Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
March 27, 2006
Our Burton For Right or Wrong film crew amassed in Moscow, and after a few nights of city life and all of it's debauchery, we caught a flight to Sochi, located on the Black Sea, for a two-week heli trip to Krasnaya Polyana.
We all knew this trip was going to be special from the get go. With Jake Burton and his son George, Dave Downing, DCP, Terje, legendary shred-turned-filmmaker Dave Seoane, local guide/pimp/Burton rider Dimitri Fesenko, a few armed bodyguards, and a full production company on board, chaos was our destiny.
Weather socked-in the region just as we arrived. A warm, balmy fog hung in the valley, and our powder dreams seemed to be washing away with the rain. I think it was Jake's presence, or the fact that we were in Russia, that kept the spirits high and the riding alive. We'd go to the slushy and soggy resort every day, and it just felt good to be a shredder: Downing doing back slides, Haakonsen slashing it up like it was Kauai, and Jake buttering his muffin. Classic stuff.
When conditions get shitty, photos come to life. I always try to remember that. Days that seem average often turn out to be the ones filled with moments worth recording and revisiting. Who wants to see another perfect bluebird day? We all know what that looks like. I shot this with one of my favorite lenses: the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L (1/500 at f/4). I didn't know until I looked at the photo in Lightroom that I had something special. The image feels right in black and white, as that truly was what the scene looked like on that gray, flat-light day.
The Chairlift to Nowhere. We've all been on one. Enjoy.
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Sydney, Australia | Portland, Oregon
Jeff Curtes (b. 1969) has been at the forefront of the snowboarding industry's imagery since his first published images back in 1992. In 1994, Curtes signed with Burton Snowboards and had been their Principal Photographer until 2012, nearly 20 years behind the lens on the snow. Jeff is currently repped by Jonathan Retseck, (RXR) based in NYC. Together they are pursuing commercial work both in and out of the snow.