Framework: Tafari Smith – Bump Hop

tafari hop bump les

It was a cold November afternoon in New York and I was meeting up with Tafari to pedal around downtown. I had my lighter bag with me (not my lightest bag) which consists of usually just one camera body (Canon 1Ds III) with the 50mm f/1.4 attached, fisheye in tow, three flashes (Lumedyne 200w Action Pack, 2x Canon 580EXII) and some PocketWizards. On my way to the meeting point (LES skatepark) I noticed a nice bump in the middle sidewalk right there on Pike street just a few blocks from the park (the bump has since been flattened). Knowing that T is always down to mess around on different/unique setups, I suggested we check out the bump and possibly shoot a simple hop.

It took him a few runs to get a feel for the bump (it took me a few shots to get the results I wanted too) but the final photograph shows a meeting between our minds, culminating in a photo we were both happy with. Then some guy gave us free t-shirts.

Here’s the setup-

t hop bts

I framed him in a cleaner area of the frame- between light posts (not perfectly) with a brighter background so that he’d pop out better. I used a slower shutter (1/125) to mix in some ambient light, and I panned with him to add some pan blur to the background. The Lumedyne in front of him was metering at f/5.6 and the 580EXII behind him was putting out f/8 (with zoom head at 105mm so that the light would hit just him and not a lot of the surrounding area), which, with camera set at f/5.6, gave an optimal balance between key and rim lights. I like the way his jacket is flowing behind him, adding a bit more action to the entire scene. I am very pleased with the color palette of the shot which, to me, feels brisk and autumn-like.

For whatever reason, the rim light didn’t fire on this one. It gives you an idea of what it would look like without-

t minus rim

I did have to burn in some leaves on that tree because my flash was pointed almost right at them and I cropped about 10% off the left side of the frame (it contained a tall orange street chimney spewing steam, which became a distraction). I would have liked to have framed him more precisely between the light posts. Overall, I’m very happy with the shot.

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