Norfolk Snowsports club is a great place full to the brim of people enjoying themselves hurtling down slopes on Ski’s, Snowboards and Tubes. The staff and club members are great, all friendly, positive and keen to help out and I was lucky to get out on the slopes last week during the evening to photograph some of the signed-off freestyle snowboarders and skiers as they performed some tricks on the centre’s half pipe and kicker.
I’d planned employing a few photographic techniques on the evening to photograph a number of tricks and brought half a tonne of lighting gear to then haul up Norwich’s very own alpine mountain. The snowsports club overlooks the fine city of Norwich and the club’s bright fluorescent green spotlights which illuminate the slopes are in great contrast to the city’s orangey hues lighting the Cathedral and ominous County Hall buildings.
I had to have a go at juxtaposing the city and the ski-slope and set about photographing a jump from the very large half pipe overlooking the city. It’s not an easy photograph and not an easy trick for riders to perform, it’s a very high half-pipe that sucks the speed out of you as you get to it’s edge so to get some air above it is difficult as too is balancing the lighting on the slope with that of the city beyond for a decent photograph. Hopefully we managed a few good frames of this image of rider and city scape.
Another image I’d planned was based around the half-pipe and again relied on the riders getting air above the crest of the pipe. I was trying a complicated technique which involved coloured stroboscopic flash followed by a freezing rear synced blast of solid flash. Timing and safe distance of the main flash was a bit of an issue on this planned shot so I reverted to straight forward freezing the moment flash for a few frames where the riders managed to get some good air or looked great.
Finally, I moved onto the kicker and worked on a number of techniques. Using two Godox AD600b flashes I managed to use the spray from the sprinklers on the slope to soak the lens of my camera for a few frames with some serious flare from both my flash units and the club’s spotlights. I also played around a little with panning with camera and flash supplying a pop of light in rear sync before finally moving on to some stroboscopic work once we’d managed to isolate a few of the spotlights on the slope and put them out of action in a very small area.
Hopefully, you’ll like some of the photographs. It was my first time shooting this venue at night, even for an experienced photographer such as myself, it’s hard work, lots to think about and lots to do in a short time from making sure the gear is safe and set up correctly to moving the gear around on the slopes and finally shooting and producing some shots. Not everything went 100% as expected but that’s part of photography, I’m looking forward to working on the slopes again at some point soon.