Getting great ski photos isn’t always easy. However, keeping in mind the following tips should make the process and the outcome that much better. Like anything, the more you practice, the more intuitive it will become. To get started, here are some key pointers:
Like most types of photography, shooting ski photography requires good light. Good light doesn’t necessarily always mean sunlight, but direct sun on the skier always helps to pop colors and contrast, especially with a dark, shadowy background (my favorite light combination).
We’re skiers, right? We thrive on stormy, nasty weather! So, if the above, sunlit scenario isn’t available, and you’re itchin’ to shoot on a stormy day, make sure it’s just that—snowing. If it’s a grey day and not snowing, I’ve found it’s almost always best to leave the camera in the car and just enjoy making some turns. However, if it’s dumping, don’t be afraid to get your camera a bit wet (do your best to keep it dry), find a friend with Kodak courage and shoot your buddy hucking his meat or slashing a pow turn for you!
Interesting Terrain / Angles
In general, the steeper, the better. I’m a big fan of clean landscapes. By ‘clean,’ I mean lack of clutter. Rocks and trees, if not spaced correctly around or away from, your subject, can compete with the skier. You want the skier to be the center of attention, whether it be a tight, in-your-face, pow shot, or a fly-on-the-wall photo with a tiny skier in a big landscape. Typically, the latter, when the skier is small in the frame, is where you need to really be diligent as to where the skier is going to ski in relation to trees and rocks, which could drown out your subject.
Fresh Snow (the deeper, the better)
There’s nothing like seeing a great photo of powder blowing around a skier. Highlighting this can instantly transport the viewer to nearly feeling that moment, when you’re choking on powder and when your heart skips a beat in disbelief that you’re having this much fun.
Always helps, especially with small skier/big-landscape photos.
Turn your camera’s motor drive as fast as it will go! It’s fun to eye out, set up, then shoot all of the above ingredients, in one big, beautiful photo (or 20, if your motor drive is cranking)!
Do you have any other tips for taking great photos on the slopes? Let us know in the comments for the chance to win Liftopia shwag!