Monday, March 11, 2013

Hitting The Slopes

We had the pleasure of being hired by two families of soon-to-be high school seniors (currently in the latter portion of their junior year at Fairport High School) to capture the "casual" portion of their senior photo session. Both boys, willing to be photographed at the same time, have a Bristol Mountain history.

Nick (senior in 2013-2014) is a snow boarder.

Matt (senior also in 2013-2014) is an avid, traditional skiier.

Both young men asked to have this particular portion of their session captured at the beautiful Bristol Mountain Ski Resort. General Manager Dan Fuller, & top of the mountain snowmobile specialist Gregory Sherman, were very helpful in making this whole photo project come to fruition.

With our primary date of Friday, March 8th in place our only concern now - the weather! Well somebody "up there" had our best interest in mind as it was an absolutely gorgeous, partly sunny & mild temperature day. All concerned were excited and so off we went. The young men, up the chair lift to meet us at SHOOTING STAR trail, were anxious to go!

My wife & I, via County Rd #32 & South Hill Road, drove up to Bristol's Nordic Ski Center. It was there that Greg met us, snowmobile at the ready, to escort us to the upper portion of the SHOOTING STAR trail. It is this trail, which the boys selected, that contained several "jumps" which best suited there style of skiing / snowboarding. By the way, I don't know what we would have done without Greg. An amicable "easy rider", Greg could not have been more friendly & helpful. Look at the man .. does it not look like he is enjoying his job or what ?

While it was indeed a beautiful, partly sunny day .. a day absolutely adorable for a skier .. it is a photographer's NIGHTMARE !!!

Why you ask? Bright sunshine means a very contrasty day, photographically speaking. For you enthusiast photographers, this means that you must; a) expose for the background .. and .. b) fill in your subject with flash. To be more exact, on part of the photo session (while the boys were hugging the Southerly edge of the downward sloping trail - heading West to East), we had to set our dlsr cameras (in M mode) to properly expose for the background, natural (ambient) light. Actually we adjusted our settings to darken the background just a bit. We then went ahead and adjusted our remote controlled, (via a pair of Pocket Wizards radio triggers) off camera flash gun, to fill in the shaded (facing opposite the Sun) side of the skier / snow boarder. A very high speed shutter setting was required to both knock down the ambient light & freeze the motion of the skier. This kind of shutter setting pushes the flash photographer into what we refer to as HIGH SPEED SYNC. It is a way of squeezing the flash in between the very fast pair of shutter curtains found inside a modern day dlsr (digital single lens reflex) or digital camera, the type with interchangeable lenses.

A little later on, we had the guys move over to the opposite side of the trail where we proceeded to capture a faster paced, downhill action series of photos. In this case, & with the Sun now blasting our young men, we opted to forgo the flash & simply concentrate on a very high shutter speed action. In this case we added (since we were no longer using flash) a bit more exposure to the front of the guys and, if need be, let the background go a little brighter. We were most concerned with the action at this point. Shutter speeds ranged in between 1/1000 & 1/2000 of a second in order to freeze the motion. Any extra background exposure was adjusted for in Adobe Photoshop post production.

We had an absolutely wonderful day working with these fine young men. We believe they had fun also.
They will certainly have some very fond memories, as they grow older, looking back on what they accomplished as young, high school men. I have to admit that, while photographing these guys, I had the "itch" to fly down that hill. Sadly, I soon came to my senses ... DARN !!!

Our 4 high school senior packages range from just $110 up to
$ 290 for the most comprehensive session .. NO SITTING FEES ! ... NO GIMMICKS ! The final chosen yearbook photo is uploaded to the school yearbook .. you do absolutely NOTHING ! We handle everything ...

Check out STOCHL IMAGING on Facebook !!!

Also, be sure to view our website: for more gallery samples and information !!!