The life of a photog is at least occasionally a circle. I photographed the wonderful Lopez family years ago, leading up to the Olympics in Sydney, where Steve, who is second from left in the foreground of the picture above, won his first gold medal in taekwondo. Here in Rio, Steve will attend his fifth Olympics, at the age of 37, and try for his third gold. (He won gold in 2000, 2004 and the bronze in 2008.)
They are a terrific family, and I made the above in a studio, with a 617 pano camera, the only time I believe I tried to drape a photo studio in black and use a medium format pano camera. It was a double exposure, done in camera, from their start position, traversing to an action pose across the studio floor. So, I flashed once, with the camera focused on them. Then I shifted the focus to their action mark. And then I opened the shutter again while they made their way quickly (as taekwondo martial artists tend to do) to the forward position, transitioning through a zone governed by hot lights. At the end of that second exposure, I popped my flashes with a manual trigger. Done. Fun, if a little exasperating. Open shutter. Flash once. Adjust focus. Turn on hotlights. Action! Move aggressively to new marks. Flash again. Close shutter. Repeat.
We also did a whimsical, fun picture in the kitchen of the ever patient Mrs. Lopez, with her talented brood battering various kitchen appliances, refrigerated foods, and a pizza delivery.
Steve returns to the Olympics here in Rio, and will attempt to make history. And here I am, still with a camera in hand, again on assignment for SI, which is something I have done, at least occasionally, since 1984.
I’m hoping we can make another picture. And this time not trash the kitchen.
More tk from Rio…..