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Pilates

Model: Deborah.

 

I'm working with my friend Deborah on a series of Pilates illustrations, and thought I would share a sample from that collaboration here. I don't know the first thing about Pilates, but Deborah is a top-class Pilates instructor and runs her own Pilates studio. The idea is to create a series of visually appealing illustrations showing Pilates done correctly. This is my first experience in fitness photography - I'm applying what I've learned over the past year about lighting models and playing with adapting it to the needs of this photography genre. Here the idea was to have lighting that looks natural and even, but still highlights well the contours of the muscles. That means that one cannot light evenly from both sides, nor put the lights too close to the front, for then you would get flat and unappealing lighting. So after some experimentation, I settled on using two remotely-fired speedlights at about 45 degree angles from the front, set on high lightstands, with one about twice the intensity of the other. I adjusted the camera so we could still make use of the daylight in the room to get bright overall lighting while at the same time emphasizing with the added lighting the contours of Deborah's excellent shoulder muscles. Finally, we oriented the Pilates equipment in this and some of the other shots at an angle relative to the wall because we felt it was too boring to have only horizontal and vertical lines in the pictures. Well, that's probably much more information than you care for about this picture, but here it is anyway.

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Taken on August 14, 2011