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Image of the Day: Tuesday August 19th August 19, 2008

Posted by Team SnapVillage in image of the day.
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Image: 43-00509075
Title:
  “Snowmobile on open water”
Contributor: Andreas Gradin              

Why we like it:  While taking a 500 pound vehicle meant for floating on top of snow and ice and hurtling it across open water isn’t my idea of fun… Andreas Gradin’s shot sure makes water skipping look cool!

Using a high-shutter speed allowed Andreas to catch the snowmobile nearly in mid-air – the off-kilter angle of the snowmobile emphasizes the risk and “extreme sport” aspect. Andreas also caught a really nice backlit plume of water, and this renders the rider almost completely in silhouette against the bright background.  

Tips for catching extreme action:

  • Use a camera with fast auto focus – digital SLRs are much more capable here. Most consumer digicams are going to struggle to keep up with a moving subject.
  • There’s a reason why pro sports shooters use high-end digital SLRs with the fastest and most accurate AF available (that, and the highest FPS (frames per second) rates). If you’ve been following the Olympic coverage you’ll note lots of Canon 1D Mark IIIs and Nikon D3s – probably the two fastest models out there.
  • To freeze the action you’ll need to crank that shutter speed – you’re probably going to want to be above 1/250th of a second minimum to freeze a moving subject, even faster for a high-speed vehicle. Depending on the light, you may also have to lower your ISO setting in order to reach your desired shutter speed.
  • Conversely – sometimes to best show speed you need to slow things down with motion blur. Depending on the speed of the subject your shutter speed may drop to 1/40th – 1/250th of a second. Combine panning with a slower shutter speed for the best of both worlds – a sharply defined subject against a horizontally blurred background.
  • Use composition to highlight movement by tilting the camera and : check out one of my favorite images from legendary racing formula one photographer Schleglemilch, of champion driver Michael Schumacher racing in Monza

 

Have other tips?  Get extreme!!  Share ‘em in the comments!

 

– Brian

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