Thursday, February 3, 2011

Graeme McDowell for ECCO Shoes

Graeme McDowell for ECCO Shoes
I have been working with ECCO shoes for over 3 years now. It has always been to shoot PGA Tour Pro Stuart Appleby at his home course at the Isleworth Country Club. Recently, they changed it up by asking me to photograph Graeme McDowell, the current US Open Champion.

Graeme recently signed a shoe contract with ECCO, and they were excited to welcome him to the brand.
They asked for some solid portraiture and action photos that they could use to promote the relationship. The art director provided some comps and we hashed out a plan. We would only have Graeme for 1 1/2  hours (from 10:30am to 12pm) . Immediately after the photo shoot, he was going to test some new Srixon golf balls, so we could not run over the time limit.

The shoot was going to happen at his home course in Orlando,  Lake Nona. We picked the photo location at the driving range. This way, we could squeeze every minute with him until he had to leave and hit golf balls. I brought along Cy Cyr, a local photographer and friend. Cy is an excellent golfer and it is always a plus to have knowledgeable people on your team.

My latest lighting fad is with the beauty dish. I just love directional light - so easy to control but not harsh like from a normal reflector. I always try to light as minimally as possible, and achieve the best overall exposure. The dish allows me to do that. I had previously used the Profoto beauty dish, and I was happy with it, but it costs $375.
Normally, if I need a piece of lighting equipment, I would just buy it. I never buy inferior gear, but I also don't want to waste money. I knew that the Speedotron Beauty Dish is of a similar design and finish, but costs only $139. I just bought the Speedotron and changed out the speed ring to a Profoto speedring.

We set up at the driving range and picked up all of the range loose balls. We picked out a nice background - nice trees and some pleasant rolling fairways. When Grame arrived, we got started. I feel that for nice portraits, you need to have the subject's face in shade. You don't want the person's face to have different and ugly patterns of light or shadow, so it is best to shoot backlit in this situation and make sure his face is completely in shade.  The exposure for the images was about 1/250th of a second and f/11, at 200ASA. As usual, I used a Profoto 7B on a boom. I also have a hand made diffuser sock over the beauty dish. The sock just makes the light a little bit softer, almost like a softbox light but with the directionality of the dish. The best of both worlds!
Graeme was easy to work with and the photos turned out great. I hope he has another championship year!

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