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View Full Version : How do I take a photo like this?



bpeck
07-31-2006, 11:12 AM
Sorry for the crappy quality, but this is a two-page spread in a magazine that I took a photo of. No scanner means this is all I have to work with.

http://brian.cancerkills.net/fadell-slalom-photo.jpg

Slalom skateboarding is a fast sport, high paced and tough to photograph. This guy takes some of the best photo's I've seen, and I can't get mine to look like his. I love the motion effect, where the background is blurred but the rider is in perfect focus. To achieve that effect, you follow the rider with your camera using a somewhat slow shutter speed, correct? I'm almost positive this photographer uses a remote flash (I think that's what they're called), something I have no experience with. Are they expensive? Can I get this effect without one?

I sent an email to the photographer himself and I'll post his response if I get one. Any help from you guys is appreciated.

GaryS
07-31-2006, 11:51 AM
You are on the right track. Slower shutter speeds, and panning the rider as they go past will give you the motion effect. It takes practice... The good thing is: Skaters love getting their pictures taken, so they take run after run as you work on your technique.

On the flash... Your camera flash will do a reasonable job to start. Even on a bright day, the flash will help the rider pop-out from the background.

cdnphotographer
07-31-2006, 01:27 PM
you could always "stage" the photo.. using PS have him stand still and otion blue the background??

bpeck
07-31-2006, 05:06 PM
cdnphotographer - There's no way you'd be able to lean into a turn like that without moving ;) Boooo to staging photos. Capturing the moment is where it's at.


The good thing is: Skaters love getting their pictures taken, so they take run after run as you work on your technique.
The bad thing is: I'm a skater first and a photographer second. Of course everybody loves getting their pictures taken, and I'll never have any of me :mad: Oh well... once I get the technique down, I'll try to time it with my remote and take photos of myself.

tim11
07-31-2006, 05:28 PM
There is a technique called PANNING. Slow shutter and you follow the subject's motion. I use burst mode and select the best of the sequence then discard the rest. I don't know how the remote flash comes in though.
cdnphotographer: PS for Photoshop? Am I right? And you called yourself cdnPHOTOGRAPHER? :)
pbeck: I understand you want to have your own photos like that but IF you succeed in taking yourself with a remote you will be in some sort of record book.

GaryS
07-31-2006, 07:19 PM
The bad thing is: I'm a skater first and a photographer second.

Thats so true. I used to be a BMX racer/freestyler... and part-time photographer. I have TONS of great shots of my buddies from back then, and only 2 pictures of myself to show the kids... Luckily I still have the scars to prove I knew how to do it!

Vich
07-31-2006, 08:55 PM
There is a technique called PANNING. Slow shutter and you follow the subject's motion. I use burst mode and select the best of the sequence then discard the rest. I don't know how the remote flash comes in though.
cdnphotographer: PS for Photoshop? Am I right? And you called yourself cdnPHOTOGRAPHER? :)
pbeck: I understand you want to have your own photos like that but IF you succeed in taking yourself with a remote you will be in some sort of record book.
I think he may have ment a flash that's off-camera (ie: remote controlled). Yes, using a flash on your subject with exposure set for the flash, and panning, will help to freeze your subject while having an exaggerated motion blur for the background. The flash isn't essential but does contribute to the clarity of the subject.

With your P&S, you can just pan and shoot. Of course, a very fast shutter speed won't make the background look blury, but even then, a wider aperture will help with that (background blur) and even mild motion will set it to action.

Note: If you have IS, turn it off.