Olivier Allamand’s BMX Warehouse Shoot
Olivier Allamand won a silver medal skiing in the 1992 Winter Olympics. When he photographs sports, he’s photographing what he knows. His images of BMX riders are both powerful and delicate at once, using a lighting style often found in photographs of dancers. The effect, as you can see, is pretty awesome. His account of a recent shoot follows.
On this shoot, I photographed Jeremy Brosset, one of the best flat BMX riders in France. For the location, I looked for an abandoned factory in order to create a moody atmosphere.
The gear I used was a Nikon D3s with a PocketWizard MiniTT1® and the following lenses: 14-24mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm. For lighting, I used two Elinchrom Ranger RX packs with PowerST4’s and S heads with Maxilight reflectors. I also used a Profoto ProB2 with a FlexTT5®. I try to always use at least two light sources or three, if need be. In this case, I used two.
I never put my lights in front of the subject; I always place them on the side or behind the subject on an angle. This creates a 3D look and adds contrast on the subject, especially important for action photography.
I shot using PocketWizard’s ControlTL. Elichrom’s S heads as well as the ProB2 have a long flash duration so I can sync up to 1/8000th of a second with no banding. Using ControlTL gives me the freedom to create the look I want.
I shot at ISO 800 at 1/1250th of a second using f4 or 5 to get both clean action and the general ambiance of the factory. The lights were around 110 watts each.
To see more of Olivier’s work, check out his Flickr stream.
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