Sports photography sessions in Barcelona

BMX photographer – Sports photography sessions in Barcelona

Fotógrafo de BMX - Experiéncia

In this new article I will talk about my experience as a BMX photographer , I will explain some of the sessions of this type of sport photography that I have mostly done in Barcelona and province. At the end of the article I will also explain basic tips to get better bmx photos for all those who start in this type of photography.

Today I want to talk about some of the sessions I have made as a BMX photographer, sports photography sessions that I am passionate about and that I do whenever I can, either in a photo shoot or because there is a competition of this type of sport, regardless of whether the competition is amateur or professional. I have been lucky enough to be able to make countless sessions of this type of sport photography .


Experience as a BMX photographer:

My experience as a BMX photographer is about two years, years in which I have made many photos of this sport with national and international riders of professional and amateur category. Taking into account the date of writing of this post and the experience that I comment, my experience as a BMX photographer began in 2009. Since then, my love for this sport as a photographer has only grown, that makes every time I can escape to make a BMX photo session, regardless of the level of the competition and without the need for a BMX competition to load as my team and take photos. Currently I have more than 25 sessions as a BMX photographer in my portfolio of sports photography, having photographed professional riders like Daniel Peñafiel alias Naran .

BMX event photos:

The two most important events that I have attended as a BMX photographer are the last two Extreme of Barcelona. The first one was the Movistar Barcelona Extreme Festival of 2010 and finally the LKXA Barcelona extreme Festival of 2011. Then you can see some amateur BMX competitions, they are also in my portfolio of BMX photography . And repeatedly I have gone out with the riders to do street BMX sessions. Just like skateboarding, the street BMX photography sessions fascinate me as we can prepare the rider and photographer session.

BMX riders photographed:

I think I have lost count of how many BMX riders I have photographed, surely if I made a list I would miss more than half, between competitions and spontaneous sessions always make extra photos, obviously in competitions you do not have many photos for many you do. Some of the riders that I have photographed and that I remember at this moment are:

Professional BMX:

  • Daniel Peñafiel , alias Naran the best national rider of all time.
  • Nil Soler at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival of 2011.
  • Gabriel Mastragostino at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Viki Gomez at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Dominik Nekolny at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Matthias Dandois at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Franciso Jimenez at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Dennis Enarson at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Daniel Dhers at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Garrett Reynolds at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Brett Banasiewicz at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Ben Wallace at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Gary Young at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Dean Cueson at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Michael Beran at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Ryan Nyquist at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Mike Spinner at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Some more…

Amateur skateboarders:

  • Carlos Garcia Amateur Rider with different national sponsors.
  • Miquel Bautista of the team 1080 skateboard.
  • Adrià Solis who skates for DRX.
  • Ismael Laga with local skateboard sponsors.
  • Albert Furnieles with local skateboard sponsors.
  • Some more…

Tips for BMX photos:

Some of the things that I can recommend you regarding the BMX photography are the following:

Make BMX photo sessions whenever you can:

Try as much as possible to conduct training sessions with riders, regardless of the level they have, that will make you win in experience. Intuitively, you will begin to look for good angles for your BMX photos and little by little you will unconsciously improve your sports photography.

Your well composed BMX photos:

The composition of a photograph, be it skate, bmx or a simple bush always improves our visual interest in photography . Always bear in mind that a well-composed photo is worth 1.2, then other factors influence, but without a doubt, the composition will help you get good BMX photos. I recommend the same for any other type of photography.

Take more and more photos:

Unless you’re in love with analog photography and upload it everywhere, take pictures, it’s no joke if I tell you that when I do a BMX photo shoot at least I bring home 400 or more photos, if it’s a competition, it would not be the first time I’ve filled more than 12 Gb with sports photos.

Repeat the spot, repeat the photograph:

This is very simple, no matter how good observer you are, you will always see different angles each time you go to a spot, the light conditions change radically in minutes, and of course they also change if you change day, do your sessions in places where you know , repeat the site, your BMX photos will improve in each session.

Avoid the photos at noon:

At noon, the incidence of light on the rider will be totally vertical, which will generate excessive contrast in your photos, with annoying deep shadows and probably without detail, if you go to the other extreme, you will lose detail in the lights. Avoid the pictures at noon, my favorite sessions are always mid afternoon.

Use the flash:

Even if you only have the flash pop-up of your camera, use it whenever you can, obviously if you are taking pictures in burst mode you will limit your shots to the charge of the flash, the ideal is to work with external flashes and use them whenever we can.

Doubts about BMX photos?

But…. You have doubts? Do you want to comment something? Use the comments to contribute your bit to this post of BMX photography , I make these articles with the intention of being participatory.

And here’s the article BMX photographer- Sports photography sessions in Barcelona .

Regards and until next time!

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Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross

Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross

One of the sports that has impressed me since the first day as a photographer has been the FMX, from the English Freestyle Motocross . Unfortunately, it is not possible to take photo sessions of this sport as regularly as one would like. It is much easier to perform sessions of other sports where you do not need an installation like the one required by the FMX. Giant ramps, huge receptions and very daring riders performing tricks of another galaxy in a single long jump with their bikes. In my article today “Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross “ I share a photo that I made last June at the Forum of Barcelona. Date on which the well-known extreme sports event LKXA Barcelona Extreme Festival 2011 was held.

I made this photo of FMX with a Canon Eos large public reflex camera and a Tokina lens 28-80 millimeters F2.8 SD. The diaphragm aperture was F14, the exposure time was 1/250 seconds, ISO 100 sensitivity and a focal length of 53 millimeters.


Photography at sporting events:

One of the most complicated issues of photography in sporting events is the speed at which things happen. We already know that sports photography requires greater speed on the part of the photographer in terms of managing adjustments to your equipment, framing and executing the photo. The fact that it is a competition and not a session eliminates the possibility of repeating a photo, since the rider is competing and not posing for us. So being confused one loses the best photos, and these will not happen again.

If you still do not master the complete adjustments of your equipment quickly and effectively, it is preferable to use the semiautomatic modes of your equipment, it takes practice to do it completely manually and in a competition you play the time.


FMX Photography

In sports photography , and of course in FMX photography, what is better is the right moment where the rider is at the maximum point of the trick, we may have what is known as a photon and the trick half done, for athletes from that scene your photo will be unattractive. It is clear that an athlete is not a photographer, but, review photos of extreme sports and tell me the type of photos you see. Does the trick over composition predominate? Is exposure less taken into account than action?

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Depth of field, factors that influence

Depth of field, factors that influence

Have you ever asked me what is the depth of field and what factors influence . As we speak of photography, the depth of field is understood to be photographically speaking. Today I intend to clarify this concept in the best possible way since it affects our photographs. I already wrote an article about depth of field before. Today I return to this topic to expand the information about it.

Let’s begin to clarify concepts about depth of field in photography with a sample photo. Remember, I always like to use a practical example, and, although it may not seem like it, what I like the least is writing.


I made this photo with a camera body reflex Canon Eos Great public, that means that my multiplication factor was 1.6 since my sensor was APS-C. I used a Canon EF lens of 50 F1.8 millimeters. The diaphragm aperture in this particular photo was F 2. The focal distance is evident since only 50 millimeters were available. The ISO sensitivity was set to 100 and the exposure time was 1/640 seconds.


Does the size of the sensor influence the depth of field?

There are nuances regarding the size of the sensor and how it affects the depth of field, it is understood that the size of the sensor does not matter if we balance the focal distance to the subject of our photograph. In other words, imagine that you have a full-format camera and you want to achieve the same depth of field with an APS-C sensor , which would be the sensor that most public bodies reflect, as the APS-C sensor has an image multiplication factor, this directly affects the depth of field since an image taken with a focal length of 18 millimeters in full format has exactly a focal distance of 18 millimeters. If we take the photo with an APS-C sensor, we will always have a multiplication factor to take into account. In Canon large public and semiprofessional bodies (currently up to Canon Eos 7D), the multiplication factor is 1.6, while the sensors of other manufacturers have a different multiplication factor.

So omitting this previous point we could say that the size of the sensor influences the depth of field. However, if we take it into account, the size of the sensor does not influence the depth of field , since actually the size of the sensor only influences the focal distance, increasing it in the case of APS-C sensors and in all those that have a multiplication factor.


The focal distance and its repercussion in the depth of field:

As I mentioned in my previous article about depth of field, the focal distance is the multiplication of the available millimeters of our objective multiplied by the size of the sensor. This means that a 200 millimeter lens will have exactly that focal length in full format while in APS-C format sensors our focal length will be 200 millimeters multiplied by the multiplication factor of our sensor.

We can summarize that the greater the focal distance, the lower the depth of field.


Diaphragm opening and its effect in depth of field:

The diaphragm aperture regulates the amount of light that enters our sensor . A larger opening (smaller F number), more light input and less depth of field. The smaller the opening (larger F number), the greater the depth of field. And this point is impepinable.


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Using the flash in sports photography – BMX – Photography blog

Using the flash in sports photography – BMX

In previous articles we have talked about the use of flash in different situations. Today we are going to see how we can use the flash in remote mode, what is known as strobist, in sports photography. In particular we will go into detail with a BMX photo.

Before going into detail I would like to point out the lighting difficulties of the example photo. As you can see the light was complicated in the spot of this BMX session and, although the sky was spectacular, the area where the rider performed the trick was practically in the dark. The solution was to make use of the flash in this BMX photo .

And now, considering that we only have one flash and we can use it in remote mode, we will analyze in broad strokes the lighting and the use of this flash in this sporty BMX photo.


Placement and direction of the flash

If we look especially at the light that illuminates the rider we will know to determine exactly where the flash that was used for this BMX photo was placed.

Let’s go into details. The flash light is ascending which determines that the flash was located in a lower position than the protagonist of this sport photo. On the other hand you can see that the flash flash comes from the right, so we see that the flash was used from the side. On the other hand we see some direct directionality of the flash, this can be seen in the less illuminated part of the face of the rider of this photo.

What he intended with the previous paragraph is to understand the placement and directionality of the flash and therefore justicaba each point mentioned. The exact details of the placement of the flash and other settings you will find at the end of the article in the section where I explain the exif data of the photo, among other things.


Synchronization of the flash in remote mode

The flash of this BMX photo was synchronized in remote mode and at a shooting speed of 1/125 seconds. The speed of synchronization was relatively slow since it is about sports photography. The flash was mounted on a tripod on a simple remote firing receiver of the Phottix brand and on the camera the emitter of the synchronizer was mounted.


Exact placement of the flash

A few paragraphs above I tried to explain in a relative way and based on the lighting of the rider the placement of the flash. To finish with this point what I’m going to do now is explain the exact lighting scheme that I used with that single flash synchronized in remote mode.

The flash was used mounted on a tripod and at a height of less than one meter, approximately 80 centimeters from the ground on which the rider performed this BMX trick. It was placed half a meter in front of the vertical rider and a meter and a half to the right of it.

If we want to enter approximate angulations about the directionality of the flash we will have the following. 45 degrees in ascending direction and 15 degrees approximated frontally.

The angulation of the natural light of the scene can be seen without me having to detail it since the sun gives us clues of its location.


Equipment used for the example BMX photo

For the example photo of this article entitled “Using the flash in sports photography – BMX” I used a camera body of Canon brand great public range together with a Tokina lens 28-80 millimeters F2.8 SD. A flash of the brand Canon model Speedlite 430 EX-II mounted on a lightweight aluminum tripod and an economic synchronization device Phottix brand that consisted of an emitter (mounted on the camera’s shoe) and a receiver, which made the hot flash shoe times and also synchronized this with the main team.

Custom settings and settings for the photo

The measurement of the scene I configured in spot mode, I used a focal point to point to the area closest to the face of the rider. Having more focus points ensures a more precise approach. Diaphragm aperture regulated with an aperture of F11, shutter speed adjusted to 1/125 seconds and power of the flash set to +2 1/3 without diffuser and pointing with the head at an inclination of 60 degrees with respect to the horizontal of the photo .

Subsequently an improvement of focus and contrast has been made in the clouds and the sky in post edition. It is recommended to see this photo in full size, with the lightbox.


How to improve this photo?

To improve this picture it becomes clear that we needed another flash in a position opposite to the flash used at the time. That second flash would have been advisable to use it in the left side of the image, without angulation with respect to the front of the rider and in the same way in ascending trajectory. This would have filled the darkest area of ​​the rider with light. However, my pretension with this and other articles is to use the minimum equipment for this type of photography.

And so far my article today entitled “Using the flash in sports photography – BMX” , put a couple of candles if after reading this you do not clarify or write a comment as an alternative …

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Use exposure time as a throwing weapon

Use exposure time as a throwing weaponRelated image

You usually write about the use of exposure time or shutter speed and its direct relationship to a correct photo. What recommended values ​​for what type of photo. Synchronization problems at high speeds with flashes and other topics that could fill a whole blog with words. My article today more than a tutorial or a photographic trick is a reflection, and my aim is to encourage you to use the time of exposure as a weapon throwing .

It is very good to make a photo of sports where the speed is tremendous and the photo is totally frozen due to the “good use” of the exposure time. If you do not use a correct exposure time when taking a picture with synchronized flashes it is very likely that I did not “look good”. To perform a panning we should use an exposure time between this value and the other. Etc…

I think that the use of quotation marks here is evident, in the same way as the repetition of speed and exposure time. All these assumptions where a photo will look good are correct, and the most commonly used, but … How would you like to use the exposure time as one more element of your photo?


Forget all and go for the part

Use the time of exposure as a weapon and ignore all those tricks and tutorials you have read in blogs (including this), in magazines, books and any other media. Would you be able to point out the exposure time as the protagonist of your next photo?


Which is the prize?

The prize you will get after experimenting thoroughly, in different situations and with hundreds, (maybe thousands), of photos will be an advanced domain of how to use the exposure time for each and every one of the photography styles you practice.

And so far my article today, “Use the exposure time as a weapon throws” , I hope this reflection will push you to perform sweeps to 1/15 seconds and not take into account from now on the duration of the programs of your washing machine .

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