Robert Beck and the Desert Speed Freaks

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Sports Photography

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 Robert Beck and the Desert Speed Freaks

©Robert Beck

Robert Beck has come a long way. From sleeping on floors to being a schoolteacher shooting surfers on his spare time to a sought-after staff position at Sports Illustrated. But as in most cases, it all started with a guy taking pictures just for the fun of it.

“I’ve been shooting since, let’s say, 1982,” says Robert. “I started taking pictures of surfers for fun back in those days. I was a schoolteacher who surfed a lot. I bought a water housing and did a lot of swimming.

“In October of 1986, I went to Hawaii to shoot the Ironman Triathlon for a small sports stock agency with nothing but my camera gear and an airline ticket. I slept on a friend’s floor the first night after hitchhiking into town from the airport. There were no hotel rooms available. No rental cars. I checked in with the media center the day before the event and found out Sports Illustrated had “hired” me to shoot the race. The perks of being a Sports Illustrated shooter? Gunner’s seat in a helicopter for the start of the race, a jeep with a driver for the rest of the competition and a hotel room! The result of being prepared when thrown into the fire? A double truck table of contents picture which eventually became one of Life Magazine’s Pictures of the Decade. Thirty years later I am still shooting sports … now as a staffer for Sports Illustrated.” Read More

Rod Mar’s Soccer Shoot

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Sports Photography

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This is probably the first time we post a full-blown ad that was not done by ourselves.

It is the good people at Glazer’s Camera in Seattle, who together with photographer Rod Mar did their very own promo video for the Pro-B4 battery pack.

The session was captured in the video above by videographer Ty Migota, showing Rod and his team getting some great action shots of soccer athletes with the Pro-B4, a 5-foot Reflector and a bunch of other Profoto gear.

It is an ad, yes. But we thought you might like it.

You can see more of Rod’s work at his website.

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Adventure Photography with Dennis Welsh

Written by Gordon Andersson on . Posted in Sports Photography

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WELSH HIND II Adventure Photography with Dennis Welsh

©Dennis Welsh

Dennis Welsh is a photographer who seldom takes his pictures in a dark and calm studio. But when he does, he uses Profoto lights to take wonderful pictures such as this.

This image is part of a series Dennis did for sports and outdoor apparel company Hind.

“Each year this client wants to make a different statement with the pictures, this time mixing outdoor settings with studio shots, the latter focusing more attention on the product,” says Dennis in a recent interview for Shutterbug. “In post, we drew the color out of everything except the clothing.” The lighting Welsh used was Profoto, with a Softlight Reflector to illuminate the face. There were also a pair of strobes on the background.”

Head over to Shutterbug for the full story, in which you can read more about how Dennis got started, what gear he uses and how he works.

You should also check out Dennis’ website.

Joe Morahan’s Colorful Splashes, Part III

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Sports Photography

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 Joe Morahans Colorful Splashes, Part III

©Joe Morahan

Two weeks ago, we published the first part of the story of Joe Morahan’s colorful splashes, in which Joe talked about how the shoot came to be. Two days ago we  published the second part, focusing on the actual lighting setup. This is the third and final part, in which Joe talk about the postproduction that went into the project. In Joe’s own words:

As any creative will tell you, you never really get over the rush of excitement seeing your vision realized. When I first closed my eyes and imagined this series, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pull it off. In the end it came down to luck — “when preparation meets opportunity.”

I’ve previously talked about how this body of work went from cool images floating around in my head to practical problem solving on-set. Now, I’m going to talk about the post-production and editing that gave my raw images that shot of adrenaline.

After several days of shooting, nearly a dozen models, thousands of water balloons, and buckets upon buckets of water on my studio floor, I was left with some really neat images. As a visual effects junkie, though, I always want to take my images to the next level. I’m not as interested in photojournalism or “straight” photography, as much as I am in telling a really dramatic and slightly surreal visual story. My favorite images always make me feel like I’m dreaming. Read More

Joe Morahan’s Colorful Splashes, Part II

Written by Joe Morahan on . Posted in Sports Photography

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 Joe Morahans Colorful Splashes, Part II

©Joe Morahan

Two weeks ago, we published the first part of the story of Joe Morahan’s colorful splashes, in which Joe talked about his inspiration for the shoot and how it came to be. This is the second part, in which he gets down to the nitty-gritty details, in case you are crazy enough to try this at home. Here is the full story in Joe’s own words:

I’m no stranger to freezing motion. I majored in industrial/scientific photography at Brooks Institute. I’ve captured tons of speeding bullets and exploding objects using high-speed cameras and triggering devices. The great thing about photographing speeding bullets is that they’re fired using precision mechanics, making them incredibly consistent. It’s all about known factors, and getting your calculations right. Once you know the speed of the bullet, the time it takes to reach an object, and when to fire your flash and camera to capture just the right moment of impact, you can capture an almost identical image each time. Not so with a human subject!

Unlike a bullet with a consistent speed and trajectory, human beings have free will. They can choose to move in a million different directions, in a million different ways. Coordinating the movement of my model with the explosion of the water balloon created quite the math headache! No matter how hard the models tried to stay consistent in their movement and speed, the timing would differ in each take. Read More