At the beginning of the semester, I got to spend some time down at the pool shooting some fun photos for the Hillsdale Collegian. The sports editor wanted to run a profile on the swim team’s new diver, Gretchen. She is the first diver Hillsdale has had since the 2008 season.

Whenever the Collegian runs profiles on people, we almost always have some sort of portrait and an action shot. Sometimes portraits can be pretty bland, such as a regular mugshot against a white background, so I decided to go the extra step on this one. I used the pool and diving board as the backdrop and used two strobes to light Gretchen. I used a shoot through umbrella from camera left as my main light, then set up another strobe with a spot grid behind Gretchen on camera right to open up the shadows on that side of her face.

This timelapse was the main art for the story. It ran pretty large in full color and I got a lot of compliments on it. The photo was pretty easy to do: I set up three strobes on 1/2 power across the pool from the diving board and fired my camera in burst mode to get Gretchen in 10 different frames as she dove into the water. I then chose 6 of the frames and masked them together in Photoshop.

Hesitation and Anticipation
When we were finished with the portraits and the diving shots, I asked Gretchen if she wanted to do one more shot, a fun one this time. She enthusiastically said, “Sure!”, so I came up with this. I had her carry an umbrella up the diving board and clamp it on to one of the rails. I then had her go to the edge of the board and act like the was afraid to jump off. It didn’t run in the paper, but it was still fun.

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