Qflash in Action: French Action & Lifestyle Photographer, Nicolas Joly

Cover PhotoThis edition features French Action & Lifestyle photographer, Nicolas Joly.

Location: Col de l’Arzelier – France
Pilot: Ludwig Bourdon
Lighting equipment: (2) Quantum T2’s (oldies, but goodies), Turbo 2×2 battery packs, (2) tripods as light stands (2) QF60B standard reflectors.

Technique: They are both almost in the axis of the jump. One high in the front, one ground level from the back.
Flash Settings: Manual each at ¼ power.

Additional gear: PocketWizard Flex tt5’s for the HyperSync feature, Dakine Reload Backpack (my bag of choice for hiking with Qflashes).
Exposure: ISO 560 at 1/350 at f/4.
Camera: Nikon D4 with 16-35 f/4 lens


Senior gear editor and photographer at Big Bike magazine, Ludwig Bourdon and I were assigned to bring back action shots for the 2014 test issue. We have several needs, but of course a bright cover would be a nice addition to our session.

The resort was closed, and we had to hike to the top. Once I had packed my Dakine Reload backpack with two t2 Qflashes,  2×2 battery packs, PocketWizard Flex TT5’s, Nikon D4, 16-35 f/4, and two tripods, Ludwig and I headed into the woods of Col de l’Arzelier (France).

After a good afternoon of work, we found this jump. It’s rather small for a good pilot, but I really liked the dead tree and we agreed to try for our action shot here. I quickly set-up the 2 tripod mounted T2s with the flex TT5’s using the HyperSync feature. They are both almost in the axis of the jump. One high in the front, one ground level from the back.

The first jump was used as a trial for Ludwig, as well as fine tuning of the direction and power of the two lights.
The 2nd jump, Ludwig’s position was great. I immediately felt it was an interesting photo.
Ludwig was already a bit tired but, always ready for the famous “last one,” he carried the bike on his back up to the top one more time.
The 3rd jump, he does exactly the same jump, I shoot almost the same picture and we agree there would not be another “last one”…at least for today.

Some weeks later, we have the great pleasure to discover our photo on the holly cover.

Nicolas Joly

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