A Creative Twist on Typical Basketball Portraits

It may come as no surprise that student athletes tend to get at least one portrait taken in their uniform. However, to add a little extra oomph and creativity to the local basketball portraits, Erik Christian provided a whole new outlook for these All-Star players. To help show how he did it, Christian created this amazing behind the scenes tutorial:

Each of the portraits was taken using a mix of constant and strobe lighting. To create the “ghost” of the player, the coloring was determined by the team colors and was captured in the dark with only the colored light illuminating each player from behind. As each shutter clicked, the player was to continue moving through the scene. This created the trail or “ghost” of the player.

setup for purple ghosting portrait

Setup for Ghost Portraits

The final image of each player was shot using two strobes in gridded soft boxes (placed on the left and right of the subject).

creative basketball portraits

To break it down even further, Christian even offers the exact camera settings he used on his Nikon D800. With the camera locked on a tripod, he used the following specs:

  • ISO 100
  • 1.6 second exposure
  • f/10
  • 50 mm lens

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