The London Olympics this week reminded me of the photos I did for triathlete Leah Long of Yukon. I invited her into my studio for a photo session on a white background. I have an ongoing personal project where I photograph bicyclists on a white background in my studio. I find the uniforms, color and athleticism visually interesting and I enjoy shooting on white.
Luckily I have a very large studio which works great for the type of lighting I do. I like to light my subject separate from the background, which makes it easier to clip out the subject on white and makes it much easier to create dynamic, revealing lighting on my subject. My standard setup is to place my subject about 10′ from my background so my background lights don’t contaminate my subject. This requires me to shoot from around 30′ from my subject. Most local OKC area studios don’t have enough room for this kind of shooting, especially with 12′ ceilings so that I can boom lights up overhead.
I photographed Leah in her tucked riding position with the bike mounted to a stand, then another shot with just the bike. I then merged the photos in photoshop to get this picture with her riding her bike in her racing crouch.
I have learned the riders also like to have a portrait of their shoot so I also photograph them standing beside their bike. This is invariably the photo they choose when I provide them a complementary print for their time. I like the riding photo myself better.