Calling all skateboard photographers...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by chrisburke, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    I've been doing skateboard photos for a while now.. I love it.. its a lot of fun... but I've never really tried night time stuff.. mainly because I havent had the lighting.. I'm sure with the gear I have now I must be able to get some decent looking shots... But I'm actually kind of oblivious as to positioning of the lights and such... could anyone maybe give me some pointers.. even some setup ideas that I can practice with...

    heres the gear I have...

    Nikon D50
    Nikon D40 with Phottix Battery Grip
    AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED
    AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G
    Merkury Optics 52mm 0.45x Wide Lens w/Macro
    SunPak PF30x Speedlight
    Nikon SB-50DX Speedlight (this has a built in slave)
    Nikon SC-29

    I've also got a couple tripods and one of those work lights (the yellow ones..) but no stand for it..

    heres a sample of what I really like... i assume most of the crisp look of this photo is because of the lighting...

    http://img.skitch.com/20080921-emj8cbgkhb913a5nycxitmpue4.jpg
     
  2. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I think you don't need much gear.

    Camera on tripod (probably low to the ground!),
    Set the aperture for a stop or two below (underexposed) what it would be if the flash were to be used normally in the scene.
    Put the shutter on B,
    Then with a remote in one hand and the flash in the other position yourself to flash the guy,
    Start the camera before he gets into position and just when he gets there pop the flash and release the B - thus closing the shutter,
    Check results and adjust as needed.

    So, needed equipment is just a pod that can get low, a remote that supports B, and a flash you can fire by hand.

    If you have an optical slave you could set up a second or third flash too if you wanted.

    This method if done right, will expose the BG like cool night photography and freeze the skateboarder too. Don't go too long on the B or your skateboarder will be a ghost. :D
     
  3. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    B i assume is bulb>??
     
  4. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yeah... Bulb... you control the shutter manually...

    Open about one or two seconds before he gets there and close it fairly soon after you pop the flash. Use a lower ISO if your overexposing or ghosting the rider.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Also if your iris is small enough you can step into the frame when you pop the flash and get some wicked flash stars (flares) without leaving any traces of you being in frame. ;)
     
  6. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    so am I firing the flash manually??? just trying to get the idea here...

    set up the camera on tripod... use the remote... put it on blub mode... hit the shutter just before he does the trick, then when he's in position, hit the flash (manually??) then hit the shutter again to release it? is that what your saying? sorry i just sometimes need things laid out very plainly..
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yup! you got it.

    And if you have an optical slave ($10) you can setup a second flash for fill or whatever.
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    my second flash has a built in optical flash... so do I want to point the flash right at the skater or like beside him or where?? as i said, i'm new to night time stuff so I'm sorry if i sound like a noob...
     
  9. Ejazzle

    Ejazzle TPF Noob!

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    if you need extra light, car headlights help out alot too,

    i wish i knew what an optical slave was...
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Positioning the second flash is totally up to you and the location you're shooting in. If you want some ideas on that do a search for "two point lighting" and "three point lighting" and that will likely give you some basis from which to get creative. There's probably lots of info at that "strobist" site too.


    Ej,
    An optical slave:
     
  11. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    an optical slave is something that you attach to your flash.. it has a sensor built in.. and when one flash goes off, the senor sees the flash and causes the other flash to go off as well... this is one here.. its bascially the poor mans pocket wizzard.. http://cgi.ebay.ca/Optical-Slave-Tr...7220827QQihZ009QQcategoryZ30084QQcmdZViewItem

    but they work great.. my flash has one built in..
     
  12. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    assuming you can fire your flashes off camera you should be set as far as equipment goes. i agree with whoever said using your headlights to light up an area too, that's worked pretty good for me.

    as far as that picture goes, i would guess there is just a single flash to the left of the frame about 5 feet up or so
     

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