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01.14.2016

Guest post by John DiGiacomo

1/3200 F2.8 ISO 10,000 at 155mm paired with Nikon D4. Photo by John DiGiacomo.

1/3200 F2.8 ISO 10,000 at 155mm paired with Nikon D4. Photo by John DiGiacomo.

As a professional photographer who covers winter sports, I am continually subjecting my equipment to extreme elements and challenging lighting conditions. These images from the Viesmann Luge World Cup Event, held in Lake Placid, NY are a small example. The event started several hours after sunset, in wintry conditions.

LP_Luge_WC_(2_of_3)

1/4000 F2.8 ISO 12,800 at 155mm paired with Nikon D4. Photo by John DiGiacomo.

With competitors reaching speeds in excess of 70mph and the track lit by sodium vapor lights, what’s a photographer to do to produce useable images? Knowing I would need a minimum shutter speed of 1/2500th to produce a sharp image, I needed to push the ISO on my Nikon D4 to 12,800 and shoot wide open with my Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 lens. Also, I knew that I would have to shoot in RAW and not JPG, as I needed the flexibility of tweaking the white balance and reducing noise.

1/4000 F3.5 ISO 1250  at 180mm paired with Nikon D4. Photo by John DiGiacomo.

1/4000 F3.5 ISO 1250 at 180mm paired with Nikon D4. Photo by John DiGiacomo.

With all these variables to consider, as well as the pressure of ensuring that I had a sharp image of every competitor the last thing I want to concern myself with is how is my equipment going to hold up to the elements. By the time the race concluded my Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 lens had ice forming on it, but I was confident that this would not be a problem thanks to its rugged design.

 

Check out more of John DiGiacomo’s work on his website!

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