Been hanging with the Lycra clad crowd lately.

It's been a while since I've made a blog post. In that time I've been shooting quite a bit. With a variety of clients and subjects. But one sporting category that's stood out as something fresh for me of late has been a few shoots with some roadies. Last week I was on a shoot for Bike Buller, updating their library with some fresh road bike shots. And a few weeks before that I got out of the studio for a few hours with Brodie Chapman and Nick Kenyon as the sun was setting on Port Melbourne. In the end finishing up with a couple of very nice roadie portraits.    

Some fresh images for the marketing Library at BIke Buller, As brief and rushed as the photo shoot was, Dan Lou and Josh were fantastic talent, Seen here chilling for some lifestyle road cycling shots near the village. 

Some fresh images for the marketing Library at BIke Buller, As brief and rushed as the photo shoot was, Dan Lou and Josh were fantastic talent, Seen here chilling for some lifestyle road cycling shots near the village. 

Another road cycling portraits making the most of my 4000w/s stobes and Hi-sync to both knock down the direct setting sun, and get some separation from the BG with soft focus.  This shot was a test for my modified Nikon D810. I'd Just picked it up from Camera Clinic the day before and was super stoked to get it out side for a test shoot. The modification eliminates the need for pocket wizards or Elinchrom Skyport Plus HS transceivers to achieve synchronization of the flash at high shutter speeds. The slight tweak on the flash timing is done in camera, thanks to the custom modification done by Wayne at Camera Clinic. I still use the Elinchrom Skyport Plus HS trigger and receivers for firing the strobes wirelessly, but in Speed mode, rather than in normal mode, so as to improve their timing accuracy. It's subtle, but with this modified camera, I'm achieving better and more repeatable high speed flash sync results than with any other system I've tried before. And trust me I've tried a lot of them.  Oh, and this image is of road racer and enduro rider, Brodie Chapman. Though you wouldn't know by this shot, she can actually descend on a trail or enduro bike faster than many blokes.  

A model rider, Nick Kenyon turned on the performance exactly when needed to get the shot. Again. testing the Modified Nikon D810. Thanks to Wayne at Camera Clinic for creating such a unique Frankenstein beast for me. 

Patrick Tang smashes his athlete profile shoot.

It's been several years since I've shot any Beach Volleyball.  I think the last time was probably in about 2006, when I was shooting a number of the QBVA comps for the Beach Volleyball Queensland. So I was a little worried about getting the timing right. Because I know just how fast these guys move. Especially when they are serving or spiking. It's vital that the ball is in shot, in order to successfully tell the story that it's beach volleyball. Other wise it just ends up a shot of someone jumping on the beach. It needs the ball in frame to give it context. And, ensuring that the ball is in shot is easier said than done. It comes down to timing and feeling the rhythm of the athlete.  So that the shutter is firing at the same split second as the impact of the the players hand on the ball.

Patrick Tang

This assignment was about creating a package of images for an athlete profile with a young and upcoming Beach Volleyball player named Patrick Tang. who turned out to be fantastic talent, and an awesome bloke.  I had planned to get a variety of different shots including some portraits, and some actions moments. Talking about action and speed, one needs to use a fairly hefty shutter speed to avoid motion blur. Also, I had a vision for a highly stylized look across all of the images in the set. So this presented the perfect opportunity to pull out the big guns.  ie, my secret hi-sync superhero flash pack. (can't give away the secret just yet) .  I did the entire shoot at 1/8000th of a second shutter speed. and most of the time was using a shooting stop of around T2.8 to T4. I think for one set up I shot at T5.6, just get get a touch more depth of focus.  Occasionally adjusting the ISO to suit the lighting design. The ISO fluctuated no more than from 100 to 400 iso through out the shoot. . 

Patrick Tang

The shot above of Pat saving a line ball, was lit almost entirely with the flash stobes. The dark area of light at the top of the frame is full sun on a clear day. 

Patrick Tang

The high shutter speed ensured that the action was totally frozen, and my secret weapon flash strobes worked flawlessly with the Elinchrom HS Plus to allow me to design the stylised lighting as I wished, without having to think about over exposed areas or work arounds. At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with the results. you could say, we smashed it. haha

Patrick Tang