The NooB’s Guide to Snowboard Photography

It’s getting to be well into the New Year, and the n00b is looking for a change. Not in the hopeful promises of a new president kind of change, but a personal major life event kind of change. It’s also tax season, and the n00b realizes he’s one poor motherfucker. Not like, food stamps and two crack babies poor, but as Seth Rogen put it so eloquently in “Knocked Up,” the n00b eats a lot of spaghetti. The logical conclusion, of course, is to win the lottery. But the n00b hears that’s a pretty difficult game to win. So after some careful consideration, we found a way easier job.
Snowboard photography.

But other than what we’ve gleaned from all our research, we really don’t know much about being a pro-level shooter. So the n00b went to the largest compendium of top-notch digital imagery available: Getty Images. With one search for “snowboarding” and an eye for detail, here’s what the n00b learned from Getty — and what kind of photo crash course would be complete without photos to back up the lessons?

Lesson 1: Context


First things first, one of the most important lessons the n00b learned: CONTEXT RUINS A GOOD SNOWBOARD PHOTO. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we didn’t know this rule. You snowboarders and your crazy rules! Keep all evidence of a take-off, landing, or really anything but the snowboarder and some nifty background stuff out of your pictures.

Lesson 2: Tricks

trick_not_required_2 Tricks aren’t necessarily required. Also, be sure to avoid those times when the rider is holding on to their board.

Lesson 4: It’s All About the Sky


What IS necessary in a top-tier snowboard photo is a very pretty sky. The truer the blue, the more American you are, and god-dammit, the n00b loves America. (Well, mostly, as of late.) And apparently, snowboarding loves a good, blue, American sky.

Lesson 5: Framing


Framing the shot is key. Photographers use the “rule of threes.” Now, the n00b always took that to mean one shouldn’t try to bone more than three girls at any given time. (We just thought photogs got a lot of poon-tang.) What it actually means is you divide the frame up into three groups and try to put the object of your photo into one of those frames to emphasize them. In this example, we see the man falling from the sky, the jump from which a snowboarder might jump, and the large take-off ramp. Notice we see no landing. What do you think this is, the rule of fuckin’ fours? Read rule number one. Jesus, pay attention in class for once.

Lesson 6: Timing


Now, when shooting a trick (remember, they’re optional in a good snowboard photo, so don’t strain yourself), be sure to always get the beginning or very end of the trick. That’s when the rider is most focused — it’s do or die time.

Lesson 7: Logos are Key


At events, the sponsors are the ones making sure you get to party like a rock star and eat all the hors d’oeuvres you want. Show them some love by getting as many of their logos in your photo. After all, how else is anybody going to remember what the fuck an Xbox 360 is?

So, now that the n00b has given away all of the secrets to snowboard photography, it’s time for you to get out there and be somebody! …and quit your job, because the n00b needs it. Bad.

8 replies
  1. jason
    jason says:

    You guys should have a vote on the best snowboard acronym.
    GITS (guy in the sky)
    GTS (get the shot)
    GDS (get da shot)

  2. Zak Shelhamer
    Zak Shelhamer says:

    Bahahaha, no wonder I never get published. I’m going to take some intense photos of the “subject” right before he lands and send them to my local new paper. bang i’m famous

  3. cptshenanigans
    cptshenanigans says:

    well, apparently i am wasting my time in college majoring in photography… why didn’t someone tell me this 4 years ago?!

    anyone want to employ a photographer with a college degree?

    i’ll do your laundry 🙂

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