For outdoor photographer Jordan Manley, an accidental tumble proved both debilitating and enlightening. In November 2012, the Canadian backward-somersaulted off his mountain bike, smacked his head and suffered a concussion. “It was not a very spectacular crash,” he admits, “but it resulted in a very lengthy recovery.”
That meant spending a lot of time at home in North Vancouver.
“One thing that I was able to do was walk,” he says. He started documenting his surroundings with his iPhone, editing snaps with the basic filters on Instagram and attracting more than 2,750 followers in the process.
It was a far cry from the typical assignments for Bike magazine’s senior photographer that ranged from jungle trails in Guatemala to riding in New Zealand (He’s also a senior photographer for the ski magazine, Powder.). And these nature walks were downright low-key compared to the self-propelled sports he’d normally be shooting at the famous year-round resort an hour and a half north.
Still on the mend a year later, Manley hit his head again, relapsed and decided that it’d be better to shoot closer to home. “There’s an incredible diversity of activities and landscapes here,” says Manley. “You can choose what you want to engage in and just immerse yourself in the landscape.” For Manley, all of the area’s offerings are prime subject matter. He’s done local print ad campaigns, shooting the ski slopes for Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb’s hiking gondola. He’s also shot covers for an array of active lifestyle magazines (in addition to Bike and Powder).
Concussion aside, exploring his home base on a different scale and at a slower pace is certainly coming in handy as it’s given Manley plenty of time to focus on his forthcoming book, Movement in Landscape: A Visual Journey From Vancouver to Whistler, which has only one goal: “to paint an exhaustive portrait of the landscape and give people a really good idea about all the different ways we move through it recreationally.”