Midday Sun ~ Magazine Cover Shoot

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Today I want to bring you through a magazine cover shoot and some inside photographs for an article we shot on Monday, April 11th. We had about 30 minutes to shoot: the cover with logo, bar code, etc. in mind, one picture for the editors letter, a table of contents shot, and an opening shot for the story inside (full page or spread). I also shot two individual shots that were used to go with their BIO’s in the story.

Things to keep in mind: it’s for the May/June issue of Utah Valley Magazine, so they want it to look summery and the mountains were full of snow as you can see in one of the overviews. We wanted green grass, with a little piece of baseball markings showing and the stadium providing the atmosphere and the BYU team colors. The time for the shoot was set to 12:30 pm with sunshine, and due to baseball practice, we had to follow their time schedule.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: I love to photograph in midday sun! Remember that NOON (or the sun at its highest peak) is almost never 12 pm. That day it was at 1:28 pm in Provo, Utah, USA where the shoot took place. The appointment to shoot this cover was at 12:30 pm, (as I said, not my choice) but that is when it’s useful to know something about light. I was early, like I always like to be, so I could set up and be ready to shoot at the time of the appointment.

This table of contents picture was shot before the scheduled shooting time of 12:30 while we are testing light for the cover.

We started by doing the cover shot (see underneath) using a California SunbounceSun-Swatter on a solid Manfrotto 007bu tripod to diffuse the bright sun hitting them. The tripod is sand bagged and also features a “lazy leg” adjustment for leveling the stand on uneven terrain. I also picked a shaded area mostly as a background, the magazine wanted the shot to show some grass and stadium. In the overview underneath you can see the California Sunbounce Mini Zebra and how we bounce with a  in on them. A very simple and very effective method for midday sun.

The two spreads underneath are also shot about 30 min from midday which is perfect down in the dugout. There is so much light bouncing in to the dugout since the sun is so close to it. In some of the shots we added a little soft/gold called Zebra in the CSB language. (Sun-Bounce to give the directional light a little more punch and add a little warmth on the subject so they would pop out even more from the blue background (which is a complimentary color to their skin and a color that creates distance).

Underneath you can see the full size file as shot. I composed this shot for a 2-page spread to start the story inside the magazine, the crease in the middle of the magazine is what I always have to keep in mind when I do that.

When I first had them sitting there, I also made sure to get some pictures of them individually. It was fun to see how much more comfortable they were sitting in the dugout than standing out on the field posing, they were in their right element. We could easily have used this for cover, but the magazine wanted some summer and the local stadium look. In the overview underneath, see how close the dugout is to being in the sun which gives it a nice tunnel effect of light with the roof making a perfect block overhead. I’m so in the zone when I shoot and I try to respect my clients time, so the overview is shot right after the we shots used. That was a wrap for the shoot, total time shooting with subjects on hand 30 min. I have a lot of respect of people’s busy life and schedules and find it very important to be ready on time, and use no more time than necessary.

There’s so much light coming into the shade from right outside the dugout, then just a tiny touch of California Sun-Bounce Zebra bounced in when needed for even more contrast and punch.

Vernon Sanders Law (born March 12, 1930 in Meridian, Idaho) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played 16 seasons (19501951and 19541967) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. World Series Champion with The Pirates in 1960. Law was a member of the National League All Star Team in 1960. He won the Cy Young Award, and led the National League in complete games that year.

Vance Aaron Law (born October 1, 1956 in Boise, Idaho) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1980 through 1991, he played for thePittsburgh Pirates (1980–81), Chicago White Sox (1982–84), Montreal Expos (1985–87), Chicago Cubs (1988–89), and Oakland Athletics (1991). He was an All-Star (NL) in: 1988. He also played one season in Japan for the Chunichi Dragons in 1990. Law batted and threw right-handed. He is the son of Cy Young Award winner Vern Law. He is currently the head baseball coachat Brigham Young University.

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