St Croix Ironman Photograph

Posted on November 26, 2011

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Glynis Greenough, UK, W55-59

Glynis Greenough, UK, W55-59

I have been digging in to my photo archives to find some early photographs of Ironman athletes which I took in St Croixe back in 2008 when I first conceived of the idea of a series of portraits. I ‘ve been thinking about this project for a long time!

I really like the photograph below which was shot against the wall of the fort in Christiansted in St Croix – a quiet place which is part of the US Virgin Islands. We were in St Croix to compete in an Ironman event. The fort has a yellow wall around it and the paintwork is a little distressed. The portrait I think works well against the background. It is of my wife Glynne. She looks athletic but at the same time fragile Her body language is a little awkward and uncertain with her shoulders hunched and hands behind her back. She is clothed in typical Ironman garb of bike shorts, tee shirt and baseball cap. There are  lots of logos. She is part of the clan.

Rediscovering these photographs has been very useful. I have decided that I should not constrain myself to just one form of background for the portraits. The series will be much more lively if I have a variety of backgrounds and some small variations in posing for the subjects. I will also make some images of married couples or unmarried couples for that matter. This will mean that I may need to change the lighting set up for different situations….this is in fact a great learning opportunity. I will however seek relatively unencumbered backgrounds in order not to divert attention from the subject. I have also decided that I will begin shooting with colour negative film.

I plan to use Kodak Portra 160NC and 400NC. This film is very versatile, does not need colour compensation filters for shooting in open shade and has been designed for scanning – I will be scanning and printing digitally (possibly digital chromogenic prints). I will use some artificial lighting in most cases. A little fill light when shooting in open shade and my portable elinchrom quadra lights if I need more umph to control the light. I will always seek to ensure that the lighting appears natural and is not obviously the result of strobes.

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