Because for every Queen, there’s a guy (or a girl) behind her with a camera.
As I mentioned in my article last week about being the Suzuki Nine Queens course starter, there’s a lot more to this unique event than “just” the best women in snowboarding and freeskiing flying over a spectacular castle made of snow. There are also so many individuals working behind the scenes to make this snowsports phenomenon happen.
Or in this case, behind the lens—because for every Queen on the screen, there’s a guy (or a girl) behind her with a camera. Meet a few of the camera people of Suzuki Nine Queens—nine, actually, to stick with the theme.
Role: Event filmer
Camera kit: Sony FS700 + 85mm
Favorite focal length: 85mm is my favourite for a lot of reasons. It works in so many situations, creates the perfect closeness for portraits and can give you a beautiful bokeh. And 85mm lenses usually have really big glass, which looks cool.
Favorite video technique: Probably Glidecam. It creates a smooth but organic camera movement and works for almost everything. Always good to bring a Glidecam.
Words of wisdom for filmers: If you don’t go, you won’t know.
Role: Lead event filmer & co-director / Peoplegrapher
Camera kit: RED Dragon +70-200mm, Steadycam
Favorite focal length: 50mm – You can shoot everything with it. You can go close or you can go wide and you don’t have any distortion on the sides. You just have to choose your framing, closer or farther away.
Favorite video technique: Definitely the Steadycam because I love dynamic shots, I love that you can express something with movement. I think it makes a picture interesting to the viewer, even if the content isn’t that interesting.
Words of wisdom for filmers: Go out and shoot. Don’t talk about the technical stuff, just do your thing and don’t be a nerd. It’s all about being creative, asking people if they want to do a project for free; just getting out there and doing things.
Role: Event photographer / Distillery
Camera kit: Nikon D4 + 35mm 1f/.8
Favorite focal length: The one that’s good for the shot.
Favorite photo technique: Getting the shot.
Words of wisdom for photographers: Learn seeing before picking up a camera. It’s the most important thing. The photo is done in your head and in your eye, and not in the camera. Fixed focal lengths are much better than zooms because they force you to look around a little bit more. And avoid putting your camera bag in the frame!
Role: Event filmer / Distillery
Camera kit: Sony SF700 with the Oddysey7Q+ recorder + Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Favorite focal length: 35mm
Favorite film technique: Handheld. I definitely like it when there’s a little movement in the shot even if you’re aiming for steady footage. Surely it depends on what you’re a about to shoot, but I always try to get natural movement in the shot.
Words of wisdom for filmers: Check white balance. It’s not about the camera. People tend to think that a good, expensive camera brings in good shots. Pay attention on framing, movement of camera and what you want to tell with your shot.
Mark von Roy
Role: Video production manager / Distillery
Camera kit: Sony FS700 + Walimex 24mm f/1.4mm on a Glidecam 2000
Favorite focal length: I really dig the 24mm on the FS700 for Steadycam shots. For features like this it kind of does the feature justice. For lifestyle I love the 50mm as well.
Favorite video technique: That’s a tough one. For a couple of weeks you’re thinking, “Oh, those drone shots are sick!” But then it gets oversaturated, and you’re over it. The same happened with Glidecam. Variety, I would say — in any edit, variety is key.
Words of wisdom for filmers: Be a sponge. If you’re around talented people, ask questions, observe, find out what they do and try to absorb as much knowledge as you can. Go shooting for a week or two using just one focal length. It’s all about getting the right angle for the lens, and that helped me think about framing in a whole different way.
Role: Invited photographer / Freelancer. I was lucky to get an invitation this year, I was so stoked when the organizers hit me up about this. I always wanted to get here because the setup always looks so crazy in the pictures.
Camera kit: Canon 1DX + Canon 70-200mm w/ 1.4x extender, Elinchrome flashes
Favorite focal length: It depends on what I’m shooting. I really like the fisheye for skateboarding, close-up shots. I also like 50mm for taking portraits, and sometimes it’s really good for action shots. I actually like fixed lenses better, but because I have to shoot a lot of big stuff, like big jumps in the park or backcountry, I always have to be able to use some different zooms.
Favorite photo technique: I love playing with backgrounds and foregrounds. I don’t really like to just take a regular picture of the setup. I like having people in the foreground, or some trees, or other funny stuff going down. I like to catch not just one thing in the picture, but everything that surrounds it as well.
Words of wisdom for photographers: Keep taking photos. Don’t try to copy anyone, you’ve got your own eye for that. Just enjoy and don’t take it too seriously.
Role: Filmer, Rebel TV
Camera kit: Panasonic GH4 + 12-35mm f/2.8 on a DJI Ronin gimbal
Favorite focal length: That’s hard. I think it depends on what you’re shooting, but I think that 35mm is perfect for the gimbal. It’s clear for portraits and works well on the Ronin.
Favorite video technique: Not particularly. When the picture is fine, it’s just a feeling.
Words of wisdom for filmers: Do what you like. If you’re having fun, you’re doing the right thing.
Role: Video asset collector, GoPro
Camera kit: Today I had a lot of headcams to hand out to the girls to make sure they’re wearing cameras. So I brought a lot of ready-to-go headcams, I think I have 15 GoPros in my bag, plus a few special mounts like the “unicorn” that sticks off the front of your head, that’s good for the no-handed selfie. I also have a thing called a Norbert, I attach a big microphone to that that cuts out all the wind noise that we get up here.
Favorite focal length: Anything past 10cm is pretty much what I’m into. 8mm is where I’m at, and I like to keep it there.
Favorite video technique: Let the athletes do it.
Words of wisdom for filmers: Charge your batteries, check the lens cap and make sure it’s in focus.
Role: Invited photographer/ Freelancer
Camera kit: Canon D1X + 70-2oomm
Favorite focal length: 70mm
Favorite photo technique: Shooting into the sun/flares
Words of wisdom for photographers: Set your goals high and put in the work to chase them, you might surprise yourself!