March 9th, 2011 by garrettcortese

The newest cover of Alliance Wakeboard Magazine has been getting some great reaction throughout the industry and all over the Internet, whether it’s been about Adam’s insane nose press or green riding apparel. I figured it would be kind of cool to get the back story on how the photo was shot, as well as to dispel any potential e-rumors.

Adam actually got his cover shot because of Clay Fletcher. I had to do a shoot with Clay for the CWB “Commitment Issues” article in the magazine (same issue as this cover) and he mentioned to me that Adam had a long A-frame rail in his backyard that had never really been shot on before. It was late December, but Orlando was having some great, sun-filled days following a cold spell. When I saw Adam’s rail I knew there was potential for a lot of cool shots. The water all around it was about waist deep, so it was easy to move around it with a camera, and the afternoon light hit it perfectly for photos. That afternoon Adam rode after Clay and killed it. I got a couple shots that I thought had cover potential, but that I also knew could be improved upon, so I told Adam we should do it again soon and try to get a really good shot on lock.

Adam's A-frame was about 80-feet long and perfect for the afternoon light

This shot made me believe we could get a cover

A few days later I returned to Adam’s backyard and went to improve upon the shots I already had. We got out a bit earlier so we had some more time to work with the light and once again Adam went to town on his rail. He was seriously nose-pressing a traditional, non-flexing board like I’d never seen before. The first time I’d shot with Adam I’d used a 70-200mm lens and stood at sort of an angle to the rail, in order to show how long it was in the photo. For much of the second round though, I wanted to try to really clean the image up. I put on a 300mm lens so I could be a bit further away (and get a bit more compression in the image), and lined myself right up at the end of the rail so Adam would be coming right at me.

Attempt 2. This was another cover option, but the image was just not as clean with all of the posts for the rail in it

Adam's "blue steel" in this shot is pretty funny... but this shot is also more evidence of how good he is on rails.

Winner winner, chicken dinner

In reality it was a very easy image to shoot, as I just had to stand in the right spot and let Adam keep coming at me over the rail. When we were done I was about as confident as I’d ever been in knowing we had a future cover of the mag.

Here are the specs:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D MarkII N

Lens: Canon 300mm f4 L IS

Settings: ISO 200, 1/2000th @ f4.5

Rumors?

1. Adam most definitely did ride away from the nose press shot on the cover. In fact, the only times he fell during both days of shooting were when he dropped the handle to take a breather.

2. We did not pre-plan Adam’s wardrobe on either day. It might have been sunny in Orlando in December, but it was not very warm. Adam didn’t want to wear a westuit because he knew he wouldn’t be falling much, but he didn’t want to skin it either, so he just kept his flannel on while he rode. In the end it ended up looking pretty cool for the photos because it brought in a pop of color.

3. Where I was shooting from was not very dangerous. I was using a 300mm lens, which allowed me plenty of space away from the end of the rail. It would have taken a serious screw up by Adam and me sitting like a deer in headlights in order for there to have been a collision of any kind. I did shoot some stuff with a wider lens closer to the rail a few times and that lead to one near decapitation. Fortunately Adam has cat-like reflexes and just missed me…

The final product

One Response to “Behind the Shot: April 2011 Cover”

  1. Dave Williams Says:

    That’s a good read. Awesome see hear what went into it!

     

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