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How to Take the Best Skiing and Snowboarding Pictures

How to Take the Best Skiing and Snowboarding Pictures

Few sports are as dynamic and fun to watch as skiing and snowboarding. Capturing the speed, skill and technique of advanced skiers can make for a great photograph. Also, a picture of the first time a friend or family member hits the slopes can make a great memento to fondly look back at.

However, the ski slopes can be a particularly difficult environment to take a composed and balanced photograph in. Dynamic shots are always tricky to time right, and the speed of downhill skiers can make it even harder to focus on the subject. Sun glare and exposure are also factors to consider, as the snowy backdrop can play havoc with the automatic levels on most digital cameras. Thankfully, with just a few simple techniques, skiing and boarding photographs can come out picture perfect.

Preparing Equipment

If you’re planning to take photographs in between skiing or boarding, always bring a durable case to protect the camera, as the slightest tumble can cause damage. A wrist strap is also a good idea, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping the camera while taking a photo. Also be aware that the cold weather can cause condensation, so it’s important to keep the camera warm when out on the slopes. Storing a camera in a warm coat pocket or in a case will stop the lens from fogging up when its time to take a photograph, and it will also make the batteries last a little bit longer.

Choose The Right Camera Settings

Many modern digital cameras come with a preset ‘Snow’ scene setting. When selected, this will take into consideration the white backdrop of the photographs and will compensate for the added brightness. If your camera doesn’t have this preset, try increasing the exposure settings and take a few test photographs to check that the scene brightness is nice and clear. Photographs with the correct brightness and exposure levels will make the snow look crisp and vibrant, rather than grey and dull.

Setting Up Your Position

If you’re trying to get a shot of someone coming down the slopes, position yourself near the bottom so you can easily focus on them as they come towards the camera. Try to track the subject with the viewfinder of the camera as they come closer, so they are in focus when you want to take the shot. Choosing the right spot is also important so that you can make sure that there aren’t any distracting things in the background, like a ski lift or other people. A tripod can come in handy for stability if you want the photographs to look as professional as possible, but remember that you’ll have to carry it around on the slopes all day.

Get The Right Angle

You are likely to get blurred photographs if you are standing off to the side of skiers and boarders, so try to be in front of them while staying safe and without getting in their way. Again, this gives you time to focus and to get the timing right. It helps if the subject is not directly in front of the sun, as they will just look like a silhouette on the photograph. Try to position yourself in front of the sun, so the scene is well-lit and glare is not an issue. A good tip is to crouch down if you are photographing a skier or boarder mid-jump or performing a trick. This will exaggerate the height of the jump, even if it is small, and really emphasise the action and dynamic nature of the shot.

Source: simply piste

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