I have been a big fan of capturing multiple exposure action sequences ever since ESPN magazine approached me to do a series of them a few years ago. Since then I have done these types of shots for multiple clients in different situations and executions.
My approach to these shots before has always been to slow down and shoot at a lower frame per second (sometimes all the way day to 1fps depending on the ambient lighting conditions) in order to maintain a consistent light quality from shot to shot with my older strobes. The problem was that the old strobes couldn't keep up and when I was firing with 610 heads at a time and sometimes a few heads wouldn't fire consistently together, leaving dark spots or uneven lighting on the image.
But since switching over 100% to the Broncolor move packs I have literally speed up my shooting speed and can accomplish these types of shots in a fraction of the time it took before because of these quick reliable portable power houses.
For this shot, Red Bull approached me to shoot slackline champion Alex Mason. I knew I wanted to step up my multiple exposure game for this one. I know he would be using a lot of the line so 30ft of black out background was a must. I then placed 4 heads with reflectors on each side in the background for separation lighting. Each set of lights had a Move pack with the heads powered to 4.5 and a flash duration of at least 1/7000th to insure we would freeze all the action.
The front light was a move pack with a head into a parabolic umbrella for a higher output.
After spending a few minutes talking with Alex about what we wanted to do he quickly showed off a double front flip (and perfect landing) that I knew I had to capture.
We shot indoors in a gym with ambient light that we had to over power. If we were in a studio, we could easily black out all the ambient light and shoot at a ridiculously low power to freeze the action. But in this case, 8fps was plenty to get those shots we needed. You can catch more of these images on my website in the Action category.
1/7000th of second
in “min flash duration mode”
Power setting on light packs
4.5 (out of 10) for each head
Broncolor RFS 2.1
3 Broncolor Move1200 packs
2 p65 reflectors
2 p45 reflectors
1 Large parabolic umbrella