Nov 29, 2011

2012 Sports Photography Calendar - Trail Running Cover Shot Explained

Every year I receive numerous request about my photography calendars and despite the tremendous work that is involved, it's rewarding to see the finished product.  A huge thanks goes to the athletes included within and my wife for getting it to print!

So for those asking, go here to purchase: 2012 SPORT/ADVENTURE CALENDARS ON SALE NOW (just $10)

About "The Cover Shot": This years cover shot comes from a shoot for Mountain Hardwear/Montrail this past year in Lake Tahoe, CA featuring ultra trail runner extraordanare, Max King.  Max has way too many titles and accompanying list of victories to include here, but suffice it to say that he's wicked fast (sub 4:40 miles on pavement), ridiculously smooth (off-road) and one of the best athletes I've had the pleasure to work with on a photo shoot. 

We had a back-to-back days that were just plain brutal including working our way over several snow covered areas on the flume trail that were normally dry this time of year.  In all we ended up traversing about 6,000+ vertical feet on two consecutive days (First scouting and back to shoot the next day with gear, crew and athletes) to get to this location and meet our shoot objectives of environment long-range photography -- 'rave run' type stuff.

Initially, I had another shot picked out to shoot near this location (see below), which we had discussed in our pre-production days that would  provide an awesome environmental sport image.  But like any other location shoot, once I'd nailed what needed to happen according the the brief, I began exploring for additional compositions.  This was a  moment for me to push the creative direction and shot list just a bit further and capture something unexpected and engaging.  We explored the trail and found just up from our first location a piece of overhanging piece granite rock that was intriguing both compositionally and aestically.  I decided to rally the troops (who were well spent) and shoot this local also.    The set-up took about a half an hour as I employed a favorite rig I like to call the 'mini heli'; essentially a camera mounted boom pole that allows me to get an 'mini' aerial perspective of a location very quickly and with minimal gear.  This was the perfect location for the mini heli!

We rigged up the 5D Mark II (no grip) with a 15mm fisheye, and a 4x6 sunbounce reflector and started exploring the trail from this new perspective.  The late afternoon sun worked well to backlight the runner and we bounced a little fill into the front.   Thirty minutes later we had a few takes that were solid and we called the flume trail shot a wrap!

Check out more trail running photos from this shoot in a recent case study here: photography case study with Mountain Hardwear

(Another Trail Running Shot from the Flume Trail)

Nov 7, 2011

Hawaii Photography and Timelapse

I'm on vacation this week in Oahu, Hawaii and in theory "away from the camera" for a few days, but that's nearly impossible to do in practice.  While I am away from the commercial photography routine, I can't help but get out and shoot some beautiful scenic and landscape imagery while here.  Look for updates to this post with new photos and possibly some film or at least time lapse shots during the stay.  Points of interest to include The north shore beaches and surfing, Pali Lookout, Makapu'u beach and point, Waikiki, Diamond head, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and more.  I'll also add that although Oahu is spectacular, I must say Maui, Kauai and the big Island are even more amazing.  If you are planning a trip, particularly a photography trip and choosing one island, go for Kauai!

For starters, here's a time lapse photography sequence from the Pali highway.

Nov 2, 2011

Longboarding Photography in Park City, Utah

A friend recently pulled out a prototype carbon fiber longboard he's been working on and I had to get it on the hill for some photography and video splendor.  There's much more to come on this emerging little company, but the board is unbelievably lightweight, ultra stiff and fast.  Check out some photos from our Park City, Utah adventure.  Some cinematography still to come!

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-Kevin Winzeler
Utah based Sports and fitness photographer