After being dissatisfied with their team soccer photos, a good friend of mine asked if I could take some action shots of her two daughters playing the sport. I wanted to create an “out of the box” image that really showed their skills and passion for soccer. I consulted with another very good friend of mine, who happens to be a photographer and has kids that are heavily involved in the soccer world. Together, we collaborated to bring these shots to life.
I am a
huge fan of the “golden hour” right before sunset, although it really limits the amount of time you have (you have to be on your toes and ready to shoot). Choosing to shoot at this time of day was critical to the final outcome of the shots. To counterbalance the sunlight, I chose to use a combination of three Elinchrom Quadra 400s and flash.
There happens to be a huge sports complex in close proximity to where my clients and I live. A few days prior to the shoot, I scouted this location to see how the sunset hit in certain spots on the field. It ended up being the perfect location!
Setup and lighting
- The first Light on camera left was an Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid 400 with 37” Octabox– Main Light- I chose to use the 37” Octabox because I am big fan of softlight and can easily manipulate it in post.
- The second light, to camera left, placed behind the subject for separation, is another Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid 400 bare with frosted diffuser
- Lastly, a third Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid 400 was placed opposite to the second light: camera right, behind the subject for separation, again bare with frosted diffuser
These lights were specifically chosen for their high power and easy portability.
I used an Elinchrom EL Skyport Plus Transmitter to sync the strobes.
Camera, Lens and settings
Camera: Nikon D4s
Lens: Nikon 200mm f/2 VRII. I chose this lens because of its quick focus and how it renders the background. This has to be one of my favorite lens to use. I have yet to find another lens that can compare to this beast!
settings were ISO: 125, 1/800sec, f/2.5
These images were processed in Lightroom with the following adjustments:
- Tweaked white balance, shadows, and highlights.
- Adjustments to enhance the sunset’s “golden” look were done in Lightroom’s HSL tab.
- Color balance and Selective Color were used with mask to further enrich the beautiful sunset.
- I also cloned out some light poles but the image was pretty much dead on SOOC.