Skate Park Set

Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,043
Location
Pittsburgh
A few days ago my friend asked me to take some pictures of him skating. I have never tried it before and gave it a shot. Some things I learned as I went:
1. Talk to the skate before they go to know what side their face will be and where they will do the tricks.
2. Observe where most skating lines so you don't block the other skaters at the park.
3. Bring some water to keep hydrated.

Any C&C would be appreciated to get better.

1. Air Walking
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DSC_1084.jpg by bry1865, on Flickr

2. Grinding
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DSC_1011.jpg by bry1865, on Flickr

3. Ollie
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DSC_1192.jpg by bry1865, on Flickr

4. Accomplishment
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DSC_1193.jpg by bry1865, on Flickr
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
3,705
Location
New Zealand
It would be nice to blur out the backgrounds a bit, tricky with a wide angle though.
No.1 seems a bit dark.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
779
Location
New York
Is it better to crop in tighter for skate photos?
The answer is "it depends" :smile: You have to ask the following question when you take a shot. Does the background add to the story? If not, then shoot tight. Frequently photographers shoot tight to focus on the action or the athlete's facial expression. But a nice background can add to the story. An example is Tour de France pictures where the beautiful mountains in the background add to the shots.

I would have liked to have some blur.
You used a wide angle for these shots and it would be difficult to blur the background even if you open up the lens wide. Based on your signature, you have a 55-200 lens. Then use longer focal length to blur the background. Another technique is shoot low or high so that you use the sky or the ground as your background. Kind of like #3. But watch out for sunny sky :smile: One more technique you can try is panning. It conveys a sense of motion and blurs the background at the same time. Not sure what SS you should try since I have not shot skaters before. You can experiment with, say 1/50, and adjust up and down accordingly.

I will brighten up #1 a bit.
#1 is backlit. You can add fill flash next time. You can also use rear curtain sync combined with panning to stop motion and blur the background at the same time.

Russ has a good idea about reading magazines to get some ideas about how to shoot. I read SI regularly as well as visiting track and field web sites to get inspiration. Study the pictures slowly. What is the main message of the photo? Where is the focal point? How does the photographer bring attention to the focal point? Figure out where the photographer stands in relation to the skater. Does he use a wide angle or telephoto? Does he add lots of background to the picture and why? Is it a high SS shot to freeze action or a panning shot to show motion? It is my belief that if you can articulate why a magazine picture is good then you posses the skill to duplicate the picture (may need expensive equipment and field access at times :smile:)

But more importantly go out and enjoy your shooting.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,043
Location
Pittsburgh
I don't know! Look at other pics on the web or magazines. Mixing it up a bit may be the way to go with cropping.
Thank You, I didn't think about checking out magazines to get a feel for it.

The answer is "it depends" :smile: You have to ask the following question when you take a shot. Does the background add to the story? If not, then shoot tight. Frequently photographers shoot tight to focus on the action or the athlete's facial expression. But a nice background can add to the story. An example is Tour de France pictures where the beautiful mountains in the background add to the shots.



You used a wide angle for these shots and it would be difficult to blur the background even if you open up the lens wide. Based on your signature, you have a 55-200 lens. Then use longer focal length to blur the background. Another technique is shoot low or high so that you use the sky or the ground as your background. Kind of like #3. But watch out for sunny sky :smile: One more technique you can try is panning. It conveys a sense of motion and blurs the background at the same time. Not sure what SS you should try since I have not shot skaters before. You can experiment with, say 1/50, and adjust up and down accordingly.



#1 is backlit. You can add fill flash next time. You can also use rear curtain sync combined with panning to stop motion and blur the background at the same time.

Russ has a good idea about reading magazines to get some ideas about how to shoot. I read SI regularly as well as visiting track and field web sites to get inspiration. Study the pictures slowly. What is the main message of the photo? Where is the focal point? How does the photographer bring attention to the focal point? Figure out where the photographer stands in relation to the skater. Does he use a wide angle or telephoto? Does he add lots of background to the picture and why? Is it a high SS shot to freeze action or a panning shot to show motion? It is my belief that if you can articulate why a magazine picture is good then you posses the skill to duplicate the picture (may need expensive equipment and field access at times :smile:)

But more importantly go out and enjoy your shooting.
I didn't think about panning, its something I haven't had that much luck with yet but keep trying to get better at it. It was a lot of fun getting out trying something new. Thank You.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
5,301
Location
San Jose, CA
Good start, Bryan.

Consider adding your flash as fill light, or with your D90, trigger it remotely. In bright sunlight, Nikon's infrared CLS system doesn't always work, but it's worth a go.

You could also slow the shutter speed down to show action, but what a lot of people think in the sports forum on the Cafe here isn't necessarily applicable to skating/biking (BMX/Mountain biking) photos. Dragging the shutter doesn't make an image look fast and cool... it look ridiculous.

Most skate photos I can remember from all my years of rollerblading and skateboarding were never blurry because, well, motion wasn't important. Focus on the trick was important. Intensity, style, etc. all play a small role, but in this type of sport, it's all about the trick and the talent behind the trick. Not about showing speed, sweat, etc.

...unless you're doing a journalistic approach. Then all of that plays an equal role.

Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see your next set. :)
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,043
Location
Pittsburgh
Good start, Bryan.

Consider adding your flash as fill light, or with your D90, trigger it remotely. In bright sunlight, Nikon's infrared CLS system doesn't always work, but it's worth a go.

You could also slow the shutter speed down to show action, but what a lot of people think in the sports forum on the Cafe here isn't necessarily applicable to skating/biking (BMX/Mountain biking) photos. Dragging the shutter doesn't make an image look fast and cool... it look ridiculous.

Most skate photos I can remember from all my years of rollerblading and skateboarding were never blurry because, well, motion wasn't important. Focus on the trick was important. Intensity, style, etc. all play a small role, but in this type of sport, it's all about the trick and the talent behind the trick. Not about showing speed, sweat, etc.

...unless you're doing a journalistic approach. Then all of that plays an equal role.

Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see your next set. :)
Thank You, I didn't think about the flash at the time since it was just a random stop by. Once I got there I wish I had it. I hope to get back out soon
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
481
Location
Oregon
I'll echo the comments about using flash to fill. The other option is to put the sun at your back so the skater's are front-lit. For me, nne of the most important things about sport shots is getting faces. You did that well just need to bring them a little more to the forefront...
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,043
Location
Pittsburgh
I'll echo the comments about using flash to fill. The other option is to put the sun at your back so the skater's are front-lit. For me, nne of the most important things about sport shots is getting faces. You did that well just need to bring them a little more to the forefront...
I will try to get them to do tricks with the sun in the other direction more if I don't have a flash with me. With the faces I went through and cut out the ones where the face wasn't visible for the first pass through.
 

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