Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Photographs, Family and Cycling

Bob shades my lens from lens flare as I shoot toward the sun,  a portrait of Gunny Marquis.

Gunny Marquis, lit with camera strobe,
camera left, and a rim light camera
right and slightly behind
     As the Photographic blog title suggests, this work can often be an adventure, and what better way to have an Adventure than to share it with a friend who also happens to be family.

     Okay, one step better, to photograph a sport about which I'm passionate, cycling.

Sign me up!

     So, not long ago, just before it got really hot, an assignment took me so far to the northwest valley,  I'm not even sure it is technically in the Valley, to photograph a bicyclist who was recovering from a number of back and orthopedic surgeries.

From the back of my truck, piloted by brother-in-law Bob
I shoot into the rising sun to pick up highlights and
shimmer from the road surface.
Gunny turns back, riding into the beautiful
golden-hour light early in the morning.
     I wanted to have the opportunity to photograph him while in motion rather than leapfrogging ahead to jump out each time to make an image.

     I needed a driver.

     My brother-in-law Bob, a fellow cyclist, had always wanted to help on a shoot of this sort, and so even at the insane hour, (meeting up at 4:30 for the drive west), he was all over it.

     The shoot was simple.  Set up a couple of strobes in the back of my pick-up to cut through some of the haze, to light up "Gunny" Marquis as he pedaled along on a brisk morning, with his pal, Ken Wandler, somewhere north of Sun City West and west of 165th Ave.

     While I wanted them to pedal toward the sun to use the beautiful golden hour glow of first light, I also liked the idea of having them pedal away from the sun, using the reflection of the sunlight off the pavement and road striping to create a feel of early morning isolation. With the power of two SB-800's there was just enough to open up the shadow in the two men's faces.

     All the while Bob's skilled driving kept me at the perfect distance in front of the riders as they climbed and descended the ripples in the road. The consumate assistant he pointed out key points in the road that presented better vantage points as we moved along.

     It's always also helpful to have the extra hand as we set up a portrait opportunity, using the shiny ribbon of pavement glowing from the reflection of the oncoming sun, and radio remoted strobes to again fill in the shadow and provide a rim highlight on the side of Gunny's face (camera right).

     I am grateful for opportunities to have help in my work and even more so when I can share something I love to do with someone close to me. Thanks Bob-o for all your help and to Gunny for being such a great subject to photograph!
Bob helps position the main light for a portrait of Marquis.
A little pow-wow between frames.