Steve Williams of Persempre Videos and I collaborated on yet another “making of” video with one of the best football players in the state of New Jersey, Wesley Hills. Wesley works out at a gym I belong to, and I thought it would be a good idea to create some images of him before he left to play football for the University of Delaware.
We headed down to a High School Stadium in Wildwood for this photo shoot a couple months ago. The stadium is right in the center of town which presented some obstacles. The area is loaded with houses, as well as power lines that I did not want to include in the final image, I tried to shoot at an angle that would make it a bit easier on my retoucher David Van Allen. We tried for three different setups, but ended up only using two of the three we shot.
The first image was a stand alone portrait of Wesley in the end zone featuring the goal posts. Two NIkon Speedlights were used for this image. The main light had to be included in the frame in order to illuminate Wesley at the exposure I was shooting. The second light was located out of camera view, off Wesley’s left shoulder to provide a nice rim light along his arm and some reflection off the side of his face. After Dave and I discussed what we had in mind, he removed the strobe, along with the houses, power lines and sky. Wesley and the goal posts looked great, but I am one for the dramatics… We must drop in a sky. Dave and I seem to be 0n the same wavelength, when explaining the ideas for the final images that I have visualized, he seems to always take exactly what is in my imagination and bring it to reality.
The second image we went for was an action shot around the 50 yard line. I really liked the thought of Wesley leaping for the football with the stadium in the background. We used two lights here as well, one off to camera left, providing a rim light off the right side of his body, and one off to camera right, illuminating his body, head and ball.
This shot was not easy to capture… Steve had to stop videoing because I needed someone to throw Wes the ball. What a mess…. Had Steve been in a body cast he might have had better luck getting the ball to him. They connected about one out of ten throws. Terrible. We were able to get a few frames that were usable, I am not quite sure how… but we did. The one image I really liked had an issue… I inadvertently bumped my shutter speed to 400, and my Nikon D3s only syncs at 250th of a second. This mistake brought my shutter into the image. The shutter was too quick and completely cut off the light that should have been exposing his legs. This is evident in the original below. I was pretty adamant about having his legs positioned as they are in this photo. Once again, my man, Dave Van Allen, saved the day. Dave was able to take legs from some of the other images I shot, and completely rebuild them for this photo. The guy is amazing.
Dave and I decided to go with the “super athlete” feel for this edit to complete the series I had been working on. I think they both turned out pretty good, one photo with an editorial feel, and one with a more commercial feel. Thanks to Wes, Steve and Dave for all your help on these images. Check out the making of video, I think it turned out pretty awesome… you are the man Steve, thanks for putting up with me!
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Also, click here to see the entire video of Dave working on these images… The man is unreal.
Thanks for the read!