I’ve been wanting to blog about this image for quite some time, but couldn’t until it was published. Dalton Sealey was named The Independent’s Boys Athlete of the Year. During his senior year he hoisted state championship trophies for St. Cecilia in football, basketball and track. It was the third straight time for the basketball trophy, by the way. Heck of an athlete and a really nice guy.
I didn’t quite know how to photograph Dalton. Traditionally we try to incorporate all the sports in which the athlete of the year participates. We want to try and show how talented they are overall, not just one side of them. A basketball and football were easy props for those sports, but what about track? Shoes around the neck? Been there, done that. It was then that I started thinking about the starting position for sprints and how similar it was to the three-point stance in football. I had my pose.
The lighting was a different story. I wanted the background to go dark, so that meant controlling the spill. I also had to light the basketball which would be far away from the main light (which was on the ground on the left pointing up). An umbrella pointing down worked for that. Then for good measure I tossed in a small flash on the left to help light that side from a different angle and fill in some shadows. I tossed a reflector on the right, but I don’t think it added a whole lot.
Dalton was great to work with. He bought into the idea and got in and out of the pose several times while we tweaked it all. In ten minutes or so we were done shooting and had captured an image that merged who Dalton is, with the vision I had for the image.