The long way to the right moment

Oct 17, 2011
by Christoph Laue  
The true story about Paul, myself, and Mr. Frog.

First we had to find a location where we had fluent water and a nice washed out corner. The best locations are often not that far away from home. Fortunately we found this only 5 min away from my place which was good ´cause of the wet cold clothes after the shoot.

We built up a run along the small brook, so Paul had enough speed to get the corner right. In the beginning he was cautious getting wet, but after his first bail he didn't care anymore.

I tried some different angles with the sun until she went down and darkness came up.

I used my Nikon D200 without any water protection, which wasn't the best idea. It was soon covered with sand and muddy water. The lens made some odd sounds while focusing.

In the evening i checked my pictures and decided to give it another try because the water wasn't that sharp.

Some days later, we came back to the same spot with a different camera and plastic bag for protection. The advantage of the Nikon D70s was the way faster flash synchronization.

Photo Christoph Laue
  To get the splashing water sharp, you need about 1/800s and 1/1000s with the flash.

After a few touch downs in the cold water Paul was awake and totally motivated.

Finally I was happy with the result.

suddenly, a frog passed my way and a new idea was born. Mr. Frog had to be in the picture.

The only problem, Mr. Frog was absolutely lazy. He didn't jump at all at the same time Paul was riding behind him.

It seemed Mr. Frog enjoyed the splashing water. I prefer it more dryly.

After many many tries a snail paaaaaaasssseeeeeeeed. Quite a while later we could continue.


Some details:
Camera: Nikon D200 and Nikon D70s
Flashes: Nikon Sb25, Nikon Sb26, Metz
Some clear plastic bags for camera and Flashes
One lazy frog

Thanks to Mr. Frog, Paul Ehm and Max Hübl! Special thanks to Mrs/Mr. Snail for the breeeaaak!

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Laue avatar

Member since Sep 13, 2008
8 articles

  • 50 1
 You must have very impressive reflexes to catch the frog like that! Its nice to see such an insight to one of the more unique photos on this site.
  • 21 56
flag bigpeaches (Oct 17, 2011 at 0:52) (Below Threshold)
 Shutter RATE speed gets shots like this mate, the ability to take 6 or 7 or even 10!!! shots a second means pushing the button for the whole sequence then out of the 40 or so shots taken, pick the best one Wink ...... no one could do that with just one click.... but great shots non the less Well done Christoph
  • 19 4
 d70 only has a shutter rate of like 8fps. Not "40 or so"
  • 15 0
 The Nikon D70s can only do 3fps, so its better to concentrate on one single shot.
  • 9 0
 peaches, no mate you would never take 40 shots in sequence. Mabye 3 to 5. You'd be surprised what you can react to with a camera. Plus with a flash setup you can usually only get one shot that maintains your composition. A frogs jump isn't so fast that "no one could do that with just one click".
  • 30 2
 @bigpeaches, Chuck Norris could....
  • 5 3
 Snapshots are taken with the machine gun approach, photographs are made like Christoph explains above.
  • 3 11
flag Bjammin (Oct 17, 2011 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @ryanf93, Vladmir Putin could....
  • 5 0
 as redrock mentioned, you can't do sequences with a flash. the flash uses a big capacitor which take a few seconds to charge up between flashes.
  • 5 4
 Matyboy: you're not a photographer either that or you're just a bad one... MOST if not ALL good shots come out of what's called "burning film" (although it's been a long while since film was involved Wink ) but in reality, the more shots you take, the more chances to get a good one you have. In fact, the story above proves that. He may have shown 10 shots, but I'd bet he took hundreds including multiple shots per run-in the guy made. It's just how you do it with action shots... I'm not saying there was no skill involved, but ryou've got to take as many images as you can and now that were in the digital age it's even EASIER to do then it was for those of us who actually had to "roll our own" (T-max anyone???) or buy film.

This is SUCH a sweet story to go with one of the most unique pictures I've seen in quite awhile. Awesome shot to say the least.
  • 3 1
 actualy what you learn in the process of getting a photographer is to set up your stuff so you do not need to shoot shoot shoot, for several factors.... example as mentioned above cause most flashs require load time so you can maintain your composition and its mostly a gamble to get the flash fully burned down when you do 3-11fps. at the end doing repetitive shots helps to get your rider in the exact position where you want him but its not the best way to get your photo exactly where you want it to be.

P.S.: yes you can do this with 1 shot.
  • 3 2
 sure, you can do ANYTHING in one shot, but it's a gamble and NO, you won't get the best results... You guys are incorrect about the flashes, alot of flashes CAN do sequences, it's not exactly new tech aye... They give off more consistant light at a single flash, but they can be programed to do sequences or just run multiple units.

Views: I accidentaly gave you neg props sorry...
  • 1 0
 dont worry, your absolutly right, what i mean is more that the preparations and experience/knowledge of setting up a shot properly and making a plan, if its in your head or on paper, is often overlooked cause theres the neat click click click function. it is reality that most shots get shot very very often every professional does that, im working in several commercial photostudios, you wouldnt believe what some of the well known photographers do lol STILL it is important to get your head around what you want to do and prepare it, thats what divides the professional and the amateur.
  • 1 0
 Agreed... As someone who comes from an old school "FILM" background alot of this new tech is like cheating to me aye...
  • 1 0
 Guessing you still ride a fully rigid singlespeed then?
  • 1 0
 Hate to tell you this Medic, but nothings changed mate. All it means is that you don't use a darkroom, or use up loads of film. Digital has just made photography more accessible, and of course you can see what you have before you develop it. Not exactly cheating. A good photographer, a camera does not make.

Also, the "machine-gun" approach is what's used for pretty much every race shot you see that isn't using flash, so the photographer can pick the best one often because he's pre focussed. Sven Martins great at it.
  • 1 1
 All my point was, is that if he was (somehow) able to shoot at the 40fps, then that would be faster than most video. Damn.
  • 1 0
 The funny thing is that he never said anything about 40 frames per second or even 40 frames in a row [QUOTE] "the ability to take 6 or 7 or even 10!!! shots a second" [/QUOTE] you guys need to learn how to read LOL
  • 1 0
 "pushing the button for the whole sequence then out of the 40 or so shots taken, pick the best one "
  • 3 0
 I see POD somewhere up there Wink The picture of a jumping frog is just sick, such a good stretch and a superman posture - perfect timing! Big Grin I also love number 8, it's great!
  • 5 0
 some great POD shots up there!
  • 4 14
flag Protour (Oct 17, 2011 at 8:18) (Below Threshold)
 Dumb photos, I don't see anything impressive here, except the jumping frog shot. But why not just take pictures of jumping frogs? Combining it with shots of a mountain biker repeatedly splashing into the same shitty corner over and over again? Even the frog got bored and decided to bail.
  • 7 0
 Someone got up on the wrong side of life here, buddy. When nothing good to say comes up in your thoughts,say nothing and just keep it to yourself until something nice or constructive comes up,then talk. peace.
  • 8 0
 Protour, do you kick puppies in your free time too?
  • 2 1
 think he does, a Canadian to boot! shame on u No-Protour.haha. life is good and It's all for fun.let's go ride.
  • 2 0
 Seeing more photo stories at the moment. Hardly suprising that people are digging out their best shots and making an article about them with the moninations for photo of the year running.
  • 2 0
 I found a frog yesterday while doing a car shoot. started taking pictures of the little guy, and realized those things are damn hard to catch mid jump in a photo. for that I give you mad props.
  • 1 0
 After more tries, a Pop Tart Cat flew by and double rainbows glimmered in air, but Christoph was too entranced by the sight that he failed to photograph it.

That or he expecting a triple rainbow... should've relied on machine gun shooting, bro. You know your camera can shoot 3 or maybe *10* shots in a second, AMIRITE? Imagine if you did that instead, then maybe you could've photographed that unicorn too and picked out the best one out of the 40 shots to post!
  • 2 0
 Great work Christoph. Great dedication to achieve and realize a nice idea. But I still wonder how you got flash sync at 1/1000s?
  • 2 0
 The D70s have an electronic shutter so you can shoot at 1/1000s
  • 1 0
 That's cool, I didn't know that. That allows some great flexibility and creativity.
  • 1 0
 laue you would probably be able to get some crazzzzy pics with the new pocket wizards that allow for stupid high sync speeds with ttl info
  • 2 0
 Loving the effort put into this... I know it can take forever before THE shot is in the box, but it's just so rewarding when it does.
  • 2 0
 there are so many doub boring photos taken by pros that don't bring anything new. It's nice to see lot of dedication to get a really creative shot! Smile
  • 3 0
 amazing shots but my favorite its gotta be the 7th one from the bottom
  • 1 0
 i honestly like the one with the sunset in the background even though the water isn't 100% sharp
  • 1 0
 Why the hell would you destroy a D200 like that? The pictures are so good but lenses aren't supposed to make 'funny' noises while focusing!!!
  • 1 0
 those elnichrom triggers/ recievers make me want to shoot myself in the face they're so temperemental. on the other hand, sick photos and a cool little story!
  • 2 0
 please tell me more about that magic toad. How long were you tripping?
  • 2 0
 that frog is soooo dialed.
  • 1 0
 Good photos! Jacking that trail system up by riding it in those conditions though. Bad impact on the environment.
  • 1 0
 Great insight, really enjoyed it!
  • 1 0
 Love this story! So very very well done bro!
  • 1 0
 So awesome ! Good job on the picture its banger !
  • 1 0
 Awesome pictures! Very cool!
  • 1 0
 interesting behind da scene it!
  • 1 0
 Awesome pictures!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Verey nicey!
  • 1 0
 Multi POD
  • 1 0
 I see UMF Duncan!
  • 1 0
 some very cool pics!

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