So I finally got around to taking some self portrait action shots. The amount of gear I lugged up the hill really took it out of me. I had an extra 6 kilos of gear on my back and it took a little longer to ride the fire trail to the top of the mountain.
In my head, I already had my location picked out. It was a section of trail with 4 different lines and 2 north shore ladded drops onto dirt. I planned to use fill lighting from the side and a Nero Trigger and laser pointer to capture the images I wanted.
This was my first test of laser triggering in the field. In the past I have just used a bowl of liquid and an eye dropper to break the laser beam.
I got to the location and started to set up my gear. I aligned the lasers and started taking photos. I increased the delay to get the photo of me in mid-air, but for some reason the Nero Trigger wasn’t working as I expected. I checked my setup, made a few changes and it started to work as desired.
I hit the gap but the flash didn’t trigger. This confused me. I checked the setup and found that the batteries in the laser pointer had died. I swapped to the backup laser pointer and hit the trail feature a few more times.
I continued to dial in the setup when a whole bunch of riders hit all the available lines triggering photos. I changed the flash location and continued to test.
I hadn’t quite dialled in the delay when a man and his came down the trail. The man hit the lower drop while his son watched. He hit the laser and the photo was taken. I really like this photo because the boy is looking down at his dad while taking a drink. Because the photo was triggered by breaking the beam, I didn’t even realise the boy was watching while I was on location.
After some coaxing, his son went over the drop and I took the photo manually. I gave the dad details on how to contact me so he can get a copy of them. (To the dad, email me and I will send you the full sized images.)
Soon after the second laser pointer died and I didn’t have spare batteries for them. All the testing and playing around at home took it out of them. I will change them soon and buy some extras for when I am on location.
Here is the end result of me on the drop when the flash fired and the delay was wrong.
Changes for the next attempt:
- Bring spare batteries
- Mount the flash higher or in a tree.
- Dial in the longest delay at home
- Move the camera closer to the trail
- Move the camera to the left of the trail
- Use a fast 50mm prime lens
- Try additional flash locations once dialled in