With the winter fast approaching I'm guessing some of you will be planning a little seasonal ski or snowboard action as part of your festive breaks. So for anyone with an interest in such chilly activities, with an additional penchant for photography and a desire to improve on their quick fire action shots, you may be interested in a recent event that took place on a slightly rainy afternoon in London's Battersea Park.
Recently I was kindly invited to attend the London Ski and Snowboard Show by Nikon with a view to testing out the Nikon D5500, picking up some tips and tricks from expert photographers Dan Vojtech, Martin Privratsky and Neil Freeman, and getting some shots of our own on the action packed slopes at the event.
First a little about our tutors for the day. Dan Vojtech is a Czech photographer who focuses on action, adventure and lifestyle photography, specialising in extreme sports. He has worked previously for Red Bull and has a string of other credits to his wide and creative portfolio, working worldwide with a variety of magazines and other companies.
Martin Privratsky also hails from the Czech Republic and is a documentary filmmaker producing viral content and advertising for a number of brands worldwide. He also concentrates on extreme sports and lifestyle and his most recent film is a portrait of life and of the people living in Los Angeles.
Last but not least, Neil is a professional photographer and a tutor at the Nikon Training School based in London. I hadn't previously heard of the school, situated on Margaret Street in the West End, but having chatted in length to Neil about what they offer, it sounds like a fantastic place to head for the day to get in some very handy photography training, advice and tips from the professionals. So I may well check it out for myself in the near future.
Now thanks to the Great British transport system annoyingly I missed a little of the initial introduction from Dan, but following a quick catch up and re-cap on how to get the best out of the cameras, myself and a friend hit the slopes, or 'Battersea Mount' as it was so titled, with the rest of the team to try our hand at getting in some top shots.
Despite the quick learning curve I'm still very happy with the photos that came out of the afternoon. It was great being so close to the action and getting advice from the experts. Plus the Nikon D5500 was a pretty easy camera to pick up and get to grips with quickly, whilst still taking some quality photographs.
As D-SLR cameras go this lightweight and compact version lends itself to easy use for even the most inexperienced of photographers. In fact you can easily get some decent shots just by leaving it in auto and using the point and shoot approach that I admit I have favoured in the past!
With a number of useful functions such as touch screen for easy navigation, as well as built in wi-fi to enable you to share your masterpieces straight from the camera, I really quite liked this sharp and functional piece of equipment and getting to test the camera out on real and very active subject matter over the course of an afternoon was a real treat! It's also designed to work well in low light which makes it a useful piece of kit for photographing subjects on darker, wintery days.
The Ski and Snowboard Show was equally an afternoon well spent and if you're an avid skier or snowboarder, is well worth a visit. Held annually over the course of 4 days, you can immerse yourself in all things ski related. Watch all of the action on the mount, get down to the live music on the alpine stage, have a giggle in the comedy tent and partake in a little après ski with some warming food and drink at one of the welcoming stalls.
You can also lose yourself for a good hour or so amongst the stalls of the many exhibitors as you pick out a myriad of equipment, all that you could possibly ever need for your next expedition to those snowy slopes.
So as day turned to dusk the days activities came to a close. After such an enjoyable afternoon with Nikon and some truly warming and friendly hospitality we headed home armed with an SD card full of shots from the event, shared here with you today.
Now I may need a little more practice but I look forward to putting what I learned to the test and continuing to improve my photography skills, knowledge of the equipment and how to get the best out of it. I really appreciate Nikon giving me the opportunity to add a few more tricks to the list!
Are you a keen photographer or someone wanting to improve on their current knowledge? Do you have any top tips for never missing those all important action shots? Interested to know your thoughts.