Portrait photographer Scott Areman wanted to capture the grit and raw power of amateur motocross racing. His solution was as simple as it was efficient: create contrast by shooting the riders out of context and use lighting to the best of your knowledge.
“This shoot was a collaboration with an Art Director friend, Kevin Potis of Blue Goldfish Studios,” says Scott. “We were going for an authentic, editorial feel. We weren’t looking for perfect. We wanted the style of the images to match the dirt, grit, and power of motocross.”
Scott and Kevin’s solution was two-fold: first of all, shoot the riders on a seamless, white background the minute they step off the bike. Secondly, use lighting to enhance the effect.
“The shoot was done at Straddleline ORV park outside of Olympia, Washington,” says Scott. “We set up the white seamless inside the building right next to the track, so the riders could just roll right into the set. What we soon realized was that the seamless was getting dirtier with each rider, but we decided to just go with it. In the end, it fitted the look we wanted to achieve perfectly.”
“In terms of lighting, it was important to catch the texture of their skin, sweat, dirt and gear. Also, I wanted something a bit more dramatic with strong shadows. So, I used a single, angled Acute/D4 Head, standing camera left, powered by an Acute2 1200 pack. I like the quality of light and the consistency that comes from these units. There’s a certain look to it that’s unique, especially for skin tones. The light was then diffused with a Giant Silver 150. I chose this particular size because I wanted fall off at the edges to enhance the gritty, rough look. Finally, we had a couple of black flags standing camera right to deepen the shadows further.”
You can see the rest of the images from this shoot plus more of Scott’s work at his website.
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