Tools of trade
Great equipment does not guarantee great images by any means... but it does open up a whole lot of creative options. As passionate as I am about being the best version of yourself you possibly can, I am also a fanatic believer in quality before everything else, and to that end, my weapons of choice are Nikon and Broncolor.
"we all go to that dark place. This is what I love to portray"
On competition shoots, studio lighting is not a viable choice so I rely on an amazingly rugged camera and professional glass to capture the action. The challenge usually lies in finding room to get the right angles, and in dealing with available light. For studio shoots, we have the ability to control everything, including light & shadow. Here I like get rid of all the ambient light, and build the shot from ground up. This requires great understanding of how light works, and is generally challenging because every setting & gym I work in is unique.
But just like the seasoned athletes I shoot, you expect the unexpected and face those challenges head on, aiming for top results every single time.
Sports photography offers unique challenges: the action is fast and unpredictable, so your timing needs to be spot on if you want to capture all that emotion and passion. On top of that, you often have to freeze fast motion in very challenging lighting conditions. I've shot in brightly lit CrossFit boxes, in the outdoors, and in near-dark, almost theatrical club settings.
The Nikon D800's sensor offers extremely high resolution and unbelievable dynamic range, allowing me to capture every single detail with great accuracy. No matter whether it's light or dark. They say this camera is intended for use in the studio, in static and controlled circumstances. I disagree. The only drawback it has, a slow frame rate, can be countered with experience. And with that out of the way, what we're left with is one of the best 35mm digital sensors ever made.
My signature style for studio photography is to create a menacing, gritty, low key atmosphere. Whether it's the last set of a heavy squat session, or the middle section of a long grinding CrossFit chipper... we all go to that dark place. This is what I love to portray.
To create light in the darkness I use strobes made by the Swiss manufacturer Broncolor, which has been at the top of the lighting industry for over 50 years. Like the athletes in front of my lens, the quality of light they produce is absolutely consistent under any circumstances, and their flash durations are lighting fast. This enables me to capture beautifully exposed, tack-sharp images, no matter the speed of the movement, and no matter the presence or absence of ambient light.