He Runs those Trails!
While the basic portrait was OK, the story is Meb runs these mountain trails to train for the London Olympic Marathon. The photograph has to say this without a caption. Still shooting with SB-900 powered by SD-9, D4, 70-200VR2, we had to put Meb in motion (not hard to do). The SB-900 was on a pole about a foot out of the picture. There was a spot on the ground, a drop of light which was the mark for where I was going to focus and where the light would be at the angle as you see it in the photograph. All we had to do was put Meb in motion and go click. Pretty simple stuff.
I received a lot of emails asking about the exposure, like, “How’d you do that?” I was torn about how to do it and what solved my dilemma was staying true to the client. How did Meb see the forest he trains in daily? It would have been easy to do a more “landscape” type forest scene shooting at a different hour with no light on the forest floor, much more mellow, landscapie look. But that’s not when Meb trains. It might have been more appealing to the masses, but not an accurate telling of the story. So I went with the “nasty” light version here to stay true to the goal, tell the story of Meb’s training on these mountain trails. I dialed in minus 2 in the D4 and with CSe4, simply left the SB-900 at 0. Wide angle dome was attached and a 1/4 CTO used to warm up the light. The D4 AF was set to d21 so all I had to do is keep Meb dead center in the frame, count his pace as he ran, look at the spot on the ground and shoot when both feet were off the ground.
The short answer then is, used technology with the story to be told to make the click. We did the standing portrait first to get him comfortable with me (he is not camera shy) and for me to zero in on the final look I wanted for the exposure. Then a couple runs down the trail and we were out of there. It all took less than 10min. Meb had to get to his ice bath so the clock was ticking. mtc