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Archive 2015 · Gymnast under the lights
  
 
friscoron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gymnast under the lights


Congratulations to friscoron for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 3 votes - View Previous Winners


As many of you know, I shoot a lot of dance. One thing I've never shot that I've always wanted to shoot was a talented gymnast. Saw a sign at our local high school wishing good luck for one of their students (Ally) in the state gymnastics meet, and I thought here's my chance. I contacted one of my senior reps from this past year, and as luck would have it, Ally was one of her best friends. Within days, we were connected and I met her and her parents, and we set up an evening shoot at her gym.

The gym is pretty big and there are a lot of gymnasts practicing. It kind of fit in with what I wanted to do, so I wasn't concerned about the background. I wanted to hit her with gridded lights from my Einsteins so the background would be completely black, even though I was shooting in a well-lit busy gym. I had told Ally and her parents that this would be a slow process as I wanted to set up the lights for each individual shot we were going for. In three hours, we came away with what I considered five pretty good images, which is what I usually look for, and then another six for them.

Here's my fave five from the session. Comments welcome.

1.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7608/16854342945_fd3ed16e77_b.jpg

2.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7636/16667985489_7bbd6ee071_b.jpg

3.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7638/16666528338_a65af5365c_b.jpg

4.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7611/16666739320_94bec364be_b.jpg

5.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7287/16666739480_f61ccb85ac_b.jpg

Edited on Mar 20, 2015 at 02:59 PM · View previous versions



Mar 18, 2015 at 02:27 PM
scottiet
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gymnast under the lights


Great shots. Love #3!


Mar 18, 2015 at 02:44 PM
film_4ever
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gymnast under the lights


Super images Ron!

You're really becoming the expert at on-location lighting. All the lighting is superb.

Love the action image number 3. Must have been a tough image to get, and you're timing and lighting was great.

Image 1 looks a little soft in the face and eyes. Might consider a little sharpening. (Perhaps its just the downsized web version.) It would also be interesting to see a version of image 3 without the ceiling lights. I think they are a bit distracting.

TFS!



Mar 18, 2015 at 03:38 PM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gymnast under the lights


Nice work, Ron.
Your shots really show her as an athlete - muscles and form.
I'm betting #3 (dismount from that whatever-it's-called) was a challenge. Getting her facing the camera made it work, so kudos on setting that up.



Mar 18, 2015 at 05:14 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gymnast under the lights


These are very well executed. A couple of years ago I talked to a local gym about doing this sort of thing, and they said absolutely no flash photography during beam routines due to safety concerns.


Mar 18, 2015 at 06:19 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gymnast under the lights



Thanks, guys!

film_4ever, appreciate it! No. 1 does look sharp in its full res version, so it may just be the downsizing that you see.

As for No. 3, I originally shot it from straight down the beam with the idea that I'd catch her with her feet full up in the air, right in the middle of her flip. But her head was down and so it just didn't look good. That's when I thought I'd bust out the 14-24 and get down on the ground, laying on the edge of the mat she lands on, and shoot her upside down, looking down.

There's actually only one ceiling light up there, the one kind of line with the beam. I cloned out a couple other ceiling lights with those long tubes. The other three lights you see are my strobes. I may pull those out of there to see what they look like, but my thought all along was to have those lights in the shot. Thanks for mentioning that so I can think about it.



Mar 18, 2015 at 06:31 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gymnast under the lights


BigIronCruiser wrote:
These are very well executed. A couple of years ago I talked to a local gym about doing this sort of thing, and they said absolutely no flash photography during beam routines due to safety concerns.


Thanks, John! Certainly during performances, a strobe would be distracting. But in a setup shot like this, just like with my dancers, it's not an issue -- especially considering that we were shooting in a room full of ambient light.

I just got a magazine assignment to photograph a professional figure skater tomorrow. I'll shoot some normal shots of her on the ice, but I think I'll throw in a few shots like these as well. We'll see.



Mar 18, 2015 at 06:35 PM
tonyfield
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gymnast under the lights


Love the series. Very well done. There is certainly a definite hint of dance with the gymnasts


Mar 18, 2015 at 08:02 PM
NCAndy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gymnast under the lights


I like them all. I shoot gymnastics, my daughter is a gymnast, and these express the sport well. She was brave to let you flash away on her back handspring and dismount. As a photographer I would have been worried of blinding her landing. Guess they worked out ok! In the last image the light appears more contrasty. Different than the other photos, or her shadows are more pronounced from the leap. Not good or bad, just less dimensional IMO.


Mar 18, 2015 at 08:41 PM
rolette
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gymnast under the lights


Really nice work, Ron. You should post these over in the Sports Corner...


Mar 18, 2015 at 09:19 PM
 

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Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gymnast under the lights


Excellence lighting.


Mar 18, 2015 at 09:54 PM
glennh56
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gymnast under the lights


Seems like a win / win for everyone involved. Nice work.


Mar 18, 2015 at 09:57 PM
GoodEgg
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Gymnast under the lights


Your best set ever, Ron?! #3 must've taken a shot or two to capture. #5 is my favorite. Lighting


Mar 18, 2015 at 10:01 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Gymnast under the lights


rolette wrote:
Really nice work, Ron. You should post these over in the Sports Corner...


Thanks! I always forget about posting in the other FM forums. Thanks for suggesting.



Mar 18, 2015 at 10:09 PM
Dave 1234
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Gymnast under the lights


Wonderful pictures, Ron.


Mar 19, 2015 at 01:52 AM
jek-wy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Gymnast under the lights


I always enjoy your work - these are wonderful! I agree with the above comments, but Number 2 is also really nice with her hands and feet (ok - foot) nearly the same distance from the beam. Excellent. (Impressive athlete too!)



Mar 19, 2015 at 03:08 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Gymnast under the lights


GoodEgg wrote:
Your best set ever, Ron?! #3 must've taken a shot or two to capture. #5 is my favorite. Lighting


Thanks, Larry! Changed up my lighting on that one. Shot it with one light in front of her (slightly camera right) and one behind her, way up in the air about 12 feet pointing almost straight down with grids. This is one of those times I made a lighting choice I was pretty happy with.



Mar 19, 2015 at 03:23 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Gymnast under the lights



Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate it.



Mar 19, 2015 at 03:23 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Gymnast under the lights


NCAndy wrote:
I like them all. I shoot gymnastics, my daughter is a gymnast, and these express the sport well. She was brave to let you flash away on her back handspring and dismount. As a photographer I would have been worried of blinding her landing. Guess they worked out ok! In the last image the light appears more contrasty. Different than the other photos, or her shadows are more pronounced from the leap. Not good or bad, just less dimensional IMO.


Thanks, Andy. I totally get what you're saying. Both her mom and a couple of her coaches were right there with us. I'm all about safety first, and no one seemed concerned. It didn't once create an issue for her in the three hours that we shot.

As for that last shot, the lights were completely different. I put them up high to create that contrasty look. Most (or probably all) of the other lighting setups, the lights were not really pointed up or down.



Mar 19, 2015 at 03:26 AM
flowrider
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Gymnast under the lights


Wow great stuff.


Mar 19, 2015 at 07:23 AM
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