Action Sequence Photography Tips with Strobe Lighting

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Professional snowmobiler and X-Games Gold Medalist, Justin Hoyer, teamed up with photographer Andy Kawa to create a freestyle snowmobile action sequence using high speed strobes and a Nikon D300. Take a tour of the shoot here:

Because typical speedlights won’t repower quickly enough to shoot an action sequence such as this one, Kawa used a Broncolor Scoro light kit which is capable of producing a lot of light in very short bursts. Using only two strobes, Kawa fixed one lamp on Hoyer’s take-off ramp and had an assistant man the second lamp to manually track Hoyer as he flew through the air on his snowmobile.

“Keep in mind that most cameras cant go above 1/250th second when using flash. Thats why a short flash duration is so important –light controls motion not the shutter speed,” explained Kawa.

After taking some test shots at a rate of 6 frames per second, Kawa realized that the figure needed to be backed down to 5 fps to prevent overlapping of some of the shots. After working out a shutter speed of 1/250 at f 4.5 on ISO 320, Kawa was confident that the next days shoot would produce the results he hoped to achieve.

action sequence photo with strobe lighting

Strobed Action Sequence Photo

For the final image, Kawa combined a total of 18 photographs that he processed in Adobe Photoshop. While working in Photoshop, he also took the time to edit out debris from the snow, adjust the contrast, and fine tune the exposure. Kawa made an additional version of the finished product, this time in HDR which was made from seven different images.

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2 Comments

  1. bycostello says:

    interesting vid.. thanks…

  2. Keri says:

    This is nothing new, in fact pretty much the same as Chase Jarvis did for the SanDisk campaign a couple of years ago.

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