Monday, May 16, 2011

GOYA - Athletic Self Portaits

A couple weeks ago I did another self portrait session. I tend to do these right before a major race that I'll be doing. It helps me focus and motivate myself. It also gives me some confidence going into the race.

We all have doubts when it comes to what we can physically do. I like to picture myself looking like a professional. If I can see myself as an athlete, I'll perform like an athlete. Seems simple. Sports psychologist use similar methods, helping athletes envision themselves finishing or even winning a race. I use photographs to do the same.

The setups are pretty simple, but I tweaked similar setups I've used to get the results I was looking for. I wanted to do full head to toe shots and I've had problems with light fall off towards the feet. This time I used a large 60" umbrella with a 580 EXII flash at full power. I also placed some reflectors on both sides to have some additional light reflected back onto the legs. I still had to brighten up the legs up a little bit. I set the camera about 16" off the ground and shot up using my 17-40 mm ƒ/4.  Here's the setup.

I wanted a wetsuit shot and I wanted it to be wet. Makes sense right. I grabbed a black plastic garbage bag and stood on it. Beside me, I had a bucket with a sponge. I used that to get the wet look. Despite my efforts to keep the paper backdrop dry, I still managed to get certain areas wet, but still useable for future shoots.

I wanted a completely black back backdrop and with the small area I had to work with, I was getting light spilled onto the background. So I had to go into Photoshop and create the background I wanted. I think it looks pretty good and added the gradient highlight in the center. By using the side lights, I was able to get a really defined edge that I was able to use in Photoshop.

This shoot really got me pumped for my race. I had an awesome swim and I'm really proud of my performance during this first leg of the race. Swimming has always been a weakness. I don't feel that way anymore. I used these images on my Facebook profile for a couple weeks as well as the wallpaper on my phone. It was a constant reminder of what I'm capable of doing when I put my mind to something.

If you're interested in knowing more about my race experience (yes, I finished), then check out my other blog that is specifically about my triathlon training and experience. I've got another half iron distance race in the fall. There's a pretty good chance I'll do another similar shoot before that race.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Dave! I really appreciate you showing your setup. Keep up the good work! - Blake