Sometimes I will take inspiration from the real world. For example, as Bon Jovi's tour photographer, I've often photographed Jon Bon Jovi jumping on stage in front of 50,000 fans or more. When I made a portrait of nutritionist and fitness expert Isabel Smith, I got her to channel her inner rock star and we created a shot of her jumping over the New York City skyline.
In the case of this swimmer photo, all I had was four blank walls, a model, and a couple of hours. I brought in a child's wading pool and, while the water was colder than we would have liked, the model did an amazing job keeping it together long enough for me to make this image while I was teetering on a 15-foot ladder.
When you think you've created a very good photo, try to add just one more element to your image.
In the swimmer photo, the reflection of the flag in her goggles adds an extra "kick." It was a challenge to get it positioned and lit correctly, but I wouldn't stop shooting until we got it just right. With this action portrait of a football player, I removed the facemask from another helmet and put it between my lens and the player to make the viewer feel like they're in the middle of the game. Sometimes it's one small thing that brings an image from ordinary to extraordinary.
Canon Explorer of Light - David Bergman
David Bergman discusses his career and passion for photography in our series of videos introducing our Canon Explorers of Light.
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