Blog // Prep Athlete of the Week

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheyenne Central keeper Kelley Fisher

As I sometimes do before a portrait shoot, I turned to Google’s image search for some ideas. My assignment was to photograph a local high school keeper. Initially I wanted to do a low-angle shot of her diving for a ball, but as I looked through the results of my “soccer keeper portrait” search, I noticed that there were no overhead angles. All of the portraits I could find were either low angle or eye level. I love a good overhead shot so I thought I’d try something a little different. I borrowed a six-foot step ladder from the photo editor and shot an action portrait wide from above. It’s definitely not an angle you see often in soccer photography. At this particular high school, it’s extremely hard to get a clean background because of stadium lights, bleachers, a small building, fencing and – believe it or not – a windmill behind one goal. Shooting from a high angle down gave me a clear background that doesn’t take away from the subject.

I talked to the subject on the phone around 6 p.m., drove out to the school at 6:30 p.m. and started the shoot around 7 p.m. Unlike magazines and larger newspapers, we don’t enjoy the luxury of time when it comes to a lot of our shoots. In this particular case, I found out who I would be photographing at noon on Monday and had the entire shoot done by 8 p.m. The lighting setup was extremely simple. I used one Canon 550EX speedlight shot through an umbrella at 1/8 power above the subject on camera right. That light was held by one friend from work while a second friend lobbed the soccer balls to her.

Cheyenne Central keeper Kelley Fisher is the WyoSports Cheyenne prep athlete of the week.

Cheyenne Central keeper Kelley Fisher is the WyoSports Cheyenne prep athlete of the week.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cheyenne East keeper Ben Harnish

I decided to do something a little different with this week’s prep athlete of the week portrait. After photographing a soccer player outside last week, I decided to take this week’s subject in studio. The subject is the keeper so I thought I’d try to show him reaching out to save goals. Due to the confines of our  studio at the paper, I wasn’t able to get him to stretch out too far. The frame below is not a composite or a multiple exposure. It’s a 10-second exposure. After opening the shutter, I used PocketWizards to trigger three different lights with each light on a different channel to allow me to trigger them in a specific order.

In this single-exposure photo, Cheyenne East keeper Ben Harnish poses for a portrait on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Cheyenne. Harnish is the WyoSports Cheyenne prep athlete of the week.

In this single-exposure photo, Cheyenne East keeper Ben Harnish poses for a portrait on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Cheyenne. Harnish is the WyoSports Cheyenne prep athlete of the week.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cheyenne Central soccer player Christie Schiel

Here are a few frames from a photo shoot of Cheyenne Central’s Christie Schiel. Schiel was our paper’s prep athlete of the week after scoring multiple goals in a game against cross-town rival Cheyenne East on Friday evening. I had never shot a soccer portrait before, but had a couple concepts coming into the shoot. I got out to the pitch early, and had everything set up ready to go in time for the shoot thanks to help from a couple friends. The third shot was a happy accident when one of my speedlights didn’t fire.

Cheyenne Central soccer player Christie Schiel poses for a portrait on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Cheyenne Central High School. Schiel is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

Cheyenne Central soccer player Christie Schiel poses for a portrait on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Cheyenne Central High School. Schiel is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

Cheyenne Central soccer player Christie Schiel

Cheyenne Central soccer player Christie Schiel

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cheyenne East long jumper Jeremiah Hunter

This week I was assigned my second prep athlete of the week portrait. It was a particularly challenging portrait because of the sport and the season. My subject was a long jumper and I was photographing him on a day when Cheyenne was getting blasted by a few inches of snow in the morning. I decided to shoot him inside with the lights at full power to over power the ambient light, thus leaving a completely black background. The shoot took place in a gymnasium, but I wanted to keep it very clean since the background doesn’t contribute to his sport.

Jeremiah Hunter performs a triple jump on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, at East High School. Hunter is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

Jeremiah Hunter performs a triple jump on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, at East High School. Hunter is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

Jeremiah Hunter performs a long jump on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, at East High School. Hunter is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

Jeremiah Hunter performs a long jump on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, at East High School. Hunter is the WyoSports Cheyenne staff's prep athlete of the week.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheyenne Central wrestler Bryce Meredith

I got the opportunity to shoot my first prep athlete of the week sportrait on Tuesday evening. Every week, the paper names an athlete from a local high school, which gives the photo staff a nice opportunity to go all-out on a sportrait. Given that it was my first one, I played it pretty safe and didn’t do anything too experimental out of the gate. It’s a pretty basic three-light setup with two back lights at 45 degree angles from the subject. The key light was shot through a gridded softbox from a 45 degree angle to the right next to the camera. The subject was a pretty nice guy who helped me unload the lights from my truck before the shoot and was extremely patient while I look about 20 minutes to set everything up.

Central freshman wrestler Bryce Meredith poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, in the Central High School wrestling room. Meredith is the Tribune-Eagle prep athlete of the  week.

Central freshman wrestler Bryce Meredith poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, in the Central High School wrestling room. Meredith is the Tribune-Eagle prep athlete of the week.

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