A nice surprise in my mail box this morning. I knew about this for a couple of weeks but today was the first time I have seen the finished product. This is my 8th cover but my first one in N.America so i’m really pleased with this one.
Max Hill is the man on the cover and the shot was taken last April in Whistler, BC. I had the idea for this shot about 3 years ago but that year at the time we didn’t have the snow for it. Last year there was plenty in the spring time so finally got to make it happen. When I took Max and Leigh Powis to this spot and explained that I wanted them to jump over a railing, hand plant on it AND grab their ski they looked at me as if I was mad. Once they’d given it a couple of attempts though and built a small jump to pop them over the railing it didn’t take any time at all. I think this shot was only about the 4th or 5th time that Max hit it.
Shot with a Canon 1dMKIIN , 15mm Fisheye , 1/250th , f7.1, ISO 250. Lit with 1 Elinchrom Ranger and 4 Nikon speedlights all triggered with pocketwizards.
I have made a quick lighting diagram for those interested in that sort of thing. Click for larger
Maybe a silly question but… why half power on the Nikon SB 80 speedlights to your left?
Not such a silly question. I knew that i wanted a rim light behind max to make him pop a bit more. I wanted to use 2 flashes for that rim and i positioned them so that they were just outside the frame so you couldnt see them through the railing. They are as close as they could be in order to maximize the power. The duration of those SB-80s is about 1/1000 at full power which would be fine for a rim light.
The exposure of those flashes basically dictated the rest of the setup for me. I then positioned the other 2 nikons where they are and exposed them to get about 2 stop lower on the front of the skier. That happened to work out as about half power and small adjustments were made by moving the flashes. I also needed those flashes to be working at a faster duration than 1/1000 because max was traveling right across the frame pretty quick. Putting them on half power halves the duration hence making sure that he appeared sharp on his skis and face.
awesome shot and thanks for light setup. Are you firing those sets of 2 speedlights with one PW? if so, how is that?
yeah if i double up speedlights i tend to use just the one PW for them. I have a mono splitter from flashzebra.com and i plug that straight into the PW. works just fine. I think the key is to use mono not stereo if i remember rightly.
Congratulations for this blog!! Very usefull info, I talked to several photographers here in spain about Ranger flying problems and nobody told me how to do it (finally I run out of money and couldn’t buy one). Congratulations for your cover! Watchin the lighting diagram , the power, distances, iso and F, it really wasn’t very dark, was it?
It’s awesome to have such a nice diagram (don’t worry, I draw worse than u!).
One last question… have you tried new Ranger Quadra??
Thanks for reading the blog!
I havent had a chance to try the Elinchrom Quadra. I would love the chance! Maybe I will see if i can borrow one to test.
Well spotted though, you are correct. It was not very dark. It was dusk, we were not using any other lighting for the skiers to see what they were doing.
Congratulations to the cover!
Awsome blog you got going here. This has become one of my favorite sites since I first came across it. As a amature photagrafer I really appriciate the “behind the shoot” stories. Great inspiration!!
Elias from sweden
Thanks for reading Elias!!
Regarding HDR, I have not really tried it. I personally dont like the look of it and theres not much call for it in the ski industry.
Do you do much of it yourself?
Congratulations on your first N. America cover. I really like the slight wire fence shadow on the wall to the right, makes it feel alot more cramped and urban.
When you have time, can you do a blogpost about your thoughts on the ever so popular HDR trend? and maybe how you achieve your HDR photos if you take them in a particular way.
Thanks, and congratulations again!
No, It isn’t really an effect I like the look of normally. the final product tends to look fake and too much like a digital painting. I have however tried out creating the illusion of real HDR using Adobe After effects on some film clips, which makes night shots really cool and much more pleasing to look at.
I do have a different question. This year I’m going to be filming aswell as taking alot of photos at night time, which is not something I normally do. What lighting and power setup would you recommend? I’m not looking for the best of the best, something fairly affordable. The reason for this being that I tend to break my stuff, alot.
Thanks Dan! your blog (and portfolio for that matter!) is great!
Honestly I don’t know how I stumbled onto your blog. Avid skier and fan of photography lead me here i guess. Contrats on the cover…actually saw it an airport here in California.
Thanks for including the light setup and everything. Usually people see that as intellectual knowledge and don’t include it as thoroughly as you have.
Have a great winter.
Thanks Dustin. Glad you got to see it!