Kentucky sophomore Terrence Jones/Derek Poore
During the past few months I've had the pleasure of producing visual content for Yahoo! Sports' Rivals.com website - Cats Illustrated. It's tough to covering the University of Kentucky football and basketball team in an oversaturated media market and maintain any creative edge. Sportswriter Michael Smith once called UK sports the small-market version of the Boston Red Sox. The website is one of only three Rivals.com websites that has more than 50,000 registered members.
Sophomore guard Stacey Poole/Derek Poore
For the site's men's basketball preview content, I wanted to present the players in a documentary-style setting, with a gritty and consistent feel. Lots of hard light on the edges and soft up front. I also wanted to maintain a consistency between the video content and still photography.
For the video interviews I used two Kino Flo four-bank lights in front of the subject on the left and right of the camera, a 5D Mark II, with a flozier to cover and soften the medium-sized light source. I used two ARRI hot lights -- around 150 and 300 watts -- with barn doors behind the player to the left and right pointed at the side of their head and shoulders to add rim and provide for some separation with the black background.
Kentucky sophomore transfer Ryan Harrow/Derek Poore
The photographs were a bit more involved. I ended up working with photographer Jonathan Palmer to build a light set up that mimicked the video interviews. The only difference would be a white background instead of black that was used for the interviews.
Starting with an Alien Bee AB800 up front in a softbox and two AB1600s on either side of the athlete in smallish strip banks. Aside from the strip banks there was no modifier between the light and the player. This created a hard light on the edges of the athlete that contrasted nicely with the soft fill up front. The Alien Bees performed horribly, by the way. Other Alien Bees in use at the photo shoot by other photographers wreaked havoc with the AB's internal slave. The next time I'll opt for Einsteins or White Lightnings. To light the white seamless background we used two Nikon SB-26 Speedlites aimed at the background to blow out the highlights so the it was solid white.
Kentucky senior Darius Miller and sophomore Terrance Jones/Derek Poore
Kentucky freshmen Kyle Wiltjer, Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist/Photos by Derek Poore, Illustration by Jonathan Palmer