Taking the perfect skiing pictures…
Jim Decker is a professional photographer and avid ski enthusiast. Combining these talents can make for an interesting result and only real experts like Jim know how to get the best live-action skiing pictures. Let’s dive into what it takes to get that perfect shot when you’re up on the mountain!
Above all here is the equipment. What a tragedy it would be to go out and spend $500, $1k, or even $2k dollars on a top of the line camera only to wipe out on a black diamond run and smash it into a million pieces! That’s why before you go spend a small fortune on a high-end camera, be sure to invest a couple hundred dollars on some waterproof protective bags and padded covers for your gear.
It’s always a good idea to get some extra batteries as well. While you can conserve battery life by taking the battery out of the camera while not in use, this is a cumbersome and time-consuming exercise. And while SLR batteries aren’t cheap (they typically run anywhere from $50 to $100) they are worth their weight in gold when you’re high atop your favorite run and need just a couple more hours of juice to get you through your shooting day.
Beyond the gear you need the know-how. So how do real pros like Jim capture that perfect skiing photo? A lot of them will tell you it’s all about point of view.
First off, try holding your camera horizontally and then try it out vertically. Depending on your tastes and style you may find a horizontal frame to be more pleasing. This is the dominant style used in landscape photography and works wonders when trying to not only capture the action of the skier in the photography but the wider beauty of the surrounding scenery. If you can capture both you know for certain that you’ve just taken a very special photograph!
Another truly insider tip is to play with a little overexposure in your photographs. Snow is a bright, reflective surface and when photographing it the little light sensor inside your camera might be a little maladjusted for this snowy backdrop. By slightly overexposing your images you can further illuminate and sharpen your subjects while making sure that snow looks as white as possible in your final image.
Always be aware of the best time to shoot when you’re on the mountain. Most pros will tell you the best times to catch some great skiing photos would be in the late afternoon or sometime in the early morning hours. This way the light from the sun has a “warmer” feel to it and your photos will benefit from this. Shooting in the harsh midday sun has the potential to harshen and flatten your image. Of course this is only a guideline; feel free to experiment and find your favorite time to go snap some frames!
Above all, be sure of one thing: practice, practice, practice. Get out there, grab some buddies and a camera and just go skiing. You’ll figure out what works best for you and you’ll be capturing some truly special images in no time!
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