Preparing for the shoot with Brunner, I looked online for some inspiration. I came across the work of American sports shooter Dunstin Snipes (www.dustinsnipes.com) where his powerful sports portraits using big studio lights really drew me in.
I didn’t have any studio lighting but thought a few Speedlite 550’s will do the job perfectly fine.
We started the shoot off inside the basketball arena at the Ray Owen Sports Centre in Lesmurdie, doing some simple portraits away from the hot summer heat.
I was absolutely blown away at the flash range I was getting with my new PocketWizards radio triggers, which I was putting to the test for the first time that day.
One 550EXII on a light stand was lighting Brunner up 11m away from the camera and the other flash set up ~25m away directly behind Brunner lighting up the Kalamunda Suns signs from the ground.
1/125th @ f/3.5 – 100ISO
This shot would not have been possible if I was using infrared to trigger the flashes, something I had been using for the last 10+ years prior to picking up the PWs. The flash exposures were all taken care of with PW’s smart E-TTL metering.
After the inside shots I took Brunner out to the outside courts which I had driven past on the way to the basketball centre.
Again, using E-TTL metering I put the PW’s to the test outside in the harsh summer heat and sun. I put two 550EX II’s on light stands with PW TT5’s, and the other on top of my TT1 hot shoe.
1/200th @ f/16 – 100ISO
I really loved the feel of the outside basketball courts. The raw bitumen, haggered basketball ring… to me it resembled something you’d see on the streets of New York (not that I’ve been there).
Overall, I was very pleased with how the shoot went and Brunner was a great talent to work with. He said that since I was so amped up during the photo shoot it got him really motivated to work the camera for me.
1/200th @ f/14 – 100ISO
Canon EOS 5D Mk2
Canon 14mm f/2.8L USM & 16-35mm f/2.8L USM (outside shots)
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM & 70-200mm f/2.8L USM (inside shots)
Canon Speedlite 550EX II & 580
PocketWizard TT1 and 2 x TT5
Manfrotto light stands