Silverstrand Photography Blog

Local photography company in Saratoga Springs, UT. Families, corporate, sports.

Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks – Winter Sports Photography

This is a small sneak peek for Riley… more to come later… and a Tuesday’s Tips and Tricks all in one!!  What a treat!

For today’s Tuesday’s Tips and Tricks…I thought it would be fun to give a few little tips on photographing Snowboarders.

…Speaking of snowboarding… Jared still needs to take me!  I’ll have to remind him! :)…

Taking pictures of snowboarders is really fun!  But, it can be challenging at the same time.  Here are a few reasons why:  it’s cold, you have on bulky gloves, you are either on skis or a snowboard as well and the terrain might be difficult to get at the right “spot”, on sunny days you have harsh light that reflects off the snow, the subject snowboarding is usually going pretty fast, etc.

So what do you do to overcome these challenges?

  • The first thing I would suggest is using a flash.  Why?  Well, this will help you get more detail to show up in the subject as well as to help you compensate for the bright sky and bright ground.

now… flashes have a short range in which they reach… so that brings me to my next suggestion:

  • Get as close to the action as possible (while still being safe of course).  Get close and shoot from a low angle.   Shooting from a low angle will make all their jumps seem bigger than they really are.

you want to make sure you are capturing the action.

  • you have two options… a fast shutter speed to FREEZE the action… or a slow shutter speed while you are panning the subject.  If you are using the fast shutter speed, I would suggest setting your shutter speed to at least a 1/1000 second.  Do this on your manual setting, or you can set your camera to the shutter priority if it offers that.  That comes in handy!  It automatically sets your aperture to match your shutter speed.  Then all you have to worry about is your shutter speed.  Nice huh!  Another option is to have a little slower shutter speed but pre-focus on the spot where they are going to be jumping… then make sure you capture the action at the right moment.         If you are wanting try the panning with the slow shutter speed… you may need to practice… but what you do is keep the center of the lens on the subject at all times while they go past you.  They stay in focus while the scenery blurs.

now all you have to worry about is the COLD!

  • Keep your camera cold.  Don’t try to warm it up in your coat or anything.  You could cause condensation.  Your camera will work fine in the cold… as long as the batteries are kept warm.  Batteries actually loose their power when they are cold.  So keep your batteries warm!  Get some of those gloves that the fingertips can be folded back.  That way you can use your camera without the bulky gloves getting in your way.

So there you go.  Some tips for photographing snowboarders.  Now get out there and get some sweet pictures of your friends on the slopes!

Be sure to check back in the next few days to see the rest of Riley’s sneak peek!

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One response to “Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks – Winter Sports Photography

  1. Hold on a second July 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    You forgot this tip: make sure that your subject is always grabbing his/her board. A missed-grab photo is the second biggest no no in snowboarding photography, just a step below not having a take off and landing in your frame.

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