jp portraitThere are people and then there are people with vision. JP Auclair has been one of the sport’s most important skiers for the past two decades. As part of the Canadian Air Force, he helped push attitudes, style, and technique, not to mention gear – he was key in the development of the groundbreaking Salomon 1080 ski. He founded Armada Skis, which is still rocking 11 years later, and he also co-founded Alpine Initiatives, which focuses some of the energy of the snow community into sustainability projects worldwide. It’s through Auclair’s Instagram feed, however, that you see he’s a man with singular perspective: His photos are graphic, elegant, wry, well-composed, and obviously considered. Unlike many, he doesn’t have to rely on filter tricks to make his photos pop. They just do, because he sees things clearly.

He says: “I wouldn’t call myself an early adapter when it comes to social platforms. I reluctantly signed up to Instagram just over a year ago, feeling like it was the type of thing I should be embracing as a pro athlete. “Who cares,” I thought. “Why would anyone want to post photos for everyone to see?” Then one day, I caught myself doing something I hadn’t done in a long time; looking around, actively searching for subjects throughout the day. That was good enough for me, I’d found what purpose Instagram was going to serve for me; rekindling my passion for light, colors and composition.”

Follow JP: @auclairjp.

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“I’ve heard camera phone users say things like “…but I prefer using my medium format camera because it’s more intentional and deliberate…” I can’t agree with that. It’s true that digital media tends to make us lean towards quantity rather then quality. Still, the intention behind a shot and the attention you chose to give it both come from the intention and attention themselves, not the tools you use to create it. This is Dave Mossop jumping in foggy Mount Seymour parking lot in Vancouver, BC. Location scouting for Into the Mind.”

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“Temple Basin, New Zealand – as if this outhouse wasn’t begging for a photo. The club fields in NZ offer some of the purest ski experience out there. I recommend going.”

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“I’ve been doing well at resisting the temptation to upload photos I took with my SLR camera. I think the day I’ll start doing that, it will take some of the fun out of it. Some of my favorite parts about this ‘assignment’ are the constrains. Creating a photo feed only armed with a 35mm lens and limited settings forces you to look at things a little bit harder sometimes.”

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“Fleuve Saint-Laurent, in Cap Rouge, Québec, this is where I grew up. The river is very special to me.”

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“Similarities are always fun. That one was a bit harder to line up then anticipated”

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“Geeking out hard! Kind of embarrassing to have that one featured on here…plus I went a bit heavy with the noise reduction on that one…”

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“I’m happy with the subtle lines in the sky on that one. I’ve always been into photo collages I enjoy making quick ones with apps like picframe.”

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“I quite like this shot as it combines all my favorite things into one image; simplicity, symmetry, skiing…and it evokes…”

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“My grandmother passed away last fall. My dad and I stayed by her bedside for her two last nights on this planet. Don’t know if she was aware that we were there. We sat there, reminisced about old stories and flip through photo albums. She was a great woman.”

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“Sometimes, mother nature does all the work. Frost on bushes in Calgary. On film location for Into the Mind.”

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“Another collage: Chamonix.”

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“I sprained my MCL back in September, fast forward five months: This was the first time I was standing on top of spines, one of my favorite things in life! Memorable moment for me.”


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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.