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Photo question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Gary posted this photo in another thread:
http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/6...tskills4ha.jpg

The quality of the photo is very impressive. Can any of you bears guess about what kind of gear is necessary to take this good of a pic and also how much photographic skill (to get the settings right) is required?
post #2 of 25
Cannon 35mm SLR camera. 400+ASA Fuji film. 1/1000th shutter speed. 2.8 f stop. And practice. I know very little about cameras it's just a guess.
post #3 of 25
Upon further examination the only parameter I would improve on is brightness. But that just me.


post #4 of 25
Slider: are you saying you like the brightness of the lower photo better than the upper? Personally, I prefer the upper one.

Also, I'm wondering if the shutter speed is even 1/1000th of a second. The snow cloud is not very well defined (which is nice).

Ignoring the initial question for a second, I'd be more interested in knowing how to *ski* like that, not how to take the photo. :
post #5 of 25
Not to stray too far from therusty's question. But yes I prefer the lower(brighter)picture I can see more detail. Perhaps being color blind has something to do with it. I believe that is Mr.Miller in top form.
post #6 of 25



I like this one because I just spent an afternoon with her and her dad. This is Resi (pronounced "Racy") Stiegler. Neat kid and one helluva skier.

Watch for her in Turino this winter.

The photo is by US Ski Team photographer Jonathan Selkowitz.
post #7 of 25
Slider, the lower one may well look better to you. Your monitor may need calibration.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
Cannon 35mm SLR camera. 400+ASA Fuji film. 1/1000th shutter speed. 2.8 f stop. And practice. I know very little about cameras it's just a guess.
Nope, The abouve3 combination would completly blow out the photo, meaning that it would be extremly overexposed.

You would want a slow film IE 50 or 100asa, and a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 sec.

However this pic isnt that sharp, so I am guessing it was a lower shutter speed and the luck of being in the right place.

I deally you would scope the location set up, and then prefocus on the spot the skier is going to be, and then shoot only when the skier comes into focus. AF is way to slow for this.
post #9 of 25
I agree. who cares about the talent to phgotograph it...I want the talent to live it!

and personally, I prefer the brightness on the skiers body in the lower picture, buts the intensity of the sky in the upper picture
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks. The "how to" discussion is in the Waisteering thread in the instruction forum. I found the colors in the photo quite striking. From experience, I know how difficult it is to get decent colors out of on snow photos with cheap cameras.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMack
I agree. who cares about the talent to phgotograph it...
For some of us, our ability to make good photographs is really, really important.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters



I like this one because I just spent an afternoon with her and her dad. This is Resi (pronounced "Racy") Stiegler. Neat kid and one helluva skier.

Watch for her in Turino this winter.

The photo is by US Ski Team photographer Jonathan Selkowitz.
I'll keep an eye out for the ears!
post #13 of 25
What's the point of ears and a speed suit?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerBoy
What's the point of ears and a speed suit?
She's a tigress. :

By the way, she's quite popular in Europe (and unheard of here in the US, which is typical of US ski racers other than Bode Miller). The ears are part of her public image over there. She was barely 17 when she was bumped up to the US World Cup team and the ears were part of being a young girl.

In all seriousness, she's a slalom specialist. Her coaches told her the ears don't hurt her time in a slalom.

In all likelihood, she'll race Slalom and Combined in the Olympics. She leaves the ears off the helmet when she does the Downhill.
post #15 of 25
Very expensive gear is required to obtain this type of shot. Also you would need access to the event from the correct vantage point which usually means getting a press pass or credentials. Judging by the telephoto compression(foregorund to background) and the shallow depth of field a very big and fast lens(f stops) was used. Probably a 400mm 2.8 with a 1.4 teledaptor or a 600mm 4.0. This gear is quite expensive - $6,000-$7,000 just for the lens;

For this type of shot the vantage point and having a camera with a very fast frame rate is most important. The fastest models out there right now shoot at around 12 frames a second. These also cost big bucks.

As far as the image being too bright or dark such a judgement only has any meaning if all viewers have their monitors properly calibrated for brightness, gamma, and contrast. Most people prefer their monitors darker than the standard norm with a high gamma and contrast setting. If you have any Adobe photo editors there usually is an attachment called Adobe gamma that lets you correctly calibrate your monitor to a universal standard.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
That's what I was afraid of. I'm not so much worried about the press pass, but I had this fantasy of being able to take regular ski shots and get this kind of quality. I guess I'll wait till my rich uncle kicks the bucket.
post #17 of 25
I agree with Skierxman that that a telphoto lens was used, I also see color saturation typical of a polarizing filter. Digital SLRs are capable of supporting the lenses and speeds shown here, and the price entry point is as low as $1500 for the camera body, and that much again for a zoom lens. Higher quality optics can in fact reach several thousand dollars per item. If you ski the larger resorts, you see professional photographers, using digital SLR equipment with zoom lenses. It doesn't have to be top of the line. The posted image was less than 500 x 300 pixels which is very low resolution (less than VGA), and is no doubt downsized from an original between 4 and 8 megapixel. You really can't tell much from the resized photo.
post #18 of 25
TheRusty..you can take quality ski photos and get great results without spending all the money. At pro racing events such as shown above you just wont be able to get close enough to get good results. You don't need expensive telephoto gear to take good action/ski shots if you can get close enougn to the action on the slope. The reason they use the long lenses is because obviusly they have to stay behind a fence a good distance away and cant just walk out and set up next to the gate in the photo. If you are just shooting skier buddies or the small NASTAR courses a good fast 100-200mm lens and a digital SLR with a 1.6 focal length mjultiuplier would be ideal. A 400-600MM would be overkill and a pain in the rear to lug around all over the mountain.

Also if you do own a big lens expect to get hassled a lot by the event staff. I have a Canon 400 2.8 I use for wildife work and have been thrown out of a CART race here in Cleveland, refused admission to all kinds of events, races etc because they assume anyone with 'professional' looking gear is there for commercial purposes. People get paranoid when they see you standing there with a large white lens and think you are going to use their photos for commercial or seedy purposes. Also a large white lens might as well have a 'steal me' sign on it.
post #19 of 25
I'm as good at photography as I am at skiing, so since I sometimes take a stab at the skiing thing, here is an answer. As stated above, digital SLR's would be great for such pictures although things are changing fast and the entry point is not 1500 for a body, it is more like 800. A decent lens might be another 3-400 for one with plenty of zoom and not necessarily huge in size. This would get you in the game, not crystal clear to a pro's standards, but indiscernable to an amateur. Of course if you ever go to a photography forum, you will see that there are gear snobs there who would laugh at this setup, similar to the treatment my pocket rockets often receive here.

The picture is more about the capture than the camera. Sound familiar? It is possible to get such a picture with lesser cameras but there are many challenges. First is lighting. You have to find a spot with good lighting to allow capturing the blue sky and the face of the skier without one or the other being completely lost.

The second challenge is framing. Most pros would take the picture in a burst of multiple pictures. An amateur would try to time a single shot. It is possible to time a single shot, but you will miss at least as much as you hit that way. The biggest challenge is the delay between hitting the button and taking the picture. As mentioned, autofocus can be a big part of this problem so manually focusing first helps. Cheaper cameras still have significant delay even when manually focused. It is predictable, so you can time the shot with practice.

Some cameras cheaper than the SLR's do take reasonable bursts of pictures, sometimes more than 3 frames per second. The problem is that if you take the burst, the individual shots depend on the timing of the first and the interval in between. With fast action, it is possible to miss that way as well. That is why pro equipment rattles off rapid bursts of pictures. The other problem with a non-SLR is that once you hit the button, you are flying blind since the electronic viewfinder usually blanks so it is not possible to track the skier by looking through the camera. It is possible to run a burst of pictures and track the skier by panning on a tripod, keeping zoomed out to improve your odds, and cropping the image on your computer to zoom in. In other words, you can get the picture with a cheaper digital and have satisfactory results, but it will take some practice to get the picture with any sort of consistency. Of course, even the pros probably shoot a hundred pictures for every good one like that.

So if your goal is to try to create some photographic aids for teaching, it can be done but plan on doing multiple runs and shooting lots of pictures. The better equipment can improve your odds of getting good pictures, but it still depends on your ability more than the camera. The better equipment will also improve the quality of those pictures, if you were planning on supplementing your income with a side business in ski photography.
post #20 of 25

whtmt

That's a dream photo and a dream turn. My guess is high speed digital SLR auto focus and 3-5 frames / sec rapid fire sequence montage type shot. Personally, I prefer the exact deep hue color contrast in the original shot.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider

The toughest thing for me as a skier is to make sure the photographer gets a good shot. If your notice I was able to pause mid turn her for him. I had to make sure my angulation was perfect, although I do have a bit of A-framing going on. I do what I can do to help
post #22 of 25
the rusty-

some tips for those of us who live w/o a large quiver of high tech camera gear-

-- autofocus is not good for ski photos- set your camera on manual focus

-- do not let your camera auto set the exposure if your meter is pointed at the snow- it will overexpose the shot-

my prescription for pretty good (with the occasional very good) racer photos-

1) manual focus set on th eapproitate length- 15 to 20 feet is usually right from where I am standing

2) point in the general direction of the gate I will be shooting (sun at your back etc) - find some trees or other object to get an exposure on- little or no snow or bright sky in the exposure fields opf your camera- then hold that and shoot a test shot at a racer at your gate- if digital, check the pic and then use that setting to fix the exposure- manual focus, set teh exposure and then there is no shutter lag-


more than you wanted to know----
post #23 of 25
retiredat40, correct me if im wrong but you said that you're flying blind with non-SLRs because the EVF blanks out. Don't you have the same problem with SLRs because the mirror stays up?
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidudettocs
retiredat40, correct me if im wrong but you said that you're flying blind with non-SLRs because the EVF blanks out. Don't you have the same problem with SLRs because the mirror stays up?
My understanding is no. The mirror cycles very quickly between shots allowing a strobed view through the viewfinder. I don't know what that looks like at 5 fps, but maybe sometime soon I can find out. For now, I am still in the EVF world.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer
-- do not let your camera auto set the exposure if your meter is pointed at the snow- it will overexpose the shot-
Actually, it will Underexpose the shot. Since the exposure meter assumes that the average of what it sees is meduim gray, it will want to make large areas of white into a meduim gray tone, and will underexpose everything to do so.

I just set my camera's exposure compensation to about +2 (+/-.5 depending on how much white I've got) to tell the camera that I want white snow, not gray/blue.

I also think Slider's fixed photo is way over brightened and the colors are washed out. It probably looks good on his monitor though since uncalibrated monitors usually all appear too dark. The original looks pretty good on my calibrated monitor, although just a tad dark. I'd do a subtle adjustment in Photoshop CS to shadows/highlights, a little increase in saturation, and bring up only the whitle level a bit, like this:

FIXED:



Original:

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