Aug 19, 2009

We have a winner...Triathlon Shoot

Well actually I'm going to call it a tie. While all the contributers had some great insight to offer, SkiMoab and Justin came closest to the actual photo shoot scenario and thus are the winners of an 8x12, signed print of choice from

Here were their entries:

SkiMoab: In Utah Lake, in the morning. You're in the water with two different flashes attached to the boat. The shutter had to be fast to keep it crisp, but there's a slight delay to blur some of the droplets to show motion/speed.
Instructions were to look intense/mad and to hold his head a bit out of the water so you weren't getting just half of his face. Some post-processing to shade the edges.

Justin: Here is my very amateur analysis. Knowing you, you are probably down in the water a few metres from the swimmer. You have a couple of off camera flashes to provide the lighting. The swimmer was instructed to swim towards you and continue on a short distance beyond you so that as swimmer passed by you could capture him/her in fullstride.

(*email me with the print you would like)

SkiMoab and Justin both had the key elements correct -- 3 off-camera flashes Canon 580EX II's (although soon to be replaced with the amazing little Elinchrom Quadra AS battery pack system!) in a sandwich technique (front and behind swimmer). I'm in the water, just a few feet down the boat ramp (Utah Lake - Provo boat dock). I also have a waterproof casing (ewa marine housing) on the camera and wideangle lens Canon 16-35 f/2.8 at the widest 16mm length; all attached to the Canon 5D body (have since upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark II) and triggering remote flashes wirelessly via pocket wizard plus II's close to the Swimmer and instruction to the swimmer to swim just past my taking the pictures. There was also some post-processing work as you'll see in the before and after below to bring a bit more contrast and mood to the image. I didn't provide any instruction to how the Swimmer should look in terms of facial expressions other than to keep true to her normal swimming technique. Oh and the MAX shutter speed for a DSLR when using off-camera flashes is around 1/200th of a second. Unfortunately, that's typically too slow for freezing action completely, especially when you're mixing in ambient light, so a little bit of panning is necessary to keep everything sharp.

Check out the behind the scenes video for the lighting set-up, time of day, and interaction with the talent before and after the shoot.


Weston and Becky said...

If you could see me, I'm bowing to you :) Nice work like always! By the way, I totally nailed the set up, settings, and technique but didn't respond...thought I'd see what every one else would say first :)


Thanks dub! you need to come out with me next time.