Caitlin Standifer | Professional Triathlete

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We’ve finally reached our last highlighted athlete from the recent Magnolia Masters Pro Swim Camp! I hope y’all have enjoyed meeting and seeing these awesome athletes in action as much as I did working with them and getting to know each of them a bit better. Caitlin Standifer is the newest member to the Pro circuit out of the group and she is one HELL of a runner!

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Caitlin’s shoot was a blast and with her solid running background, we wanted to do something different for her, different for us, and a great highlight to her Track history. We kicked things off with some portraits of her warming up and getting ready to run while the sun was perfect. I utilized my current favorite modifier for portraits – the Elinchrom Rotlux 69” Octabox – to create that nice soft light to balance out the direct sun and soften the edges. We did some trying to mimic the sun, then had Caitlin face us and create a little flare before we started running (see the first image). Two very different lighting looks with just one light and it gave us a cool combination for Caitlin’s portraits.

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After that, I switched the Rotalux for the Beauty Dish and it was off to the races. Seriously. She came flying at me the first few frames and I barely had time to react! I was getting too much motion blur for my tastes, so I had to think quickly and bring down my power output on my strobe. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why…

What stops motion when you are shooting with strobes isn’t the shutter speed. Shutter speed has a little to do with it, but you are limited by your sync speed (I just don’t go above 1/200th of a second for all cameras) so you can only stop action to a point. The real workhorse is your Flash Duration. Flash duration is how long the burst of light is being produced by the flash and is typically in the thousandths of a second range. To make sure motion is completely stopped, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep it faster than 1/6000th of a second. To change this, you have to give up some power so be aware of what is happening in your image and use your rules and lighting ratios to figure out what you can do and what works best for your situation! Fortunately for me, the Paul C Buff Einstein lights actually have that data on the back of their lights!

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Back to the shoot though… After turning down the power a bit to gain some speed on the light, we were back in business and the sun flare it created made it even better than I had originally viewed it in camera!

After the track shoot, we were walking to anther area when Caitlin took a little detour into the woods. She popped back out and called us down into the ditch to do some trail running shots. Not what I was expecting from a triathlete (we like our roads and pavement!) but I was ecstatic that she wanted to try something different and I love working with creative people that want to push the concept to something different.

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Lying in the mud, we took some quick frames before it got too dark and captured a great shot of Caitlin coming over some leaves and tearing off down the creek bed!

The final change-up that we did for Caitlin was a completely difference concept for her cycling shots. Instead of taking her out to another area in The Woodlands and getting a very similar background, we shot her in front of a white backdrop to be cut out of later. Using those images, I took a detour on one of my recent trips around the state to grab a few backgrounds we could put her into and get a vastly different look from Aubrey, Cody, and Matt. The hyper-realism of these shots always wows me, and I love how you can toy with reality to make something new and epic as a result. Details can be fixated on further and concepts cane be pushed because there are fewer boundaries and a wide range of outcomes that you can produce.

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From start to finish, working with Caitlin was awesome and now that she’s a new resident of The Woodlands, we can’t wait to get her in front of the lens again and see what she does in her Rookie year as a Pro! Check out the quick behind the scenes video below to see our lighting set-ups for Caitlin’s portraits and her track shot on the Ruddock Visuals Vimeo and YouTube channels!

To see more from behind the scenes and to get updates on where we are and what we’re working on, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! More awesome athletes and portraits coming soon! It’s already shaping up to be a fantastic and fast paced 2015!

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