Photographing Snowboarders & Halfpipe in Park City

 

 

I had a chance to go photograph snowboard half-pipe event this week at Park City, The Toyota Revolution Tour.  It was my first half-pipe event so I was pretty stoked!  I was armed with my trusty Nikon d750 with a battery grip, attached was a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 sports lens.  Also for video I had my Panasonic GH3 on a gimbal with a 19mm lens.

After I drove 1.5 hours from Ogden to Park City, I went and scoped out the area for the best spot.  I noticed that everyone were gathering at the bottom of the half-pipe where the judges and announcer are.  There was no way I could get the shot I wanted from there.  I wanted to be half way up on the shoulder of the half-pipe, just like most of the photographer in the Olympics were.  Also it would give me the opportunity to take several shots on a single run.  After I got permission, I started to walk up the slope, I can’t believed how the first 20 feet was so steep, I had to get down on my knees and clawed my way up slowly.  I wasn’t about to give up after driving so far to get here.  Lesson learned here, I should have brought my spikes for my shoes from my ice fishing gear.

Photo by: Bryce Taylor

 

After setting up shop, I wasn’t planning to move from that area for the rest of the event.  I had a great shot of the athletes when they drop in and got the first big air and when they were on the opposite pipe from me. The only little problem I had, was when a boarder was coming up right in front of me, I was too close for the 70-200mm, so eventually I shot with my Nikon 17-35mm for the 10% of the time I was there.

Nikon 17-35mm

 

 

Lastly, I wanted to shoot video with my Panasonic GH3 on gimbal.  What I learned here was that my lens wasn’t wide enough due to micro 4/3 crop factor(2x).  So I was actually shooting 38mm(19mm x 2), I had to tilt up and down a lot, which was annoying and took away the smoothness of the video.  I should have use the wider lens like the Rokinon 12mm,(12mm x 2 =24mm) that way I can just concentrate on panning.  The number one reason I wanted a mirrorless camera for gimbal work is the light weight.  I can handle it one hand if I wanted to.  The good comes with the bad, I hate the crop factor!

 

 

Panasonic if you are listening, please make the new GH7 full frame or at least use 1.5 crop sensor.  I can even live with 1.86 crop factor, but I refuse to buy another 2x crop sensor!

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I got a lot of great shots and as I was driving home, I made this song up in my head, “I love you Park City! But now I must leave you!”

Overall:  I had a great time!  It was the best snowboarding I have ever seen in Utah!  I also meet a lot of nice people there.  I met another photographer, Bryce Taylor from Indiana, super nice guy!  I still can’t believe there wasn’t more photographer for this Awesome event.  The weather warmed up and the blue sky came out, it turned out to be a nice day.  It was totally worth the drive!  Can’t wait until next year!

 

 

 

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