The Nike Goggle Shoot

There has been a lot of great feedback regarding the swimmer photo that is on my site, and I have a little “behind-the-scenes” stuff, so I thought I would share.  Not much needed for this shoot… a person, a pool and some Nike goggles.

My friend, Kyle, was nice enough to model for this shoot… Actually, it isn’t very difficult to get him in front of a camera.  Luckily, I have a pretty good connection in  New Jersey, so we were able to shoot in a 50 meter pool.

Usually, I like to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to lighting.  Setting tripods up, constructing soft boxes and making five trips to my car carrying heavy gear drives me insane if I really don’t have to do that.  Shooting with Nikon SB-900s eliminates a lot of heavy lifting and extensive setup, and that is why I love using them.

The image you see was created in broad daylight, and the ambient light you see in the cell phone picture never changed.  The plan to power my lights up and close down the exposure to create a black backdrop worked out perfectly.  Three lights were used to create the effect you see.  I have one SB-900 off to the left and right at a 45 degree angle behind Kyle.  These two lights are creating highlights on his arms and head, but also backlighting the water that is falling from his triceps.  The final light is another SB-900 with a 40 degree grid over the top, and in front of Kyle, creating a butterfly lighting pattern on his face.  Not the most perfect butterfly, but when you have a moving subject and no modeling light, you take what you can get.

Not too much post-production on this image; some small effects on Kyle, in addition to changing the blue pool bottom to black.  Here is the progression along with some “behind-the-scenes”, for you to get a feel for my process.  Check out my site at

BTSRazoyk-Philadelphia-Photographer-1Razoyk-Philadelphia-Photographer-2Nike Swimmer Photo




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