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Winter Sports (Skeleton / Downhill) and Scenes with the LX100 and GX7

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by sgreszcz, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    My brother is the current Canadian Skeleton Champion and competed in his first World Cup circuit this year. I was fortunate to be able to see him race in St. Moritz, Switzerland late this January. The track is the oldest in the world, and the only one that is naturally refrigerated. They build it from scratch with snow and ice each year and it is 1700m long.

    This was my first time shooting in the winter, and the first time with my GX7 and LX100. I shot both stills and video and packed the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 and Olympus 75-300 zoom lenses. This is also the first time I've tried to process images from RAW which was especially important because of the snow throwing off the metering.

    Friday, there was heavy snow for the training runs. I shot the starts mostly with the GX7 and P35-100 using C-AF and the back-button focusing technique I learned about on this site. I got a few good results, but I think that the snow confused the autofocus sometimes.

    Matt Antoine - USA - 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist
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    Austrian Sledder

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    Russians Inspecting the Track

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    Race day featured ideal conditions (clear and cold) but it was murder on my hands. I continued with C-AF for the starts, but also experimented with 4k video for stills (in the next post).

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    GX7 - Watching the women race

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    LX100 - Cross Country Skiing (very popular there)

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    The day after the race was spectacularly sunny. We went up the gondola to watch the Women's World Cup Downhill event which was also on that weekend.

    LX100 - St Moritz

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    GX7 + O75-300 - Women's Downhill 1

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    GX7 + O75-300 - Women's Downhill 2

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    LX100 - Downhill Finish Line

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    GX7 - Church

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    GX7 - Winter Scene

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    GX7 - Winter Taxi

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    GX7 - My Brother

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    LX100 - On the Lake (they were setting up for horse racing and polo matches)

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    LX100 - Sundown

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    GX7 - Mountainscape
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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
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  2. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    As I mentioned above, the C-AF performance from day 1 resulted in quite a few missed shots (but I think a lot of it had to do with the heavy snow confusing the AF). Also, when I was shooting in the horseshoe turn on the first day, I realised that I was struggling to get the sledders in frame as they were travelling at about 100 km/h (doing about 4.5 g). W

    I experimented with shooting 4k video at 25 fps and 1080p at 50 fps to capture the action. They may not be the sharpest shots, but I wouldn't have got them otherwise. Because the sliders are running on natural ice, there is no sound and by the time you see them arriving into the turn, they have already gone. Here is what I came up with, mostly taken with my LX100. The tricky bit here is getting it right in camera as there is a lot less you can do to fix the image in post processing.

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    From a very heavy 4k crop, but now I can also use the video of my brother's start.
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    Photographing the action
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    My brother pulling 4.5 Gs in Horseshoe turn
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    Now I just have to find time to cut the video ;)
     
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  3. itsky

    itsky New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 15, 2015
    Those dudes are savages. Great photos.
     
  4. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Thanks! My brother used to play rugby, and decided to find a sport where he could possibly make it into the Olympics. He was a bit disheartened when he started out as there were many more "crazy people like him" than he expected trying to do the same. After seven+ years of training he barely missed out on the Olympics last year and broke into the top 10 in the world his first full year in the World Cup Circuit this year.

    Strange sport though. Full-out sprint for 5 seconds bent over pushing a heavy sled, then trying to do as little as possible for the next minute while moving at speeds of up to 140 km/h. Funny enough he says the run feels like you are in slow motion, or floating, not like a rush or a blur.

    I would have my eyes closed :)