PUMA SA wanted to show off the brand’s professional performance gear for the track – some slick running spikes, and matching apparel. The fast feet donning these specialised shoes would be two of SA’s most talented speedsters. Gena Lofstrand, a KZN-based 800 metre champion, would be wearing the evoSPEED SPrint 10. Rantso Mokopane, a steeplechase runner hailing from Gauteng, would be sporting the evoSPEED Electric 8.
The client wanted Posed Images, Action Shots and GIFs. On your marks, get set, GO!
- Executive Producer: Thoban Jappie
- Production Director: Ali Conn
- Photography: Desmond Louw
- Wardrobe Stylist: Armand Dicker
- Hair & Makeup: Michelle-Lee Collins
The MMMob Approach
We needed a Photographer who was accustomed to keeping up with speed. Lucky for us, we knew just the guy. Desmond Louw is an experienced Sports and Action Photographer, with next-level Post-Production skills. Des and our core MMMobsters are Cape Town based, so the most economical approach, was flying the two athletes down to the team.
We needed a location. We had recently shot a PUMA campaign on a blue track up in Jozi, so we didn’t want a location which looked similar – hence, Green Point Track was out. To make scouting even harder, mid-January is crammed with Athletic meets, and so many other tracks were already occupied during our shoot window. We scoured the peninsula right down to Paarl, and eventually found the perfect place – Stellenbosch University’s campus track.
We were given only a 3-hour slot, as the facilities were being used by the European Athletics Federation, for their pre-season training. While these athletes scattered for their lunch break, the space was ours. The setting was great, the slot – not so much. The harsh, overhead midday light would need to be carefully considered by our crew.
Call-time was set for 1.5 hours before we could hit the track. This gave the MMM Stylist, Hairstylist and Makeup Artist time to prep, and then primp the on camera talent. Meanwhile, MMM’s shoot team recce’d the facility, and marked four ideal spots on the track, taking into consideration shooting angles, positions, and the performance we would require from the Athletes.
Shotlist and schedule in hand, we got snapping. Time was tight, and the sun was out baking the track to a toasty 36 degrees celsius. We needed to work smart to cover the brief, get all the looks, and safeguard the athletes against the sun.
We got the runners to cover only short distances, across the predetermined areas, thereby controlling our shoot, and saving their energy. The light was moving fast, so Des opted to shoot plates for some of the wide, posed images. This would give him a master image to work with in Post-Production, to create unity between shots, and mask-out any unsolicited midday shadows.
For the Action running shots, Des used a 400mm telephoto lens. This allowed him to snipe from the stadium grandstand, and a floodlight tower, thereby creating non-linear images with more depth and perspective. GIFs were shot using the photographic camera’s “Burst-Mode”, snapping back-to-back frames of the Athletes in action, which were stitched together in Post-Prod, to create GIFs.