So this past weekend we made our way down to the Toronto International Bike Show to photograph for our friends at the Canadian Freestyle Organization. They were hosting their 9th annual Flatland BMX competition.
We only had a short period of time to setup and shoot so we went with a relatively straight forward lighting setup powered by the Profoto Acute 1200 pack and two Acute heads. They were diffused with some 216 bagged on front of the reflectors and mounted to magic arms with super clamps off the surrounding fence. We didn't have enough head extension cables to create a soft split light on the contest floor so instead we pointed the rear light downward towards the subject to create a bit of spotlight on the floor which would rim light the subject a bit as well. The front light was shot into the ceiling to create a bounce fill for the whole scene and act as soft key for the subject. The strobes were sync'd on Power Wizard transceivers at 1/160th of a second.
We were using the Canon EOS 5D MKIII for this shoot. While the image quality was fantastic, the ongoing issue was the speed of the AI Servo tracking on the subject yielding some out of focus shots. For lensing we went with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L, at 70mm f/4 to create decent separation from the background but give a workable depth of field for the subject.
While we were happy with the results from the shoot, a 1Ds series camera would have been a better decision for the superior AF abilities. If only leaf shutters were integrated into 35mm DSLRs as well to be able to sync faster than 1/160th. Oh well!
Technical discourse aside, these guys were incredible to watch!