As simple as it can be

11 02 2012


Last week I decided to bring my gear with me at a xc ski training. After the (tough) training, I grabbed a friend and his girlfriend and brought them near the lake to do a quick, run & gun style stock shooting.

In winter, it is always difficult for the photographer to keep the model active. You don’t want them to freeze by not moving, so you have to work quickly. A great way to do this is to let the flashes home and work only with natural light. It is tough to let it go (the flashes) but it also feel liberating to carry only a a camera and a few lenses. You just need to choose the exposure carefully and you’re good to go.

In this particular shoot, it wasn’t the best time of day to use natural light (noon), but if you expose for the skin tones, it give the shot a very stockish look because of the slightly overexposed background.  You only have to work the shadows a little bit in Lightroom and you’re good.

Overall, it took about 20 to 30 minutes to get 9 great shots. I first did a few portraits, then some lifestyle shots and finally some action shots. The great thing with natural light is that your shutter speed and frame rate are not a limitation anymore. I was able to work at 8fps and 1/1250 sec. Reminded me when I was shooting sports for an agency and about 1000 to 2000 images a day 🙂 I used a Canon 7D with a 17-40mm F/4, a 50mm F/1.4 and a 70-200mm F/2.8 IS.

Finally, I must that I used a speedlight on my camera to fill the shadows a little bit, but it wasn’t powerful enough, so the difference between shots with flash and without flash is not visible.

Here are a few of the images. You can see the rest on iStockphoto at my personal page:

One last thing. If you ever shoot cross-country skiing, try as hard as you can to find skis that are not Fischer. As much as I liked those skis to actually «ski», they are horrible when you need to remove logos and brand. (But they are amazingly good on the snow :))