What are the points to be noted when photographer Dice Maruyama take winter sports photos in poor visibility conditions? What are required of equipment? We talked to Mr. Maruyama about the tips on how to capture best winter sports photos, while taking a look back over his photo-taking in this
First of all, tips for choosing equipment that is right for you when taking winter sports photos. Besides toughness of the equipment itself such as waterproof and dustproof properties, there are some other points to be noted when handling your equipment, or replacing and carrying the lens on site. "All I ask of equipment is operability and durability. In taking photos of an activity, to capture a moment, often I have to try holding a camera with my fingertips exposed to the cold without gloves. Therefore, it is important for you to make it a routine to capture the sense of your camera buttons or switches and get used to your equipment. Also, to avoid trouble with equipment, basically I keep the lens attached to the body on snow. So, with the lens constantly attached to the body, I have to take extra care to ensure that it is stored properly in a bag so that its mount won't be distorted even if I fall down on snow while carrying it in the bag. As non-photo equipment, I include toe warmers in the list of my recommended equipment items. I use them on my socks right before climbing a snow mountain. Without them I shouldn't be able to wait (for photo opportunities) in the mountain. (laugh)"
snow mounting you are potentially putting your life at risk, so you should always pay close attention to snow conditions, terrain and weather forecasts. Besides that, the members of your team must trust one another. Even if they are trusted friends each other and capable of delivering superior performance, they should talk to each other without making concessions to the other when there is a disagreement about the terrain or the makeup of the members or when you feel you are in an unsafe situation. As a result (of the disagreement or a conflict), their performance may be affected, but, because it is just a matter of time, it is important for the members to make efforts of this kind to build the relationship of trust with each other and eventually capture a best moment. For the rest, you should be well-equipped to prepare for the worst-case scenario. A shovel for removing snow to create a path, a beacon for finding you in case you are buried in snow and a probe for searching a victim or victims. Carrying life-saving equipment is a moral for people like us who climb a snow mountain. Because there is always the risk of avalanche, life-saving equipment is essential to helping or being helped by others."
Dynamic and livery winter sports photos attract people's eyes. Winter sports photos that attract people with dynamism. What are the tips for maximizing the appeals of performers? "The best part of winter sports photos is the images of those people who are seeking the best performance under demanding conditions. Especially, snowboarding and snowmobiling are a type of sport where snowboarding or riding is preceded by mental image. Snowboarders or snowmobile riders deliver their performance and express their snowboarding or snowmobiling by forming mental images of how they snowboard or snowmobile, rather than by keeping riding without mental image training. When I understand their mental images and capture the moments, I will be filled with the same emotion as them. That's what attracts me to winter sports. To feel such emotion, what I want you to keep in mind is that nature is a studio. Riders are like models that show performance in the studio. I think that only by understanding the studio conditions and communicating with the models, a sense of unity can be created in images."
Choosing the angle of view is key to capturing vigorous images. Mr. Maruyama said that not just paying attention to the background, but securing the safety of the place where one stands for shooting must be considered at the same time. "In my case, I decide the angle of view based on my intention of shooting, but when I want to describe the snow depth and rider's expression, I position myself closer to the rider. Contrary to that, my NG photos include the one taken too close to the subject rider, which ignores the background and makes one wonder where it was taken. Photographers tend to position themselves at the bottom of a slope when taking photos, but by so doing in an avalanche-prone back-country area, you are very likely to be hit by an avalanche. So, always try to avoid risk when determining your shooting position. There are also a number of cases where my subject rider climbs to the top of a mountain from one side and I climb to the mountain top from the other side. As safety should be considered first, even whenever you are away from your subject, try keeping your eye on your subject to make sure where it is now. Again, winter sports photography is literally communicating with your subject. By bringing into shape what your subject wants to express and what image you want to draw yourself, I am sure you will be able to shoot great photos. Enjoy!"