Taxes: a detailed overview of individuals and legal entities

Taxes in Switzerland

Among all European countries, it is Switzerland that has the most favorable tax regime. Let’s try to figure out what taxes are set in Switzerland and how much you will have to pay them if you decide to move here to live or even open a business.

Tax Rates in Switzerland

To get acquainted with the tax system of this country stands with its characteristic feature – multi-level. Depending on the scale of taxes are

3 types:

  • Federal (paid by all residents without exception and have the same size for all regions of the country);
  • Cantonal (paid by residents of specific cantons, their size is set “on the ground”);
  • Municipal (transferred to the budget of a particular settlement, and is calculated by multiplying the cantonal tax by the “local” coefficient).

Below are the 2017 federal tax rates in Switzerland. (table 1)

Income tax 8.5%
Income tax on individuals from 1% to 11.5%
VAT 7.6%
Property tax from 1% to 3%
Withholding tax (non-resident dividends) 35%
Capital tax from 0.02% to 0.5%

Income tax of 11.5%

Income tax in Switzerland is paid on the basis of residence. Tax payments are distributed among the state, Canton, and community (approximately one third for each level). There are significant differences between tax rates in cantons and even in communities. The tax on income depends on your place of residence but rarely rises above 30%.

It is better to check current rates in cantons and municipalities in local fiscal authorities or their sites if you want to get 100% reliable information.

Taxes for legal entities

Income tax in Switzerland is paid by all companies that have registered on its territory. In addition, the tax is paid on the profits of permanent missions, branches and real estate of non-resident companies geographically located within Switzerland.

It is important that capital gains are not paid as a separate tax, but are taken into account when income tax is calculated.

Its base for calculation includes net income from running a business and passive income. It does not include the income of the foreign real estate resident and its foreign branches (they are subject to taxation of the country in which they are located), but the income from the business is taken into account not only “Swiss”, but worldwide.

The federal rate on the net profit of companies is 8.5%, but when a deduction on capital is applied, the rate may decrease to 7.8. If we take into account the cantonal rates and municipal coefficients, then on average the combined tax rate on profits in Switzerland varies from 12% to 22%.

Taxes for individuals

All residents are required to pay income tax in Switzerland.

It is very profitable and convenient for a taxpayer, that not all annual salary (or income) is taken as a tax base, but its balance after numerous deductions for social and pension benefits, unemployment contributions, and also expenses for:

  • travel to work;
  • nutrition;
  • clothes;
  • medical insurance;
  • language courses, etc.

Also, if you take a mortgage, then the interest on it will be deducted from the estimated income tax base.

For your information, the lowest rates are in Wallerau (Canton Schwyz), and the highest is in Geneva and Basel.

But on this taxes in Switzerland for individuals do not end. In some cases also payable (table 2)

Income tax in Switzerland

It is paid by every temporary or permanent resident of Switzerland. The tax base is the global tax physical person.

The table below will help you figure out the incomes from which income tax is paid in Switzerland, and from which not.

Counted Not counted
Salary Interest not exceeding the limit on savings deposits
Income from business or professional activity Inheritance and Donation Gains
Income from investments Property Insurance Payments
Social Security Payments Subsidies
_____________________________________ Additional pension payments, insurance payments for life and health

This tax has a progressive rate, which is affected not only by income but also:

  • the number of dependents of the taxpayer;
  • the presence or absence of preferential deductions.

The maximum rate is 11.5%.

Tax return

The tax period is equal to the calendar year, but the boundary dates for the delivery of the declaration vary by cantons. At the end of the year, one declaration is filled in for all paid fiscal payments. Residents of the world’s most prosperous country are not held criminally liable for delay, but a fine has been imposed for such a violation. However, if the violation was committed for the first time – you can get rid of the warning.

Such a flexible fiscal policy is based on the fact that the taxpayer violates the order not specifically, but because of its forgetfulness. That is, there exists a kind of presumption of innocence of the taxpayer.

The declaration itself is a rather lengthy document, and not all of them get it right the first time. If you have difficulties in filling out – you can call the contact phone number, which is listed directly on the declaration, where they will tell you for free how to fill it in exactly – what information should be entered in which columns. Also, many companies and individuals offer filling out declarations and Tax optimization on a paid basis – their services can also be used. They will help to figure out what taxes in Switzerland will not pay, as well as how to get benefits.

Switzerland taxes are not particularly high. Despite the complex federal political structure, the Swiss tax system is fairly simple and financial management is quite effective.

Property tax. The cantons impose a low property tax, a maximum of 1%, on the net value of your property (except when paying a lump-sum tax). This oldest Swiss tax has never risen so dramatically in contrast to other countries. Wealth is not punished.

Lump tax. In Switzerland, it is possible to pay a fixed tax once a year. It is calculated from the size of the rent for your house (or the cost of rent), while it does not depend on your income or condition. The lump-sum tax is based on Swiss federal legislation and is possible throughout the country.

For example, you rent an apartment for 3000 francs per month. The annual rent is 3000 * 12 = 36,000 francs. Your income tax will be 36.000 * 5 = 180.000 francs. Under the lump-sum tax scheme, 30% of the amount of income tax is collected, that is, 180,000 * 30% = 54,000 francs.

To be able to pay a lump-sum tax, you must reside in Switzerland, having a residence permit of category B or C, you can manage your investments, but you cannot work in Switzerland and abroad.

When calculating any type of tax in Switzerland, you need to take into account the many nuances, especially if you have several sources of income or if you want to use a system of avoiding double taxation.

Inheritance tax. In many cantons of Switzerland, income derived from a resident and taxpayer in Switzerland is not taxable. In cantons that recognize inheritance tax, the tax rate is very low compared to other countries, for example, in the canton of Vaduz, it is 3.5%.

Capital gains tax in Switzerland does not apply, except for those whose profession includes the purchase and sale of certain material assets (eg stocks) and real estate.

The Swiss tax system is recognized all over the world, the banking system also enjoys world renown, many are eager to open an account in a Swiss bank, which gives a guarantee of the safety of your capital.

Switzerland is a very rich country with unchanged legislation and a fairly flexible tax system. If you want to open a business in Switzerland, buy real estate or get a residence permit for investment, the company Eurogroup Consult is at your service. We will select the most optimal and profitable option for you, and our tax advisors will advise you on taxes in Switzerland.

The right moment to take a sports photo

The right time to take a sports photo

Have you ever wondered what is the right time to take a sports photo ? If so, maybe you are interested in reading this article in which I will try to address this issue through a photo of FMX .

First of all I would like to reflect on the following. Have you seen sports photos with incorrect or improvable technique published in magazines or newspapers? I’m sure the answer is yes. Maybe you’re wondering why this happens. The answer is very simple, probably those improvable photos, (all are), captured the right moment.


The right moment in sports

The right moment in sports photography is one in which the emotion, achievement of the trick or execution of a masterful play is culminating in the moment of taking the photo. Let’s give examples, if our picture were of Rugby the right time would probably be when a player gets rid of the defenders right on the line to make a touchdown . In boxing the right moment would be when a boxer hits the uppercut that makes him the winner of the fight. Obviously there are other “just moments” in this type of sports, but I wanted to put a couple of strong examples.


The right moment in extreme sports

And what happens in extreme sports? Well, something good, the right time is when the rider is at the height of his trick if for example we talk about Skateboard, BMX, or FMX … The photo of the example that accompanies this article today is a picture of FMX made in the last edition of the Barcelona Extreme festival .


The ethical code of sports photographers

Especially in extreme sports, and especially in Skateboard even if you shoot the right moment a photo will not be valid if the skater does not “iron” the trick. This means that if you do not execute the whole trick without errors that photo will not be shared, or published. At least this is the ethical code that a sports photographer usually takes into account.


The ethics and logic of the photographer

In the same way as in the previous point, the logic and ethics of a sports photographer will be the one that prefers a picture, for example, of soccer, in which the striker made the shot at goal that gave the victory to his team to a photo where the chute did not enter goal.

The example FMX photo

I have purposely chosen the example photo of this article as it is very improvable, but it picked up the right moment of the FMX trick that the rider was doing at that moment.


Equipment used for this photo

For this photo I used a reflex camera body from the Canon range of the great public, along with a Canon lens with a focal length of 55 to 250 millimeters, maximum aperture of F4 and image stabilizer.


Exif data of the image

To make this photo of sports I adjusted the aperture in F13 and the exposure time in 1/250 seconds. The focal length was 74 millimeters and the ISO speed was 200.

Modeling light and manual focus

Modeling light and manual focus

Luz de modelado y enfoque manualLast Saturday I was doing a photography session for musicians in a place in the province of Barcelona. In this case there was no possibility to focus with the automatic focus since there were no overhead spotlights focusing on the musicians. So, there was not what is known as modeling light and I had to use manual focus during the whole session in which 3 musical groups performed.

The main theme of today’s post will try to address and define what both are. The modeling light and the impossibility of having an automatic focus. My intention is not to define these two topics in a profound way, but to speak broadly of them without going into complex technical aspects or others that would make their understanding difficult.


What is modeling light?

The modeling light is a tungsten light source that includes some studio flashes and that can be used, among other things, to preview the effects of lighting (usually in the studio). Another advantage is that you can make use of the autofocus of our objectives thanks to that modeling light.

It can also refer to the light that is used to create a three-dimensional effect through the play of light and shadows.

There are photographers who use this modeling light to get a slight idea of ​​how the shadows are going to be projected (for example) once they trigger a studio flash. Most studio flashes have modeling light that is available throughout the session.

Some cobra type flashlights (the portable ones) of medium / high range have a similar modeling light, but they do it by means of continuous flashes. Other flashes incorporate a point of light under the head of the flash and in the front that without being a modeling light helps us with the purpose of this article, the use of automatic or manual focus. To give an example for a flash Canon Speedlite 430 EX-II the manufacturer calls this extra help to focus , which in this case is to emit a beam of infrared light that offers the necessary contrast to help the lens with the autofocus on light conditions.

We could summarize the previous text and its interaction with the automatic focus of our camera as its main ally and also that not having modeling light or a focus aid deprives you of the automatic focus of your equipment. Sometimes that light helps the focus, (modeled or not), points to where the precise focus should not be or is insufficient. In this case we will obtain photos with little or no sharpness in the specific point if we use the autofocus.

If you had had this problem before and could not find the explanation, this text may have been useful, and if it had not happened, I suggest you try if you are interested in this topic.

Well, we could also summarize that not having a modeling light or autofocus help at the point right where we want to focus is a great bitch . And yes, it is, but not all is lost. We have a switch on the lens to force the lens to switch to manual focus mode.


Autofocus and manual focus

The first equipment, of which I have proof, that incorporated the autofocus was the Konica C35 AF camera. This camera was manufactured in 1977, which stipulates that the date of the invention of the autofocus. I do a rewind in this article and I come back to the point, that putada and I think about the amount of photographers who could not use this technological advance. What did they do then? It is very clear, they always used (and for any type of photography) the manual approach of their team.

I imagine a work by Jacques Henri Lartigue where the main subject is a racing car of the time and how he managed to focus.


Using manual focus

The use of manual focus is not easy and requires a certain degree of technique, much more the more movement the protagonist of the image has and also the more technical the further away he is. Some lenses have a very sweet manual focus mode that allows you to be very precise when using this type of focus. However, the low-end objectives do not usually offer much help when it comes to focus in manual mode. On the other hand there are objectives in which the focus can only be manual. To give examples, the objectives of the Samyang brand and those of the Peleng brand.

In the supposed cases that we do not have modeling light, or that the objectives do not include the autofocus system, we have it very complicated for example for sports photography. But .. If someone already got it successfully, we may also be able to do it.

The focus in manual mode is achieved by rotating the focus ring that incorporates all DSLR camera lenses, the telemetry cameras have a different focusing system. And in the recent equipment has incorporated a help to the approach through the LCD screen that is known as live view , what is achieved with this software is to see the scene on the screen before taking the photo and using the screen zoom you can specify with the focus, as long as you are not reluctant to do so. For example, I like to use the peephole in 100% of my photos.

Focus method used in the example photo

Not only in the example photo, but in the whole Saturday session, where 3 groups performed, I had to use manual focus in a compulsory way. This was so since I did not have a reliable modeling light and above all, because I did not have a modeling light at the exact point of the photo I wanted to take. All the photos except a few to which I applied abstract effects were taken with manual focus for this reason. Since, the aid to the approach of one of the flashes used was not useful to me since it was oriented towards the scene and not towards the protagonist that was (in this case) the battery of Sisters of a Town.

The use of manual focus is something that I do not usually do, but in this case I had no choice if I wanted to get a “decent” photos, so I had to improve my technique “in situ” using the test / error method. For me, the best method to learn these things.


Equipment used for this photo

For the realization of this photo I used a camera body of the brand Canon range great public together with a telephoto lens Canon EF-S 55-250 millimeters F4-5,6 IS. For lighting I used the strobist technique . With a simple wireless synchronization device of the brand Phottix that consisted of an emitter mounted on the hot shoe of the camera and two receivers that served as a hot shoe for the two flashes used. The flashes were a Canon 430 EX-II and a Nissin Di622 Mark-II .

Exif data and lighting scheme

To make this photo I adjusted the diaphragm aperture in F-5, the exposure time was 1/100 seconds, the ISO speed of 400 and the focal length was 146 millimeters. The focus mode was manual.

I used the Nissin Di622 Mark-II flash mounted on a tripod to the right of the battery bounced on a projector screen of about 60 inches and it was at a distance of about 3 meters from the battery, the flash regulated it to full power and He was in a straight line with the musician.

The second flash was placed on another tripod, this was off the stage at the maximum possible height, approximately 2.10 meters. This flash I graduated to a power of +1 2/3 and placed it on a downward trajectory right next to where I took the picture. This would be 5 meters away from the battery.

Using flash in sports photography – Downhill – Photography blog

Using flash in sports photography – Downhill

Uso del flash en fotografía deportiva - DonwhillIn previous posts we had talked about how to use the flash in various situations and scenes. Today’s article is intended to explain more options about the use of flash and as a visual example I will share a photo of donwhill made yesterday using the strobist technique with two flashes. I combined this lighting technique with a panning made with a relatively slow shutter.

First of all I would like to thank the downhill riders that accompany me in these photo sessions that I usually post on my photography blog. Without them it would be impossible to publish this photo and of course I could not publish other descent with MTB.

Yesterday’s photo report took place very close to the Montserrat Mountain, in the province of Barcelona, ​​Spain. We were in a couple of spots where we have already taken photos before and there were also a couple of new ones, so soon I will expand my portfolio of descent photography .

Let’s go in parts, first, the use of flash in remote mode, strobist , via wireless synchronization. What is the lighting scheme of this photo of donwhill and what equipment was used to get it.


Using the flash outdoors

To make this photo of descent, two portable cobra type flashes synchronized by an emitter and two receivers were used. The emitter mounted on the hot shoe of the body of the reflex camera, while the two receivers were mounted on their corresponding tripod and served as a hot shoe. Two flashes with different orientation were used to illuminate this outdoor photo.


Flashes used

The flashes used for this photo were a Canon 430 EX-II flash from the Canon brand and a Di622 Mark-II from the Japanese manufacturer Nissin. As noted in the previous point, synchronization equipment was used for remote mode shooting.


The synchronization equipment

The synchronization equipment used to communicate the camera with the flashes was a simple phottix equipment that has a very affordable price. In the pack there is a crew of one transmitter and two receivers. The receivers work with triple A type batteries and usually last a long time, regardless of the quality of these, if we have the precaution of disconnecting them when we finish the session.


Placement of the flashes

The two flashes used for the illumination of this photo of Donwhill were placed on the right, I would have chosen to place one of them to the left of the photo but in that part it was impossible since there was a ravine full of weeds and weeds, as well I used another lighting scheme.

The flash used in the right rear part of the rider was located about two meters diagonally to the rider and approximately one and a half meters behind. This flash was the Canon Speedlite 430 EX-II .

Also to the right but this time in the front of the rider was the other flash, a Nissin Di622 Mark-II. This flash was at a diagonal distance of approximately 1 meter and less than one meter in front of the rider.


Light modifiers of the flashes

For the Canon 430 EX-II flash, a simple plastic Sto-Fen diffuser mounted on the camera head was used to expand the diffusion radius of this main light to a certain extent.

For the Nissin Di622 Mark-II flash, the same bounce was used, which the flash incorporates as standard in the flash head.


Potency of the flashes

The Nissin Di622 Mark-II flash only supports increments or decrements of power in intervals of 1/3, it is a pretty basic flash but it works perfectly. The power of this flash regulated it in 2/3 positives.

The flash of Canon 430 EX-II allows several adjustments for its use. This was adjusted to a power of +2 1/3 for the realization of this donwhill photo .

Synchronization of the flashes

The flashes were synchronized at a shutter speed of 1/125 seconds. The main flash was synchronized to the second curtain while the Nissin Di622 Mark-II was synchronized in normal mode.


Equipment used for this photo

For the realization of this photo of downhill I used a camera body Canon Eos range large public together with a Tokina lens 28-80 millimeters F2.8, an equipment of synchronization of economic flashes composed of two emitters and two receivers of the Phottix brand and a Canon Speedlite 430 EX-II flash and another flash of the brand Nissin Di 622 Mark-II.


Adjustments and exif data

To make this photo that accompanies this article about the use of flash via strobist I set the diaphragm aperture in F4,5, the exposure time was 1/125 seconds and I used an ISO speed of 200. The focal distance was 38 millimeters


Brief analysis of the photo

The example photo has a combination of sweep and freeze. The relatively slow shutter speed is seen in the background while the use of the flashes has achieved a freezing of the entire rider and the mountain bike. It is noted the lack of accessories to improve and modify the light of the main flash while the secondary has acted as a filler. The proposal for the improvement of this photo is exactly that, the use of flashes with light modifiers mounted on the heads. As an option a third effect flash in rear position to separate the rider from the background.

Urban landscape or seascape

Cityscape or seascape

Paisaje urbano o paisaje marinoI think if it were English it would have been much easier for me to title this article. With a simple word would have sufficed. The fact is that I am not and I have to give a title to every article I write in this photography blog, hence the title of today “Urban landscape or seascape” , that everyone decides their title, even if it is not of the two landscape options suggested.

The fact is that in my opinion, no option of those mentioned in the title certainly describes the photo, at least for me. I have a particular reading of this photo that I share today in my blog, and as it is particular I am not going to preach it to the 4 winds either.

The only thing I can say is that this scene is the typical one in which a photographer stays stuck and then immediately assumes his role as an observer. In this same way I understand that it is better to explain the photo, so here goes:


I made this photo very close to the Barceloneta beach in Barcelona, ​​towards the passenger port. Some of you are sure that you know this scene perfectly and you may even have taken pictures of it. The truth is an urban or marine landscape that catches my attention.

For the realization of this photo I used a camera body Canon Eos great public, a Tokina AT-X 280AF PRO lens of 28-80 millimeters and maximum aperture for the entire focal length of F2.8. I used a diaphragm aperture of F10, a spot metering, an exposure time of 1/160 seconds and an ISO sensitivity of 100. To finish I gave the personal touch that every photographer usually gives his copies.

I think the attractiveness of this picture is due in large part to the composition, the arrangement of all the elements in the scene is orderly and relaxing. Maybe we’ll talk about a similar composition in my section on photographic composition.

Sports photography sessions in Barcelona

BMX photographer – Sports photography sessions in Barcelona

Fotógrafo de BMX - Experiéncia

In this new article I will talk about my experience as a BMX photographer , I will explain some of the sessions of this type of sport photography that I have mostly done in Barcelona and province. At the end of the article I will also explain basic tips to get better bmx photos for all those who start in this type of photography.

Today I want to talk about some of the sessions I have made as a BMX photographer, sports photography sessions that I am passionate about and that I do whenever I can, either in a photo shoot or because there is a competition of this type of sport, regardless of whether the competition is amateur or professional. I have been lucky enough to be able to make countless sessions of this type of sport photography .


Experience as a BMX photographer:

My experience as a BMX photographer is about two years, years in which I have made many photos of this sport with national and international riders of professional and amateur category. Taking into account the date of writing of this post and the experience that I comment, my experience as a BMX photographer began in 2009. Since then, my love for this sport as a photographer has only grown, that makes every time I can escape to make a BMX photo session, regardless of the level of the competition and without the need for a BMX competition to load as my team and take photos. Currently I have more than 25 sessions as a BMX photographer in my portfolio of sports photography, having photographed professional riders like Daniel Peñafiel alias Naran .

BMX event photos:

The two most important events that I have attended as a BMX photographer are the last two Extreme of Barcelona. The first one was the Movistar Barcelona Extreme Festival of 2010 and finally the LKXA Barcelona extreme Festival of 2011. Then you can see some amateur BMX competitions, they are also in my portfolio of BMX photography . And repeatedly I have gone out with the riders to do street BMX sessions. Just like skateboarding, the street BMX photography sessions fascinate me as we can prepare the rider and photographer session.

BMX riders photographed:

I think I have lost count of how many BMX riders I have photographed, surely if I made a list I would miss more than half, between competitions and spontaneous sessions always make extra photos, obviously in competitions you do not have many photos for many you do. Some of the riders that I have photographed and that I remember at this moment are:

Professional BMX:

  • Daniel Peñafiel , alias Naran the best national rider of all time.
  • Nil Soler at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival of 2011.
  • Gabriel Mastragostino at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Viki Gomez at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Dominik Nekolny at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Matthias Dandois at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Franciso Jimenez at the LKXA Barcelona Extreme festival 2011.
  • Dennis Enarson at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Daniel Dhers at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Garrett Reynolds at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Brett Banasiewicz at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Ben Wallace at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Gary Young at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Dean Cueson at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Michael Beran at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Ryan Nyquist at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Mike Spinner at the Movistar Barcelona Extreme festival 2010.
  • Some more…

Amateur skateboarders:

  • Carlos Garcia Amateur Rider with different national sponsors.
  • Miquel Bautista of the team 1080 skateboard.
  • Adrià Solis who skates for DRX.
  • Ismael Laga with local skateboard sponsors.
  • Albert Furnieles with local skateboard sponsors.
  • Some more…

Tips for BMX photos:

Some of the things that I can recommend you regarding the BMX photography are the following:

Make BMX photo sessions whenever you can:

Try as much as possible to conduct training sessions with riders, regardless of the level they have, that will make you win in experience. Intuitively, you will begin to look for good angles for your BMX photos and little by little you will unconsciously improve your sports photography.

Your well composed BMX photos:

The composition of a photograph, be it skate, bmx or a simple bush always improves our visual interest in photography . Always bear in mind that a well-composed photo is worth 1.2, then other factors influence, but without a doubt, the composition will help you get good BMX photos. I recommend the same for any other type of photography.

Take more and more photos:

Unless you’re in love with analog photography and upload it everywhere, take pictures, it’s no joke if I tell you that when I do a BMX photo shoot at least I bring home 400 or more photos, if it’s a competition, it would not be the first time I’ve filled more than 12 Gb with sports photos.

Repeat the spot, repeat the photograph:

This is very simple, no matter how good observer you are, you will always see different angles each time you go to a spot, the light conditions change radically in minutes, and of course they also change if you change day, do your sessions in places where you know , repeat the site, your BMX photos will improve in each session.

Avoid the photos at noon:

At noon, the incidence of light on the rider will be totally vertical, which will generate excessive contrast in your photos, with annoying deep shadows and probably without detail, if you go to the other extreme, you will lose detail in the lights. Avoid the pictures at noon, my favorite sessions are always mid afternoon.

Use the flash:

Even if you only have the flash pop-up of your camera, use it whenever you can, obviously if you are taking pictures in burst mode you will limit your shots to the charge of the flash, the ideal is to work with external flashes and use them whenever we can.

Doubts about BMX photos?

But…. You have doubts? Do you want to comment something? Use the comments to contribute your bit to this post of BMX photography , I make these articles with the intention of being participatory.

And here’s the article BMX photographer- Sports photography sessions in Barcelona .

Regards and until next time!

Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross

Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross

One of the sports that has impressed me since the first day as a photographer has been the FMX, from the English Freestyle Motocross . Unfortunately, it is not possible to take photo sessions of this sport as regularly as one would like. It is much easier to perform sessions of other sports where you do not need an installation like the one required by the FMX. Giant ramps, huge receptions and very daring riders performing tricks of another galaxy in a single long jump with their bikes. In my article today “Photography of sports. FMX – Freestyle Motocross “ I share a photo that I made last June at the Forum of Barcelona. Date on which the well-known extreme sports event LKXA Barcelona Extreme Festival 2011 was held.

I made this photo of FMX with a Canon Eos large public reflex camera and a Tokina lens 28-80 millimeters F2.8 SD. The diaphragm aperture was F14, the exposure time was 1/250 seconds, ISO 100 sensitivity and a focal length of 53 millimeters.


Photography at sporting events:

One of the most complicated issues of photography in sporting events is the speed at which things happen. We already know that sports photography requires greater speed on the part of the photographer in terms of managing adjustments to your equipment, framing and executing the photo. The fact that it is a competition and not a session eliminates the possibility of repeating a photo, since the rider is competing and not posing for us. So being confused one loses the best photos, and these will not happen again.

If you still do not master the complete adjustments of your equipment quickly and effectively, it is preferable to use the semiautomatic modes of your equipment, it takes practice to do it completely manually and in a competition you play the time.


FMX Photography

In sports photography , and of course in FMX photography, what is better is the right moment where the rider is at the maximum point of the trick, we may have what is known as a photon and the trick half done, for athletes from that scene your photo will be unattractive. It is clear that an athlete is not a photographer, but, review photos of extreme sports and tell me the type of photos you see. Does the trick over composition predominate? Is exposure less taken into account than action?

Depth of field, factors that influence

Depth of field, factors that influence

Have you ever asked me what is the depth of field and what factors influence . As we speak of photography, the depth of field is understood to be photographically speaking. Today I intend to clarify this concept in the best possible way since it affects our photographs. I already wrote an article about depth of field before. Today I return to this topic to expand the information about it.

Let’s begin to clarify concepts about depth of field in photography with a sample photo. Remember, I always like to use a practical example, and, although it may not seem like it, what I like the least is writing.


I made this photo with a camera body reflex Canon Eos Great public, that means that my multiplication factor was 1.6 since my sensor was APS-C. I used a Canon EF lens of 50 F1.8 millimeters. The diaphragm aperture in this particular photo was F 2. The focal distance is evident since only 50 millimeters were available. The ISO sensitivity was set to 100 and the exposure time was 1/640 seconds.


Does the size of the sensor influence the depth of field?

There are nuances regarding the size of the sensor and how it affects the depth of field, it is understood that the size of the sensor does not matter if we balance the focal distance to the subject of our photograph. In other words, imagine that you have a full-format camera and you want to achieve the same depth of field with an APS-C sensor , which would be the sensor that most public bodies reflect, as the APS-C sensor has an image multiplication factor, this directly affects the depth of field since an image taken with a focal length of 18 millimeters in full format has exactly a focal distance of 18 millimeters. If we take the photo with an APS-C sensor, we will always have a multiplication factor to take into account. In Canon large public and semiprofessional bodies (currently up to Canon Eos 7D), the multiplication factor is 1.6, while the sensors of other manufacturers have a different multiplication factor.

So omitting this previous point we could say that the size of the sensor influences the depth of field. However, if we take it into account, the size of the sensor does not influence the depth of field , since actually the size of the sensor only influences the focal distance, increasing it in the case of APS-C sensors and in all those that have a multiplication factor.


The focal distance and its repercussion in the depth of field:

As I mentioned in my previous article about depth of field, the focal distance is the multiplication of the available millimeters of our objective multiplied by the size of the sensor. This means that a 200 millimeter lens will have exactly that focal length in full format while in APS-C format sensors our focal length will be 200 millimeters multiplied by the multiplication factor of our sensor.

We can summarize that the greater the focal distance, the lower the depth of field.


Diaphragm opening and its effect in depth of field:

The diaphragm aperture regulates the amount of light that enters our sensor . A larger opening (smaller F number), more light input and less depth of field. The smaller the opening (larger F number), the greater the depth of field. And this point is impepinable.


Using the flash in sports photography – BMX – Photography blog

Using the flash in sports photography – BMX

In previous articles we have talked about the use of flash in different situations. Today we are going to see how we can use the flash in remote mode, what is known as strobist, in sports photography. In particular we will go into detail with a BMX photo.

Before going into detail I would like to point out the lighting difficulties of the example photo. As you can see the light was complicated in the spot of this BMX session and, although the sky was spectacular, the area where the rider performed the trick was practically in the dark. The solution was to make use of the flash in this BMX photo .

And now, considering that we only have one flash and we can use it in remote mode, we will analyze in broad strokes the lighting and the use of this flash in this sporty BMX photo.


Placement and direction of the flash

If we look especially at the light that illuminates the rider we will know to determine exactly where the flash that was used for this BMX photo was placed.

Let’s go into details. The flash light is ascending which determines that the flash was located in a lower position than the protagonist of this sport photo. On the other hand you can see that the flash flash comes from the right, so we see that the flash was used from the side. On the other hand we see some direct directionality of the flash, this can be seen in the less illuminated part of the face of the rider of this photo.

What he intended with the previous paragraph is to understand the placement and directionality of the flash and therefore justicaba each point mentioned. The exact details of the placement of the flash and other settings you will find at the end of the article in the section where I explain the exif data of the photo, among other things.


Synchronization of the flash in remote mode

The flash of this BMX photo was synchronized in remote mode and at a shooting speed of 1/125 seconds. The speed of synchronization was relatively slow since it is about sports photography. The flash was mounted on a tripod on a simple remote firing receiver of the Phottix brand and on the camera the emitter of the synchronizer was mounted.


Exact placement of the flash

A few paragraphs above I tried to explain in a relative way and based on the lighting of the rider the placement of the flash. To finish with this point what I’m going to do now is explain the exact lighting scheme that I used with that single flash synchronized in remote mode.

The flash was used mounted on a tripod and at a height of less than one meter, approximately 80 centimeters from the ground on which the rider performed this BMX trick. It was placed half a meter in front of the vertical rider and a meter and a half to the right of it.

If we want to enter approximate angulations about the directionality of the flash we will have the following. 45 degrees in ascending direction and 15 degrees approximated frontally.

The angulation of the natural light of the scene can be seen without me having to detail it since the sun gives us clues of its location.


Equipment used for the example BMX photo

For the example photo of this article entitled “Using the flash in sports photography – BMX” I used a camera body of Canon brand great public range together with a Tokina lens 28-80 millimeters F2.8 SD. A flash of the brand Canon model Speedlite 430 EX-II mounted on a lightweight aluminum tripod and an economic synchronization device Phottix brand that consisted of an emitter (mounted on the camera’s shoe) and a receiver, which made the hot flash shoe times and also synchronized this with the main team.

Custom settings and settings for the photo

The measurement of the scene I configured in spot mode, I used a focal point to point to the area closest to the face of the rider. Having more focus points ensures a more precise approach. Diaphragm aperture regulated with an aperture of F11, shutter speed adjusted to 1/125 seconds and power of the flash set to +2 1/3 without diffuser and pointing with the head at an inclination of 60 degrees with respect to the horizontal of the photo .

Subsequently an improvement of focus and contrast has been made in the clouds and the sky in post edition. It is recommended to see this photo in full size, with the lightbox.


How to improve this photo?

To improve this picture it becomes clear that we needed another flash in a position opposite to the flash used at the time. That second flash would have been advisable to use it in the left side of the image, without angulation with respect to the front of the rider and in the same way in ascending trajectory. This would have filled the darkest area of ​​the rider with light. However, my pretension with this and other articles is to use the minimum equipment for this type of photography.

And so far my article today entitled “Using the flash in sports photography – BMX” , put a couple of candles if after reading this you do not clarify or write a comment as an alternative …

Use exposure time as a throwing weapon

Use exposure time as a throwing weaponRelated image

You usually write about the use of exposure time or shutter speed and its direct relationship to a correct photo. What recommended values ​​for what type of photo. Synchronization problems at high speeds with flashes and other topics that could fill a whole blog with words. My article today more than a tutorial or a photographic trick is a reflection, and my aim is to encourage you to use the time of exposure as a weapon throwing .

It is very good to make a photo of sports where the speed is tremendous and the photo is totally frozen due to the “good use” of the exposure time. If you do not use a correct exposure time when taking a picture with synchronized flashes it is very likely that I did not “look good”. To perform a panning we should use an exposure time between this value and the other. Etc…

I think that the use of quotation marks here is evident, in the same way as the repetition of speed and exposure time. All these assumptions where a photo will look good are correct, and the most commonly used, but … How would you like to use the exposure time as one more element of your photo?


Forget all and go for the part

Use the time of exposure as a weapon and ignore all those tricks and tutorials you have read in blogs (including this), in magazines, books and any other media. Would you be able to point out the exposure time as the protagonist of your next photo?


Which is the prize?

The prize you will get after experimenting thoroughly, in different situations and with hundreds, (maybe thousands), of photos will be an advanced domain of how to use the exposure time for each and every one of the photography styles you practice.

And so far my article today, “Use the exposure time as a weapon throws” , I hope this reflection will push you to perform sweeps to 1/15 seconds and not take into account from now on the duration of the programs of your washing machine .