Photographing a Spahten

April 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Many of you know that I am a very active member of the New England Spahtens - we're an obstacle course race team based in New England, and this past weekend, we got together to train.

The venue was Harvard Stadium. We had nearly 100 members of the team show up, and give it everything they had, carrying sandbags, climbing walls, flipping and dragging tires. Of course, I brought my camera along, and after the training I setup for a series of portraits for anyone who wanted them.

I actually put a lot of thought into the setup. I wanted something I could be consistent and fast paced with, as I knew I would end up with a line of folks - the goal was to rattle off four or five photos of each person, or combination of people, and come away with at least two really good keepers.

The location was key - I went into the concourse area of the stadium, where vendors would setup during a game. It was tall, with long corridors of columns, and worked perfectly to give some visual hooks and interest.

This was going to be a two light setup - and since getting my 600ex-RTs, which use radio frequency for triggering, I didn't have to worry about line of site anymore - and for the record - they worked amazingly well the entire way through the set.

So - this is the kind of image we were taking, for a couple of hours, consistently. The cool tone, industrial blue background was achieved with the simple act of changing my white balance from Auto, to Tungsten - which has the effect of taking natural daylight tones and throwing them into the blue range.

I corrected for that, by putting a full CTO gel on my main light - so anywhere lit with the CTO'd light stayed regular tones, everything else went cool - including the rear light.

And how was it lit?

Nice and simple. A single 22" Beauty Dish with sock up front (with a full CTO gel in), and a totally bare bulb speedlite out back.

We moved things around a lot - that bare rear flash would go to either side, or directly behind someone for some awesome hair light. The Beauty Dish would move around and get in super close, or further back for some spread. 

They were both on separate channels, and set to a 2:1 ratio (the front light being twice the power of the rear), and full ETTL the whole time so I could quickly and easily move them around the place.

You can find a lot more of these right here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.447490458672639.1073741832.371692119585807&type=3

and some of my personal favorites


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