I had an opportunity to photograph a world class triathlete, just before he embarked on a journey to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The concept was to create a commercial style photo for each phase of the grueling race – the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike, and the 26 mile run.
So how do you show a daring sense of, in-your-face drama to illustrate what the athlete is doing? You start by sticking a camera in his face, race down the highway, and let the speed of the surrounding landscape tell the story.
To accomplish this meant finding the right shutter speed to keep the rider tack sharp, while at the same time deciding the speed of the car to blur the trees and road around him. The variables also included dialing in the correct power of the strobes that were extended on poles and positioned on each side of the rider. A wide angle lens was also used to exaggerate the perspective.
Athletes are often very good at previsualizing an action to get the outcome they want. Matt Bach was no exception. Once I described where he needed to be in relation to the suspended strobes, and the moving car, he was glued to that position regardless of any curves or bumps in the road. Nice job Matt!
It was a productive day shooting on location, but this was the first time the talent outlasted the crew! And with so many selects, editing one or two of these in post was a difficult choice – life is good.