Photography and ski-ing have a lot in common really…
I mean everyone knows that old joke about ‘bendz zee kneez’ when you are ski-ing but its pretty important to bend them when you are taking photographs as well. Bending your knees when you have a camera in hand can lead to all sorts of new visual terrain and creative image making.
While sports photography in general and ski photography in particular is often really quite straightforward it can require special equipment and skills that not everyone possesses. Some of the most spectacular types of ski-photography require the photographer to trek into back country wilderness equipped with specialised lenses and lighting and this is just way beyond the means of most keen snappers.
So how can you turn your precious ski-ing moments from just more than ubiquitous photographic wallpaper on Facebook into something that could be printed and hung on a wall to savour for all time? Well lets begin with the angles…
Photography is 90% composition and 10% inspiration….the best photographs always have a natural sense of grace which can generally be attributed to their compositional strengths, in fact there are some rules that can guide you to improve your composition but the very best photographers generally have an innate sense of what those rules are and then try and break them at every opportunity. Real artists show us a different world through their eyes and often can take an ordinary photographic situation and can turn it into an extraordinary image.
But what has this to do with your wish to capture and create a great photographic memory of little Annabelle who is ski-ing down the slope by herself for the first time? Well if you look at todays picture you will see that this is a very different photograph of ski activity than most of us are used to.
Though in many ways it adheres to many of the very conventional compositional rules that are commonly used in photography.
In this case the frame is broken into three horizontal sections by the outline of the safety net. This kind of structuring of the image into three sections is known universally as ‘The Rule Of Golden Thirds’. It is used to create a more interesting image but is dependent on the placement of other objects inside the frame.
Of course to make this image it was absolutely crucial to bend the knees. Taken from a standing viewpoint this image would not have been as interesting as it would simply have been an amorphous photograph of a jumble of people ski-ing Front Valley at Perisher.
Without the inclusion of the safety net there would be no specific subject and this is important to give the viewer a clearly defined idea of what they are meant to be looking at. In this case one can see that the safety net pulls the necessary information into clear focus, this is about novice skiers making their way down the hill.
This photo was taken with a standard lens and a just short stroll to the bottom of the ski slope.
So next time you are on the hill with young Sarah or Jack and you want to make a photograph that is memorable but not a big deal to capture, just remember ‘bendz zee kneez’ and you might find a whole new world open up for you…