Ski Racing Photography Tips: 9+ Pro Tips

Ski Racing Photography Tips
A ski racing moment

How do you take good pictures of ski racing? If you are looking for ways to elevate your photography skills and capture the essence of this adrenaline-pumping sport, this guide is for you.

I’ll share my top ski racing photography tips and tricks to help you get started.

Let’s dive in!

Why Ski Racing Photography?

Racing moment of the team of skiers
A team of skiers gliding down the snowy slopes

Ski racing photography is not just about freezing moments; it’s about capturing the essence of speed, skill, and competition.

The athletes are fast, so your camera needs to keep up. The snowy landscapes offer both challenges and opportunities, and the intensity on the racers’ faces is priceless.

The best ski racing photography tips often revolve around understanding these unique aspects.

Must-Have Equipment for Ski Racing Photography

Before you hit the slopes, make sure you’re well-equipped.

·         Camera

A DSLR or mirrorless camera capable of high-speed shooting is a must.

·         A Telephoto Lens

A telephoto lens is essential for capturing distant subjects.

·         A Camera Backpack

If you’re concerned about skiing with your camera, a weatherproof bag is a must. Don’t miss my latest article that serves as a 2023 buyer’s guide on what is the best camera backpack for skiing.

At times, you may need to ski a certain distance to get the best shot during the race. In such cases, knowing how do you carry a camera when skiing becomes crucial.

·         A Tripod

A sturdy, weather-resistant tripod is invaluable, especially for long shooting sessions. Just make sure it’s easy to set up and dismantle, as you’ll likely be moving to different locations.

·         Filters

Don’t forget about filters, especially polarizing filters, which can help reduce glare from the snow and make the sky pop. They can be a game-changer in bright, snowy conditions.

·         Other

Lastly, always carry extra batteries and memory cards. Ski racing events can be long, and the last thing you want is to run out of power or storage space just as the perfect shot presents itself.

How to Frame the Perfect Ski Racing Moment

Captured two skiers in one shot during a ski race
Two skiers in one dynamic shot at a ski racing event

Framing the perfect ski racing shot is both an art and a science.

·         Locations

Start by scouting locations a day early, focusing on angles that capture the skier’s speed and skill.

·         Lighting

Optimal lighting occurs in the late morning or late afternoon, adding depth through dynamic shadows.

·         Lens

Lens choice is key; I often find that a focal length between 70-200mm works well for capturing the action. They allowed me to either isolate the skier or include the environment for context.

·         Compositin

Composition matters too. Use the rule of thirds to position the skier and leave room for motion, enhancing the photo’s dynamism.

·         Incorporate Elements

Incorporate elements like trees or flags to add interest.

With mastering these details, and I’ve captured ski racing moments that are technically excellent and emotionally compelling.

Techniques for Photographing Ski Racing Action

Ski racing action shot
A ski racing action shot

The real magic happens when you start shooting.

Using burst mode allows you to capture several frames per second, which is essential for high-speed sports like ski racing.

Panning is another technique I swear by. Using a slower shutter speed while following the subject can produce dynamic shots that give a sense of motion.

If you’re wondering what shutter speed works best for ski photography, I recommend a fast shutter speed, around 1/1000s, to freeze the action.

Ski Racing Photography Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to ski racing photography, don’t fret. Start with basic settings:

  • Use a fast shutter speed (at least 1/1000s) to freeze action.
  • Opt for a small aperture (f/8 to f/11) for a wider depth of field.
  • Keep ISO low to avoid noise but be flexible based on lighting.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Stay off the racecourse to avoid accidents.
  • Look up and down the slope before changing positions.
  • Observe racers to anticipate their speed and movements.
  • Use this knowledge to capture the perfect moment.
  • Take time to review photos on-site.
  • Use immediate feedback to improve your skills.

These ski racing photography tips for beginners should set you on the right path to capturing great photos.

Post-Processing Tips: Making Good Ski Racing Photos Great

Once you’ve captured your photos, the next step is post-processing. I usually use Adobe Lightroom for its user-friendly interface.

  • Focus on adjusting exposure, contrast, and color balance to make your photos pop.
  • For more advanced ski photography tips, delve into using presets and filters in your editing software to give your photos a professional touch.

How to Capture the Thrill of the Race: Best Tips

Ski racing thrilling moment
A thrilling moment in ski racing action

A thrilling moment in ski racing action

Capturing the essence of the race is all about timing and focus.

  • Knowing the course helps you anticipate where the action will be.
  • Aim for shots that capture the athletes’ intensity and emotion.

How do you take good pictures of racing? By focusing on the thrill and emotion of the moment, I’ve been able to capture the true excitement of the sport.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Even seasoned photographers make mistakes.

1.      Overexposure

The bright snow can trick your camera’s metering system, leading to overexposed photos. Always check your camera’s histogram and use exposure compensation if needed.

2.      Incorrect focus

Make sure to set your focus point correctly to get sharp images.

These ski racing photography tips and tricks should help you avoid these common pitfalls.


Ski racing photography is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding field that offers endless opportunities for capturing breathtaking moments.

With the right equipment, techniques, and a bit of practice, you can take photos that truly do justice to the speed, skill, and emotion of this exhilarating sport.

The best ski racing photography tips are those that help you capture these essential elements.

But remember, the most important tip of all is to get out there and start shooting. No amount of reading or preparation can substitute for hands-on experience.

So grab your camera, hit the slopes, and put these tips into practice.

My Tip: Whether you’re a beginner or looking to up your game, the mountain is your canvas and your camera is your brush.