Carl Kuster lands the front cover of SnoRiders magazine

Photographer Ryen Dunford explains how he got this shot

by Kirsten Armleder

Carl Kuster sidehilling in Sicamous, B.C.
Hang with this guy for a day and you're bound to come back a better rider. Ryen Dunford Photography

By now, anyone who is a member of the BCSF, ASA, SSA or Snoman should have a copy of SnoRiders on the kitchen table. Chasing an uphill line across the front cover is Ski-Doo legend and former snocross racer Carl Kuster.

This photo was taken by Ryen Dunford, a Revelstoke-based photographer who you read about in our Fall 2016 issue. Since then, Dunford has been tearing it up at Kuster’s mountain park in Sicamous, B.C., capturing CKMP guides and guests. With over 20 years of mountain sledding experience, Dunford’s no slouch on a sled, and hanging with Kuster has led to an even greater progression of his skills—both in front of and behind the lens.

We learn more in a recent Q&A:

Tell us more about the day you took this photo.

The day the photo was taken was the first day I rode with Carl and the CKMP guides. I think I was more worried about getting stuck than actually taking good pictures. The day turned out well, there was good light to play with and everybody was just having fun in the pow and we were all happy to finally be on the sleds after the long wait we all had to go through for winter to kick in.

What is it like to ride with and photograph a guy like Carl Kuster?

Shooting pictures and riding with Carl is fun and challenging for a photographer and a sledder. He is a very experienced, technical rider—which leads to interesting line choices and quick transfer moves in spots one might think impossible. He isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of everyday riding to a different level and, at the same time, make any sledder who is riding with him realize what is possible and attainable on a sled. I think that’s why so many sledders who go out with him return to the trucks a little sore and better than they were when they started the day.

Do you have any tips on how to take better snowmobiling photos?

Shooting sled pictures and pictures in general is individual. Every photographer sees things differently and has a different style that shows in the photos. With the media age being the way it is, I’m seeing a lot of sled photos that look the same. Challenge yourself to be different than the rest, both in standards and quality. And never shoot over another photographer’s shoulder.

Drops, trees, pow—you’ve captured it all, but is there a specific type of photo that is your favourite?

Everything about sledding is fun to shoot. I just like the challenge that every sledder brings in front of the lens. It’s constantly evolving.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you like my work featured here on SnoRiders, you can check out more of my photos on Instagram @ryendunford or my Facebook Page. Thanks, hope you all have great days shredding in the mountains! 

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