When you live in a smaller town, say 100,000 people, you start to think you have found about every location to shoot. Sometimes I just get in my car and drive around hoping to find some abandoned truck or gutted house that would make an interesting location. On one such trip I found new racquetball courts the city had just built at a new community center. These courts were perfect for a ‘studio’ shot, lots of nice white walls, or creating an interesting sports image. I called in PJ, an athletic model in town, and we were ready to go. Luckily for us we had a great stormy sky building for a good backdrop. I often try to time shoots where the weather looks interesting; plain blue just doesn’t cut it. We did video of behind the scenes on this one, take a peek.
We did two different lighting set ups for this image. The first shot was an action image of PJ hitting the ball. Since there was going to be lots of movement, we used Elinchrom Ranger A heads for the fast flash duration. We used a deep Octabank on one head and a standard reflector on the other head, positioning them in a cross lighting set up. The trick was capturing the shot just as PJ hit the ball. We darkened the ambient exposure to add drama to the sky.
The final image, a static portrait, was done using three rangers and one quadra. We used two strip banks on opposite sides of PJ for accent lights, and one deep Octa for our main light. We also added a little kicker light with the quadra with a standard reflector on the right. Tech: D3, 24-70mm lens, F11, 1/250, ISO 100.