First time photographing a skateboarder, need feedback

Andy_Hodapp

EOS RP
Feb 11, 2012
205
3
25
Bozeman Montana
www.flickr.com
A local magazine that I often shoot for asked me to photograph this kid who skateboarded. I'm not very big into sports photography and was looking for some critiquing of my work. I was shooting with a Canon 5D MKII and a 17-40mm and 50mm 1.8. I tried to get as close to the guy as possible shooting as wide as possible to get some cool distortion. Was going to use a flash setup up but the sun overpowered my single Yongnuo YN-560 II. I was shooting at f/11 at about 1/800th at iso 800 because I really wanted to freeze the action and the autofocus system on the 5D needs as much leeway for depth of field. I would love some feedback if possible and maybe some advice as I would really like to photograph more skateboarders as I find it very interesting.

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Northstar

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 31, 2012
1,673
0
106
US - Midwest
I think they're great shots...nice!

I wonder if you could've had him jump off a ledge with you lying on your back on the ground shooting up at him...might work? Not directly under but off to the side a bit.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
Nice shots! Thanks for sharing.

I don't shoot sports/action that often, but you may want to experiment with panning -- longer exposure while you are panning with the camera at a speed consistent with the subject. It creates a nice sense of motion. Guys who photograph bicycle races do it often.

See here if you've never panned before:
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/sep/15/tom-jenkins-cycling-photo-tips
(Around 2:15 or 2:30 in the video, he walks through it.)

Enjoy and keep shooting!

- A
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
I like the action, but I don't like the background. the cars, fence, school make it less impressive.
 

BLFPhoto

Canon EOS user since '91...
jdramirez said:
I like the action, but I don't like the background. the cars, fence, school make it less impressive.

Concur. Needs more exciting background. You did well to get the boarder above the horizon with the wide angle, but either find a cleaner venue or use flash to drop the ambient and focus more on the boarder. The flat lighting makes subject separation difficult here with such a wide depth of field. 2nd curtain, off-camera flash with a bit of shutter drag also works well for board action shots to separate the subject and give the sense of action.
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
Background is far too sharp. Not saying you want an ultra thin dof, just have the DoF shallow enough to take the eye off the background. On the wall shot have the guy standing off the wall a little, use very shallow dof again to take the eye off the wall.
 
Aug 6, 2012
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0
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+1 to thinner DOF. A shot from an angle below with the sky as your background to emphasize the height of jump will also be nice to look at. Pre-focusing should do the trick. If you can use flash, then try a reflector to minimize the shadows a little bit. +1 also for panning. A little bit of motion blur might also be nice. If you've got zoom, try some focal zoom effect. I've tried this once on a train. Oh and one more thing you can try using a tripod multiple exposures. Try a fast continuous set of shots then combine them.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
Very nice, especially 3,4,5.

I like the board study. I like the last action shot best, I don't think you are lower, but he is higher, I always see that as being the way for these kind of shots: the board is essential to the sport, the drama is in the flight, the contact, so I would be at axle level or lower.

The roll -by shot with sun flare has smashing colours. I wouldn't worry about the fill flash here, ramp it up. The sun is always going to burn out at this time of day. Panning shot, you could have used a much slower shutter, so lower ISO etc HSS is always going to rob you of power, and here there's no need.

Good work.
 

Andy_Hodapp

EOS RP
Feb 11, 2012
205
3
25
Bozeman Montana
www.flickr.com

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
Andy_Hodapp said:
YuengLinger said:
Pretty good coming into this for the first time. Did you happen to find these videos, courtesy of Skateboarding Magazine?

How To: Composition - Skateboarding Photographer Michael Burnett - In Focus (Part 1 of 2)

Looks like you need nerves of steel and backup gear for some of these shots...

No, I didn't have any time to research anything about skateboard photography beforehand.

I had a job photographing an equestrian event and I spent a few hours looking at photos of others, seeing what I liked and integrating my own style.

if you are going to steal, steal from the best.
 
Aug 6, 2012
1,464
0
www.flickr.com
jdramirez said:
Andy_Hodapp said:
YuengLinger said:
Pretty good coming into this for the first time. Did you happen to find these videos, courtesy of Skateboarding Magazine?

How To: Composition - Skateboarding Photographer Michael Burnett - In Focus (Part 1 of 2)

Looks like you need nerves of steel and backup gear for some of these shots...

No, I didn't have any time to research anything about skateboard photography beforehand.

I had a job photographing an equestrian event and I spent a few hours looking at photos of others, seeing what I liked and integrating my own style.

if you are going to steal, steal from the best.

Steal, improvise, enhance, and own it. 8)
 
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iam2nd

Guest
Overall, great work for a first attempt. I would echo what others have said about the background being a distraction and pulling focus away from the subject.

In #1 and #5, I like the shadow on the pavement. #2 is a nice, classic pose, and I like the staggered foot stance. For inspiration and ideas, check out the work by smash13: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/smash13/ . Really good stuff and appeals to the current generation of street skaters.
 

Jim Saunders

EOS R
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
14
hhaphoto.com
Andy_Hodapp said:
Took some of the advice you guys gave me and used it for photographing a cross country meet for my high schools news magazine.

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I meant to reply to this sooner but I like this one, good sense of action from the blur. Sunlight on her face would have been ideal but making a good shot with what you've got is better than hoping for something you won't get!

Jim
 
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