Expect the unexpected - How to capture the perfect apex jump.

Pictures of apex jumps are always popular with people. Many, if not all are out of focus to a greater or lesser extent. So how can you capture the perfect jump? The reason most captures are out of focus is that they are unexpected. By the time you’ve reacted and pressed the shutter you’ve either missed it completely or the camera hasn’t had time to focus.

So here’s my totally untried method.

Firstly, above is a picture of Quadzilla at the world cup doing an exhibition jump. People volunteered to lay beneath, the more the better. What could go wrong? After a couple of test jumps, and a circuit of the track he was ready to leap the victims… err volunteers (no one was hurt in this stunt).  The point is, I knew exactly where the leap would take place. I could track the subject and fire a bust on launch to get the optimum in focus shot.

Now, in a bout there is no way to pre-empt where it will happen. So here’s my solution. Position yourself where you can get a clean shot of the inside corner of the track. Pick your spot, turn one to four. If one happens it could be on any of them. I’d favour turn three from my experience. On each jam focus track one of the Jammers. Decide on which you think is more likely to pull off an apex jump. If you know the players it’ll give you a greater insight. Track them on the straight and if they move to the inside as they approach your chosen corner fire a burst. If a jump is going to happen your camera will be in the right position, focussed and ready to go.

Keep doing this until one happens. You may get one in your first bout, maybe your tenth, maybe the hundredth.

To be honest, using this method is only for the die hard, I must have that shot, type person. It’d bore me silly going to bouts aiming for one shot that may never come off. I’d rather chance it with a lucky strike. As I said, it’s totally untried, I make no guarantees.


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