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Snowboard with Light Trail: How?

This photo by Dave Lehl is pretty impressive:

How is this done?  I wonder if it can be achieved with a single exposure, e.g., long shutter speed to capture the light trails and a flash fire as the snow boarder reaches the peak of the jump.  Or maybe it's two exposures -- one for the light trails and one to freeze action, then combine in post.  I ask because I'd like to do something similar with a gymnast on a balance beam.  Thanks in advance for any insights!



  • That is fascinating. He could not have used second curtain sync as the snow-border would have been frozen at the end of the light trial, not in the middle. Where is the light source from the green trail coming from? I see some green light on the snow so my guess it was aimed and followed him? It could be a fluorescent board but when he came off the jump then we would see the bottom of it first but I'm not sure. It does start at one point. 

    Seems to me that the photographer just left the shutters open for the entire length of the jump and had and off camera flash he fired independently at the precise moment. Still confused about the light source. I don't see the snow-border holding a light source. It comes out at a single point and spreads along the whole board as he starts to spin. That black strip in the middle of the green light is a clue I think but it is passes on the bottom of board while the light is on the top. I'm stumped.     
  • I think light's are adhered to the snowboard.  For the gymnast I want to photograph, I was thinking of having her wear glow bracelets on her wrists and ankles.

  • Yeah, they must be on the board. That makes sense. Your plan sound cools. Good luck and tell us how it goes.  
  • Why not fire off a quick email to Dave Lehl and simply ask him?  If he is down-to-earth enough to answer, do share of course!
  • Good idea. I'd like to know exactly how the board was lighted. It seems like a single point because that is what comes out of the start and is the dominant light trail. I guess the board turning causes it to spread. I'd still like to know what black strip in the middle of the green light is. I'm pretty sure I got the shutter vs off camera flash sequence right. Unless it was two separate exposures and photo shopped later but I doubt it.    
  • It looks to me like the board was painted with that glow stick stuff.
  • netfriendnetfriend Member
    edited October 2014
    Fascinating and eye catchy indeed. 

    Dave Lehl has a 'behind the scenes' video on his website describing similar shoot ... and the technique might be the same. http://davelehlblog.tumblr.com/page/5  

    If the technique is the same, Zenon you nailed it ... 

  • The photo screams "Photoshop" from the get-go and Dave confirmed it in the video.  Two different exposures + photoshop + a bottle of beer in hand drinking while you work.  
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