Innovative Lighting for Sports Photography

Sports portraits present unique lighting challenges that require creative solutions. This helpful video tutorial will show you some excellent techniques and advice for improving your sports portraits.

Coming to you from James Quantz Jr, this informative video showcases a recent photo shoot with the South Carolina beach volleyball team. Conducted indoors due to the cold January weather, Quantz Jr faces the challenge of recreating the sunny, outdoor ambiance of beach volleyball. He ingeniously combines two different light modifiers – a beauty dish and a large umbrella with diffusion – to mimic natural sunlight while maintaining the softness essential for portrait photography. This setup provides the punch and contrast of direct sunlight and the soft, even lighting necessary for full-body shots, demonstrating how blending different light sources can achieve a balanced and dynamic result.

Quantz Jr's approach is particularly relevant for photographers who often need to adapt to varied and challenging conditions. His method of stacking a beauty dish in front of a large umbrella creates a unique light source that focuses on the athletes' faces while evenly illuminating their entire bodies. This technique ensures that the lighting complements the athleticism and dynamics of the subjects. Additionally, the use of backlights to add edge definition and the strategic positioning of a large bounce to fill in shadows further refines the lighting arrangement, creating a convincing outdoor sports environment in an indoor studio. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Quantz Jr.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

This is not innovative... no wonder no one writes comments here anymore, I had 2 minutes to spend...

I remember zack arias doing this at least 10 years ago.