About Skateboards, comfort zones and AF-systems

Hi fellas this is Alex, this time with a short post about my latest shoot in cape town. As you might know Marie and me are currently on stay here to expand our portfolios. For me this means doing more sports and action stuff. So i set up a shoot with James, a skateboarder from a local agency called FanJam. Beside this being the first time ever for me to shoot a skateboarder without knowing a lot about it, it was also the perfect opportunity to test the AF systems of both the A7 and the a6000.

Doing something for the first time is always a little scaring as it is exciting, But i think to really be successful you have to constantly push your boundaries. I do not want to be just another photographer talking about getting out of your comfort zone since im particularly bad at doing that myself. I always admire photogs being able to just go to strangers and ask them if they may take a picture but i could never do that myself. But I think you just have to find your own way to get out of your very own comfort zone and just do it the way you can feel comfortable uncomfortable. For me this meant to shoot something i never did before related to sports. So i went over to the lovely team of Fanjam here in Cape Town and they introduced me to James, an easy going Model/Skateboarder and also a local. Shooting a local was one of the most important parts since I don’t had the resources to scout around and James definitely showed me some place where I wouldn’t ever bothered to look.

Since Im not a skateboarder myself I had to rely on James to show me some tricks and let me know what would make sense and what would look nice and cool in a photo. Since I completely shot with natural light and had to abandoned the idea to use any reflectors or scrims (hello cape town wind) I did the whole story in black and white and tried to combine straight lines with the captured movement of James. It was a really nice time to hang out with this guy and just shoot. It is kind of refreshing to go on a shoot where you can’t really plan the outcome at all and you plain and simply have to react to the things happening in front of your camera. I would not bore you more with any philosophical writing and hope you will enjoy the photos we did.

First stop in a skateapark somewhere in seapoint. The hard backlight from the afternoon sun made the decision easy to shoot the entire story in b&w. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
First stop in a skateapark somewhere in seapoint.
The hard backlight from the afternoon sun made the decision easy
to shoot the entire story in b&w.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
The wide end of the Sony Zeiss 24-70 enabling you to get really close without losing the too much of the scenery. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
The wide end of the Sony Zeiss 24-70 enabling you to get really close
without losing the too much of the scenery.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
In the shoot I quickly decided to look for straight lines and let James break these lines being the only moving/disturbing object in the frame. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
In the shoot I quickly decided to look for straight lines
and let James break these lines being the only moving/disturbing object in the frame.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
The sun as my only source of light really made a good job separating James against the dark background. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
The sun as my only source of light really made a good job separating James against the dark background. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
At the second location, the promenade in Seapoint we found some  stairs which were perfect for James to jump off. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony G 4/70-200mm.
At the second location, the promenade in Seapoint we found some stairs
which were perfect for James to jump off.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony G 4/70-200mm.
I just love it to shoot portraits with the 35. The bokeh is just awesome. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sigma 1.4/35mm.
I just love it to shoot portraits with the 35. The bokeh is just awesome.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sigma 1.4/35mm.
This didn't even look up when James flew in front of him. And I shot this manuel focused with the Sigma, so it seems like you can do sports with manuel lenses! ;) Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sigma 1.4/35mm Art.
This guy  didn’t even look up when James flew in front of him.
And I shot this manual focused with the Sigma, so it seems like
you can do sports with manual lenses! 😉
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sigma 1.4/35mm Art.
We finished the day with some portraits under a driveway near the Cape Town Stadium. And I must say the wide end of the 24-70 can produce some nice results even though it is just and f4. Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
We finished the day with some portraits under a driveway near the Cape Town Stadium.
And I must say the long end of the 24-70 can produce some nice results
even though it is just and f4.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony A7, Sony Zeiss 4/24-70mm.
James doing some high jumps in front of the cloud covered tip of lions head. This was about the only shot I exchanged the A7 for the a6000 due to the faster focusing system. Alexander Waetzel, Sony a6000, Sony G 4/70-200mm.
James doing some high jumps in front of the cloud covered tip of lions head.
This was about the only shot I exchanged the A7 for the a6000 due to the faster focusing system.
Alexander Waetzel, Sony a6000, Sony G 4/70-200mm.

To fill that post with some valuable technical information I will add a few things about the focusing systems of the two cameras I was using. The most common thing people complain about with mirrorless cameras is in fact the focusing systems. Since I shot almost the entire shoot with the A7 and the Sony/Zeiss 24-70 I must say it was hardly an issue for me at all. I just tried to stay in the centre focusing area where the system is aided with the phase-detection sensors and the camera was able to nail the shots at a rate of something about 70% which is good enough to me. My Nikon D600 wasn’t better at focusing than this one. There was just on occasion where james was jumping in the cameras direction as you can see in the last shot. Apparently this was too fast for the A7 to handle so i switched to my a6000 and just got the shots i wanted. The focusing speed this nifty little camera can deliver is just incredible. So when you think about getting a mirrorless camera and read somewhere about the poor focusing capabilities better try one on your own and see if it’s a problem for your shooting style. For me in 95% of real world use I’d say it is a non-issue at all.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little post. All the best from south-africa.

Alex

Like what you just have read?
Enter your E-Mail in the footer to follow and
we will inform you when we share new stuff!

Kommentar verfassen