Joanne Mittelholtz is the owner of Crossfit Kitchener, and one strong woman. She had the idea to make a calendar of strong, beautiful women, and donate all proceeds to Anselma House, a local women’s shelter (see: the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region website). Ben Kane and I offered our services pro bono, and each took on the task of photographing six of the twelve women, one for each month. Special thanks to Carly Blasutti, who did make up on almost all of my shoots for the calendar.
Shots for the Women of Crossfit Kitchener calendar (the above pic made the final cut). Nicole was photographed in Toronto, in the graffiti covered alleys behind Queen St. near Spadina. I love shooting there. We were rained out on our first attempt but that ended up being a blessing in disguise… we had the most amazing roti instead (Vena’s, on Bloor, near Lansdowne). The place even said it was the “best in town”! It also happened to be the day of the Zombie Walk, so the streets were crawling with Z’s. Were are lucky to be alive.
Camera tech for the inquisitive types: The top image was shot on a Canon 5D mk II, with a 70-200 2.8L IS II USM lens. The long lens flattens the perspective and makes the wall look huge. Settings: ISO 400, 123mm focal distance, f/5.6, 1/500th. The camera was on a tripod and we took two exposures, one with Nicole in place, pretending to throw the ball, and another with just the ball. Both shots were combined in post. We did many takes; thowing the medicine ball over and over would have killed Nicole. I’ve exposed just a little dark for the ambient light, and two flashes (580 EX II’s) are edge-lighting her from out of frame. Sweetened in Lightroom and finished in Photoshop CS5.
Ben Kane (below), who shot the other 6 photos for the calendar, next to “Kane” graffiti on the wall. He was standing in to test out a potential shot location.
Below is an outtake that didn’t make the calendar. It was a hard activity to photograph—the “wall ball”—and a hard choice to go with a final pic that didn’t show Nicole’s face. This was an attempt to solve that problem. Two exposures were mixed together in post, essentially cloning Nicole.
These shots were taken for the Crossfit Kitchener calendar, on the top of 120 Mansion St. in Kitchener. The above pic was chosen to be in the book, and all the rest are outtakes. Our original location had fallen through earlier in the day leaving us scrambling for a new one. Dragana, one of the other crossfit girls in the calendar, suggested the roof of her building. At that point the weather was totally crumby, all dark and gray, ready to rain at any second. So we brought umbrellas, in case. Then it happened. The horizon opened up to reveal the most incredible 15 minutes of sky that I’ve ever been lucky enough to shoot in. Opposite the direction we were shooting there was a double rainbow! The sky went from orange to red to purple and then it was over.
Some camera tech, for those who might be interested: Shot on Canon 5D mkII, with a 16-35 2.8L lens (ISO 400, f/2.8, 35mm, 1/125). Two flashes (both 580EX II’s) were triggered by Pocket Wizards (Mini TT1 on-camera & Flex TT5). The key light was softened by shooting through an umbrella and gelled full CTO. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop CS5 (In the above pic, extra plates were added; doing a million takes with real weight was probably out of the question, even for Jen).
I call Carolyn my #1 fan (pictured above are her kids). She always has a nice comment for all of the work that I post on facebook. We had a ton of fun in Elora, down by the river and in the park. Carolyn was worried that the kids wouldn’t be into the photoshoot, but once we got going, I think they had a really great time. Photos taken on October 2, 2011.