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January 15, 2016 /Photography /

Secrets to Ski Action Photography from the Slopes

We took to the slopes to find out more behind Adobe Stock Contributor Roberto Caucino’s energetic and action-packed ski photography to find out how he captured it. Read on to go behind the scenes on one of Caucino’s ski shoots.

Skier performs a high speed turn on a ski slope. From the ski tip point of view. Sunny winter day. Concepts: vacation, speed, fun.

IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

I always had two passions: alpine skiing and photography. As a boy, I won some ski races in the Italian Alps, but I soon realized that I was not good enough to compete internationally. So I dedicated myself to photography, especially the magnificent mountain scenery and its fantastic winter sports. But I never forgot the excitement you feel when you get down fast on a light blanket of snow; it’s like magic. I wanted to freeze in a photograph this mood, photographing the skier more realistically, from skis. It’s a difficult task. In the past it was quite impossible; a SLR camera was too heavy, and small compact cameras do not ensure a good quality. There was also the problem of how to fix the camera firmly to the ski without damaging the camera and the skis themselves. With the release of action-cams these problems have been solved.

Freerider skier moving down in snow powder; italian alps.

IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

Well, the technique is quite simple. Take a GoPro and a suction cup, attach it to the tip of the ski and start taking a batch of photos with the intervalometer of the camera: you will get a nice amount of good self-portrait photos where you can choose the perfect one.

Skiing: male skier in powder snow. Italian Alps, Europe.

IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

The composition of this image is clean and essential (the golden rule for all my photographic works), only a few simple lines (snow/sky, skier/skis), one impersonal subject (due to the ski goggles), flat primary colors (full saturated red and blue) and plain shining white snow. The original jpg file has been just slightly modified in Photoshop CC: fixed the exposition and contrast, deleted some objects in background and enlarged the copy-space on the right using the Content-Aware Fill.

IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

If you want to try this, here are some tips:

  • The model should be a good skier: it’s important to be able to turn on the ski run at high speed.
  • Remember to connect the camera to the ski boot with a small safety rope: the suction cup may come off.
  • Set the intervalometer to shoot a photo every 0.5/1 sec.
  • Choose a flat, not too steep slope and go down fast with large smooth curves.
  • Be ready to work early in the morning as soon as the ski resorts open: the ski runs will be still empty and all for you.

In the same way, it’s possible to shoot video footage; here you can see an example from my Adobe Stock video portfolio: https://stock.adobe.com/uk/stock-photo/downhill-alpine-skiing-at-high-speed-on-powder-snow/59879011.

A big thanks to Roberto for sharing his story with us. You can find more of his beautiful images in his Adobe Stock portfolio.

Photography