Pole Vaulter

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Pole Vault

I made this photograph a few years ago to be used on the cover of a local power company’s Annual Report (corporate and commercial photography is my day job).

We were using a local high school pole vaulter for the shot, and it took a lot of on-the-ground coordination to get it set up. We needed permission from his parents and the school, which insisted that we take all kinds of safety precautions, including having paramedics on site — which, by the way, they don’t do during practice or meets!

At one point I thought the client would call it off because of all the added expense, but it turned out fine.

I was a long way away from the action. We set up the shot so the sun was backlighting the vaulter. At the point where I was going to capture the image I set up two Norman 400b flash units hooked to an infrared triggering device that also triggered the camera. When the athlete broke through the beam both flash and camera were triggered. We did seven takes so we could choose the body position and expression we wanted.

 

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