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The Athletic Aesthetic: Learn how to light running shoes with 3 LumoPro strobes

4/17/2012 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Learn how to light Saucony running shoes with 3 flashes

When you are shooting athletes and athletic gear, the rule of thumb is typically to show off their strength and rugged features. So you can go as hard as you like when it comes to environment and lighting. For these Saucony running shoes, I wanted to have a rugged terrain that didn’t distract too much from the product.

 I picked out a spot near some train tracks, where there was a large, flat and wide open rocky terrain. The issue was that the sun was out and almost directly overhead. So I would need to overpower the sun with my strobes. I decided to gang up two lights on one stand and shoot bare-bulb, directly overhead, to allow for a strong, focused output. I added one strobe behind the shoes as an accent light.

The image looked pretty good straight out of the camera, but I decided to pump up the contrast and clarity in Photoshop and then desaturate the rocks from their brown color. One nice trick in boosting your contrast in Photoshop is to create a duplicate layer, desaturate it and overlay it. Then you can use a layer mask to paint back in some of the shoe color from the bottom layer.

The tools I am worked with: Three LumoPro LP160 strobes and an LP621 mini-boom arm for my stand. The strobe is being triggered by a Radiopopper JRX remote. The two main lights are mounted to one stand and there is one back light. They are all set to 1/2 power and zoomed to 105mm.
Exif Data: 1/200, f/13; 200mm; 50 ISO

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Text and images by Nick Fancher | website | twitter | facebook | flickr