SNOBOARDING/winter/SKIING shots...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by CATinHAWAII, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. CATinHAWAII macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #1
    I live in Hawaii:D,, and am going skiing in a few weeks, am planning on getting
    a DSLR, and i was wondering what considerations i should take in account for
    the cold... i want to shoot my son doing jumps... on his snowboard.
    i am planning on getting either a 30d used from my friend, with a 17-55 f4 and a 70-200 , for $800 (no image stabilizer in either lens...)

    ... or getting a new 40d, with the kit lens , for like $1400... 28-135mm EF lens f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom....

    wouldnt be able to buy any other lens for awhile, till after i paid off the credit card... but ...

    as far as for taking the pictures in the cold, sitting on the side of the jump/box or whatever that the younger set jumps on/over while snowboarding...

    is it usually better to have the trees in the background? or the sky,??
    and do i have to take special care of the camera/lens when it's cold like that, i think it gets to 15 -20 at night , and highs from 25 -45 in the day...

    thanks... FP :)
     
  2. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    I've never shot action in such winter conditions, but as a general help, read up on sports photography technique - Most of the same principles would apply, save for tweaks on white balance and compensating for the highlights from snow.

    The cold should be fine - I live in Massachusetts and get colder than that, and my Nikons have always worked fine. Just be careful of your glass and viewfinder fogging up when you take the camera into a building or car.

    Good luck!
     
  3. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #3
    2 points about shooting in cold & in snowy conditions.

    I would have at least 2 batteries. For some reason, cold batteries like to think they're dead, but once they're warmed up they're ok. So I would keep one or two batteries somewhere close to your body (like in your pocket or something) and one in the camera.

    Second point, snow is BRIGHT, and the camera will often underexpose pictures with a lot of snow in the scene because its trying to make everything 18% gray. To help counteract this, set your exposure compensation to about +1.5 stop. This will tell the camera that its OK to overexpose the scene a bit, but really, you're just avoiding having that pretty white snow look gray.

    Have fun.
     
  4. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #4
    ... and to make a suggestion regarding the camera purchase-

    get the 30D with the 70-200. Glass is so much more important than the body in dSLR land.

    One thing I would do, and this is something nosen alluded to, is to spend $5, and get an 18% gray card. Meter, and get your white balance off of that, and then go and shoot. Your pictures will thank you. Also, even if you have the WB down, shoot in RAW- you tend to capture a lot more info that way.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    For snowboard shots the get the widest lens you can find and get as close as you can. You _will_ have to carfully set it up and know in advance how you want the shot to look. A 70mm lens is way to long and unless the air is crystal clear all you will get is grey blurs. an 18mm lens would be good, 28 is getting on the long side again.

    About the cold. The best advice is to keep the camera at one temperature. Do not for example keep it warm inside a jacket then take it out to shoot then warm it again. Do keep the snow and water off the camera but it is best if the camera runs at the same internal temp. as the outside air. The goal here is to keep the lens from fogging and prevent water from condensing inside the camera.

    I hope you have time to take a few hundred frames at home before you leave and put them through your workflows. Last weekend I was skiing and we had wind. Visabillity was about 30 feet and with the wind chill you could not take off gloves. This is not the best time to learn the menu system of a new camera. Don't.

    As for best backgrounds and angles. Buy some snow board magizines, a lot of them and just copy what they do. All the pics are the same anyways just try and do what the pros do and be glad you are not at the beach shotting surfers. On the snow you can get into possiion and then wave an arm as a signal andyo already know what's going to happen.

    In every sport that is an instant when the action stops. If you jump, you are stationary for an instant at the top of the jump just before you start coming down. Ideally that is the instant you want to capture.

    Use plenty of test shots to nail the exposure. The big thing is to simply not blow out highlights in the snow. Do the test shot and check the histogram display before the "real" shots.

    I will cary and extra jacket or sweater inside a backpack and will roll the camera in the jacket and place it inside the backpack. It is pretty safe that way even if I fall toumble a few times

    If the sunlight is bright use a flash to fill the deep shadows
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    This is good advice for less sohpisticaed cameras. But the new Nikon meters handle snow very well on just plain old "full auto". The meter in my D50 looks at not just the brightness but the color of many parts of the scene so it it "sees" lots of white in the environment if figures you want to capture detail and reder it as white not grey. I've done test in bright sunlit snow and. Well it's magic. It just works. So what I tell people know is to just keep taking test shots and looking at the histogram. The new RGB Marix meters is to complex to second guess

    In fact, I'd say if you are buying a camera for shotting in snow get a Nikon model with e 1024 pixel RGB meter. Nikon has had it for ages, for for the digtial era. I think it was in the F5 first.

    You can always turn off the matrix meter and spot meter off a grey card or even buy a hand meter.
     
  7. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #7

    thanks for all your comments, really appreciate it... :eek:
    i know i should take a lot of pictures before i leave, to get to know
    the camera and menus... havent used a slr since high school, and that was a
    Nikon F, not even with a meter, had a handheld, and dont know where the
    meter is now, but the camera is ok...

    i was reading some other post about "bagging" the camera before going indoors, i assume for the condensation, do they mean in zip lock bag?
    and is the way around the condensation about letting the camera warm up slowly? or is it just not that much humidity in the cold outside, and then when you go inside, it collects in the camera, cause the outside will warm up, with the inside of the camera still cold???

    i do plan on getting an extra battery, and a backpack case, so i could take the camera up and down the hill safely... hopefully...:eek:
     
  8. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #8
    I know its an incredibly expensive solution, but you might consider an outright waterproof housing/case.

    How good of a skier are you? Are you a double-black-backwards, or a blue with speed? How often do you fall?
    The better you are, the fewer precautions you need to take against snow, etc... of course, there is a minimum.

    Also, "bagging" prevents moisture from entering the camera so when you go back outside it doesn't condense in the camera.
     
  9. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #9
    >> I ski:) and snowboard:rolleyes:, find that skiing is alot easier for me than snowboarding, i dont hardly fall down as much, if at all, and can mostly all the non-black diamond runs at Northstar and Mammoth without falling, unless im trying something new... or different...
    Snowboarding is another story, find it more difficult, but also a bit more fun, as i did surf when i was younger and skinnier, and can still skateboard, sandboard, etc. i do fall down, and my feet/legs definitely get more fatigued when i snowboard...

    i think maybe i should ski the days i want to take the camera with me to shoot, and snowboard the other days... we will be on the slopes 4 out of 7 days in Tahoe... so i could ski/take pictures 2 days,,, and snowboard 2 days... sounds like a plan... i was just checking out Lowepro Slingshot camera bag, and Vertex 200 AW camera bag,,, probably the bigger the better...

    so,,, to "bag" when i go out from my hotel in the morning, the camera should already be "bagged", i shoot, and then before i head into the lodge for eat/drink, i bag again,,, and then when i go outside, it will not have water building up again inside the camera? .. and if i want to shoot in the hotel, or at the party later on, i would take the camera out of the bag after the camera has a chance to warm up inside the bag..?? is this the idea,? or am i missing something,,,?
     
  10. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #10
    ok , so this gray card, is just a colored piece of cardboard/plastic, that
    i want the camera to "meter", so i get the right ISO/aperture/speed,,, is that correct?
     
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #11
    i snowboard all the time. all i can say is unless you are good, i wouldnt risk taking an expensive caemera up the lifts as you will probably fall. just my 2 cents

    wind,snow, snowy gloves arent a good combo for phototaking imo
     
  12. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #12
    Yes. Of course, this is a cheap plastic zip-lock like baggie that is airtight, not a camera bag necessarily.

    Realistically? I think the bag is overkill... unless your hotel is seriously humidifying every room, or you use a humidifier in your bedroom, the humidity is going to be pretty low everywhere. If I were in your shoes I'd put my camera under the homeowners insurance (if I declare it, it's covered against damage and theft outside of the house) and have fun.

    Also, moving from cold-hot and hot-cold will need some adjustment time for inevitable condensation.

    Yes... but it's not just any "gray". It's exactly 18% gray, which is what your camera auto adjusts for.
     
  13. Kirbdog macrumors regular

    Kirbdog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    #13
    I shoot out on the snow for several months of the year It is not as big a deal as most are making it out to be.

    Here are a few tips that will make life easier when shooting on the snow.

    1. Keep a spare battery in an inside pocket to keep it warm.
    2. Use a polarizer on sunny days (white snow reflects light)
    3. Use fill flash to avoid unwanted shadows
    4. Use a back pack style carrying case, they have more than enough padding to protect your gear if you fall.

    **If you want to enjoy yourself toss a point and shoot camera in you pocket and leave the DSLR behind.

    When I carry my camera gear on the mountain to take photos it is to do exactly that, take photos. If I want to have a fun day riding its a P&S in the pocket and it usually stays there and I don't have to lug around a bunch of heavy gear. I strongly suggest using a compact P&S, you will enjoy you ski holiday much more.
     
  14. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #14
    I went skiing last year with my son, had a Olympus 720SW (point and shoot, waterproof and shockproof) but it was really hard to get any decent shots while he is jumping the snowboard,,, not the best, but definately safe for me and the camera...

    and that is why i wanted a decent dSLR, that can take multiple shots on each jump, better optics, more control... etc.

    thanks, i do plan on having extra battery and CF memory card, and most likely a backpack to hold it all in... Lowepro sounds like a good brand,,,,
    and at the least a polarizing filter, and a good book to read on the 5plus hour trip to the mainland,,,,:confused: IS THERE ANY GOOD BOOKS SPECIFIC TO THE CANON 40D CAMERA? :confused: i know there is one for the D40x, i looked it over at Borders, but didnt see one on the shelf for the 40D.....

    i was thinking of a monopod, but maybe a light weight tripod to take would be better...

    well, im gonna check prices tomorrow at a camera store on the island, and if that dont pan out, then maybe order from costco...

    thanks for all your help, everyone... i have my lists of things to get and think about and try out the camera before i leave... end of next week...

    thanks again,,,, CAT in HAWAII:cool:
     
  15. JonasLondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #15
    Hi there,

    Many good tips here already. As far as the whole "exposure compensation issue" goes, it's not really an issue with digital as you should just snap a few bracketed shots (normal, under, over, ...) anyway to see the best result. The question is how well your camera let's you monitor these initial snapshots. Make sure you can see the display well and perhaps make use of "show highlights/over-exposure" if your camera supports it (on a DSLR for example you can often have the supposed white-outs "blink" at you... you get the idea).

    Apart from that, go as wide as you can with the lens and get as close as you can yourself. If your camera supports it, switch it to "rapid fire" mode (Continuous shooting, high) and blast away a few shots before the critical moment and follow through. For those "cool" multi-exposure shots of the same jumper you need to remain steady and find the right balance of speed etc.

    For these shots, taken with a 10.5mm Fisheye lens on a D200, I was basically no more than between 1/2 and 2 meters away from my buddies (or they from me, I'm the orange-pants guy) - I am not saying these are expert examples, but we were quite happy considering our limited jumping experience:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #16
    wow!
    i like those pictures,,, very nice,,,
    if i were to get this lens

    Canon EF-S 17-85mm
    f4-5.6 IS USM

    that wouldnt really cut it like those pics, right? the fisheye really brings the
    action close up, and widens it out, huh? and there are no straight lines, so cant see the distortion, if there is much, from the fisheye, rigtht?
    i would be very happy with similiar pictures... my son can jump 2-3 feet, so this would be in the realm of possibility for me...

    the only magazine that we have here in Hawaii is Future Snowboarder,
    and most of the pics are jumps in the 10-20 foot range... not quite there yet...

    thanks for the neat examples!:eek:
     
  17. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #17
    http://att.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=102155&d=1202723092

    how did you do the first picture? is it three guys? or computer stitched?
    and did you have a polarizing filter on?
     
  18. JonasLondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Hi there, you can't fit a polarizer on a fish-eye (at least not on mine), but I normally would on other lenses.

    It's the same person, camera hand-held, but as steady as possible, and then just shooting at 5fps and with a bit of luck, you can then "merge" them into one shot.
     
  19. CATinHAWAII thread starter macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    #19
    ok, thanks,,, i leave tomorrow,, ill try to post shortly after i get back.
    I got a 10-22, ill see how that works, hopefully similiar...

    a week of skiing/snowboarding... JUST THE THING TO RELIEVE STRESS:p
     
  20. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #20
    Monopod & Tamrac Expedition or something similar to get your equipment there
     
  21. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #21
    The bag won't be overkill if the temperaure difference is there. It's cheap, it can just be a trash bag. I prefer to double-bag so that the condensation forms on the inside of the outer bag.

    Not really- the camera meters are mostly calibrated for 12% gray.

    http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm

    But if you're going to white balance, then use a white card, since you need to adjust exposure for the snow anyway.
     
  22. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #22
    Oops :) Thanks for catching that.
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #23
    The original 18% gray thing came from printing on variable contrast paper from print film. IMO, you're *much* better off shooting for the historgram[1] with digital, as it's much more like shooting slide film than print film.

    I tend to meter, then shoot and add in some exposure compensation to match the scene and try to get it over to the right edge of the histogram. As condititions change, I adjust the compensation. It doesn't matter if I'm in aperture priority looking for a specific aperture, shutter priority, manual or program mode, I find it much easier to adjust via exposure compensation unless I'm trying for a specific depth of field.


    [1] Assuming that you don't blow out a channel with a 3-channel histogram, but even then I'd bracket a shot if possible before I'd go away from the histogram.
     

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