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 A few of my better shots (more can be seen in the albums linked at bottom)







Being the kid with the camera, it has become my job to shoot our races when I have free time. In general I have been please with my results and feel I have been making improvement with each race; nonetheless, I am looking for ways to improve.

Lighting is always challenging with a largely snow covered background and usually flat lighting. I have been shooting manual with settings around 1/400-1/500sec, f5.6-8.0, ISO 400 depending on the conditions of the day. We are not allowed to use flashes as it may distract the racers. 

The main problem I have been having is focusing, and I think it is largely stemming from my lens being primarily a macro lens. I mainly shoot macro and bought it for that purpose, but I have been struggling with focusing and focus tracking. I have been using the center point as my focus point. 

I do not know if anyone has specific experience with shooting ski races, but I have been trying to stay as close to the fall line as the race officials will let me. 

I have tried using a monopod, but have found it to be more of a hassle than anything since the subject is moving both vertically and towards me. I have ended up ditching the monopod every time I have tried to use it. 

I always shoot raw and tend to try to just underexpose the skiier while over exposing the snow, then bringing both back into range in post. I have noticed that this method does exaggerate some colors, but have yet to find a better method without blowing out the snow completely. 

I have been shooting on high speed burst with Servo AF and try to shoot a sequence of images though a few turns, both to achieve a quality single image at the apex, but also so the racers can analyze their movements. I plan on trying shooting in jpg next race so I can shoot longer sequences and hopefully not miss that crash that always seems to occur after I max out my buffer. 

Canon 50D/battery grip
Sigma 150mm f2.8

Any advice or criticism would be greatly appreciated.

Here are the 3 races I have shot so far, the bottom one is my most recent attempt. 

Penn State Ski Team
Penn State Ski Team
Penn State Ski Team