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How I Got the Shot: Skier flies above winter wonderland Strandafjellet


Photographer Mattias Fredriksson shuttered this breathtaking blue-hued landscape at the break of dawn

This week’s “How I got the shot” takes us to Norway, where a cosmopolitan photographer introduces us to ski area Strandafjellet, a favored destination with world-class terrain.

Espen Linnerud flying high above Strandafjellet; photo courtesy of Mattias Fredriksson

Espen Linnerud flying high above Strandafjellet; photo courtesy of Mattias Fredriksson

Name: Mattias Fredriksson
Age: 39
Hometown: Åre, Sweden
Bio: Within the past 20 years, Mattias Fredriksson has established himself as one of the most respected photographers in the ski and mountain biking communities. He has been editor and photo editor for several magazines, such as Åka Skidor and Peak Performance. Since 1999 he’s called the little mountain town of Åre, Sweden, home, where amazing possibilities exist just outside his doorstep. Currently, he is the only shooter based in Europe with the honorary title of senior photographer for Powder and Bike magazines—two American titles that are often described as the world’s most respected authorities in skiing and mountain biking. When not skiing, mountain biking, and photographing in his home mountains, he travels the world in search of remote locations, deep powder, high mountains, and epic singletracks. Fredriksson often works in the Alps, Japan, Norway, and British Columbia.
Who: Espen Linnerud
Where: Strandafjellet, Norway
Why: I was invited by the Norwegian film company Field Productions for a shoot on a custom-made and massive kicker on the Norwegian west coast. The ski area where the jump was built is called Strandafjellet and it’s located near the town of Stranda, a small little village surrounded by rugged, high mountains and beautiful, deep fjords. It was 2008 and this was the first time I had visited—I loved this place!

This was a park shoot, and since we knew we would not have a chance at a sunset shoot (because the sun was setting behind the in-run to the jump), we decided to get an alpine start and go up the mountain extremely early. On this epic morning (in the middle of April), we were all on the mountain and ready to shoot at 5 a.m.! Everybody was quiet, taking in the beauty nature gave us. The blue light was so special—I have never seen anything like it and am very happy I was able to capture it in this photo of Espen!

This shot was taken more than five years ago, but I remember that morning like it was last week. I’ve been back almost 10 times since, both in the winter and summer. It is among the most beautiful locations I’ve visited, and the skiing in these mountains is world-class. This photo has become one of my favorites of all time. This is mostly because of the cool light, but also because it has several elements to it: the fjord, the mountains, a big jump, the amazing perspective, and progressive freestyle skiing (a reverse 900 tail grab was pretty rad back in 2008).
What the image was shot with: Nikon D3, 1/250 sec f/4,5 ISO 250 + two remote flashes; Elinchrome Ranger S 1200 watts per sec each (triggered with Pocket Wizards)
Magazine affiliation: Senior photographer for Powder and Bike magazines in the U.S. Same title for SBC Skier in Canada and Fri Flyt in Norway.
Sponsors: Nikon, F-Stop
Web: mattiasfredriksson.com
Facebook: MattiasFredrikssonPhotography
Instagram: @mattiasfredrikssonphotography
Twitter: MF_Photography_