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King of Dolomites Winner

The Arc’teryx King Of Dolomites is a photo competition that took place in San Martino di Castrozza, northern Italy in February. The competition was stacked with 13 teams of pro photographers and their athletes, plus 100+ crews competing in the Wannabes category.

According to Ned Morgan with Mountain Life Magazine, “Despite the less-than-ideal snow conditions over much of the northern hemisphere this winter, competitors, athletes and spectators alike enjoyed three days of sun, snow and stoke at the foot of the massive Pale di San Martino range.” Morgan reports that the jury panel for the King of Dolomites challenge had a hard time choosing the winner, “but in the end it was Israeli lensman Guy Fattal who took the crown with a brilliant photo of young Austrian freeskier Dorian Konrad.”

Clik Elite photographer, Guy Fattal came out with the victory for the 2015 King of Dolomites. Here is his recap below-

Guy Fattal during King of Dolomites

“I participated in the King of Dolomites Photo Competition in San Martino Di Castrozza, which took place in late February this year.
In recent years, these kinds of photo competitions have become more and more popular and offer photographers a wonderful opportunity to showcase their skills while at the same time competing against some of the best in the business in the exact same conditions. Pure challenge for sure!

One of my goals for this winter season was to try my hand at such photo competitions. This was my first year as a full time pro-photographer and I had a lot to prove.

The King of Dolomites competition consisted of 13 teams; each team comprised a photographer and two riders. The concept is simple – each team has 48 hours to capture the best freeride photos in the Dolomites. San Martino, simply enough, is a perfect venue. Some of the most amazing peaks, (corridors), sunsets and options that are every action sports photographer’s dream.

Horizon framing- Guy Fattal

The first day of shooting started immediately after sunrise. Standing at the top of the famous “Rosetta” lift, we quickly realized that we were in for a very long day. Looking around, it seemed like the options were endless. Knowing that we were going to do a lot of touring on the first day, I had packed my ClikElite Contrejour 40 with all the essentials: 2 Nikon camera bodies. In the lens section I had a 24-70, 70-200 and an 8mm fisheye. Of course, I had to make sure I had all my necessary safety equipment, touring skins and plenty of snacks and water to get through the long day. I find that touring with more than the essentials can become quite arduous, so I try to keep it as light as possible whenever I can. The Contrejour does an excellent job of packing all of the photography gear in a comfortable way and always has plenty of space for the non-photography gear which I need when I’m out in the back country.

With a few hours of touring and some nice shots already behind us, we came across one of the most amazing spots I have ever seen. The beautiful light and spectacular rock formations in the background simply beckoned me to get a skier in the frame. One of my team riders was Dorian Konrad, a young, talented Austrian freeskier. Without asking too many questions, he went ahead and carved some beautiful powder turns on the face. Right away I knew that I had captured a special shot.

KOD winner Guy Fattal

Forty-eight hours of shooting and editing came to an end on a brilliant powder morning, in which all teams left their cameras behind and enjoyed some of the great terrain that the Dolomites have to offer. It’s rare for me not to photograph on powder days, but sometimes it feels incredible to just go up skiing in the back country for the purest of reasons –  just to have fun.

Later in the evening, the competition capped off with a ceremony in the town square whilst the sunset colors were painting the snow-covered peaks in warm orange.

Podium win at KOD

My photo won first place in the competition and this was without a doubt one of the greatest moments in my photography career to date. Being able to prove myself through my photography has always given me motivation to work harder and explore new fields. Along with the winning title, I have been invited to compete next winter in the Deep Winter Photo Competition in Whistler, Canada which has been one of my dreams for a number of years. Definitely a reason to get excited for next winter now the current season is over!”


 

Photos provided courtesy of Guy Fattal, Video Source: Arc’teryx. Check out the gear Guy uses- the Clik Elite Contrejour 40.
Additional sources and links to the King of Dolomites competition: Mountain Life Magazine, Arc’teryx Blog: The Bird, photo stream: King of Dolomites