A few weeks ago, I was assigned to take feature photos of Cal water polo's star attacker, Ivan Rackov for The Daily Californian. I was initially a bit intimidated by the assignment because of my lack of experience with portrait shoots. After some learning and brainstorming, I came up with an idea that would fit the title of the story, "Eye on the Prize." I came up with the brilliant idea to have Ivan use a water polo ball to silhouette the sun and fix his eyes up on it. I was going to use a couple strobes to light Ivan, balancing the exposure on him with the ambient exposure. I could just picture the epicness in my head. I ended up getting to the shoot late because the class I had before was running over time. When I got to the location of the shoot, I found out that I had but five minutes with Ivan. A part of me went into panic mode. I had to ditch my initial plan of setting up lights. Also, because of the position of the sun, I couldn't get a clean background like I wanted to. Not to mention, I was rushed. This was one of those situations where I just had to adapt. I ended up breaking several rules that I usually follow religiously. First, I had to mount my flash on camera. This is a major no-no, especially when using it to shoot directly at the subject, which I had to do. Second, I had to use my wide-angle lens. I typically shy away from using a wide-angle lens (especially a super-wide like my Tokina 11-16mm f2.8) to shoot portraits. However, in this situation, breaking some rules actually worked in the final image. Here are the images I got (yes, there are only two, mind the five minute period I had). The following images are copyright The Daily Californian.
Here's what the image looked like in print with design's work and the story.