Behind the Photo: Cannonball!


Photography :: Gregory Lum 

Mountain Life photo editor Todd Lawson talks to Gregory Lum about his winning photo from the Whistler Film Festival’s “Adventure Film Series Photo Contest” held each May in Whistler. 

Mountain Life: This image really works with the “More Than One” contest theme this year. Just good summer fun with friends in the mountains. As a photographer, what is the most important thing about having fun while adventuring with amigos?  

Gregory: That’s a great question that’s sometimes overlooked. As a photographer, the most important thing is to make sure you’re having fun in general. I often struggle to find a balance between enjoying the moment and taking shots. I’ve definitely been guilty of failing to appreciate my surroundings because I was stuck living through the back of my camera trying to capture a moment that may or may not have been there, just to end in frustration while everyone else was happily in the moment. At the end of the day, I want to remember the raw moments and good times with my friends in the outdoors, and if I have some photos that can help re-live those moments afterwards—then so much the better better. I’ve learned to put the camera down first and let the great moments come naturally, which makes the photos that much more meaningful in the end. However, it’s a different story when you’re on a paid assignment. 

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Mountain Life: Where was this shot taken? Was it planned or spontaneous? 

Gregory: This was taken at Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park and for the most part, it was pretty spontaneous. We were all taking turns with our mandatory post-hike polar plunge and instead of one person at a time, I suggested three people go all at once just for the fun of it. A well-timed shot and an even better choreographed triple cannon ball resulted in a lovely photo and some hilarious mad dashing back for the rocks afterwards.  

Mountain Life: Any beta for people who want to hit more alpine lakes this summer? 

Gregory: Find inspiration, do your research, hit up your buddies and get your shoes on. Don’t wait for an invite, make the opportunities yourself. Just because you haven’t seen photos of it on Instagram, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. We live in one of the most beautiful and accessible playgrounds in the world and Whistler is home to some of the keenest beans on the market. Stay safe, and have fun out there!