Skydiving is a great experience and for many people it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If a friend is skydiving at a place like Sky Dive Taft, take advantage of the occasion by capturing their experience with a camera. Whether it's a tandem trip or a part of skydiving classes, there are easy ways to capture all the intense moments from the ground.
Using a DSLR camera, the following tips will help you capture clear and detailed images of divers in the sky.
Setting The Camera Up
Find a clear location that offers a view of the sky. When arriving at the skydiving center, it's important to talk to the instructors and find out about the ideal landing spots and skydiving paths. Once you find a location, you can properly set the camera up to prepare it for shooting.
- Tripod: Use a large and stable tripod. Because you are shooting at a little object in a large sky, you will want the tripod to be as stable as possible. If you are on grass, extend the metal grips of the tripod so that it can stay supported in the dirt.
- Sunlight: If the skydiving session is around noon then the sun will likely be straight up in the sky. Try to avoid shooting directly in the sun. Keep the sun pointing at your back as you take the pictures. It will eliminate over-exposed images and help keep the skydivers well lit.
- Aperture: Set the camera to a narrow aperture that is at least at an F-stop of 5.2. This will help keep everything in focus. Take a few test shots of anything in the sky like clouds or other plants to test out the aperture before the skydiving starts. If other skydivers are in the sky, snap pictures of them for extra practice.
When shooting skydiving trips, you have a wide variety of lens options. Consider each of these options for your pictures.
- Zoom Lens: A 75mm to 300mm lens provides a tight zoom to capture the skydivers in great detail. This is an especially nice lens for capturing the parachute when it gets opened up.
- Wide Lens: If there are multiple skydivers jumping at the same time, then you should consider a wide angle lens. This type of lens can capture the whole sky
- Telescope Adapters: Get really close on the skydivers by using a telescope adapter. By attaching a T-ring and a universal camera adapter to a telescope, the camera can feature a large zoom lens. Take extra time to set this up properly and gain the proper position in the sky.
Practice makes perfect when shooting these images. Snap as many as you can to ensure you have shots that are in focus, capture ideal facial expressions, and can be used to make large prints.