Scott Markewitz Photography | Blog

On Location with 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin and the Phase One IQ250

Recently, I was hired to shoot 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin for Barilla pasta at her home ski resort of Beaver Creek, CO. It was a really fun shoot, and great to work with such a talented, upbeat and well grounded athlete. She definitely has what it takes to become a superstar.  Here’s the rundown on the shoot:

It’s late in the spring, the mountain has been long closed and the snow is melting rapidly. We have several hours to shoot action, portrait and lifestyle shots of her, both on the mountain in her ski gear and in the village for some casual lifestyle shots, including the time it takes to set up, move around to several different locations, have her sit for hair & makeup and break for lunch. It’s a lot to fit into a short timeframe, so we have to be really efficient with every aspect of the shoot.

Luckily, the weather is perfect when we wake up on the morning of the shoot. We’re on the lift by 7 and ready to shoot at the top of the mountain by 7:45. We start with some portraits on top of the mountain, then a few runs through a series of Giant Slalom gates for some action shots, then it’s time to break for lunch and wardrobe/ makeup change to be ready for lifestyle shots in the village. Before we know it, it’s 3:00 and Mikaela has to leave for another commitment – just as the clouds start rolling in. When we wake up the next morning, the mountains are socked in and there’s an inch of snow on the ground. That’s what you call good timing.

With such a tight schedule, I’m using simple tools and setups to keep the shoot moving and to let Mikaela be herself in front of the camera. I want the lighting to look natural, so I’m using basic modifiers; one strobe head with an octabox or a simple round reflector, to add fill, enhance detail and compensate for the strong sunlight.


For these shots, I’m using a Phase One IQ250 medium format camera system with a 110mm lens attached. Like most high-end medium format cameras, the image quality is incredible. With a dynamic range of 14 stops and 50+ mb files, the detail in the images looks almost 3 dimensional. Most medium format cameras I’ve worked with are slow and clunky, but what really impressed me about the IQ250 is how smooth and nimble it is to use. The touch screen menu on the back is quick and easy to navigate and the bright viewfinder makes it easy to nail fine focus even when your subject is moving and you’re working with a shallow depth of field.



For shooting active lifestyle and sports, I need a camera that’s responsive, easy to use and quick to adjust on the fly. 35 mm cameras do this really well, but can’t match the image quality of a medium format system. The IQ250 is the first camera I’ve used that can bridge that gap, and I’m looking forward to more great shoots ahead with it. I’m especially excited to experiment with its incredibly fast 1/1600 flash sync speed, which not only allows me to freeze the action but also gives me more control over the light and latitude to overpower the sun. Most cameras sync at 1/250 sec and the best native sync I’ve seen is 1/800 sec. For shooting action with strobes, this is a game changer.


Behind the scenes on a Barilla shoot earlier this month with Sochi 2014 Winter Games Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin at Beaver Creek.


Embracing the Backup Plan

Check out Photoshelter’s blog on Scott’s write up about Embracing the Backup Plan, which originally appeared in their guide – Building Your Outdoor & Adventure Photography Business.

World Travel for Photo Shoots Equals Covers from around the World

Check these out!

Trail Runner June Issue (USA)
Bike 2015 Calendar Cover (Germany)
Trails Endurance May-June Issue (France)

TrailRunner June Issue, USA Magazine

TrailRunner June Issue, USA Magazine

Bike 2015 Calendar Cover, German Magazine

Bike 2015 Calendar Cover, German Magazine

Trails Endurance May-June Issue, French Magazine

Trails Endurance May-June Issue, French Magazine

Craftsy Class On Sale This Week
April 1, 2014, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check out Scott’s online workshop hosted by, this week only get 50% off by clicking the link!


Mt Superior Dawn Patrol
March 25, 2014, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Mt Superior Dawn Patrol

Anyone hike Superior lately? Here is a shot of what it looked like around this time last year, fingers crossed we get a day like this soon!
With Julian Carr.

Online Workshop with
March 20, 2014, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you missed the opportunity to attend one of Scott’s workshops in the field, check out his latest training course online! Watch the tutorials on your own time, learn about the latest photo equipment Scott uses, and really step up your skills in action photography. Also, be sure to check out the short promo video! Special thanks to broncolor lighting equipment, Sonycameras, and F-Stop Gear camera bags for their support.  – with Claire Abbe Brown and Katie Perhai.
Check it out here!



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