I was contacted by Olga DeVignat following a casting call interested in doing a photo shoot, the idea for the shoot was sports photography and with Olga boxing at a local gym this was the perfect subject for my moody look. I tend to like moody images that offer depth with the use of contrast and harsh shadows and highlights. These images tend to lend themselves great to sports portraits and alternative model photography.
Initially the idea for this sports photography assignment was to shoot Olga on her own and use some of the shots as promotional material for Go Gym, a local gym in Greystones, however when I met Christopher Mathew I decided to contact Olga to see if she would be interested in kicking some butt. She was delighted with the opportunity and this double boxing photo shoot was born.
To complete the team I was assisted in lighting by the great Kaman Lo which also provided the behind the scenes photography for this article, so a big thank you to Kaman for the amazing support.
The gear I used for this shoot were my two trusty Nikon Bodies, the D800 and the D3 coupled with the Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 wide angle lens and the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. I’ve used the SB-900 and the absolutely awesome Elinchrom Quadra Ranger Hybrid with the Elinchrom Skyport to trigger the lights remotely.
We started the shoot a couple of hours before sunset on a rather cloudy but dry evening. It wasn’t too cold but Olga was a bit chilly so we warmed up with a few uppercuts and jabs, fast movements and different angles were captured and kept us warm. First I captured the athletes individually and then we moved to to some group action shots with both Olga and Christopher.
I must say the athletes were great and the moves were flowing very well making my job easy.
Technically I started shooting with the sun to my back simply to avoid some clutter on the background but as the sun started to set and an opening appeared in the sky I decided to compose my shots slightly differently and face the sunset despite the background clutter provided by the close by train station.
The ambient light didn’t change much throughout the evening given the cloud cover but with the elinchrom quadra and the SB-900 we were able to provide extra mood for each shot of the athletes.
We soon wrapped up the images on the beach and decided to head to a shed that is abandoned near by. This shed is full of gang style graffiti and it was such a great location for the dark mood of this shoot.
On this location we did a few more individual shots of the athletes and I’ve used my rogue gels on the SB-900 speedlight to provide some extra mood to some of the photographs.
As the street lights came on and darkness set in we wrapped up the shoot and headed home.
I shot RAW in manual mode at ISO 100, shutter speed and aperture varied from photograph to photograph based on how much or how little light I wanted from either ambient (shutter speed) or flash/strobe (aperture). If you’d like to know more about how aperture and shutter speed influence the photograph when using strobes, subscribe our RSS feed.
Once again I would like to thank Olga, Christopher and last but certainly not least Kaman Lo for the great evening. I hope we can get together soon to shoot again.