Ever since I first bought my water housing to photograph surfing, I had been looking for ways to use it for snowboarding. To create the shot I wanted I needed two key components, legit snowboard action and clear water.
I started to get jobs working with Red Bull, and they would come up with these crazy ideas and then build what they wanted. This is when I realized that I could just build the components that I needed and shoot it in a semi controlled environment.
I had my housing equipped with a 20 foot custom sync cord so that I could fire the strobes from under the water using a Pocket Wizard remote. When it came to lighting the scene, I knew that I would need at least one strobe to light the fish and rocks. For this, I set up a Profoto Acute 600 at full power and directed it down, right in front of me. The idea of having waterproof lights in the water was consided but I didn’t think it would make much of a difference when considering the extra cost involved. This shot was going to be backlit so I was going to need all the fill light I could get. For this, I set up a Profoto 7b, able to fire 2 strobes. I used one with a narrow beam reflector on the left side as fill light and the other head on the right side just to help eliminate motion blur.
Finally it was time to have the fish swim into the frame. I thought this was going to be easier than it was. Eventually Clayton Shoemaker jumped into the water with me to help wrangle them into position. Fish food didn’t work. I would yell up to Lauri every time a fish was in the frame and he would drop in. After about 25 attempts we had the shot.