OK, so the next outing for the silhouettomatic was at a DH track in South Wales. After an afternoon of push up descents in the mud and wet everyone gamely agreed to help set up the sheet and hit the final tabletop jump in fading light.




I’d spotted the location earlier and noted the trees helpfully placed across the back. This time the ‘balancing stands on chairs’ technique wasn’t going to be needed, nice one. Rope between the two and sheet draped over. The sheet cross lit as before, but also staggered in height and at a wider zoom (35mm) from about 6ft away to avoid obvious hotspots.

A couple of test shots, followed by this….


Cock it. Clearly a kingsize sheet is nowhere near large enough to be of use as a silhouette maker in this sport. Still, at least the effect is close to what I visualised. Sigh.

Fortunately I was shooting with Andrew Shankie of andrewshankie.com and he saw me setting this up as a massive soft box and was puzzled as to why I was standing the ‘wrong’ side of it to shoot. So…I ping off a shot as he walks back to push up. Bingo! (As people from around 1950 would say):
Pretty cool light. So, up at 250th of a sec (max sync speed on a 7D) dial down the strobes to half power as the rider will be very close to the sheet, stop down a little and up the ISO to give some ambient  and then shout the oft repeated “Lets see it!” With the fisheye set wide to pick up the whole scene with rider composed against tree gap, and servo focus doing its best to pull contrast in the increasingly dark evening we shot a few great images, including a rare shot of yours truly: (Thank you Mr Shankie)


About The Author


Action and adventure photographer based in London, shooting commercial and editorial images that seek to capture the beauty in the lifestyles he loves

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