Back in march I had an opportunity to shoot , Portuguese Olympic medalist Francis Obikwelu and my good friend and tri-athalete Bruno Brito .
This years 2012 London Summer games have just finished ( well back in August ) unfortunately Frances Obikwelu suffered a injury. Leaving him unable to participate . I was lucky enough to have an entire ten minutes to shoot with him during one of his training sessions.
When photographing world class athletes , like any other public figure or celebrity you have very little time to shoot usually . The logistics in a shoot like this are almost always very complicated and this was no different, there are always multiple factors that are at play for example , That day I shot Francis , Bruno and Portuguese strong man Marco Forts who was in London at the Games competing in the shot put event . I will dedicate another post to Marco Forts shoot in a couple of weeks . (stay tuned )
Working on location is always a challenge: There is not enough time. There is not enough space. There is not enough light. Sentences you find your self repeating over and over when shooting on location . The logistics of the day where quite complicated at one point I had confirmation to shoot all the athletes , but I did not have authorizations of all the Locations , when I finally secured a great location two of the athletes could not shoot there and at the best time slot for what I intended , but in any situation like this you must always be flexible have a plan B and plan C , and try to be prepared for the unexpected but most of all be flexible and keep it simple . My back-round was a great wall on the side of the building , I love the texture and color it was exactly what I wanted before I even new what I wanted .
So to keep it simple , for starters I rented my lights from PG PHOTOGRAPHICAS in Lisbon , its a great Rental SERVICE ran by a wonderful German photographer , who has just about everything you need need on a shoot and if she doesn’t have it ,I recommend sending them a email asking for quote and availability on gear or if you have any special requests, They mostly carry Profoto like most other major rental places that I have worked with. They also have Westcott Scrim Jim’s and reflectors.
I am already familiar with the gear so its like owning my own but without having to travel with it and pay all kinds of over weight and travel expenses plus the extra where and tare the gear undergoes when traveling . So when I can I like to rent .
I kept my options portable I used Profoto Pro-B3 1200 AirS with two Pro Heads , one head with Westcott 7′ Silver Parabolic wich creates an amazing beautiful light at a affordable price , the other strobe used had a Profoto Zoom Reflector.
I shot directly to Sandisk CF Extreme Pro 64GB cards . The Cards are super fast and extremely reliable. I prefer to shoot to CF card direct instead of tethering when I can , I feel shooting to the card keeps my shoot quick and gives me a better flow with my subjects . I do however use a 3 Legged Thing TriPod and a Canon remote switch rs-80n3
|Final image above has little or no Photoshop just some clean up of the walls and contrast and saturation all very minor.|
|Notice the slight angle of the Light and sand bags , lots of Sandbags .|
|Shooting with a Tripod , in this case Ediie from 3 legged thing give me more control and quicker response time to my subject .|
|shooting on Canon Mark II with 70-200 2.8 L glass , mounted on 3Legged Thing Tripod and using shutter cable by Canon Remote switch .|
My assistant and my self arrived at the Jamor training facility a little before 2:00pm after the morntihgs series at the other track . We sat around and waited for about 4 hours to then get a chance to have some time with Francis .
I wanted to keep the images very dynamic but in a controlled manner .
So for this I used two Profoto Pro Heads with Zoom Reflectors on each side. There was allot going on in the background that was very distracting , so we tried shooting with a portable black collapsible background stand and Iluminator backdrop from WESTCOTT . Making it easier to then work the image in post . I chose a long lens Canon 70 – 200 2.8 L for the running shot , I also use the wide angle for the second portrait. I got down low and close to enhance the dramatics of the image .
|Its inportant to keep your subject happy and show himher what the results look like to guarantee they are enjoying the images and are comfortable.|
|The Iluminator backdrop is easy to disassemble and take any where .|