Since our prep football preview was published a couple of weeks ago I’ve had several people ask how I created the cover image for the section. One person thought I had ginned up the photo in Photoshop. The photo was created entirely in camera with no Photoshop manipulation.
This is the cover photo of Davis High School’s Jackson Lewis:
All photos in the section had an automotive-related theme so the cover photo obviously needed to adhere to that theme. Also, I wanted the photo to illustrate Davis’ first real chance in years to make the playoffs.
So I thought a photo of Davis mainstay Jackson Lewis driving (“driving to the playoffs,” get it?) would fill the bill. And because this was to be the cover photo I knew it needed to be dramatic. At the same time I knew I needed to leave some empty space in the photo for type.
To create the photo, I first mounted my camera on the brush guard of a co-worker’s truck. I used a Manfrotto Super Clamp for the mounting the camera.
I used a portable strobe from inside the truck to light up Jackson Lewis. The strobe was set at 1/16 power and pointed up at the ceiling of the cab. The resulting aperture was f8.0. The ASA was 200. The shutter speed was set to “B,” which allowed me to leave the shutter open as long as I wanted. The lens focal length was set at 22 mm.
Next, I attached a Pocketwizard remote trigger to the camera so I could trigger the camera from inside the truck.
I used gaffer’s tape to attach the remote to the brush bar. Also, I used gaffer’s tape to reinforce the camera mount and stabilize the camera a bit.
To make the photo work I needed a street lined with businesses that had illuminated signs. In Yakima, North First Street fit the bill.
As Jackson drove up and down North First, I hunched down in the passenger’s seat so I wouldn’t be visible in the photo. In one hand was the Pocketwizard remote and in the other hand I held the flash, pointing it up at the roof. Using the Pocketwizard, I tripped the camera’s shutter. With the shutter open, I then triggered the flash. I left the shutter open for varying durations, anywhere from two to to 10 seconds.
The flash illuminated Jackson and “froze” him in the photo. The long shutter speed allowed the lights outside the car to streak in the background to make the photo more dynamic. The length of the exposure determined how those lights appeared in the background.
I photographed Jackson with his helmet off and on. Obviously I preferred the photo with the helmet on.
I had Jackson make z half-dozen round trips on North First to ensure I had plenty of photo choices.
North First seFor the print version of the photo, it was cropped slightly from the sides to accommodate the cover dimensions. The photo’s not perfect; I don’t like the reflections of the interior mirror in the hood of the truck but overall, I was pretty satisfied with the photo.