Friday, February 15, 2008

Mad Ants' Dunker

I learned just the other day from News-Sentinel sports columnist Reggie Hayes that the Fort Wayne Mad Ants had a player who was going to participate in the slam dunk contest at this weekend's NBA D-League Dream weekend. So, Reggie and I decided to go out and shoot a feature portrait of Eric Smith doing his dunks.

Originally, I had a plan to set four cameras and capture one dunk from all four angles at the same time. Unfortunately, my son was ill, so I had to shelf that plan to stay home with him. To do something like I planned would have taken a pretty good amount of time to set it all up, and it just didn't work out.

When the first plan fell through, I decided to pull off an idea that I had on another shoot, but I wanted to bump it up a notch. I decided that I wanted to shoot the photo of Eric in mid air heading toward the basket. I originally pictured the iconic Michael Jordan dunk from the side with a wide angle lens. Due to the logistics of the building we were shooting in, I decided to go vertical with the photo and come in a little closer.

I figured I would set up several small strobes to make it appear as if the crowd in the background was taking pictures of Eric during his dunk. I later had to move a couple of bursts and add one during the processing of the photo. In any case, this photo illustration is what I came up with. I'm not sure it was the photo Eric had in mind. I think maybe he thought we were going to do more of a close up of his dunk. I shot some of those too, but close up dunk shots are quite common these days. I wanted a different look.

Check out Reggie's interview with Eric on


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