One of the best ways to capture extreme sports athletes in their environment is to use a flash. Flash helps to add drama to a scene while also letting you control exactly where you want the light to come from. Combine this with use of a fisheye and you’re usually well equipped to create awesome images.
Take skateboarding for example: photographer Sam McGuire shot a video a little while back on the importance of flash duration when photographing skaters. Flash duration essentially takes over whatever the shutter speed is and works to stop fast moving motion. Typically, studio strobes have much faster flash duration than speedlights and can freeze motion like a skateboarder grinding a rail.
Sam explains that flash durations are measured in fractions of a second, just like shutter speeds. “The faster the flash duration, the sharper your image will be” says Sam.
His video on using flashes for skateboard photography is after the jump.