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.