12 tips to take into account when taking photos of descent

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12 tips to keep in mind when taking photos of descent

  • mtb descent
  • downhill
  • sports photographer
  • freeride
  • Freeride Mountain Biking
  • freeride mtb
  • tricks photography
  • sports photography tricks

After a few weeks with some pause when writing in my photography blog today I return with an article that will come in handy if you are thinking about doing a photo session of descent .

Certainly, some of these tips are also applicable for other types of sports photography , bmx, skateboard, dirt jump … However I wanted to point out the details to take into account for photos of downhill, and I will try to explain them in this article today .

After this brief introduction about the main topic of today’s article, let’s go to it. Below I will detail 12 tips to take into account to make photos of descent .


Verify that your photographic equipment is as it should be:

It seems obvious, but I did not want to omit this point. Ideally, always have your photo equipment ready, you know. The batteries of the charged flashes, the batteries of the camera with a 100% charge, the photos of the last session passed to your digital file, the clean objectives, the filters to point, etc …

The fact is that if you do not check your photographic equipment , including all the accessories, you may encounter a problem when it comes to the site. And, remember that when you go to take pictures of descent you may have moved a lot. Can you imagine kicking a mountain back to look for something?

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Choose the means to move:

As you can imagine, riders go by bike, so you must choose a means to travel with them that allows you to follow them at any time. You can take your mountain bike , but remember that the downhill bikes are incredibly prepared for the skillful riders, and you may not be. In this case, and bearing in mind that you will have to carry your photographic equipment for the downhill photoshoot , it is better to do the tour on foot, or if you prefer, with the car from San Fernando.


Dress appropriately and comfortably:

It is important to wear appropriate and comfortable clothing especially for photos of descent. Remember the previous point, you will have to kick or pedal a lot. In many cases the best spot to take photos of the session will be a trialera, so a suitable footwear is also important. I have skidded by a 50 meters trialera for not preparing my shoes well, luckily, neither my team nor I suffer damage.

I have in mind that you are a daring person if you are ready to take a photo shoot downhill , but do not play it, a stumble could make your camera and also scratch your pocket, leave you without a session.

And do not forget your habit, a sandwich or something to snack will be good in the middle of the mountain. And above all, load with water and / or a soft drink. If you do not drive and are brave, you can also carry some beer.


Take into account the weight of your photographic equipment:

Since the photos of descent and freeride with mountain bike are mostly made in mountains or forests far from the urban area, it is very likely that the car with which you have moved to the place is far away, even further away will be as the session progresses of photos since you will change spot due to the fatigue of the riders. So you will have to carry the entire team at the beginning of the session.

Keep in mind that the weight of the equipment you will have to carry on your own, since the riders can not carry the bike and part of your equipment except in specific sections where the terrain is less technical and they can collaborate with a tripod, for example.

And above all, you must know that certain photography accessories will be useless in the middle of the forest. I remember once that a salesman from a photography store in Barcelona tried to offer me a studio footprint for a portable flash , imagine the boy’s laughs and face of circumstances.

A clamp is always better than a tripod for weight, but you will not always have a useful grip, so you’ll have to make up your mind assuming you have these two accessories to use the flash in different situations .

The bells, windows and softboxes for the flashes are fine , but some are not collapsible (no hood is), and if you also load with a honeycomb and / or a kneecap that includes an adapter for bowens bells and / or other brands you will have to leave other accessories at home or in the car since you only have two hands. In these cases, it is better to use mini softboxes pleglabes that occupy very little space and are very light. They will make you the times of a small campaign and include the disseminating fabric. Plastic diffusers will also be useful, although in this case the quality of the strobist light will not be as good as in the previous cases.

Considering all this, I am sure you are remembering it while you walk on the mountain, it is time to put yourself in situation. You are very close to the first spot chosen and you have to plan the composition of the first photos and make the most of the lighting fixtures that you have taken to the place. So let’s go to it, we move on to action.


The scene where to make the first photos of descent:

It is possible that one of the riders has already told you about the spot on the way to that same place, in this case, you were already thinking what it would be like, and when you arrived at the site you saw that it is a complicated scene for any reason. Is it advisable to move to another site?

My opinion is that you should try, it is clear who the photographer is , but you will get more collaboration to take the photos if you arrive at a site and try to take some shots. It is recommended that you teach the riders the first results, this will help them get more involved when it comes to getting the photos, and, on the other hand, they will see with their own eyes that this is a not very good scene to photograph.

In the event that the first spot is suitable, and you decide to take a few pictures, do not forget to study all the placement variables of your photographic equipment along with all your accessories. Ask the riders to explain their career, not all attendees will follow the same path in that spot.