Denver, Colorado-based action, adventure, and lifestyle photographer Dave Lehl recently wanted to do something a little different with skateboarding photography, and ended up settling on the idea of using fireworks to add extra action to the shots.
The behind-the-scenes photograph above shows how the project came together.
Lehl’s first idea was to use a smoke bomb behind the skater and in front of the flash. The some bombs lasted 30 seconds each, and worked well for creating atmosphere:
Next, he decided to strap sparklers to the end of the skateboard while the skater did grinds. Lehl used composite photography to achieve the look he wanted. After using a long exposure (2s, f/5.6) to capture light trails from the sparklers, he had the skater do the exact same trick for a second photo. This time, Lehl used a flash (1/1000s, f/5.6) to freeze the action.
By combining the two shots, he was able to create images showing a skater frozen mid-trick who’s surrounded by intense spark trails:
Image credits: Photographs by Dave Lehl and used with permission