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|Category:||Sports and Action|
How To Photograph Wakeboarders & Waterskiing - Barry Chignell shares his wakeboard and waterski photography advice.
- 70-300mm lens - This allowed me a good range to get both close up shots but also track the boat as it made its way towards me on the lake.
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When we arrived I asked some questions which would help me during the shoot:
- Where on the lake do the wakeboarders go?
- How many people would be wakeboarding that required photos?
- Where are the best vantage points?
I found there were 3 main vantage points for the shoot:
- Judges podiums – these were stands on the bank about 15 feet high with a great view up and down the lake.
- The bank – great for water level shots
- The boat – best vantage point but also the most unsteady (especially when turning 180 degrees without warning at, what felt like, 50mph!).
Next I moved to the bank. From this position I could get some great shots of the wave of water created by the wakeboarders turning before a trick.
Finally I jumped on the boat, at this point the light had started to fade and so I changed from auto ISO and ramped it up to 800. The main issue with the boat was the movement, I tried to get the shots while on a straight as this was the smoothest part of the ride.
Finally I did a bit of post processing which was basically just playing with the curves and applying a bit of sharpening to the shots. Cropping was generous on the more distant shots but having taken over 700 in 3 hours I had plenty to play about with!
- Research – ask about the location and the sport to find the best position to get shots.
- Change your perspective – move about the area and get shots form different angles to change the view.
- Take LOADS of shots – the more you have, the better chance one will be what you're after!
- Pick your day - I did not have a choice about the weather or time of day but the better the light the better the photo.
- Have your camera ready – set up your equipment long before you are expected to start as the boat and subject will be quick and leave no time for adjustments!
- Have a waterproof camera bag – you're near water, be safe and protect your gear!
- High shutter speeds – Anything over 1/2000th sec and between f/2 and f/6 works well.
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