I shot this for a local newspaper who annually announces their local high school basketball all-stars. I had wanted to shoot the all-stars much more creatively than we had in the past for some time.
So I decided to use a mix of constant and strobe lighting to create a sports portrait that showed the ghost of the player in action. I used different colored gels to cover the lights in order to match up each team color.
So the idea here is to shoot in the dark with only the colored light from the back illuminating each player. As soon as the shutter clicks they move through the scene with their trail being painted onto the camera sensor. The final image of the player is lite with 2 strobes in gridded softboxes at the left and right of the player. These freeze the action an create the photo of the player. The light trail is created by 2 continuous lights with colored gels at the back left of the scene.
For those of you interested here were the settings on the camera I used to create this shot:
- 1.6 second exposure
- Rear curtain sync on the flash
- 2 Einstein strobes with modeling lights set full
- 2 more Einstein strobes with modeling lights off set at 1/4 power with gridded soft boxes
The camera was locked down on a solid tripod and set to rear curtain sync for the flash on a Nikon D800. this allowed me to have the flash fire at the end of the exposure.
Full set of girls all-stars and the pages from the print edition:
Full set of boys baksetball all-star portraits:
BTS video on how I shot this:
12-24 mm lens
1.6 second exposure