I recently had the opportunity to work on a new self-promo which is part of a larger series. The dynamic talent I photographed for this particular shot is Edwin “Skip” Bunton, personal trainer and owner of Body Specs gym in Ann Arbor, MI. It’s really great when you find talent like Skip that is so willing to give everything in order to capture that perfect shot.
The concept actually evolved from Skip’s “Train Different” branding strategy. I feel the shot captures the essence in a dramatically powerful and illustrative way. Working on a concept that has multiple images requires particular attention to make sure the lighting is harmonious and congruent for the final image to be successful.
The first step for this image was scouting the cityscape background. We found a perfect location in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan with tall buildings and enough available lighting for a 3:30am shoot; a perfect time when the streets are empty. The plan was to use a HDR technique so I shot 7 exposures on each perspective.
The next step was to photograph Skip in his gym. I had planned on two hours which was just enough time. I matched perspective (height of camera/lens) to the cityscape and determined the correct lighting to achieve the effect I was after. I used the FJ Westcott 7’ Octobank as a front fill along with the ProFoto Acute Ringlite as my main light source. I also used 2 large Westcott strip lights with front panel only and the internal diffusion removed for a more direct highlight on either side of Skip. Two lights were used on the back wall to light the chains. I really have to commend Skip for all his hard work in pulling the chains, they were heavy and I had him pulling countless times.
Shooting the vehicles was a little harder than I originally thought or had planned on since most scrapyards start stripping cars as soon as they are on-site. I don’t give up easily and luck was on my side when I spotted two vehicles that worked perfectly other than requiring them to be tilted slightly. I had to photograph the tires separately. The vehicles were shot with two Nikon Speedlights on either side of the vehicles to add a little street light feel and the fill was diffused daylight.
The image of Skip and the vehicles were partially outlined with PS CS5 and the rest with OnOne MaskPro 4.1 to separate out the backgrounds. Several FX were added to the various layers, some of which I’ll be discussing in more detail in PS Pointers.
Hope you enjoy.
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