when he was in high school and asked me to mentor him for his senior project. He wanted to design terrain parks and I was unqualifiedly managing a halfpipe and one small line of boxes and jumps at the resort. He definitely knew more than me, but I told his teacher he was killing it so I guess I did my job. All of his park feature ideas were way outside the box and he even knew what tricks he wanted to do on each of them. A few years later we started shooting together and it was a perfect match since he wanted to build the most creative features he could and I wanted to shoot the most creative photos I could. We built this redirect sort of thing with a snowblower and a couple shovels. Kind of like coming full circle back to that high school project.

Collin Collins. Idaho backcountry.

Photo Credit: Tal Roberts

Collin Collins. Idaho backcountry.

Nothing tricky here camera wise but I really like the tones, that tree in the center, Collin’s style and those wispy clouds. I also remember walking to get to this angle and falling through the snow in a creek bed up to my armpits with my feet swinging free above the creek and thinking I might be above a bottomless hole.

Banks Gilberti. Idaho backcountry.

Photo Credit: Tal Roberts

Banks Gilberti. Idaho backcountry.

Banks and I have shot together so much and so many of those images could have made this list. Because he is so good in the air, 99% of those are jump shots, so its funny that we agree that this fairly simple turn is some of our best work. It goes to show that you don’t always need a crazy location, super steep slope, or crazy action. Paying attention to what the shadows are doing as much as the light and a skier with good style will usually do the trick.

Lucas Wachs. Idaho backcountry.

Photo Credit: Tal Roberts

Lucas Wachs. Idaho backcountry.

This was one of those days where the light is so flat you can barley tell which direction is downhill and it’s tough to see if where you think the skier will be is actually in focus. As winter drags on it gets easy to stay home on the flat light days but images like this one of Lucas Wachs remind me that its always worth giving it a shot.

Parker White. Level 1 Sun Valley, ID.

Photo Credit: Tal Roberts

Parker White. Level 1 Sun Valley, ID.

For a few years Level 1 did pretty big spring park shoots in Sun Valley, and I was super lucky to be able to tag along. For this shoot most of the snow on Dollar Mountain had been scraped together to push up this jump, and what was left was melting rapidly. Not great for skiing, but it did create this puddle in just the right place. I must have looked ridiculous lying face down in the mud pointing my camera away from the action but I always seem to get the most memorable shots when I’m doing it wrong.

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