Professional Photographer to the Rescue: ski photography tips for dramatic action

    | Photography Tips | 22/03/2013 00:01am

    In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our professional photographer takes our apprentice to the slopes in Switzerland for an Alpine adventure in ski photography.

    Professional Photographer to the Rescue: ski photography tips for dramatic action shots

    Meet our professional photographer

    Ross Woodhall originally trained as an electrician, but discovered he could make a living from photography while working as a caretaker in a ski resort.

    Having started out by taking pictures of punters on the piste, he is now a top commercial photographer specialising in extreme sports. You can check out his adrenaline-fuelled portfolio of pictures at

    Meet our apprentice

    Chris Harden is from Rochdale and spent six years in the army, where he trained as a mechanic and learnt to ski. He works as a truck driver, and wants to learn to improve his action photography. We took him to Valais in Switzerland to brush up on his parallel turns and his high-speed DSLR shooting skills.

    Technique Assessment

    After a couple of warm up runs on the La Fouly blue runs, Ross took a timeout to show Chris how he could set up his D3000 better for action shooting…

    Ski photography tips from our professional photographer: manual mode

    Check the manual!

    Chris had been using the Sports Scene mode for his previous action pictures. But I told him that he had to use Manual if he was going to survive in the snow!

    Ski photography tips from our professional photographer: Dynamic Area

    Focus on the turns
    For tracking shots use the AF-C continuous autofocus mode, and set the AF Area to Dynamic. This gives you the best shot at keeping a high-speed skier sharp.

    Ski photography tips from our professional photographer: Continuous shooting

    Keep shooting
    A motorwind is the sports photographer’s best friend. Use the fastest continuous release mode your camera offers  – Chris’ Nikon D3000 offers 3fps (frames per second).

    Bright light blues
    Ross says… We shot in Manual with the same settings, but Chris’ shots appeared darker than mine. Turning off the LCD Auto Dim option in his menu soon solved this discrepancy.

    PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
    PAGE 2: Ski photography tips for during the shoot
    PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
    PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
    PAGE 5: Shot of the Day


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    Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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