Prequel to the Sequel

Portrait of a National Champion

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/16/2011

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a portrait of Andrew Riley, who runs hurdles and sprints on the Illinois track team. Riley recently won the 60 meter hurdles event at the NCAA national championships and will be trying out to compete in the upcoming Olympics.

When I was asked to cover this, I knew I wanted to create a silhouette essentially by rim lighting Riley and not have a fill light, and capture him jumping over a hurdle. I placed two strobes, one in a soft box and the other with a half-closed umbrella, aiming at his back and front and had them slightly behind, just enough to hit the edges of his arms, face, and legs and wrap around slightly, still leaving his figure dark and underexposed.

Josh helped me out set up my lights and get everything ready so we didn’t waste much time with Andrew, and I was able to capture this image in only 2 shots. This shot came out exactly like how I imagined it, but my only gripe is that Andrew didn’t show up wearing running shirts and jersey. So I had to deal with him wearing his warm up clothes. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

*Image copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini


First sportrait of the year

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 10/18/2010

2 weeks ago the Sports Editor at the Daily Illini asked if I was available to take a portrait of a swimmer and I jumped at the chance. I feel like swimming is by far the hardest and most boring sports to shoot when they are actually competing (everyone looks the same and 90% of the time their heads are facedown in the water). But swimming portraits come very naturally for me and I have an endless amount of ideas of them in my head. The first idea that jumped out at me that I could pull off in a very short amount of time was to shoot the swimmer half submerged in the water and have my camera almost on the surface of the water. I wanted to completely kill the ambient light and use one light on the side, and have a rim light behind her to help her pop from the dark background. Josh helped me out with setting up the shoot and he acted as my boom and held my flash out over the water for the rim. The photo came out exactly how I envisioned it and I didn’t drop any of my gear in the water or electrocute the girl from my battery powering my strobe. I really hope I have a ton more opportunities to shoot portraits of swimmers, because I have a lot more ideas cooking up in my head.

*Copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Illini of the Week

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 04/22/2010

The past 2 weeks, ¬†Wesley and myself have ¬†shot portraits of the paper’s Illini of the Week. The first one was of a tennis player, Abe Souza. When I got their I had forgotten my wireless transmitter, which meant I couldnt light him off camera. I started freaking out because I did not want to just shoot him with the ambient high-noon sun. I then made the executive decision to just light him with on camera flash, thinking how Scott Strazzante of the Chicago Tribune did a story using direct flash in all of his photos. Im not entirely happy with these shots, probably because I knew they would be much better if the light was off to the side.

This week we had to shoot a portrait of the softball teams pitcher, Monica Perry. I remembered all my gear this time, and were able to light her how we/I wanted. Wesley wanted to do shots of her actually throwing a pitch by him, and he almost lost his head (see attached photo). I just did a traditional portrait focusing on getting the scoreboard in the background. The sun wasn’t in our favor, but we made due with what we had.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Accidental Portrait

Posted in Editorial by brmeyer3 on 02/08/2010

Last thursday I had to take a portrait of a professor on campus who developed a type of water purifier. Well it was a complete failure on the portrait part of the assignment, but I still walked away with some photos of him “working” with the purifier. I wanted to use off camera flash, but my dodgy cable to connect my flash trigger to the strobe decided to not work at all, so I had to abandon that. I then had him work underneath the vent hood cause it looked all science like and cool, and grabbed this photo of him looking up at me. It was a complete accident and he wasn’t expecting it, nor was I. I remember Wesley took a test photo of a girl using flash, and he ended up using it as his keeper, so I did the same with this.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini