Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Giant Slalom Ski Race and off-camera flash

This alpine skier is racing on the giant slalom course.  It was taken in the very late afternoon on an overcast day so the natural light was weak.  We set a Speedlite on a tripod on the side of the course to give us better light.  The flash was slightly uphill from the gate and angled to light the skiers from the side and a little behind.  We have to avoid popping the flash directly into the skiers' faces.  The Speedlite was triggered with a wireless radio.
This single light brings out all the colors on the skiers that would ordinarily be quite drab with the flat, natural light.  It also gives us a nice separation from the background.
70-200 lens at 150mm, 1/1250 second (high-speed sync) at f/3.2, ISO 800.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Giant Slalom Ski Race

This is one of our favorite photos taken during the recent alpine ski racing season.  The skier is turning at a gate on the giant slalom course during a race and he has a very aggressive stance that shows great speed.  The skis are on edge, the body is crouched low, right hand almost touching the snow, legs sharply angled and powdery snow trailing behind.  Many of the gates provide action like this but we chose this one because of the clean background.  We were downhill of the gate and placed the subject in the upper part of the frame to accentuate the fact that the skier was coming from a higher point.  The sunny day was crucial to getting some detail in the snow and providing nice contrast and color.
400mm lens, 1/1600 second at f/4, ISO 125.