We had a ton of great feedback from Cody and Matt’s posts last week while they were in town for the Magnolia Masters Pro Swim Camp, so I thought I would kick off the week with another extremely talented athlete, Pro Triathlete Aubrey Aldy.
We had the pleasure of working with Aubrey earlier on in the camp and really had a blast getting to know him while we were working with Aubrey, Coaches Tim and David, and the other athletes.
For Aubrey’s shoot, we really wanted to establish some great cycling shots first while the morning sun was still low enough. We had to start a little later because of swimming practice that morning, but we were still able to beat the rising sun and get some great shots of Aubrey in an area we were really familiar with.
We utilized the same technique shooting out of the back of the truck (again, please don’t try this unless you are a professional and do so at your own risk), but we were working with my older Einstein lights at the time as my new Profoto B1 was being shipped. Same concept with a beauty dish and constant communication with the rider to let him know where he needed to be. Aubrey was extremely easy to work with and very comfortable on his bike so the entire experience wasn’t very stressful and we were able to capture some great images of Aubrey very quickly.
Towards the end of the bike I new we had some great shots of Aubrey riding along side the truck and I had shot low with my 16-35mm to really get some of those “hero” shots that everybody likes and that I enjoy creating to show these athletes as larger than life. With those “safe” shots in the bag though, I wanted to do something different and give a different aspect of the rider. I wanted to really get into the cockpit with the athlete and get up close and personal with Aubrey while he was pushing it behind us on a chilly Saturday morning. So, we redirected the light straight behind the truck and I moved further back into the cab (woohoo, no hanging off the tailgate!!) to shoot with the 70-200. I love this lens and the compression on it at 200mm is unparalleled in he photography world in my opinion until you get up into the crazy expensive fixed focal length telephotos. That compression allowed me to get a great close-up of Aubrey riding and bring him into the frame more and really get into the face of the viewer. As soon as we stopped to check the back of the camera and see what we got I was hooked! The shot was perfect and Aubrey’s intensity made the image absolutely pop! Ending on that note, it was time to go run.
We headed to a part of the IMTX race course in The Woodlands known as North Shore Park. It’s a nice stretch right along Lake Woodlands and it’s the same place we shot Egin and Brian’s images for the Everyday Triathlete series we’ve been working on. Using the water and park as a nice background setting, I set up a beauty dish at about a 60 degree angle from the sun and had Aubrey run past me like we have many times before with other athletes. The sun being at a 60 degree angle from the light gave a nice pop to the image and didn’t necessarily backlight Aubrey, but filled in the other side of his face quite nicely, really helping to stop the action and solidify the definition in his arms, legs, and face.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was just how long Aubrey’s stride is. It’s insane for an endurance athlete! Normally I try to have the athletes stride out a bit more than usual for the camera, but capturing all of Aubrey’s gate in the same frame was one of the toughest challenges of all! It made for some really wicked images, and after nailing one, I decided to shoot from the front again and captured another great image of Aubrey flying along the path in his team shirt.
The entire shoot was a blast and we couldn’t have asked for more beautiful light and weather. Mostly though, it helped me continue to look outside of the places and angles I normally shoot from to create more interesting images. No matter how many times you shoot a similar image, you can always do something to change the position, lighting, framing, angle, background, composition, or even just a different lens for a different look in order to add some creativity and challenge your way of viewing an image.
For a quick Behind The Scenes on our shoot with Aubrey, check out the video below. Sorry the run footage is so short, we kept having to move around to avoid people in the background of the images so we captured a lot more of the bike than we did of anything else. Interested in seeing something different from the videos or learning something different from the posts? Drop me a comment below and let me know what YOU would like to see in the next posts and videos to come for 2015!