Nikon D3, 14-24mm f/2.8, 1/320sec f/7.1 @ ISO200, two radio slaves
When MBUK called and said they wanted a Lake District cover with some ballsy riding, added rocks and scenery in the background, I knew exactly where to go. It's a spot I've used a couple of times before, with an unusual combination of trail and backdrop in exactly the right places to fit on a UK mag cover. Props to Neil, who transformed this steep roller with a narrow and iffy run-out into a ballsy wheelie drop.
There was a feature attached to the cover too, making for a full shooting day. No complaints from me though - the Lakes is one of my favourite places anywhere in the world. How can you go wrong with scenery like this?
Nikon D3, 80-200mm f/2.8, 1/2000sec f/4 @ ISO200
Nikon D3, 14-24mm f/2.8, 1/60sec f/16 @ ISO200
Shooting the action closer in is a bit more challenging in this spot though, because the obvious angles face south. Why is that a problem? Cos it tends to mean strong backlighting. And, at this time of year, the low sun means it's often in the frame too. Cue flare and a lot of lighting issues.
In the days of film I'd probably have stuck a flash on top of the camera, set it to TTL -1 stop, and fired away. The results would've worked in terms of evening out foreground and background lighting levels but, well, it wouldn't have looked great. Now, thanks to the wonders of digital, I can use a combination of remote flash and careful raw file processing to make it look the way I saw it on the day.
Here's the result:
Nikon D3, 14-24mm f/2.8, 1/320sec f/9 @ ISO200, two radio slaves
There's no way I could have achieved such a balanced result with film... at least, not in a reasonable time frame. I would've needed a Polaroid back, a bag full of film, a rider with a great deal of patience... and no pressing need to get a whole load more shots done on the same day.
Film is dead. Long live digital...