Tim Humphreys is an amazing snowboarder. He is also an amazing photographer. It takes extreme skill and dedication to take your own photos while snowboarding. Here are 10 Tips straight from Tim to help you better your photography game!
1- Have a Clean Lens:
Clean your lens, and check it before you shoot any photos. I always carry a lens cloth with me when I ride. The lens cloth is great for my goggles, and to get any water spots off my GoPro lens. I check my lens regularly because it’s really easy for snow to kick up and make a spot on my lens. One little drop can mean a blown photo or video.
2- Go No Housing (if possible):
The Housing is very important to keep your camera safe, especially while snowboarding. Sometimes it’s for the better if I leave my GoPro housing on because of weather, but that extra pane of glass between the lens can sometimes play with your shot especially if there is dust on the inside. In colder weather, the housing can sometimes fog if there’s moisture inside. I try to use the GoPro “Frame” whenever I can.
3- Get to Know Photo Modes:
There’s a lot of options, and depending on your situation, you’ll have to get creative. On my GoPro Hero3+ Black edition, I have a few options:
It’s good for a lifestyle photo, or anything that doesn’t require perfect timing.
With this mode, I can have my camera automatically shoot a photo every .5 seconds until my card runs out of space, or the battery runs out. The upside is that I push the shutter button once, and then i don’t have to touch it again until I think I have a shot. The only downside is that a lot can go down in that other .49 seconds in between while shooting photos.
This is my mode of choice in most circumstances. I have some options for how it’s delivered, but the best I’ve found is 30 photos in 3 seconds. There’s a small delay, then my GoPro rattles off 10 frames every second for 3 seconds. That’s plenty of time to easily capture a photo off a big jump! There is about 5 seconds of buffer time after the burst is over, so shooting multiple things right after each other may not be a reality with this mode.
POV Cameras such as the GoPro lock their exposure to the conditions when the shutter button is pressed. This only applies to photo sequence modes. Video will change to the light. That’s fine if you’re shooting a single photo, but what about a time lapse, or the 30 photo burst? If you’re in the shade when you start, then go out into the sun, chances are the photos in the sun will be overexposed. Something most people don’t realize is that your body shadow can cause this, and especially your hand covering the lens when you use the shutter button on the camera. Using the remote to trigger a photo burst helps me out in a few ways. The exposure is usually way better because I can hold my camera in position and frame up the shot when I trigger a photo burst with the remote.
It’s all about being creative. My classic selfie shots are all done with a small 4-5″ handle made out of the connector pieces that came in the box with my GoPro. That’s what I use 90% of the time. Extender poles are cool for photos too, and the remote is a must if you’re rattling off a 30 photo burst. How else do you trigger the camera all the way out there on that pole?!
Image quality on my GoPro, and all other POV cameras directly relates to the lighting conditions outside. I get the best images when it’s full sun, but not directly overhead. Too early in the AM and too late in the afternoon definitely have awesome colors, but I get motion blur if there isn’t enough ambient light. Full overhead sun isn’t the best for shooting snow because it usually comes out overexposed, but it can work because your shadow will be right below you and can provide a ground reference showing how high up you are. Try messing around with different lighting to see what you like the best!
What you’re doing in the photo is cool and all, but how cool does everything else in the background look? When I hit jumps, I love it when there’s tons of people standing on the jump because they all look like little ants below me and show how high up I really am. Is it just trees all around, or am I way up on a mountain above the clouds overlooking a heavenly domain?
8- Bring A Friend:
How much cooler is it when you have a friend all up in the action?! Getting the selfie with your friend in the shot is gold, guaranteed! Your friend can also provide you with different insights and angles towards getting the perfect shot.
9- Take Advantage of Previewing your Photos On Location:
With my GoPro, I can connect to my phone via Wifi and use the GoPro App to preview all my photos on that camera. It’s nice to know that I got the shot and can move on to something new. I can also save it to my phone and upload the photo to my instagram and other social media on the spot.
10- Throw What You Know:
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Ever done a backflip before? If not, then its probably not the best time to learn one while you’re trying to shoot a selfie. Remember, the trick is nothing unless the photo is clear and looking in the correct direction which requires a lot of composure. Sometimes keeping it simple gives you the best results. If I’m trying something very difficult, I usually do a few practice attempts. Once comfortable, I then work my camera into the equation.
Snowboarding is all about having fun. Taking photos of yourself is a great way to relive your experience on the mountain and also track your snowboarding progress. I always use my photos & videos to work on my tricks and style. Keep Snowboarding and keep trying to get the shot!
Check out Tim in action!
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