Cover of Unleashed Wake Magazine Dec 2012
I have been wanting to shoot a kicker directly into the sun for a long time. After shooting every angle for a few days this was the last option that we had left. I set the 2 Elinchrom Rangers with A-Heads on the ladders fairly quickly, due to setting it up so many times before. I used the Pocketwizard Flexx TT5 and Power ST4 receivers to make the magic happen. I had to use a 6 foot ladder to elevate the flash pack up enough off the water to avoid the wake from his Malibu Wakesetter.
I had to set the camera to a higher speed to freeze the motion, but a low enough speed for the A-Heads to actually paint the light onto the photo. On a Nikon DX crop frame 1,250th is pretty solid with the A-Heads at full power. The boat would be going about 23 MPH and he would be cutting into the kicker adding additional speed. I was guessing that he would be around 40 MPH when he hit the kicker. Using a fisheye up close at that speed you generally need at least 1/4000th a sec to freeze the motion. So I would have to track with him a little bit to keep any motion blur to a minimal.
On the first pass I shot a hair late getting the "fisheye effect" in the shot. I really wanted to keep the horizon in the middle of the frame to keep it level, and to hide the fishy lens. Chad took a couple more passes dialing in a few tricks before we took a few minute break to let the water calm for the glassy look in the final photo. Chad nailed the shot on the first pass after the break. Its almost surreal shooting kickers from water level with a fisheye. The action is so fast and so big through the camera. It also helps the Chad is known for going the biggest off of any kicker as well!
Nikon D2x 10.5mm Fisheye 1,250th sec at F 7.1