Creating Cinematic Athletic Portraits with Bram Berkien and Elinchrom
Cinematic Imagery With a Top Gymnast
By Bram Berkien
Photographer Bram Berkien, an active lifestyle photographer from the Netherlands captures cinematic images that portray athletes in their natural habitat.
For this photoshoot, he had the chance to spend some time with gymnast Bram Verhofstad, member of the Dutch National Team.
For this photoshoot, I used my ELB 400 unit with the HS Head and the EL-Skyport Plus HS to really balance flash light with ambient light. Despite the typicial fluorescent light that gyms offer, I tried to capture the athlete in his own environment, rather than in a “studio-like” setting.
The photo below illustrates what the gym looked like before taking control of light.
In this particular shoot, the athlete was working on four gymnastics disciplines: pommel horse, rings, horizontal and parallel bars. My idea was to to shoot some close up photos of the athlete’s hands and feet while training, with the goal of showing the motion of these body parts later in gymnastics.
With flash, I can easily turn a poor place into an epic scene"
It’s great working with athletes, they can just repeat the moves I want to shoot as often as I need them to in order to capture the best point of the movement.
We shot for about two to three hours, often capturing shots in rapid successions. Granted, I didn’t use the pack at full power. The battery was still almost half full at the end of this shoot though, which is just amazing when you think about it, especially considering its portability and weight.
THE SET UP
I love giving my photos a certain cinematic quality through the positioning of my light, picking the best shots and applying some post-processing.
For this shoot, I fitted my HS Head with a Rotalux Octa 135, easy to set up on location, and perfect tool to light full body shots.
I’ve acquired the ELB-400 with the HS head and trigger. What I most love about this To Go set is the wide range of options it offers for you to realize your vision (trigger faster than the usual 1/200s with its Hi-Sync feature), whilst being an incredibly portable package!
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