Soccer by the Pool with Olympian Megan Rapinoe

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Stacey Pleasant offered me a fun gig a few weeks ago. She produces a series of advertorials for McDonald’s that runs in Sports Illustrated and they wanted me to shoot Megan Rapinoe, a mid-fielder on the United States women’s national soccer team that’s going to London for the Olympics. Megan was gonna be in town doing some P/R and had very little time available for a shoot, so Stacey arranged to do everything at her hotel, the Dream Downtown. The advertorials are single-page interviews with the athletes and formatted in such a way that there has to be a lot of clean space around the person in order to run the type over the background. For our purposes, the options for locations at the hotel were limited, but we were offered the swimming pool area. Both Stacey and I figured using the pool as a clean backdrop would work perfectly for the type…but we didn’t know about one of the main design features of the Dream’s pool…

Portholes!!! Hundreds of little (and a few BIG) portholes at the bottom of the pool! Well…we were locked into the location, so I was just gonna hafta deal with that later…right now we had to start shooting!

While Marni worked on Megan…

Ben stood in so we could pick an angle on that pool, but without the sun things were looking kinda flat…

Megan’s a pro…she immediately understood the Damn Ugly Photography aesthetic…

And as if by magic…a few frames into the shoot the Sun came out…and all was right with the World. We decided to still keep the full-CTO filtered bare head we set up for a Sun-like skim camera left, ‘cuz it added a nice warmth to the highlight created by the real Sun…

But as good as that looked, I still had to deal with all those portholes…a few hours and a lotta mouse-clicks later, and the shot was now ready for type…

The final page…

With the pool shot in the can, I pressed for a couple of minutes more to do a second shot. Immediately to the left of the pool was a wall clad in Stainless-Steel that could be kinda nice. The natural light was a little flat, so we threw on the ringlight which gave us a hot highlight that ran vertically through the middle of the shot…

That looked like Hell, but once we got the available/strobe balance down, we had a little fun…

The final image…and that ringlight added a nice, smoky highlight rising off of her…

The issue hit the stands this week. Good luck in London, Megan!

6 thoughts on “Soccer by the Pool with Olympian Megan Rapinoe

  1. glad to have you back a-bloggin, DUP… most impressive to me on this shoot, beside your lighting chops, of course, is the retouching job on the pool. is that straight-up clone tool, or clone with texture, or WHAT???

    thx mucho

    Actually, almost no cloning tool at all….it’s mostly the healing brush and the patch tool. Cloning can end up looking plastic and fake. I suppose if I was using CS5 or CS6 the content aware fill feature might make things easier, but since I’m kickin’ it Old Skool with CS3 I hafta make do with the old ways… BT

  2. Excellent job problem-solving the pool shot on the fly!

    I’m curious, for the second shot, the vertical reflection in the background is bright and Megan’s blond hair is close to blending in. Was it because of the extreme time constraint? I do like the shot, I’m just wondering, if you had more time, would you have increased the contrast there?

  3. great stuff as always… seems like a funnyer model than the barons dudes… 😀
    keep it up and thanks so much for the constant flow of great inspirations!
    cheers from switzerland

  4. I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your information.
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