Reuben Krabbe: Winner of the Revelstoke’s Hot Lapse 72 Hour Photographer Showdown

“It’s not the right angle that attracts me, nor the hard inflex­i­ble straight line, cre­at­ed by man. What attracts me are free and sen­su­al curves. The curves in my country’s moun­tains, in the sin­u­ous flow of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman…” – Oscar Niemeyer

That’s the quote that inspired action sports pho­tog­ra­ph­er Reuben Krabbe’s win­ning pho­to slideshow, “Kinet­ic,” in the 2014 Hot Lapse Pho­to Com­pe­ti­tion.

Now in its third year, this Rev­el­stoke, British Colum­bia-based pho­to com­pe­ti­tion gives six pho­tog­ra­phers (and their team of ath­letes and crew) 72 hours to shoot, edit, and present a slideshow show­cas­ing win­ter in Rev­el­stoke in all its glory.

Whistler-based Reuben Krabbe was award­ed both first place and the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Hot Lapse com­pe­ti­tion. Of course, he’s no stranger to the world of action sports pho­tog­ra­phy competitions—he won the Deep Sum­mer Pho­tog­ra­phy Com­pe­ti­tion (2012) and earned Best Image in the Deep Win­ter Pho­tog­ra­phy Com­pe­ti­tion (2012), plus a sec­ond place fin­ish in the same con­test in 2013.

We asked Reuben to fill us in on his Hot Lapse expe­ri­ence. Here’s what he had to say.

The Clymb: Con­grat­u­la­tions on your big win! Was this your first pho­to com­pe­ti­tion out­side of Whistler? What was it like com­pet­ing in for­eign ter­ri­to­ry?
Reuben Krabbe: Three years ago, I com­pet­ed in a pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion in Banff. How­ev­er, at that time I was liv­ing in Cal­gary, so it was famil­iar territory.

I’ve skied in Rev­el­stoke before, so I’m famil­iar with the area—it’s sim­ply not my day-to-day play­ground. For­eign ter­ri­to­ry makes it more dif­fi­cult, how­ev­er I had some great local ath­letes, Sean Cochrane and Gord Spur­geon, who point­ed me in the right direc­tion while shooting.

The Clymb: How long has the idea for this show been brew­ing in your head?
Reuben Krabbe: I’m always work­ing on con­cepts, so it’s hard to say how long I’ve had the con­cept in my head. I had thought of sim­i­lar themes before, but only found the quote for this show a cou­ple months back.

The Clymb: How were con­di­tions dur­ing the 72 hours of shoot­ing? Were there any unex­pect­ed chal­lenges?
Reuben Krabbe: Con­di­tions were great! Storm ski­ing and shoot­ing makes my job eas­i­er. Some­times the light was­n’t great, but I’d rather have snow than light.

The most dif­fi­cult part was find­ing out I had mis-sched­uled the shoot, and that we were sup­posed to begin 24 hours ear­li­er than I orig­i­nal­ly planned. A very big issue, but the ath­letes made it work.

The Clymb: Tell me about your team of ath­letes. Did you import them along from Whistler?
Reuben Krabbe: Stan Rey and James McSkim­ming are two great friends from Whistler who I’ve worked with before many times. It’s great to have friends and depend­able ath­letes who all under­stand each other.

Mered­ith Eades is an incred­i­ble gal who skis off any­thing the oth­er ath­letes were hit­ting. She com­petes on the North Amer­i­can Comp Cir­cuit and is from Vancouver.

Sean Cochrane is from Revy and I’ve worked with him before. Gord Spur­geon is also from Revy and came by rec­om­men­da­tion of anoth­er friend. It was an inter­est­ing mix of dif­fer­ent ath­letes who I did and did­n’t know. We only had four peo­ple on any giv­en day, but even that was too many people.

The Clymb: How did this com­pe­ti­tion dif­fer from ones you have done in the past?
Reuben Krabbe: The biggest dif­fer­ences between this com­pe­ti­tion and pre­vi­ous ones were the fact that it was actu­al­ly snow­ing and the ski­ing was amaz­ing, but also the for­eign ter­ri­to­ry issue. It changes your process, and you depend on oth­ers’ deci­sions to make it work.

The Clymb: Let’s talk about your fel­low com­peti­tors. Did any of the oth­er shows stand out for you? Was there an intim­i­da­tion fac­tor going up against Zoya Lynch, who is fresh off a win from Deep Win­ter Pho­to Chal­lenge based in your home, Whistler?
Reuben Krabbe: I knew very lit­tle about the oth­er pho­tog­ra­phers; I knew most of their names but did­n’t real­ly know their work.

Zoy­a’s slideshow from Deep Win­ter this year was great. In her Hot Lapse show, she had ath­letes that I asked to shoot with me, and she also had the home court advan­tage, so her slideshow was the one I was most excit­ed to watch at night.

How­ev­er, for me these com­pe­ti­tions aren’t about win­ning. Yes, it’s an objec­tive, yes it moti­vates you, how­ev­er I’m more inter­est­ed in try­ing to share great sto­ries and cel­e­brate ski culture.

The Clymb: I’ve often heard that you learn some­thing new every time you com­pete in an event like this. If that’s true for you, what did you take away from the expe­ri­ence?
Reuben Krabbe: Tough to say.

I don’t think there were spe­cif­ic lessons I pulled out of this one, oth­er than dou­ble-check the dates before book­ing trips!

I did, how­ev­er gain an appre­ci­a­tion for Rev­el­stoke. There is an incred­i­ble vol­ume and diver­si­ty of ter­rain, even with­in famil­iar areas we still uncov­ered gems I would­n’t have expected.

On our last shoot­ing day we were ski­ing through pil­lows in old growth trees that were six feet in diam­e­ter. Where else do you get to do that? It was incredible!

The Clymb: What’s next for Reuben Krabbe?
Reuben Krabbe: I have a cou­ple plans and ten­ta­tive trips, how­ev­er noth­ing is booked sol­id. I’m hop­ing to spend some time in a tent on a glac­i­er ski­ing big alpine objec­tives this spring, but oth­er­wise, keep shoot­ing, ski­ing, and play­ing in snow.