We'll start with what you SHOULD do-
- Dress warm (it's better to overheat than to freeze and your shots will reflect this!)
- Buy some Swany Toaster mittens. (These have a liner with a zip out side, just zip the side and you keep the mittens on, but still have the warmth of the thin liner while you shoot.)
- Over-expose your images by and average of 0.7 because snow will look gray otherwise.
- Stand far enough away from the skier's line to not get hit, but also get as close as you are comfortable with.
- Use a comfortable backpack that has plenty of padding for your camera in case you fall.
- Go wide and close to capture the element as well as the athlete.
- Use your zoom when conditions are not safe enough to be in close.
- Shoot on sunny and partly cloudy days.
- Research the types of photos that editors and companies are purchasing from other photographers. This will give you some idea of what they are looking for.
- Show at least the takeoff, or the landing, or both of a feature.
- Zoom in close on small details (putting ski's on, standing at the top of a line)
- Rely on Continuous Auto-Focus for head-on powder skiing shots.
- Rely on Pre-Focus for Cliff's, jumps, and rails. (anything you have a point of reference to establish pre-focus.)
- Use skis to get around. Snowboards work, but it's much tougher to reposition on a snowboard.
- Take an avalanche training course and learn where it is safest to stand. As a photographer you are in a dangerous position with a skier above you, if he triggers a slide, you could get buried.
- Wear an AvaLung, it disperses your carbon dioxide exhalations behind you, and lets you survive under the snow for up to 2 hours!
- Wear a beacon to be found if a slide occurs.
- Carry a shovel to dig out the athlete if they are involved in a slide.- Capture other part's of the ski day where there is no real action. Lifestyle shots will sell through stock agencies.
- Listen to what the athlete thinks will look best. They probably know the tricks better then you.
Here's what you SHOULD NOT do-
- Zoom in on an athlete in midair without showing takeoff, landing, or scenery. (There are MILLIONS of these shots out there and photo editors are not looking for this.
- Alway's rely on a telephoto (again, too many photographers do this and your work will not be unique.)
- Trust your safety in avalanche country to the opinions of your skiers (If it doesn't seem safe don't do it!)
-Weigh yourself down with too much gear. (traveling lightly makes life easy!)
- Waste your time shooting too much when it is gray and not snowing outside (These shots won't sell, they are however good practice.)
- Shoot powder shots in areas that have lots of tracks. (People like to imagine skiing down an untracked field when they see a photo, and tracks will ruin this vibe.)
- Rely on Continuous Auto-Focus for cliffs, jumps, and rails. It's better to pre-set a point and stick with it.
- Run the athlete around and have them hit features they are not comfortable with.
- Spend time shooting on days when the snow is crappy. Get some office work finished, or head out and ski for the fun of it.
- Talk condescendingly to the athlete. You'll get better photos if you work with, and not against the athlete.
- Wear cotton, you will freeze.
- Hit anything too crazy with your camera on you, you don't want to break it!
I'll add more details as I think of them. But for now I think this is a good starting point for aspiring skiing photographers.
If you have something you'd like to add, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
That's the BUZZ for today! Please check back soon for more!