Taking photos of skiers and snowboarders in action can be a tricky endeavor. Being prepared to get the shots you want can make for a much more satisfying experience for both the athlete and the photographer. Corey Rich offers basic advice that you can use next time you find yourself on the slopes:
1. Look for backlit conditions
It’s often difficult to avoid midday sun when shooting skiers and snowboarders. To compensate, look to put the sun behind your subject to minimize harsh shadows. The snow acts as a reflector to even out the light on the athlete, and the sun serves as a rim light.
2. Use high capacity memory
When photographing fast moving athletes, it’s a good idea to shoot in continuous mode. A split second can make all the difference in capturing the perfect moment. Use a fast, high capacity memory card so you don’t have to worry about running out of space while you’re out shooting.
3. Save time
Once you’ve found a great location, you’ll want to get as much out of it as you can. If your subject is willing to hike up a hill after each take, you save lots of valuable time that would be lost if you relied on the lift after each descent.
4. Communicate with your subject
Rich brings along walkie talkies so he can give specific instructions to his subjects. This way, they can plan when and where the athlete will come down the run for the perfect frame.
Show your subject photos between takes to show him or her exactly what’s working.
“It actually really refines the communication, and we end up making better and better pictures each time. We’re really evolving the shot.”
These tips, even as basic as they seem, are relevant whether you’re out with your friends or preparing for a commercial shoot.
“It’s about finding a great location, framing the shot correctly, setting the correct exposure, and then really just shooting enough frames and communicating with your athlete.”
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