Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
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You are currently browsing the archives for the Sports category.
I love shooting cars, and I LOVE shooting people… So combine the 2 with a 900hp racecar and a *slightly* well-known multi-championship NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, and you have a very happy Clint. Pepsi has been on fire recently with their brilliant Disguise campaign… Basically dressing up famous athletes as regulars and surprising the
unlucky victims. Uncle Drew and Test Drive 2 went viral instantly, for good reason!
Our angle for photography was to shoot nighttime cityscapes in Charlotte WITH the actual NASCAR one night, and then the next day shoot Jeff and Kasey Kahne in a studio. After all the images were taken, we combine them together to put Jeff and Kasey in an unlikely scene outside the usual racetrack. The results can be seen at multiple NASCAR races, and your local stores that sell Pepsi Max.
Pepsi demands the biggest and best image quality, therefore my solution was easy. Thanks to Lance Schad at Digital Transitions, I test drove a medium format Phase One IQ160 camera (60mp) mainly for this shoot. I’ve boasted before about the mind-blowing quality this camera spits out, and I’ll say it again: THE SIZE AND IMAGE QUALITY IS RIDICULOUS! What’s most impressive is the dynamic range, and ability to retain detail in bright/dark areas. It’s pure wizardry. Scroll down to see some 100% crops of Jeff’s beautiful face and see why I choose Phase One. And no I’m not being paid in money or back rubs to say this… Which would be nice because my neck feels a little tight now.
Overall, 2 days of location scouting + 1 night of on-location shooting at night with the racecar + 1 day at Hendrick’s Racing to shoot Jeff in a studio = all you see below:
A MASSIVE thanks goes out to my assistants, Corey Jenkins, Linhbergh, and Jonathan Allsbrook. And of course the production crew Sarah Davis, Karen Weast, and the whole Pepsi Max Pack. Thank you!! Looking forward to what 2015 has in store.
I’m not ALWAYS behind the camera. Sometimes I help move some lights around and edit other photographer’s photos. I’m definitely not above photo assisting. It’s a great way to pick up new techniques, and free food! My superstar friend Douglas Sonders got the call to shoot Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his #88 NASCAR for the National Guard up the road in Charlotte, NC. Besides the obvious benefit of getting to meet Dale Jr., I jumped at the opportunity to help Douglas with the studio shoot. Quantity was the keyword of the day, and we got a BOAT LOAD of diverse images of Dale, his #88 NASCAR, and various soldiers representing the National Guard. The beauty of shooting in a studio is it’s a controlled environment with the ability to knock out many angles in a short amount of time. The Phase One IQ140 camera and ProFoto lights got very little rest from 7am till 7pm as you can see from the behind-the-scenes video:
Not only did I get to assist Douglas on the shoot by moving lights and getting my fingerprints all over his tethered laptop, I got to try my hand at compositing a set of images with full creative freedom. Browsing through my vast collection of locations, I decided to go for a hot dusty mid-day American Western theme. The Western look screams iconic America, and the long straight roads create a tension of speed.
I was able to piece together a fancy before/after slider to see exactly what changed in each composite.
Further down are clickable high-res final images, Enjoy!!
Just 2hrs up the road from me is the Giordana Velodrome. A brand new facility in Rock Hill, SC that hosted the 2013 Elite Mass Start Track Nationals. This is a scene you have to see to believe. Dozens of men and women with quad muscles the size of mobile homes on fixed gear bikes flying around a concrete 250m track inches away from each other at speeds up to 42mph. It’s about as close to a modern day gladiator coliseum you’re going to get.
Racing on tight circuits is Rahsaan Bahati’s specialty, and this isn’t the first time he has been in front of my camera. Since a 2010 photoshoot we’ve become friends, so naturally if he’s coming to compete in my backyard, I’m going to pick up my camera. I covered Rahsaan during the Elite Mass Start National Championships.
Justin Williams (left) and Rahsaan Bahati (right) warming up before the race. The decorated Justin is no stranger to being up front either. Looks like I’ll be adding 1 more to my short list of athletes I follow.
Justin Williams rocking a sweet kit from Endo Customs
In all seriousness, Rahsaan is not only an extremely accomplished cyclist, he’s a stand up guy with a genuine heart to inspire kids. His Bahati Foundation has supported under-served youth communities through inspirational speaking and cycling outreach programs. That may sound like a generic marketing pitch, but his actions speak louder than words. Take the words from a complete stranger, Tim Granger, that witnessed Bahati during the 3rd day of racing at the National Championships:
“Crash and 3 flats … and still had enough points for 3rd place … but with all the mechanicals found themselves down a lap. With about 10 laps to go … they made a move to get the lap back … ended up about 20 meters short … one more lap and they would have been on the podium. It was amazing to watch … but what impressed me the most? After having the worst possible luck in a National Championship race where they clearly had the legs … Rahsaan rode two or three laps to cool down and then headed straight to the rail on the back stretch to talk to the kids again! I’m sure he was bitterly disappointed about the race, but he flashed that smile and talked to the kids for about 10 minutes … talked about school and hard work … listened about their bike ride earlier in the day. As a parent, you talk to your kids all the time about character, discipline, and hard work … in 60 minutes … he and Justin put on a clinic for the kids. 1 hour … 50k (31miles) … a crash and 3 flats … 20 meters from the podium … how many people do you know that would handle that with such grace?”
Riding my bike around my town of Greenville I can’t help but hear the name George Hincapie twice on any given day. He is one of the most well known and friendliest figures in cycling; most notable for competing in a record 17 Tours de France, and having the craziest legs in any peloton. So when Hincapie announced an 80-mile Gran Fondo in the mountains of upstate South Carolina, with HUGE cycling names such as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Tejay van Garderen, Ted King, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie… I had to get involved. This is the type of event that if I wasn’t behind the camera, I’d be throwing a leg over my Scott CR1.
PAVED Magazine, in my opinion one of the most beautiful publications that focuses on the art of cycling, picked up the story and was proud to provide the images you see below. The lovable and always honest Neil Browne not only wrote the article, but suffered through the gran fondo as well.
The ride started and finished at the Hincapie-owned La Bastide Inn where the stories and beer were flowing. Hincapie’s farewell to his professional cycling career was the center of attention, but by the end of the day all of the riders were thinking more about what the 7,000+ feet of climbing did to their battered legs. Hincapie said “Cadel (Tour de France winner) thought it was a lot harder than he expected”… now that’s saying something. No wonder George and Hincapie Sportswear call Greenville, SC home.