This time I was up to a pretty big and quite intense photo shoot. Different sets, different lightings – a lot to organise. Everything would be just perfect, except one thing: I was ill. A couple of days before I was photographing an athlete in a studio environment. I was perfectly fine, though the talent was sweating, he obviously was ill himself. My initial thought was:

 ” it’s not so bad, I’m quite sure that I have a strong and sophisticated immune system”

The next day proved me wrong.

Since the photo shoot was already scheduled, there was no way I would want to cancel it. So here I’m, feeling not so well, losing count of how many times I have already sneezed, though feeling happy.

The idea was quite simple. I wanted to create a couple of images with athletes on parallel bars and Olympic rings. While photographing the Olympic rings did not provide any particular challenges, the other set with parallel bars involved a seamless white paper. Since the ceiling was pretty high, I was able to photograph the athlete full length. However, I had to raise my seamless paper even higher somehow. And here was the challenge. Here was my approach:

We grabbed some parkour boxes, which were in the room, to put the light stands with the paper on them. It has worked out pretty well. I used five strobes to light the whole picture. Because the white background was so big, I was using three Speedlights to lighten it, but then I realised that I don’t have enough lights on the subject. Eventually, I ended up using two strobes, placing them on different heights. This has helped me to light the background evenly. The other two were used from the front and behind. And the last one was used to light the face of the athlete

Since the room was not heated, I have also rented a diesel heater. Unfortunately, it was not that useful. Since the space was so big it was not enough to even heat up a tiny corner where we were shooting. To overcome this problem, the athletes had to cover themselves in blankets, sitting in front of the diesel heater, waiting for their turn. At least that stupid thing was useful for something. Here is a tip: If you wait in the cold for your turn to be photographed, cover yourself with some warm jacket.
The last picture I made was lit with three strobes, two on the left side and the key light from above.

All in all, despite feeling quite miserable, it was a pretty epic day. A big thanks to the athletes, you can follow them on Instagram: Mimi, Sinia and Boran

Stay tuned for more,

Alex