While reviewing some random GoPro photos in Spring 2014, I noticed the beautiful pattern in the water as the ski sinks during a landing. So I set out to capture that moment with nice light and colors. After nearly a dozen set on various skis, water conditions, and lighting, I started to figure out a few tricks for a better shot.
The Money Shot!
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How I did it:
- Sun should be high in the sky to illuminate ski and water.
- Squirt RainX on the water housing lens cover just before riding to reduce water spotting.
- Place neck of clip between index and middle fingers during deepwater start (easier to hold camera and handle at the same time, bottom of clip is flat against the handle)
- Set up for shot with sun overhead and slightly from the rear, but avoid skier’s shadow and spray shadow on the ski as it sinks.
- 30-33 mph on 68-foot line, cut out hard left.
- Out wide with reduced line tension – 2-3 quick hard blows (breath) on the lens cover to clear any water spots.
- Twist handle vertical and hold camera on top to reduce splashing.
- Cut across both wakes to flats on right side
- After letting go of the rope (no gloves for better camera control), hold camera extended overhead (landscape) with both arms to avoid water splash
- As ski starts sinking, press button to take burst (30 frames in 3 seconds)
- Move camera from overhead position downward to about belly button during peak moments.
- point center of lens about 12 inches back from tip of ski.
- Watch sun angle and splash
- Tail wind is best to reduce water spotting on the lens cover. Many great shots were wrecked by splashing.
With the right conditions I usually repeat this process 6-10 times…that’s 180-300 photos in one set.
The best shots are a perfect combination of ski and water color, sun angle, wind direction, keeping water off the lens cover, and quite a few attempts.
A nice combination of ski color, water color, and lighting. On my vintage 1980s HO Turbo.
The darker water of Canyon Lake makes an interesting contrast with the white HO Turbo. I had a nice tail wind while taking this shot which kept the water splash down, but the afternoon sun was lower in the sky and there is a shadow on the ski cast from the water.
Great water color, but the black on this HO Freeride flattens this image.