A snowboarder crashes amongst the roller balls on the free ride world tour

Whilst documenting the Freeride World Tour in Andorra last week, I couldn’t help but notice the abstract patterns caused by the roller balls of snow. From every angle snowballs had cascaded their way down the face, coming to rest when their momentum fizzled out. I took a bit of time during each helicopter reposition to capture some of these cool looking formations. roller balls photography from a helicopter

Heli Time

The art of capturing content from a helicopter with its door open proves to be a rather exhilarating process. The helicopter serves two purposes during the event: transmitting live video coverage of the athletes from the HD Cineflex, whilst allowing a photographer to take advantage of the empty back seats, shooting directly out of the door. A couple of slings attached to your climbing harness strap you in place, and you’re good to go. Perspectives shift with every press of the cameras shutter, (as you can see in GIF below) with the helicopter tracking each athlete as they make their way down the competition face.


Roller Balls In The Snow

As soon as each skier or snowboarder made it to the finish area, the helicopter would reposition itself at the top of the mountain face, giving me time to capture these roller balls without the human element. I find myself becoming more and more attracted to landscapes without the human form in them, with my body of personal work always looking out for abstract patterns and unique angles. I’ve put together a selection of them for you here.
an abstract landscape is viewed from the roller ballsThe differing roller balls shot from abovean abstract landscape is viewed from the roller balls

roller balls accumulate on the slopes of andorra

looking down on snow roller balls

abstract patterns are created from snow roller balls

snow roller balls accumulate in andorra

Adding Some Action

Of course, the whole reason to be up there was to capture the action of the Tour. Generally the athletes were missing out on these areas until snowboarder Shannan Yates found the perfect line through. Fluid action through the abstract roller balls easily made for my image of the day.

a snowboarder rides through the roller balls

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