Posts Tagged ‘Elinchrom Ranger

06
Jan
17

Japan Backcountry Snowboarding Photos – Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen

hakuba2016_matgalina_radich-3047a

In early 2016 I was fortunate enough to tag along on a media snowboard trip with Olliepop films to Japan. I had been to Japan on holiday just a few weeks previously, and we experienced mostly low-tide and marginal conditions at the start of what was to be the worst snow season in Japan for many, many years. But luckily when I returned with Jeremy and the guys on the Olliepop Snorkel Squad trip, we well and truly scored some epic days: typical blower Japan pow and epic tree riding.

Yes, there were also some marginal days in there too – even with some rain – but from the photos I managed to take, it goes to show that with some luck, and making the most of conditions on offer, you can get some really nice shots.

Jeremy Richardson did a great job of hooking up the trip with the assistance of Liquid Snow Tours, and the “action-models/good mates” in Jeremy Burns, Tim Nelson and Liam Peter Ryan worked super hard to get the shots. Thanks, guys.

Below are the action photos I tookin the Hakuba valley, from the high-alpine above Happo-One and over the back at Cortina, and off piste at Nozawa Onsen. Enjoy … and I hope it inspires you to get some turns this summer/winter.

Click the photos to enlarge them in all their pixelly goodness!

hakuba2016_jamessingleton_radich-3126

hakuba2016_jamessingleton_radich-3130

hakuba2016_jamessingleton_radich-3077

hakuba2016_jamessingleton_radich-3744

Above: I’d never shot with fellow Falls Creek alumnus James “Singo” Singleton before, but he certainly knows how to shred! 

hakuba2016_matgalina_radich-3729

hakuba2016_matgalina_radich-3252

Above: Mat Galina always knows where to find the goods and works harder than anyone else I know to get the shots … including the epic photo at the top of this post from the back bowl above Happo-One.

hakuba2016_jeremyburns_radich-3100a

hakuba2016_jeremyburns_radich-3660

hakuba2016_jeremyburns_radich-3692

Above: Jeremy Burns surfing the white waves of Happo-One on our way down to the carpark (and bus stop) at Hakuba 47.

hakuba2016_lpryan_bs180_radich-3640

hakuba2016_liampryan_radich-3607

hakuba2016_liampryan_radich-3602

Above: Liam Peter Ryan (“LPR”) finding some launching pads as we descended from Happo-One to Hakuba 47.

hakuba2016_timnelson_radich-3619 hakuba2016_timnelson_radich-3299 hakuba2016_timnelson_radich-3211

Above: Tim Nelson stylin’…

hotelvillahakuba2016_jeremyburns_radich-3577 hotelvillahakuba2016_liampryan_radich-3584

Above: Jeremy Burns and LPR found a side hit out the front of our hotel, and with a van tow-in, the boys gave me an opportunity to use my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra and Skyport flash set-up for the first time. To see more about the flash system, click here.

cortina2016_timnelson_radich-3317 cortina2016_jeremyburns_radich-3540 cortina2016_jeremyburns_radich-3349 cortina2016_timnelson_radich-3392 cortina2016_timnelson_radich-3451 cortina2016_jeremyburns_radich-3494

Above: We scored the first epic couple of days of the year at Cortina. Tim Nelson (red jacket) and Jeremy Burns (maroon jacket) got the goods.

nozawa2016_timnelson_radich-3826 nozawa2016_timnelson_radich-3924 nozawa2016_timnelson_radich-3858

Above: Nozawa Onsen is a pretty magical place, especially when fresh snow turns the trees all-white, and Tim Nelson made a mere 10-15 of fresh dust-on-crust look pretty epic.

nozawa2016_jeremyburns_shifty_radich-3808

Above: Another opportunity to use the Elincrhom Quadra and Skyport at a Bhuddist temple on the edge of Nozawa Onsen. Jeremy Richardson shifty.

And make sure you check out Olliepop Films feature from the trip here.

Advertisements
21
Dec
15

Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS and Quadra Hybrid Test Photo Shoot

Radich_Basketball_2015-0714

Earlier this month I made the big financial leap to invest in another portable flash system from the Swiss masters at Elinchrom. I sourced two Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Hybrid AS RX powerpacks with Standard (S) flash heads from a US retailer, and the brand new Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS transmitter from an Aussie store. I will be shooting primarily snowboarding with this killer kit, but wanted to give the high-speed flash-sync capabilities a test drive before I head off overseas.

Radich Elinchrom Quadra and EL-Skyport Plus HSThe big advantages of this system are:

  • Lightweight lithium-ion batteries and flash heads: each unit weights just 2kg, much less than the high-powered, lead-battery Elinchrom Ranger RX pack and head I already own – ie super portable in a backpack;
  • Built in wireless receivers in the Quadra Hybrid, which pair with Elinchrom’s transmitters – so no more fliddling with Pocketwizards, their batteries and all sorts of cords;
  • 400ws of power, which should be enough for most applications; but most importantly,
  • The EL-Skyport Plus HS has a new “Hi-Sync” feature that works with either Canon or Nikon cameras (you buy a specific transmitter) to allow flash synchronisation up to 1/8000th of a second! Previously I was flash-syncing at just 1/250th of a second with Pocketwizards. And with this Hi-Sync feature, it now means that I can easily increase the shutter speed to freeze the action, as well as underexpose (and therefore, darken) the background to make the subject “pop” off the screen. This means that you can get much more usable light out of the 400ws of flash power.

So to test, I dragged my brother to the local primary school basketball court in the afternoon. It was a pretty rushed shoot, but really I wanted to get a quick idea of how well this Elinchrom system can capture the action, darken the background, and what the range of the wireless transmitter was. And the result of the test? I love it! Easy to use, great range, quick flash refresh times. It’s going to make all my future photo shoots so much easier to set up.

So for those that are interested, I’ve included the settings by which the photos were taken. All shots were under bright, but cloudy daylight settings, with post-production editing in Lightroom. Click on the photos to see them larger.

For more information about the Elinchom EL-Skyport Plus HS click here and Hi-Sync.

For more information about the Elinchom Ranger Quadra Hybrid AS RX click here.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0711

1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0629

Yep, the flash works. First photo, making it look more like dark twilight than the bright, cloudy afternoon that it was.  1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0635

1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0640

1/4000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0672

1/4000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0663

1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 800.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0652

Moody. Testing the range of the transmitter. This was taken about 100m away, through a cyclone-wire fence, and around a brick wall and wooden fence. A few more metres away and the flash didn’t fire. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0681

Turning the tables, handing the camera to my brother and becoming the subject. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0688

Trying to make it rain. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0702

1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

Radich_Basketball_2015-0714-4

Like Mike? Doing my best to emulate Jordan’s Playground. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.

05
Feb
11

And the Adventure Begins…

Right now i’m sitting in a room in a converted farmhouse on the plains behind Munich Airport in a place called “Joe’s Polo Ranch” after just returning to the West from a succesful trip through the Czech Republic. I’ve been away for more than two weeks now, but reliable internet has been very hard to find and so I haven’t been able to upload my first travel photos until now.

I’m planning to be away for three months, with about four weeks in Europe, a week in Colorado, and 8 weeks in Lake Tahoe. Take a look at my first two photos and see what “packing light” means for me. This was cutting down to pretty much the bare essentials of snow gear. But after a visit to my friends down at Dragon HQ in Torquay, I had to make sure to include the new schwag in the board bag. And if you ever wondered what sort of camera gear you might need for an extensive overseas snowboard trip, this basically covers nearly all situations – except for when a high-powered remote flash might be needed to capture distant action…but the Elinchrom Ranger I have is just too bulky and heavy to be carrying ’round solo for all the adventures I have planned. Then of course there is all the clothes an extra bits and pieces you need for 3 months away from home…

I had a pretty long first leg, from Melbourne, via Hong Kong to London Heathrow, thence a short flight to Zurich – it was about 30 hours after checking in at Tullamarine that I was standing on the platform at Zurich’s main train station while snow swirled around in the dark night sky, and rugged-up locals dashed across wet streets in front of revving taxis and squeeling trams. I felt like a bit like I was in a Jason Bourne film…if only I had a cute German girl to drive me in her VW Golf through the Alps instead of the 3 hour train ride, followed by taxi, to my accommodation in St Anton! But it was all worth it to wake up on the Friday morning to see the enormity of the Alberg mountains all around.

Take a look at these photos (click on them to enlarge) and stay tuned for more overseas adventure updates.

03
Aug
10

Do the Dew!

What a difference a week makes in the mountains. Last Monday I left a Melbourne warmed by winter sun and made it up to Falls Creek for the usual shenanigans of a Big Cup Monday at The Man Hotel. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent shredding the pristine Falls parks under sunny skies, and snapping a couple of shots of the local boys hitting the new jumps in Ruined Castle. All the forecasts were calling for storms to head our way, and we were fortunate to get a good day of riding in on Wednesday…but by Thursday the cloud, fog and damp had set in and I made a quick trip home to dry out before heading up to Mt Buller on Friday night.

I was back at Buller for the Dew Hut Jam, which was back on busy Bourke Street, but with more invited teams and a new big water tank feature this year. Mt Buller always manages to roll out the welcome mat for the comps…well, yes and no. I had thought that the weather for the 2009 Mtn Dew Hut Jam couldn’t get any worse – but I was wrong! Yep, it was the worst weather I have ever had to shoot in: thick dense fog obscuring the sun during the day, dampness soaking all surfaces, and then by night howling winds knocking over flash stands, seemingly thicker fog and more and more misty rain.

I was up at Buller to shoot for Aust-NZ Snowboarder’s website, and you can check out the Mtn Dew Hut Jam press release with a couple photos from their assigned photog and video here. And to compare the full gallery of shots taken by Rory, who was employed by Mtn Dew for the weekend, take a look here.

I had set up three Canon Speedlight flashes (because they are easier to transport and set up than my huge Elinchrom Ranger, and usually do the job for night shooting) with one behind the main jump, one yellow-cellophaned one to the left by the water tank, and a green one to the right by the rail (I wanted some Mountain Dew-type colours in the photos). But with the cold sapping the power of the 4xAA batteries, and the dampness soaking all electrical surfaces it was a little hit or miss to get all flashes firing at once. However, this actually created some interesting outcomes and some variety to the shots. And for the very brief moments that the fog cleared the photos came out pretty cool I think. But for the last half of the night session there was basically no break in the fog, despite the wind, and I spent more time watching and chatting on the sidelines than shooting. But I’m happy with the results, even if in tough conditions like this it’s easy to miss out on capturing a killer shot of the winning team and riders.

And of course the partying at Buller was second to none – the Hoo Har is always fun, even more so when it’s a chance to catch up with a bunch of snowboard mates you haven’t seen for a while. But the walk back up the hill to my media billet was torture! Mt Buller really is some freak-of-nature microclimate, being the first mountain that the warm, damp Southern Ocean air hits, getting forced up into the cold, high altitude as storms head north east. A storm front was on its way to the Aussie Alps, and every mountain was on the receiving end of some horrible weather on Saturday before the snow started falling that night. However, Buller has a monopoly on being the only place where you can simultaneously be smashed by a tropical-strength monsoonal rain downpour, mixed with some sort of half-ice-half-rain precipitation that somehow falls as liquid yet freezes upon you instantly, as well howling winds, and blinding fog. Walking home was like being caught on some gigantic satanic Slurpee machine. And so the headache I had when I got home was definitely not from the beers, but from the ice freezing my brain!

But I awoke late the next day to a sea of white out the window where a few hours before had been dirt, grass and asphalt! The snow had finally come to the High Country, and as I write it is still continuing…so a trip back to Falls to make the most of it will certainly be on the cards soon.

UPDATE 6/8/10: Transworld Snowboarding have put up some of the photos on their website. It’s not a feature, just a news item, but it’s still nice to get shots published on their site again. Check it here.