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28 Oct 2013

This afternoon, I went to East Coast Lagoon Food Village for lunch which was unfortunately closed for renovation. I ended up spending time at the Cable Ski-Park (Ski 360 degree) at East Coast Parking taking photographs of water ski sports.
It was quite fun watching them ski, making stuns and fall into the water (for some). The splashes on the water and freezing the skier in the air when they made stuns, make great sports photography pictures.

The following are some pointers on how to capture and freeze the skier in action …

Stay Near the Starting Point

I've been here several times, and I always noticed that these skiers typically carry out their stuns on their return journey near the starting point. I guess the reason is because they do not need to walk so far back to starting point if they were to fall into the water.

Use Telephoto Lenses

If you want a clean close-up picture of the skier which is probably 30-80m away from you, a long telephoto lens is required. Today, I wasn't expecting to take water ski sports and thus did not have my long telephoto lens with me. After cropping the pictures for a closer-up view that was taken with my standard zoom lens (24-105mm), I can still still get decent pictures with a reasonable resolution.

Use Fast Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is key - In order to freeze the action of the skier and the water splashes made, a shutter speed of at least 1/320s is required (go higher if you can). Under bright sunlight, this should be very easy to achieve. However on a gloomy day (which I've tried before), you may need to step-up the ISO in order to achieve the desired shutter speed.

Continuous Focusing (AI Servo) Mode

Turn on the continuous focusing mode on your camera and start tracking the skier's head from afar when he is approaching. Stay alert and be ready to click your shutter when he does the stun.

Continuous Drive/Shooting Mode

Not every time you will get to see an expert water skier performing stuns such as 360-degree turn in the air. So if you spotted one, it may be good to switch to continuous shooting mode so that you can capture a whole series of the skier's action as he flips in the air.

While watching the water ski, I spotted 2 cranes that were hanging around me. Believe it or not, I spent half an hour chasing after them for photographs until I realize my stomach is groaning and it was already 2.30pm :)

Please visit for more photos …

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