This was a corker of a job! The mandate, visually, was power and action, and the subtext was showing the highly accurate auto-focus system of the new Nikon D850. Long lens approach, using the 200-400mm f4.
It was a lighting challenge to be sure. We were in open shade conditions, under the forest canopy, so, if I lit just the runners, they would be charging out of blackness. Context is important here. So, the first step was to light the forest, which was done largely by deploying an array of Profoto B-4 units in the way back of the photo. All were gelled warm to connect a bit, color-wise, with the very large bonfire we set up in the background of the muddy stream area we chose to work.
The lead light up front was a Profoto B-1, boomed out overhead of the runners, and firing through a gridded beauty dish. In addition, the runners are charging through a gauntlet of SB-5000 Speedlights, on each side of the creek, again gelled, and controlled from camera via the WR-R10 wireless transmitter. The whole setup took about 5-6 hours to create.
It was a bit hectic. Over on our YouTube channel, we launched a BTS video which shows some light placements, etc.
Additionally, we threw up a 12′ silk in the late afternoon light, and commandeered an old climbing wall as a backdrop, and shot portraits of our wonderful endurance athletes in the aftermath of the mud bath they had been running through all day.These woman were amazing, resilient, and tough, and obviously were the key to the whole picture. Below, Lynn DelMastro, our executive producer, chips in a paragraph with credits and the producer’s perspective on a shoot like this……
This shoot was a blast to cast and fun to produce! Fabulous connection Janine Calise led me to the legendary Joe Ferrini, who set us up at his Tuff Scramblers obstacle course location. The talent consisted of well trained female athletes, all of whom had experience competing in these kinds of races: Candice Peak, Christina Morris, Chrystal Thiebedau, Dani Bryan, Perri Lauren, Sarah Wakeman, and Shelbye Schlange. Our warrior women knocked it out!
Check out more blog posts from Photographer Joe McNally here.