Recently I had the idea to produce some staged action shots of various sports for the back cover of a magazine that I produce. I had seen this guy play basketball and knew that, not only did he play extremely well, but he also did it with style.
We set up the shoot at a time when the basketball court was not in use and the late afternoon sun would give a pleasant hue to the photo. We tried various shots and soon discovered that, in order to get the right look, we were going to have to cheat a little. So we strategically placed a bench in the path of his run up so he could step up and get a little extra height.
I tried various positions with the camera and soon realized that I would have
to lie on the ground sideways to get underneath him. With a little
trial and error I got as close as I dared without risking him landing
on me. I set the zoom lens as wide as it would go. I shot about
fifty frames, stopping every now and then to let him get his breath
back. I began to realize that the moment that the ball drops into
the basket was too late as I then couldn't see his face so
I went for this ‘just before’ shot. Finally I asked
him to tuck his legs up as he jumped and keep them up as long as
possible. He found this quite difficult to do as the natural preservation
instinct takes over, especially as we didn't have anything
soft for him to land on.
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