Shooting in one of Plough Studio’s car-sized film studio in Clapham, London. Lot’s of space for a full Profoto lighting studio set-up with 4 flash head lights on the back drop and anothe 4 lighting from the front. All on a huge white infinity cove. Great for very clean shots and focusing on the athletes.
In the last image below you can see the studio set from the back of the infinity cove. Showing the Elinchrom Octa modified to have a Profoto Flash Head inserted. You can see some more behind the scenes shots and studio set-ups with the Para 222 Broncolor umbrella as main light in the Nike Greece studio set-up page in creative portfolio section.
Olympic Training Grounds London
Generally you get to shoot in some amazing places for clients and sometimes you want to go back to shoot some more. Or an athlete or models happens to train in a really slick location.
The brief I with my photography team was to create was to use these amazing sports training facilities all over London as the backdrops. The slicker the better. Using the strong graphic lines in the images as if they had been painted specifically for our photoshoot. The cleaner background shots seemed to work the best.
We worked closely with W Model Management and other athletes and models we’d worked with before.
The studio flash lighting set-up was nearly always a Profoto B1 Air with umbrella as a main light (left) and a second key light behind and further back on the right. Sometimes the second light had a Profoto grid on (honeycomb) it lessen the spill of the light. Gives you that contrast and strong shadow line down the centre. Especially if you can dial down or control the natural light.
See the online tutorial from the Vince Starr Photography youtube channel – “How to use studio flash lighting on location with natural light” below.
The first images were taken on the blue indoor running track, with the long and triple jump sand pit at Lee Valley athletics centre where I also shot the Cadburys Spot v Stripes campaign in the run up to the London 2012 olympic games.
The yoga poses was taken at Third Space Gym in Soho.
The tennis shot was taken Clapham Common tennis courts with the ball being thrown in after wards, which helps increase how many images you can take. Then the athlete can swing freely and concentrate on the pose and not be all out of shape if the ball is thrown in a different position each time.
The starting blocks running pose and high jump shot were taken at Tooting Bec athletics track. Climbing wall was at Mile End climbing wall. Outdoor runners stretch was in Streatham Park. The outdoor football was taken on a street pitch in Fulham. The squash shoot was with professional squash player Adrian Grant at England Squash and Racketball Club. The handball shots were taken at the Olympic Handball training centre in Dagenham.
Triathlon Training Caribbean
She was living in St. Kitts and Nevis and was training for triathlons with the local club so I tried for some triathlon training shots whilst I was there. Triathlons have just been grwoing and growing in popularity over the years. Loads going on in the UK too if you want to find one on the British Triathlon page.
All the pictures were taken with natural light so it was just a case of timing the sun position with the backdrop you wanted. Pretty handy to know a little bit about colour temperature and the kelvin scale to use warm orange or strong blue light for your shots.
The running shot was timed with the morning sun for the background of tropical water colours and mountains in the distance, which worked beautifully. With the swimming shot I was hovering the camera a few centimetres above the water so it got pretty close to soaked. The cycling shot was quite easy. Me riding along as well wasn’t the best. Standing still and panning whilst Jo road passed worked better. Good panning link on the canon website here.
Working with nothing but natural light and amazing backdrops was so much fun. A big difference to the work we were producing as a team in London at the time, like the immaculate athletics tracks, tennis courts and olympic training grounds.
The shoot took place in the basement TRX Suspension Weight Training gym underneath the main boxing ring as the low purple LED lighting was the perfect backdrop for mixing in some photo-studio lighting. Using a couple of portable Profoto B1X’s on a measured low setting gave the perfect natural mixed lighting feel. Keeping the subject cleanly lit and the background atmospheric.
Mixing different light sources can be an art. This is typically mixing flash lighting with daylight like the Golf Punk magazine shoots in Spain. Or in a studio mixing continuous tungsten lighting with flash lighting like the adidas F50 campaign.