Basketball portraits

As I mentioned in a previous post, last minute notice I found out that there would be 2 teams,
and I would have 2 hours to get individual portraits & team pictures. Things looked to get worse:
the A team was playing a friendly match and the B team was having fun on the backup court.

Me & Nico took up the other half of the court to set-up. Even before arriving I had a vision:
cool wooden floor, state-of the art basket ring , ugh … not !

This is what your average Belgian gym looks like :

your typical gym your typical gym

Note it’s 21:09PM now.

Snapping a shot at F8 at 1/250th gave me what I wanted to see …. nothing! Pitch black! Sweet.
So now we have control, we can light the parts we want to show up in the final picture and make this gym look like Madison Square garden.

This is what the setup looked like, using only small portable flashes on light stands triggered by poverty wizards. An 580EXII and medium softbox in front of the model as the main/fill, 2 SB600’s snooted with cardboard left & right behind the model for the rim lights and another FL40 snooted and aimed at and slightly passed the ring/board to light the background. Another light stand with a black piece of paper was brought in to act as a gobo.

(for full specs click through on the image and check the notes on flickr)

The first player portrait was taken at 21:18PM.
The B team (youth) took turns posing in front of the camera & during substitions the guys from the A team dropped in as well.

Sometimes a misfire by one of the flashes gave some darn cool results as well.

The last player portrait was taken at 22:07PM. Plenty of time left for the team pictures & some experimenting. But more about that later this week! Stay tuned.

View the complete set.

A special thanks to Nico for assisting me and hauling gear.
Lucky for him me, on the times he took away my flash recycle time he managed to get some good shots in.

13 Comments so far  
by Serge 09.12.08 9:22 pm

Interessante uiteenzetting, ook met dat schema dat je toont.

by fbaert 09.12.08 9:09 pm

This is just great photography. Very nice series !

by Basketball Portraits : Team Shots « Tom Leuntjens Photography 09.11.08 10:16 am

[…] Basketball portraits […]

by Sofie 09.10.08 6:58 pm

Very nice portraits!!

by tdmphotography 09.10.08 9:04 am


Flash gun is a Sigma DG ST 530, have tried it with cactus triggers which dont seem to work and the other option, Pocket Wizards, are wat out of my price bracket!

by tomleuntjensphotography 09.10.08 6:40 am

thx all for the comments, and I’m happy to share the diagrams.

@Tdmphotography: what flashes ? there is always a way 😉

by Travis Outlaw 09.10.08 1:23 am

Very nice

by tdmphotography 09.09.08 10:23 pm

Tom these portraits are sick man! I wish I could use triggers but my crappy flash wont work with them! Big thumbs up dude!

by Frederik 09.09.08 5:37 pm

Wow heel mooie portretten. Zoals dat dan in de volksmond klinkt “Dikke Bal”

by gekiekt 09.09.08 3:49 pm

Bedankt voor de setup. ALtijd heel interessant.

by tdn 09.09.08 2:28 pm

Very nice! They look very cool with the double rimlights

by Thomas 09.09.08 1:02 pm

Very impressive results and thanks for posting a schematic of your setup. Always interesting to know how someone lit the scene.

by Robbie Veldwijk 09.09.08 12:44 pm

Mooie resultaten hoor! Ziet er naar mijn idee heel erg goed uit!