Skateboarding at Minnehaha Park

I was at Minnehaha Falls Park this last Saturday to take some engagement photos, but that fell through. I saw some guys go by on skateboards, one carrying a video camera, another a tripod, and I was intrigued. I headed over. I talked with Nick, the video guy, and he said I could take some stills, so I set up.

I was able to take some shots with no flash, but catching the guys going in and out of shadow from the pavilion wasn’t working. I set up a SB900 on camera as commander, and a SB900 as off camera remote. I really needed more light. Maybe using two, maybe adding some actual flash from the on camera light, but I had it directed at the off camera one. I didn’t use a softbox, just the bare light, sometimes gridded with a Honl grid. Neither worked great, because the beam of light was fairly narrow. The guys didn’t always jump from the same spot, and I wasn’t on a tripod. Sometimes I got a good flash, most of the time, I didn’t.

That image worked pretty well with the flash, but I still needed to lighten him a bit with the adjustment brush in lightroom. I needed bigger light, or more speedlights. This shot is with the skater coming from dark into sunlight. To make him pop I needed something more.

Also, I was using my 17-55 f2/8 lens, most of the time at f/4.0. Since I was relying on the camera’s dynamic autofocus, and the skater coming somewhat toward me, I wanted a bit of leeway in the focus plane. Unfortunately, at f/4 at wider apertures, I am getting tons in focus in the background. I took one image into photoshop to blur the background. Not sure if I like it, maybe I over did it, but he does pop.

I was also playing around with a gritty black and white look. I converted to B/W in Lightroom, and then added lots of clarity and grain, which is new in the Lightroom Beta’s. I think it kinda looks like old shool skate rags, but that could also be wistful thinking.

I took a ton of shots, and came away with about 30 that I posted. I was going to host them here, but really, I need a new section on this site to do that, so for now, I decided to post the images on Flickr in this Skate set. I’ll probably get them hosted here soon. I also put a few on Facebook here. It should be a public album.

To the skaters, thanks for indulging me. I would be happy to get together and try again if you would like to. If you want to leave your name, I would be happy to give credit to the skaters in the images. Sorry, I really should have written those down. If anyone wants an image in B/W or color, let me know.

I also took a few bits of video on my D90, and want to get that into something. Check back in a bit.

2 thoughts on “Skateboarding at Minnehaha Park

  1. These are really neat. I need to work on more action shots. I’m a graphic design student at MSU-COT in Great Falls, MT. Your posts are very helpful. Dorthea

    • Action shots are fun. If that excites you, try to find where the action is, then go ask permission to take their pictures. Check in outdoor stores for locations where you might find the action.

Comments are closed.