Friday, March 9, 2012

Kayden Porter | Anatomy of a Baseball Portrait

Before covering a baseball game in Spanish Fork, Utah, I was instructed to shoot a portrait of Kayden Porter. This kid (more like a 6-foot 3-inch, 235-pound, home-run-derby-winning man) is a beast, bottom line. Luckily, he is also a good sport. I had five minutes before the game to bust out an image to use for a highlight piece on the pitching powerhouse. Armed with a combination of two Elinchrom strobes, the greatest light of them all (the sun) and a red outfield fence that had caught my eye, we went to work. In less than a few turns of the minute hand, I had balanced my strobes to daylight and fired off 20 to 30 frames. Kayden - who had apparently done this many times before - was a natural. With little coaxing and positioning, I was getting the look I wanted. The second image was chosen to run in print.

What works for me is the punch of color and contrast provided by the reds of the fence and and outfit, especially when in competition with those eyeballs. The flesh and and hair catches the pure white of the strobes to produce an almost plastic feel, which I love in an artificially lit portrait. The detail in the stitching of the glove and hat adds tasty little details. While he may not be too stoked on it, the cracked lip is awesome.

While it is by no means a perfect portrait, I sure hope he digs it. After all, he looks like a total badass. Read the accompanying story about Kayden here. Enjoy!

Technical info: (1) bare Elinchrom strobe to the left (set cheek-high), (1) bare Elinchrom strobe to the rear-ish right (cheek-level), sun from high and behind, powerpack, Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm f/2L @ 1/200th and f/11... from what I can remember.

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