It's winter and it's nuking snow outside. What better time for ski photography tips?
In this video, The Ski Club features world-class commercial action and lifestyle photographer Ross Woodhall to share ski photography tips. I enjoy this clip because although it's relatively short, it's littered with helpful back-to-back tips. These tips range from everything related to shooting in wet and cold conditions, like keeping your sensor dry as well as keeping your hands warm.
One of Woodhall's tips I really like is to shoot with a wide angle lens and crop later in post. Unless you have in mind a specific idea of capturing tight shots of riders in deep snow or capturing the riders' emotions, shooting wide is never a bad idea. Part of the reason why shooting wide is great is to help tell a larger story, too. By showing where the riding is taking place you can help create more of an environmental action shot which can help tell a narrative of where and why the riders are where they are.
Another thing that I think is crucial in ski photography and adventure sports photography in general is communication. What separates amateur photographers from professionals is the ability to communicate effectively with your talent on where and how you want them to ride. It helps to have a vision in mind of how your final photo might look so that you can tell the rider when to take a turn, whether the turn is in lightness or darkness, and so forth.
Lastly, a great tip Woodhall mentions, and one that could be easily overlooked, forgotten, or seen as common sense (but still forgotten), is to always close your camera bag before the rider comes your way if you're situated below your talent. I have friends who have forgotten to do this when shooting skiing (and I've forgotten, too!) and it always ends in close-calls with snow and water getting into your gear. It's always a good idea to double-check that the rest of your gear is safe and out of the way of elements and the rider before calling for your talent to come down the hill.
Watch the video above for more great ski photography tips.
Lead image taken by Kevin McAvey.