Chase Jarvis RAW: Freeskier Action NZ

[Update: reposted the above vid in a refreshed post here since I had new work from the campaign to show and since SanDisk just made an announcement. But do check out the crew vid below - takes a village to make something like this come together....]

As promised, we’ve dug out from all the data and our primary function of actually shooting this SanDisk campaign enough to show you an initial look of the actual work. These video clips aren’t deliverables for us, but rather they’re cool, quick and dirty behind-the-scenes clips highlighting the scenarios from which our still image deliverables will come. Although the finals stills won’t be selected for weeks–when we get back to the ranch and work that out with the client, AD’s, etc–this stuff here should give you a wicked sneak peek, and we’ll be sure to post some obvious outtake stills when we get another tiny breath in our schedule.

Given that one of your biggest questions is always “how do you get access to work with particular talent, whether it’s a fashion model, a celebrity, or–in this case–a world class skier or snowboarder?”, I thought I’d rope in my good friend Christopher Jerard to help introduce this clip. Why? Because the short answer is that models come from a variety of sources. Sometimes we work with modeling agencies–we like a look or a vibe, and we book ‘em. Celebrity stuff often comes via assignment and thru a lot of publicist and media/client back and forth. But HERE, I’ve reached out to Jerard — he runs both Freeskier and Snowboard Magazines. Christopher has been our liaison to the snowsports superstars: Simon Dumont, Peter Olenick, Colby West, TJ Shiller, and JP Auclair. Watch them in action in the above video, then learn more about them and the rest of our awesome crew for the SanDisk job in the video below: Chase Jarvis RAW: NZ Crew. That’s right, two RAW vids in one post. A two’fer if you will….

First, big Ups to my homies from Common Market for the music in the action vid above- they always crush it. Check them out here on iTunes.

And lastly, before diving into the crew vid: in response to all the inquiries pouring in via Facebook and Twitter, the video dSLR that we’re using to pull most of this together is indeed the new Nikon D300s, shooting 720 HD video, complete with the ‘auxiliary audio in’ that we’ve been asking for…(and we’re using this Rode Stereo Video Mic). We are fully digging this setup. Here’s the B&H; link for all y’all to oogle.

Thanks again to SanDisk for letting us share all this stuff. Mad props.

Related posts:
[Behind The Curtain: Guts of a Commercial Shoot Video]
[Video Report From the Heliworks Barn]
[Video: Packing Quick 'n' Dirty]
[Chase Jarvis RAW: NZ Basecamp]
[UPDATED behind-the-scenes snapshot gallery]

Get my every move: Follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter
Get exclusive content: Become a Fan on Facebook

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69 Responses to Chase Jarvis RAW: Freeskier Action NZ

  1. Jonathan Tramontana September 13, 2009 at 6:38 pm #


    Every time I tune into the blog, I'm buying more music… Rocky Votolato, Blue Scholars, Common Market. When are you going to post your iTunes music list so we don't have to find these gems one blog post at a time?


  2. joseph tutlo September 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm #


    how are you focusing on your subject when its moving that fast and often in mid-air with nothing to reference it by?

    joseph tutlo

  3. Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    You have to ask Colby west to sing my friend is a pro for you.

  4. Ian September 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    what was up with the weird strobing when Bruce was talking in the hanger? I notice it was gone on the next interview in the hanger? Sodium Vapour issues?

  5. Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    Nice. I get the mood instantly from that videos. Now I'd like to see more of the gear :)

  6. Phat Baby Photographer September 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm #


    Can you talk a little about how you use a tripod for many of the shots when it looks like the skier can be coming from anywhere? What's the advantage of using the pod since you presumably need a pretty fast shutter anyway to capture the flying wonders?


  7. Mark Dunlap Photography September 13, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    I hope this isn't one of those stupid questions. In the footage showing the skiers in action, I can hear the shutter from your camera going at machine gun speed. Are you shooting jpegs? I can't imagine the camera is firing at that rate for RAW images. This is one of those technical questions I wonder about at times.

  8. Daniel Cormier September 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    I've been following your blog since you started it. I must say that the stuff you and your fantastic crew have been pumping out the last couple of weeks is some of my favorite content. I really enjoy the behind the scenes stuff, either completely raw, as it's mostly been recently, or a bit more polished like these two videos. I'll take what I can get, frankly.

  9. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    @ jonathan: good suggestion – i'll do a post about music. but in truth my tastes and favs are a total moving target ;) … more soon

  10. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    @ joseph: with a reasonably large aperture (say f8), and a short focal length lens, everything beyond a short distance should be in focus to infinity. that's what those numbers on the barrel of lenses are for…

  11. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    @phat baby: i'm shooting sequences that will later be morphed into a single frame. shooting them on a tripod makes building the final image, athlete on background, infinitely easier.

    pulling this off has a lot to do with collaborating with the athlete for takeoff and landing, and knowing a lot about what you're photographing.

  12. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    @ mark dunlap: yes, the cameras are in fact shooting RAW or RAW+jpg that fast. 8 frames per second. You can imagine the amount of data we're writing to the cards.

    RAW is essential as a pro (and extremely useful as an advanced amateur). In my environment here, big, fast cameras + big fast cards are mission critical.

  13. ThatcherDorn September 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    AHHHHH! I can't wait get up on the hill! You are so lucky. Man, these guys are killing it for you. Thanks for sharing.

  14. ANDREW MAGUIRE PHOTO September 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm #


    Can you talk a little about your light set up for your sequence shots on the strair sets. I know you are using broncolor lights. Are you using all battery packs?? Just curious to see how you are able get the much light our of those packs and able to recharge so quickly. I am assuming you are running them near the lowest power setting so that your recycle time is quick. If you could shed some light on that, that would be sweet. THX

  15. Sean Berrigan September 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    Yo chase, what sunglasses were you wearing in the first video with the tall hat? super G.

  16. Adam September 13, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Who's jumping beside the jumper in the vid sequence over the big jump? Did that make sense? The only jump I saw on the two where the camera followed the jumper from the side. Do you have another jumper holding a camera sideways while in take off , air, and landing?

  17. Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Chase! Great vids man, keep up the good work!

    Yea as Sean asked, what sunglasses are you wearing in the first vid. They're dope.


  18. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    @ Sean: sunglasses are Smith Breakbeat. Color = black stripe.

  19. Matt Beaty September 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    This stuff is exactly why your blog is the top of my reading list! Your photos are awesome, the vids are great and the insight into the pro commercial world is the best! Keep 'em comin man!

  20. Chase Jarvis September 13, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    @ adam: the side by side skier footy was shot by Scott with the D300s.

  21. Daniel Fuentealba September 13, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    you should have come to Chile… next time! good job Chase!

  22. Michael Carney September 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    awesome. this behind the scenes stuff is my favorite for sure! keep up the great work!

  23. Adam September 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    back @Chase: Now I see why it is so hard to get a job with you… "big air ski jumping w/D300s while maintaining steady hands" tends to limit the pool a bit… not many people can check that box, nice job Scott!

  24. Theis Poulsen September 13, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Hey looks amazing makes me wanna both ski and take pictures :)

    Need an assistant any time let me know :)

    Big thx to Sandisk for letting you share this, very nice of them and a great thing for the community.

  25. Fotoknobi September 14, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    Hi Chase,

    the reloadtime of the flashes is awesome – did they really do 8fps ?

    greets from Germany

  26. Michael September 14, 2009 at 4:55 am #

    Chase, this past week are the info I really like from you but can you go more in-depth in to your setups and such so we know what we're seeing so to speck from the techie side. Maybe some illustrations or setup vid or snaps. With some in-depth info on the equipment you are using and why you chose it. and when you get back and maybe do some info on your post work. Like what you do back at base camp and then when you return to the studio take a image or 1000 and show us your workflow step by step.

    Keep up the great work.

  27. Dan September 14, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    Jeez, I'm excited, i don't know if you do it already, but sure this is an added value for the campaign, i'm already eager to see the final selection on print. Thanks a lot, by the way great music.

  28. Anonymous September 14, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    Awesome vids.
    Some set-up faq video would be nice also.

    "Common Market" – made my day!


  29. My name is DODDS September 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Curious what strobe kit you are using at night for the sequences? It looked like a Broncolor kit from a previous video, but wasn't sure. I wasn't aware of a studio style kit such as that capable of firing so quickly and for so long. I know Quantum and Sunpak are kits that a lot of action sport photographers use (as well as myslef) to shoot stobed sequences, but was curious what you are using?

  30. Matt Timmons September 15, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    To second Andrew and Dobbs-
    Curious on how you got such fast strobe recycle times- or is that just how fast they recycle out of the box? Love more info on the gear selection and setups.

  31. m2w2 September 18, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    chase, nice work, thanks for sharing :-) would you please tell me which camera and which flash(es) are used at 1:22 for shooting the series in the dark? Thanks!

  32. Tristan Wheelock September 19, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Great videos Chase! I'm sweating it out in India while watching them and seeing all that snow cools me down. I have one question though; how do you find the music for these short clips? Do you pay the artists or are you finding it through Creative Commons licensing or something similar or maybe they're just you're friends? I make short videos for my blog as well and it's always a challenge finding the right music for the right price… ideally free =) I would love some direction. Thanks again!


  33. Alan Bailward October 5, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Anyone know the song by common market for this video?

  34. Chase Jarvis October 5, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Common Market song is called "keep track". Avail on iTunes here:;=143441

    Love those guys, man. Great tune.

  35. Anonymous November 15, 2009 at 10:58 am #


    Quick couple of questions. Missing from your gear setup is your prefered Tripods and heads, could you add those to your gear list?

    Also, you were testing the new Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro Cf cards for your shoot. It is generally recommended not to use high volume cards for important shoots in case of card failure, but to use smaller but more cards. Whats your take on this?


  36. Darren November 16, 2009 at 1:02 am #


    Can you explain a bit more about shooting the sequences in Manual mode at f8 where everything past a certain focal point is in focus to infinity?


  37. Blair March 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    This inspired me to do the same type of high speed photography. While this was my first attempt, it turned out well

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