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Special Olympics Southern California Athletes Portraits

Special Olympics Southern California | Raising the Bar with Strong Visual Collateral

BTS ~ Lighting Diagram Below

Earlier in 2010 I started photographing some events for Special Olympics Southern California to contribute to their visual collective.  When I attended some of their fund raisers in Newport Beach and their yearly gala at Disney I noticed  that they could use some strong visual collateral.  Allot of their poster sized images were grainy blurry grab shots.  It occurred to me that through the gift of photography I could make a lasting difference.  So, I propposed a solution:  Beautifully lit studio portraits of some of their athletes.  I spoke with Joey Trama {Joey is such a low key guy, his name is right out of Entrourage!}, Regional Special Events & Programs Manager for Special Olympics Southern California – Orange County Region and he was on the same wave length.  After a brief conversation we set up a shooting schedule for the following week.

Below is a lighting diagram with a few shooting notes.

Above:  Gold Medalist:  Scott Yamashiro – Swimming Above {L}:  Gold Medalist:  Alessandra Nackoul – Golf

Above {R}:  Gold Medalist:  Will Shelton – Basketball

Above:  Gold Medalist:  Arianna Nugent – Gymnastics   Above {L}:  Gold Medalist:  Arianna Nugent – Gymnastics

Above {R}:  Gold Medalist:  Bryana Miller – Golf

Above {L}:  Gold Medalist:  Uzuma Mela – Basketball      

Above:  Gold Medalist:   Cathy Mckee – Bowling        She’s a die-hard A’s fan.  Can you tel?!

Lighting Diagram

Below are some test shots taken before the athletes arrived.  The lighting on me is all the same.  What varies slighting is the background lighting {softbox fall off light} and the backgound light behind me {from the gridded Speedlight}.  I included a shot of just the back ground light to show how i tested it.  To do this type of testing, I set my camera on the tripod and turned on my self timer to 10 sec.  Stood in position and exposed a frame.  It was important to me that my exposures and the subtle background highlight and vignette turned out perfect in camera so that I wouldn’t have to spend any time in post trying to “fix” anything in CS5.  It also make’s it apparent that I still need to slim down my belly a bit.  Dang, the camera just doesn’t lie.  Looks like a gotta hit the gym a bit more.

P.S. The athlete’s portraits are headed to the graphic artists.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the design elements will play out.  Will post the final designed product results in the coming weeks.


Contact Marc : 800.943.0414

Marc Weisberg | Marc Weisberg Photograhy Blog
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Marc Weisberg is an award wining photographer based in Irvine, California specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Weddings & Family Photography and Commercial Photography. He’s fun to work with and produces beautiful, timeless, emotive images. Marc’s wedding and commercial photography is published in over a dozen books. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

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