Hurdle Photo #2

Here’s the last photo in the three image Ashton Eaton series. This last photo probably personifies who I am as a photographer the most. I’m 5′ 10″ and I try to never take a photo at 5′ 10″. By this I mean, I never try to take a photo standing up. A huge amount of the worlds population is within a 1-foot range of that height and I don’t want to always create a familiar scene. So often times, I find myself laying on the ground in the dirt (and once in huge puddles of water) just to get a different view.

Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 16mm, f/7.1, 1/200, ISO 200

For this photo we were taking some profile pictures of Ashton going over the hurdle (you may be seeing some of those images down the road) and Ashton and I came up with an idea at the same time. We wanted a different perspective and something unfamiliar. A lot of people have watched people hurdle and seen it head on and from the side. But how many people have seen a person hurdling over them?

I took out my 16-35mm f/2.8L II because I knew I was going to need  a super wide angle in order to fit all of him in the frame. One thing about taking a photo from under a hurdle is that it can be super dangerous. Ashton could have hit the hurdle and came crashing down on top of me with those nice sharp spikes. But, I completely trust Ashton and I knew without a doubt that we were going to get the shot without an incident. That’s one huge thing that I would pass on is that whoever you are working with model, athlete or photographer, you have to trust each other. If there’s a little hesitation in either party, it’ll show up in the images.

We used a modified three light look for this. By modified, I mean we didn’t switch the lights from the profile look to the underneath look like we should have. As you can see in the original image there’s a softbox on the bottom right which is creating a rim light on the left side of Ashton and we should have moved the other softbox to be on the back left to create a rim light on his righthand side. But, we left it as is and it still produced a great image. So, to avoid confusion, we have a softbox behind and off to the right, there’s another softbox in front and slightly to the side. The third light is a beauty dish that is creating the “fill” on Ashton’s righthand side.

After all of that, I had to decide what I was going to do for the background. A simple cloud shot seemed the most simple and living in Portland made this super simple. I just went on the rooftop of my apartment the next day and shot about 100 different cloud formations. This one seemed like the best and I just used some curves to make the clouds a little more dramatic. The last step was to put in the “sun”. I just felt like the image needed one more little element. I two stock starburst photos that I took months ago and combined them plus a little of the brush tool.

That’s the final breakdown of the series. I hope you enjoyed the in depth info about each of the images and I hope it provided a little insight into my process from capture all the way through post. This is definitely going to be something I keep up as I shoot more photos. I’ve struggled with finding exactly what this blog should be. But, I’ve finally decided this is the best way for me as a professional (and somewhat as a teacher) to display my images to others. Thanks again for stopping by. I should have a post about my limited edition prints up tomorrow or Monday.

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