I’ve been putting my cameras on Gitzo tripods since forever, but I had no idea the company was a centenarian. So, when they called and asked me to shoot for their “Framed on Gitzo” campaign and the 100th Anniversary celebration, I was surprised, and thrilled. Open book type of an assignment. Go make a cool picture and use a Gitzo tripod, which is what I do anyway. Timing coincided with a trip to Hawaii. The results are above.
Now, this image is tried and true. Put the light off camera, wait for the sky and flame exposures to match, generate action, put the camera on a tripod. Nice pictures result. And this pic can easily take its place amongst the thousands and thousands of pretty, nice, fire knife pictures. (Tech info- D5, 24-70mm, 1/160th @ f4, ISO 250.)
But I always wanted to shoot a fire knife dancer with a super long lens. So, I trundled a 600mm f4 to the Kona coast. (Tech info for below- D5, 600mm, 1/500th, f11, ISO 250.) If I told you I had planned to have the heat waves from the torch blend into the ball of sun, that would be, in a word, baloney. Had no idea. Happy accident. Also, to make sure we had a path to the sun, the location had to be super specific. Hats off and big thanks to the intrepid Don Slocum and Travis, for leading us to this picturesque set of rocks in the surf.
The shot above was more of a challenge, and definitely an opportunity for the tripod to do its thing, i.e., manage and stabilize a chunky piece of glass. We used a heavy duty Gitzo Series 5 Systematic.
For a bit, we used two Profoto B-1 heads, each fitted with an RFi light shaper.
But, you know what they say about turning your back on the ocean? Yep. One of them went in the drink, never to flash again. So, we used one Profoto B-1 for the final shot, and in the grand manner of all photographic rationalization, I told myself one light was better anyway 🙂
We had done a shot the previous week with a lovely yoga instructor, but it had the sense of having done that before. I had this notion about long glass and a big sun.
So I ginned up another shoot. Ya gotta be tenacious about this stuff. I wasn’t coming back from the islands without a pic I was happy with.
So, happy birthday, Gitzo! Thanks for this job….another adventure! More tk….