I've been wanting to work with a cycle team for quite a while, so when the opportunity came along to work with the Skipton 250 Cycle Challenge Team, I was more than happy to help out.
The team was formed by 8 colleagues at Skipton Building Society head office, who planned to cycle from the company's principal office in North Yorkshire, 250 miles north to Edinburgh, raising money for three great charities: Wil's Wishes, The Silver Line and The Movember Foundation.
I met the guys just before they set off, early (REALLY early) on a cold September morning at the principal office in Skipton. I didn't have much time, so kept my set up fairly minimal. I was keen to utilise the rising sun as a backdrop for the shot, so set up on the east-facing side of a raised car park. I intended on balancing external flash with the rising sun. The floor of the car park was still wet from the previous nights rain, which had the potential to give the shot a really dramatic feel if the lighting was right.
I set up two bare flashguns on light stands behind the guys at each side, at about a 45° angle. I then set up my main light dead centre, raised up on a boomed light stand. I wanted to spread my main light fairly wide to light all 8 cyclists, whilst still maintaining a dramatic feel, so didn't want anything too soft. Normally I'd use a large gridded softbox, but given time was tight and we were shooting outdoors without an assistant, I opted for a bare beauty dish instead. A beauty dish would normally be far from ideal for this kind of shoot, but I was happy with how it worked out.
After a couple of minutes shooting the guys were on there way. They arrived in Edinburgh a couple of days later, and raised a fantastic £3,500 for the nominated charities - a great effort, and definitely a marker set for next years challenge!
This shoot certainly whet my appetite for working with cycle - and other sports - teams. A cool new challenge, that I'll hopefully get to explore further in the not too distant future!
For more info on the Skipton 250 Cycle Challenge team - including updates from the Edinburgh challenge and info on future events - give them a like on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about the three awesome charities, check out Wil's Wishes, The Silver Line and The Movember Foundation.