Tomorrow night, high schools all over York County will be kicking off their first games of the 2011 football season.
Today, the paper’s football preview tab was distributed. Splashed on the cover is a sportrait — my first.
When I first showed this particular take to my editors, Brad’s response was something along the lines of, “He shouldn’t be throwing footballs in the school lobby. That’s dangerous.”
All facetiousness aside, taking the sportraits indoors was my only workable option at the time. Red Lion’s stadium was closed and a mess because they were getting their turf replaced. The sun was still shining too brightly at 4:30 p.m. for me to use any lights, and the team’s practice field was spotted with large patches of dirt and teemed with the defensive players as they practiced that day.
So we took the sportraits indoors. The photo used for the cover was a three-strobe setup, not including my on-camera 580EXII, which I used to fire off three slaved Nikon flashes. Two strobes were bounced off umbrellas onto Klinefelter, with the third on a tripod on the stair landing above him.
Here’s another option I shot:
The locker room shoot was a challenge. I had to turn off the overhead lights so they wouldn’t interfere with the lighting. But because I was using strobes-only, I didn’t have a modeling light — which meant we were working in complete darkness. I told Klinefelter that, when the red focus-assist beam on my on-camera flash lit up, he should look directly below that light. As for myself, I had to guess at where he was in the dark and rely absolutely on that focus-assist beam and my camera’s center-point focus to get Klinefelter’s face in focus.
Fortunately, Klinefelter was patient and accommodating as I adjusted the strobes and stumbled around in the dark. The final photo is a tad underexposed — but I’d rather have it a little darker than have the metal locker doors and fixtures blown out. It was a two-strobe setup, with one strobe right behind me and another to Klinefelter’s left. Looking back now, I wish I’d tried putting the third strobe behind Klinefelter as an accent light.
Next season, right?