The Illusionist

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Jordan Manley’s Photographic Magic—North Vancouver-based and Whistler Blackcomb-inspired, Jordan Manley is a photographic phenom who took the ski and mountain bike worlds by storm before he was even 25 years old. With moody, uniquely composed and technically-perfect images that put athletes and their natural settings on equal footing, almost overnight he was rocking magazine covers, editorial stories and advertising spreads around the globe. Manley has won every one of the dozen or so photo competitions he has entered—whether retrospectives or shoot-in-the-moment—including Whistler’s internationally renowned Deep Winter Photo Challenge (two years in a row) and prestigious Pro Photographer Showdown during the town’s annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival. It’s hard to say precisely what drives Manley to create such memorable imagery, but when you spend time with him a few things are apparent: he’s quiet, intense, reverent and engaged; the political science degree from Simon Fraser University makes sense; and you understand he’s a thinker/tinkerer of the old-school inventor type who brings a methodical approach to his art. But it’s Manley’s eye that truly sets him apart: in his photos the everyday and mundane become alive and evocative, each a story with an inferred beginning and end—like a short film. So no surprise that when he moved into short films with his Skier’s Journey series for Arc’teryx it was instantly hailed as groundbreaking, a visual feast of “moving snapshots.” A visit to Jordan’s online portfolio yields a taste of his motivation and direction: “The images you find here are a reflection of my passion: moving through the mountains, exploring the natural and social world. I am interested in making photographs that deliver a fresh perspective, but I am equally a fan of simple documentary photography. Through either method, my concern is to tell stories about the people who live and work in the mountains.”

Don’t take our word for it, or even the fantastic 12-page gallery in this issue. Visit

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