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September 07, 2015

Here’s how you can wire up for next season:5 Things Every Snowboard Photographer Should Be Doing in Summer

#1. Learn from other types of photography

When the snow disappears leaving your wondering what to shoot, take a drive around town. I promise you can find a lot of complementing action sports near by. Head to the local skate park, wakeboard park, mountain bike trails or race car track and get your shoot on.

Try creative techniques like panning or a slow shutter with rear flash to get new tricks under your belt. These take time to get right so it’s a perfect opportunity to mess up some frames before your friends are doing crazy tricks that you won’t want to mess up during winter.

When the weather is poor outside or you’re just not motivated to go anywhere, get some friends around and try portrait photography. It’s not only exciting and fun hanging out with mates doing random shots with the camera (a few beers may help with being camera shy ), but the process of creating lighting arrangements for your make-shift studio are skills that will improve your action and snowboard photography tremendously.

So get amongst in Summer and achieve the skills to impress in Winter.

mountain bike photography
summer portrait of woman

#2. Utilize the sunny days to experiment with light

Snowboard photography is just as much about light as it is about snowboarding. So make sure to utilize the sunny days in summer to practice working with different light settings. The usual golden hour gives the best light, but up on the ski field that is often not available with lift operating hours etc. Go shoot right now during the middle of the day, ignore colour and get creative with contrasting the sharp shadows with the bright highlights. When your post process turn these contrasted shots black and white and check the amazing textures.

Try back lighting by shooting into the sun instead of with your back to it. Shooting directly into the sun gives some magic silhouettes and you can give your photos those lens flares which add atmosphere to the shot or create sun stars. A smaller aperture (larger Fstop) also helps with sharper sun stars.

wakeboarder in front of sun

#3. Find new inspiration

A kicker is a kicker is a kicker. Or is it? Summer is the perfect time to soak up new inspiration for your snowboard photography. There’s no rush, you’re wearing your Hawaiian shirt and have plenty of time to visualize what you want to achieve next Winter. There’s no shame in checking out fellow photographers’ work and mix it with your own ambition. Soak up inspiration via Instagram, Pinterest, 500px etc, and find photos in your genre that you like. Study how the most liked photos have used things like lighting, effects, details and compositions and think about how you could integrate successful techniques into your own work.
urban bike photography

#4. Contact the crew and sort out winter missions

If you are looking to improve your snowboard photography the upcoming season as well as smashing powder, then make sure to put yourself in an environment with great people who inspire you to pick up your game. Whether they are fellow snowboard photographers or snowboarders who are keen on going the extra mile to get the epic shots – get them involved! Inspiration feeds inspiration – and wicked shots.

As the saying goes “it’s hard to sore like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys”. If possible, seek out more experienced photographers to team up with. Not only do they motivate you, but you will learn a lot as well. Even if it’s just silently watching their approach, your learning curve might explode after a week.

Reach out and email people in your area that you know or have heard of. You can also go to local shops and ask if they know of any snowboard photographers in your area. Another approach is to start following photographers on social media and find a way to get in touch or invite them on a mission.

It’s easy to book a flight and get your butt to any ski destination within hours. But to get a great crew involved sorting out destination, dates, accommodation etc. is way more complicated.

Start planning your missions already in Summer. Planning ahead… yep, the idea is not very appealing. But hey, if you get the right crew together that you can learn from and who motivate you to push further, you can feed of that inspiration the rest of the year. That’s worth a slight comprise on flexibility, isn’t it?

snowboarder standing outside

Photo | Lukas Riedl

#5. Stock up on photography gear and learn how to use it

Think ahead and get your photography gears sorted during Summer/Fall. There’s nothing worse than having to wait 4 weeks for an international shipment of gear goodness when the sun is out and the lines are fresh. You might find some great deals now when you have time to wait for shipments.

Another advantage of stocking up early is that you can take your time to get to know your new gears.
Whether you are thinking of buying a new camera, an off camera flash or even a new camera bag. Gain familiarity and start practicing. Things happen fast in the mountains, it’s too cold to be figuring out how to put your flash in slave mode or how to set your interval timer, so figure it out now and get your shot when it counts.

And then just go shoot. “The more I practice, the luckier I get” a golf master once said.

photographer wearing photography gloves

#6. Bonus tip

If you have been shooting in the cold before then you know of the debacle between keeping your hands warm and operating your gear.

We have the solution! Vallerret Photography Gloves are launching a brand new photography pipe glove designed for Ski and Snowboard Photographers.

Wouldn’t you be happier with warmer hands? Hows about including some sweet photography gloves to your gear collection this Winter.

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