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A Day at Work With an Extreme Sports Photographer

Few pro athletes make the transition to pro photographer with the skill and success of F-Stop pro photographer Scott Markewitz. The former professional skier’s photos have appeared on over 400 magazine covers from Men’s Journal to Powder Magazine.  Scott makes it a point to research the sport he’s shooting to figure out the best angles and shooting style to create the best images. He says he enjoys working with the athletes and really connects with them–a quality that shines through in each of his photos:

Tips for Shooting Extreme Sports

  • Learn the Sport – Scott says figuring out and understanding a sport you don’t know is a cool challenge. Learning the athletes most common positions, the types of jumps and stunts they will try, and the terrain they perform on will help you get the best possible shots of the action.
  • Get the Angle – In this video, you see Scott shooting some mountain climbers. It is important to consider how the angle affects  your photograph. For instance, Scott chose to photograph the climber by taking a closeup of his hand with the climber out of focus in the background. This shot had a lot more visual impact than it would have had if he shot a wide angle of the climber on the side of the rock.
  • Use Burst Mode – You can hear Scott’s Canon 7D shutter going a mile a minute in this video as he captures the mountain bikers performing stunts. This is because the burst mode allows you to capture photos much faster without waiting for the shutter to reset.
  • Get Closer – Notice how close Scott is to the skateboarders on the bridge and to the climbers? Getting closer to the action will give you a better shot and allow for some creative close-ups.


Shooting extreme sports is exhilarating and can produce some very powerful images. But one of the highlights, as Scott says, is working with the athletes.

“Every year you just watch these athletes push their sports and push the limits even higher. Stuff that people are doing now, 5 or 10 years ago you wouldn’t have even thought was possible.”

[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

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