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Behind the Scene / “In The Spotlight”

Basketball under the spotlight on wooden floor

The other day, I posted an image titled “In The Spotlight”, and it got me thinking of creating a new category under Photography called, “Behind The Scene.”  This category will show/explain how some of my photographs were set-up.

This photograph was created in my basement, on pergo flooring that looks like pine.

The first challenge was trying to figure out how to create the look of an overhead spotlight. If I just used a flash, I knew there would be spill from the light all over the place, which was not the desired effect.

I immediately headed for our storage room, to scrounge for ideas. After thinking, “I really need to clean this room”, I saw some shipping tubes which I purchased from Staples on the shelf and thought maybe I could somehow figure out how to attach this to the flash head. To my surprise and delight, the tube fit just snug enough as-is over my Canon 580EX flash head, where I did not have to rig up some sort of adapter. I guess the Staples slogan of “that was easy”, is true!

Once I had the spotlight figured, out, erecting something to put it directly overhead of the basketball was fairly straightforward. I used one of my Bogen Autopoles, which puts pressure on the floor and ceiling to stay in place, and attached a Matthellini Grip to the pole and an Avenger 40″ Extension arm to the grip. To get the flash mounted, I first attached a Superclamp to the extension arm and used an umbrella mount to put the two together. The Pocket Wizard (to trigger the flash), I just hung over the extension arm.

Flash Settings

The Canon 580EX used overhead was set at 1/8 power. I positioned a second 580EX at 1/32 power on floor with a homemade snoot, pointed directly at ball to give a bit of fill to the lower half of ball, otherwise it would be in too much shadow.

I took a wide shot of the entire scene, so you can see the two flashes firing at the same time to produce the desired lighting.

Who knew an old basketball from the garage could turn into such a stunning model? I was quite pleased with the way this turned out. By looking at the image itself, you would think it was sitting on a basketball court floor, and not in my basement.

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