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Gear & Apps

See Speedlights Transform Your Sports Photography With A Little Ingenuity

By Kishore Sawh on February 6th 2015


Buying your first speedlight is a pretty exciting event in a photographer’s life. That first reach into creative lighting and using flash, then getting really excited by taking that flash off the hotshoe. For most, the very first set of pictures does one of two things; renders your files with such a different look and level of detail you can only get with flash that it becomes an ‘a-ha’ moment, or utter frustration because your images look like rubbish. Once you get going though, your speedlight tends to become indispensable, though often used in pretty much the exact same way.

Taking something old or common and doing something new with it is always refreshing and rewarding, and sometimes seeing how someone else has used a tool you may have become bored with is just what’s needed to re-ignite the creative facility. This is what Art photographer Lars Daniel Terkelsen will do for many, myself included, with his kiteboarding shots in South of pro rider Nick Jacobsen.



During Red Bull’s King of the Air in Cape Town, Terkeleson, and indeed the participants of the event were subject to the whims of mother nature who wasn’t providing the necessary winds for the event, so the riders seemed to be playing and practicing. It did, however, present an opportunity to take advantage of the ‘down-time’ and the regal location to shoot some really creative action shots.


[REWIND: Yongnuo 560 III Flash Test With PocketWizards]

Armed with a Canon 5D MKIII, 70-200mm f/2.8, and a Yongnuo 560 III flash, Terkelsen McGyvers his set up by attaching the flash to the lines of the kite with a plastic kitchenware container, which was taped to a CAMRIG GoPro line mount. Once all ‘secured’, Jacobsen was sent to do what he does best, and the photos that ensued were brilliant. You can see the shots in action in the video below brought to you by WOO Sports, as the flash triggers as Jacobsen pulls any number of various stunts with a cinematic sunset for a backdrop. Quite awesome, actually, and it’s inspiring me to push my Nikon speedlights a little further.

You can find out more on and see more of Lars’ work on his site.

Source: Fstoppers, Images are screen captures of featured video

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Brad Harberts

    That is a great idea! It gives the image a UFO or helicopter spot light feel. I love it.

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  2. Graham Curran

    A great idea to enliven low-light sports photography.

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  3. Elisha Batuncang

    This is really creative and also shows that we don’t need expensive speedlight to do these kind of shot. Gonna get that YongNuo 560iii soon!

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  4. Andrew Von Haden

    Most action spots don’t have the luxury of having something something attached to the athlete that is constantly pointing towards them lol. Shots turned out killer though.

    Really impressed with how the YongNuo receiver seems to be managing in that situation. Certainly my Godox V850 wouldn’t manage that at all.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      If you are right but kite is cool for that reason. The same could be done with windsurfing.

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  5. Kevin DeLorey

    I take a lot of kiteboarding photos I never once had the idea to attach my speedlite to my kite lines. Soon as it warms up, I know the first thing I’m doing!

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  6. carl michaels

    Those sure are small images…

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  7. Vince Arredondo

    This is CRAAAAAZY!!! Yongnuo 560III not too shabby uh?

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  8. Barry Cunningham

    But I’ll have to look for my own ways of being creative with speedlights.
    Not a lot of kiteboarding action in Cleveland on Lake Erie right now. 8^(

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  9. Basit Zargar


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  10. David Hall

    Creative indeed.

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  11. Ed Rhodes

    WOW! how creative!

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  12. Andrew Van Arb

    Pretty awesome! I love the creativity that speedlites give.

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