Arizona Highways Centennial Photography Project

“Generations” by Christopher Barr & Dan Coogan.  For the Arizona Highways Centennial Photo Project.   Shot on location at Arizona Sunrays gym, Feb. 14, 2012.

This kind of complex environmental photography required a lot of thought about how to block and set-up the main elements not to mention the coordination required to get the everyone in the vicinity where Dan & I wanted them in the hope of minimum of post production compositing later.  Arizona Sunrays gym owner and team coach Dan Witenstein helped coordinate the timing of the main gymnasts.  In the end, we still composited three plates of gymnasts from other frames. The inherent visual complexity was also a challenge in order to avoid the image looking like a test pattern while maintaining the storytelling we wanted to deliver.  Rim lighting did most of the work to lift the main elements out of the background (lighting schematic attached).  The final step was to convert the image to black and white which significantly simplified the final image allowing the eye to easily scan the overall scene to enjoy the many smaller parts that make up the whole.    I have attached the shot blocking diagram Dan & I settled upon from my iPad composed during our location scout which we ended up sticking to pretty closely.

Thanks to Julie and Dan Witenstein who graciously allowed us to shoot at Arizona Sunrays gym during team practice and all their technical assistance in producing the shoot.  Thanks to Jane Janssen for styling and photography interns Susan Luther and Ty Wilda for their photo assistance on this lifestyle photography shoot.  Also special thanks to Dan Coogan who I have been collaborating with regularly over the past 4-5 years.  He is a photographer’s photographer whose passion for our craft is rare by any measure.

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"Generations" © Christopher Barr & Dan Coogan 2012

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"Generations" Shot Blocking Sketch / AZ Sunrays Gymnastics

 

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"Generations" Lighting Schematic

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Chris & AZ Sunrays owner, Dan Witenstein going over shot blocking & preliminary timing

 

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Dan Coogan

 

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Final foreground casting and staging of the youngest gymnasts.

 

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CB doing final prep

 

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Final staging about a minute before shooting.