This is the section where I will breakdown an image, and explain how it was captured.
Capturing images in deep powder, with a studio-like flash setup, makes for some of the most challenging shots I have ever taken. The area where I took this photo has no street lights, so a headlamp is a must for both athlete and photographer. To capture a shot like this, you really have to visualize the image before the athlete can hit the feature, there are NO test shots because it would ruin the powder.
I approach the shot like any other, and use a flashlight to pre-set my focus before capture. Placing the flashes can be difficult in waste deep snow, so for this shot I set the flashes to settings I thought would work, and had the athletes place them up top near where they would start to ski. I also placed blue gels on each flash. While the athletes are placing the SB-800 flashes up top, I set up my AlienBee B1600 at the bottom to create the white light on the front of the skier and snow. The settings are usually around 1/2 to full power for the 800's due to distance from the feature, and about 1/16 on the B1600 for the front light.
When it is time to take the shot, I have another athlete count to 3 while the main athlete skis towards the feature. It is VERY tough to get perfect timing with only a flashlight, but with enough tries, I learned exactly when to press the shutter. To create a fresh new look, try different gels and flash placement.