5 Olympic Gold Medalists Session Part 1 of 3

posted in: InStudio, Lighting, Perspective | 0

Canon EOS 1Ds-Mark III with 24-70mm f.2.8L @ 48mm and f.14. 400 ISO.

This was one of the most challenging and fun shoots that I have ever been asked to do as a photographer. Photograph 5 very historic olympic gold medalists in one shot. Between all of them they have won 14 olympic gold medals. Here are their names from the left: Bart Connor, Nadia Comaneci, Dan Jansen, Mike Eruzione and Bonnie Blair. I have posted some good links to learn more about them at the end of this blog post. Since this is a photographic blog, I will mainly focus on how I did the shoot.

Did a job like this make me nervous? (Alll 5 flew into Utah just for this shoot!) Yes, but every shoot does. They were so professional, no phones going off, or phonecalls made, full focus on the shoot.

The shoot took place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. I rented 5 Profoto D1 500 Air lamps to have in addition to all my Elinchroms. We test shot on the Saturday before. I rented extra lamps so I could have 2 lighting set ups ready to go and be max effective. As I usually do when I mix brands of lamps, like in this shot, I use one brand for the lights in front of the subjects and another behind them.

My fill light is an Elinchrom 1000ws bounced of my wall/cealing that is painted in neutral grey. Studios are mostly white but many commercial photographers like black walls. I got the idea of neutral grey from Elinchrom’s own studio. The main light is an Elinchrom 600ws in an Elinchrom Octa. The placement of this light is extremly esential in this case, where I need to get an even light across a large area. The key is to use the edge of the light, the lamp is almost pointing away from them; this way I only get about 1/2 an f stop difference from side to side. The first person just gets lit by the very edge, while the person the furthest away gets lit by more of the middle of the lamp. I hope I’ve explained this well enough. It is an awesome way to light large areas. There is about 1 f stop difference between the fill and the main light. The image underneath shows the back lighting. All three overview shots are thanks to my friend Pete Stott who also assisted on this shoot.

We used two Profoto D1 500 Air’s with strip light soft boxes from behind. They needed to be pretty far out on the sides since I used wide angle in many of the shots. Also, I had to be careful to not get light spill from them on the background. In this shot you can see pretty well how the main light almost point away from them.

Canon EOS 1Ds-Mark III with 24-70mm f.2.8L @ 25mm and f.11. 400 ISO.

This is my favorite shot of them all. I also photographed them individually along with Bart and Nadia (married) together (Nadia was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10!). I will post 2 more blog posts one from Bart and Nadia’s shoot and one with the 3 skaters.

As you can see in this overview, I’m laying on the floor shooting with the 24-70mm @ 25mm. It is very important to keep the subjects lined up on the same plane. I also have them lean towards me a bit to avoid too much distortion ( see how Bonnie Blair to the right in coming forward in this overview ūüôā ¬†Shooting low and involving the floor gives a cool effect, but it sure takes a studio with a large background which I’m glad I have.

If you are interested in studio photography, then I recommend you follow my studio FB page: InStudio Photographics 

Here are some links if you want to read some of their amazing stories:

Bonnie Blair:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Blair 

Nadia Comaneci:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadia_Comaneci

Bart Connor:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_Conner

Dan Jansen:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Jansen

Mike Eruzione: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Eruzione

Movies:

Bonnie Blair: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2089667/

Nadia Comaneci:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0173536/

Bart Connor: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0175123/

Dan Jansen: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1139045/

Mike Eruzione: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0259942/

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