KTM Canada just signed on canadian 5 times motocross Canadian Champion JSR, Jean-Sebastien Roy.

I was hired to shoot JSR in action for the KTM PR launch of their new partnership… and at the same time have fun with the Nikon SU-800 Commander!

Now retired from racing he will act as a brand ambassador and team captain for their racing team. Here are some behind the scene and action sports images from the shoot…

Jean-Sebastien invited us to do the shoot in his home town of Acton Vale, Quebec. As luck would have it, it was one of the last beautiful, sunny and warm day of the fall. We got started with a quick portrait of JSR behind his grand-mother’s farm in Acton Vale.

Getting ready for the shoot…

The barn colours were a perfect match for KTM, white and orange.

Here, JSR is posing next to the brand new KTM 350 SX-F

Mice control!

The PR shot, JSR joins Team KTM Canada! All time number #111

It was now time to get some action sports photography and head to the dirt track. For the occasion, I’m using the Nikon SU-800 Commander. It’s an amazing tool for synchronizing your flashes with a high-speed shutter, that action sports require. With most DSLRs, you can’t sync flashes with your shutter at a greater speed than 1/250th. When shooting in low light, it can work fine but you get motion blur when in daylight.

The SU-800 allows you to sync at any shutter speed. Many restrictions apply but when the set up is right, it makes amazing results. The SU-800 is capable of metering and triggering up to 3 groups of remote Speedlights, mainly the SB-800 and SB-900. Each group; A, B and C can control an infinite number of Speedlights.

The technical restrictions are;

-The SU-800 Commander sends out a infrared beam and has to be within a 20-30 feet range of the Speedlights. Then the infrared captor on the side of the Speedlight has to face the Commander.

-Nothing can be blocking the beam between Commander and Speedlight.

-The width of the beam has its limitations, I’m not sure of the exact degree angle but its something around 120 degrees.

Here’s I’m setting up 3 SB-900 on a FourSquare rig. It usually allows for 4 Speedlights but 3 will do from this angle. FourSquare makes cool stuff for those shooting a lot with multiple Speedlights. Check out their products right here: FourSquare

Using the SU-800 with my Speedlights gives me the opportunity to shoot at 1/2000th of a second or more, use the sun as a backlight and light up where normally it would be dark with the flashes.

I didn’t use any Speedlights for this last image, instead relying on the good ‘old method of bouncing sunlight off a light disk…

Big thanks to the KTM  crew (Andy, Stephan, JSR) and my photo assistant for the day, Charles Mercier who also took all the behind the scene images. You can check out his website here: Charles Mercier

You want to know more about KTM, JSR and the 350 SX-F, check out: KTM Canada

Keep coming back for more action sports photography behind the scenes, tips and tricks!

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