On Location: Sports Photography Track and Field

[tps_header]Track Runner: Re-Creating a Popular Image from My Book

I recently finished writing my first book, Adventure Sports Photography: Creating Dramatic Images in Wild Places. One image that many people like is an edgy portrait of a track runner. For this post, I thought I’d break down the lighting and re-create the shot.

Whenever possible, I like to travel light, and Elinchrom Quadras make this possible. These 400 W packs weigh around 6 lbs, and the flash heads are very small. The Quadras are a great step up from using TTL flash. They’re more powerful than TTL flashes but not heavy like standard flash packs. The Quadras are battery-powered and have built-in wireless receivers to use with the Elinchrom Skyport wireless system. For this shoot, I needed three Quadras to create an edgy look. 


Step One

Sports Photography Track and Field

The location for this shoot was the Colorado State University outdoor track, which is open to the public and a fantastic location to shoot sports images. Since it rarely rains in Fort Collins, I didn’t worry about the weather. Big mistake! I arrived at the track and a slight drizzle was falling from gray skies. My number-one rule on location: always be an optimist, something will photograph well in the conditions you encounter. The gray sky did have some dark clouds, which would look great underexposed and spiced up in Photoshop, and the sky seemed to be getting brighter.

Sports Photography Track and Field

Note: I carry three Quadras, heads, cables, and spare batteries in a Lowepro Pro Roller x200. I carry this lighting kit onto planes when traveling, and never have to worry about my lighting gear arriving. Airport security rarely asks me questions. The Pro Roller would keep my gear dry until the drizzle stopped.

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