Lee’s brother had a dark room as a kid so he had some working knowledge of the craft, but it became his career the old-fashioned way—shooting friends ripping Alta, his adopted home hill. After emigrating to Utah, Lee bought a $484 Nikon F3—state of the art at the time—and submitted shots on spec. Because his mind excels with numbers he was able to memorize exposure settings back when it mattered. He also has an innate eye for composition, which isn’t universal. Nowadays, with smarter cameras that provide instant feedback, action photography is easier, but “nothing beats nailing it exposure and composition wise,” says Lee.