Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Finally had a sec to put together some work from the Slipstream Sports shoot in Calpe, Spain.  Photog friend Justin Walker was nice enough to leave sunny Brooklyn in January and join me for a week of making cycling pics, and consuming copious amounts of ham and coffee.

This was my first training camp with a pro cycling team.  I wasn't prepared for the size of the operation, and the rock star status that these guys enjoy outside the US.  Physiologists, massage therapists, nutrition experts, directors, riders, staff, mechanics, drivers, it all adds up to a huge, expensive production that somehow travels the world from race to race, like a well oiled machine (bicycle?)

The first few days were spent in the conference room of our hotel, shooting portraits of the whole crew.  The beachfront location with floor to ceiling glass was pretty nice.  If I ever have a beachfront studio, this is how I'll do it:

After a few wet days, we got out to shoot some action -- so we loaded up the Peugeot minivan with our 7B's and hit the road.  The first day was a time trial, so we were able to shoot a few locations as they did multiple laps on the same route.  Here is my fave from that day:

These guys were hammering close to 40mph, and I was able to freeze them at 1/2500 sec using the offset sync made possible by new pocket wizard mini TT1, my new favorite gizmo for shooting action.

The next day we headed up into the hills for a race simulation.  By the time the team arrived at our spot, they had broken up into small groups, but I love the dry, desolate feel of the landscape.  Also shot with 7B's and high speed sync:

Later in the camp, we did a group shot with the riders standing on the beach in Calpe.  They have this crazy rock formation that looks like Devil's Tower, but it's right on the water.  This was shot right at dusk with a softbox for a little fill:

But a funny thing happened with this shot.  After I returned to the states, but before I'd even begun work on this shot, I ran into a friend of mine at the bar.  After I told him I'd just been in Calpe making pics with the Slipstream guys, he said that he'd already seen the images online.  This was confusing to me, since the images were still on my CF card.  

The next day I did some digging, and discovered that some guy was shooting over my shoulder the whole time.  He probably posted the pics online the same day.  It's funny how things are happening more and more in real time these days.

After we wrapped at the camp, Justin and I hit the road for some photo exploration, en route to Madrid.  There are these cool looking bulls scattered across the countryside, and we pulled over to shoot a few:

Then we headed to Madrid for a trip to the Prado, which was mind blowing (more on that later), and a night out on the town.  All the buildings and cafes in Madrid are ancient and beautiful and have more character than your average american watering hole.   Each one is worthy of an entire shoot, from the people behind the bar, to the food they serve, to the patina on the floors and walls:

This place not only serves ham, but serves beer out of a tap shaped like a ham:

5am cafe con leche on the way to the airport:

Buenos dias España, gracias por su hospitalidad.....


Brad Wenner said...

That bull photo is great!

Peter Arno Broer said...

Wow, I love the group shot. The 7B's did it for you I guess. How many softboxes did you use? The bull standing in the landscape is an old commercial outing from the 70's. They are called the Osborn bulls. It's a sherrymaker.