Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Photographic Decathalon

          Just over 21 years after winning the decathlon  gold medal in the Atlanta Olympics, Dan still takes flight with explosive power. Now, 1996's World's Greatest Athlete, is a track and field broadcaster, a coach, an event emcee, as well as continuing to be involved with the US Olympic Committee, can still bring it.

          One steamy Scottsdale morning he works out. He blasts through the air demonstrating for my camera and me, this return aloft after being grounded by a bulging disk. As we shoot images for  a Living Well article about pain management, Dan is eager to show how a pain center's treatment enabled his return to training.

          He volunteered to do some strength drills for the image, and was incredibly patient as I sketched with my camera, trying to find the image that had vaguely formed in my head just two days earlier when the assignment landed in my inbox.

          We tried different things, arms up, arms down, jumping while in stride, jumping from standstill. As we did this in a sand volleyball court, to minimize impact, I got lower in the sand with each attempt.

          Discovering the composition I wanted, we spent more time with more jumps, fine tuning until his extended hands didn't cover his face, and the sun didn't throw shadow of his hands onto his face. I got low enough to separate him from the landscape and place him against the puffy clouds that were nice enough to show up for us that day.

          That done, we explored some other ideas giving my editors plenty to chose from, whether the layout called for one image or many.

          Over delivering in a case like this is actually delivering just what the client needs to have options if space allows to pursue a collection of layout possibilities.

No comments: