Shooting for Success: Serendipity & Light

Snowboarders on cover of Alive Magazine
Cover of Alive Magazine by Tim Reynolds


So, Shooting for Success posts are the stories behind some of my favourite (and most popular) images. Not always the aperture and shutter speed, but rather how the particular shot came about.

To start, here’s the first of two magazine covers I’ve sold to Canada`s ALIVE Health Magazine.

This was about as serendipitous a shot as I’ve ever sold. Believe it or not, this shot was taken in late September. The snow hit in 24 hours and covered everything. We had just hiked up Bow Summit (Banff National Park, Alberta, on the 93N north of Lake Louise, on the way to Jasper) and taken a slew of images of stunning Peyto Lake. We were hiking back down to the parking lot and passed these snowboarders who were on their way up to play on one of the many slopes leading down from there.

We passed the snowboarders and on a hunch I turned around and saw this shot. Without hesitation I snapped away.

Now, let’s make it clear that this shot wasn’t all luck. We saw the fresh snow and rushed to get out on the road while the sun was still low in the sky, thus the long shadows. Especially at the higher elevations, if you shoot too early or too late, the light is off. There’s a richness to dawn and dusk light which washes out in the hours between. This simple fact is what makes the difference in probably 75% of all landscape photos. You can have the best composition, the perfect location and then have the image just flop because you picked the wrong time of the day. Some things can be fixed by Photoshop, but light is probably the hardest to fake, even with the graduated orange filter they use on CSI: Miami.

The sale was made simply after I picked up a copy of the magazine (free at health food stores across Canada) wrote to the editor-in-chief, explained where I lived and what kind of pictures I took and then asked if she was looking for any new images.

She said ‘yes, send me some winter samples.’ I sent twenty and she picked this one. I got paid $150 for non-exlusive rights.

That’s it for this week’s Shooting for Success.

Ciao for now.

Tim Reynolds.

All words and images here are Copyright Tim Reynolds.


2 thoughts on “Shooting for Success: Serendipity & Light

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: