From the dirt roads of North Carolina and Kentucky, to an air-conditioned gym with lots-o-lights. I got the green light from OhYeah! Nutrition to shoot their upcoming campaign featuring “weekend warriors” having an OhYeah! Moment. To say these athletes are weekend warriors is a bit misleading, considering they can all probably beat me in arm wrestling with their pinky finger.
What I may lack in arm wrestling ability, I make up in photobility. Look at that, I just made a new word! This advertising shoot demanded an all-white background, with pin-sharp frozen action. So, I rented 8 Paul C. Buff Einstein lights to freeze the action, and I was so impressed with them I bought 4 for my personal collection. In a nutshell, the Einstein lights have an extremely short burst of light, with a very small trail of light, which is amazing at freezing action. Take, for instance, when you turn off your bedroom lights, you can visually see the light tapering off in power. This is baaaad for freezing action. And I am baaaaad at going into technical detail. To better explain, read this extensive review by Rob Galbraith.
But basically, since I was using my personal Canon 5D MKIII for this shoot, I was limited to a flash sync speed of 1/200. Therefore, instead of relying on a leaf shutter lens to obtain a 1/1600 frozen flash-sync image, I had to rely on the flash duration of the Einstein lights. Shooting action at 1/200 WILL leave trail marks, however, the flash duration of the Einsteins are SO quick, that leaving the shutter open at 1/200 in a “dark” room will only expose what’s being flashed. At 80ws (which is the power output I used for this shoot) the Einsteins provide the action stopping characteristics of shutter speeds roughly between 1/6000 and 1/10,000… This is amazing folks. Check out a few images below, you can see a close-up of a 120-mph golf swing. The action isn’t frozen perfectly, but the visible bend in the club goes to show just how powerful these lights are.
Enough techno-babble, here are the shots. It was a super fun shoot from start to finish. Will Keown dropping it down with another great BTS video:
The kind people at Westcott let me test their HUGE 59″ Zepplin for this shoot. Despite the size, it was surprisingly not complicated to assemble. I placed this behemoth behind camera for the key light. It certainly gave onlookers a WOW impression, and the light was niiiiice and smooth. I didn’t have the luxury of an extensive test at the shoot, but when it comes to a big soft key light, the bigger the better! I can see this big guy being used in future, especially for studio shoots. Click the BTS video for a better look at the Zepplin in action.