Monday 24 March 2014

How ? Wideopenmag issue 22 cover shot

Had a few people ask me over the last few days how the latest cover shot of wideopenmag of Manon Carpenter was taken so I though I would put a blog post up about it.

The shot needed to be taken in the next week, I was about to leave the UK as was Manon and the magazine had to go to the printers, so time was of the essence. The day we had to make it happen had to be pissing wet, obviously, so the kind of sunny, bright, MBUK style cover shot was out.

This worked well to be honest though as Wideopens covers are never super glossy, going for a much more real kind of image, and they dont have all the headlines and titles all over them.

Anyway we got to the track in South Wales, hiked up the hill, had a look at a few jumps ( Jamie the editor had asked for a shot of her in the air with some style, to show girls can do a turn bar ) none of which where working quite right, so we tried about 2/3 till we found this one that Manon could get a good shape on and the shot looked good.

I set up some flashes ( Nikon SB800, with extra battery piggy back, in sandwich bags ) only 2, the back rim light had a coloured gel on it, been wanting to play about more with coloured light for a while now and this seemed like a good time. I shot it with normal clear backlight as well incase it was too much.

Few slight changes in lighting, angle and shape from Manon
This white back light shot edited up is almost my favorite, but I don't pick the editor does.

The fact it was raining is why you can see the cloud of purple specs behind Manon, if it had been dry this shot would of been much less eye catching and instead just seen a slight line of purple light around her outline, but with the rain it turned more into a cloud.

Here are the shots from when we turned up, worked out the lights, tweaked the angle, then let Manon have a few goes to get the best shape, then it was down to me and photoshop. 

Darkening down parts, lifting others, adding some contrast and then sending over the James who lays out the magazine.

2 flashes, one behind the stump with purple gel 1/4 power , another high to cameras left wide and soft 1/4 power.

The finished cover.
 There it is, some photos look just right off the back of the camera, others have a bit of work done. the end result though Im happy with. Check out the new issue in all good bike shops now, or free online at

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