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Free Runner Parkour Portrait Session in Newcastle

What could be more fun !

Free Runner and Parkour adept action Newcastle Up on Tyne behind the Baltic
Free Runner and Parkour adept action Newcastle Up on Tyne behind the Baltic


This portrait session required some pretty sophisticated kit, some of it quiet bulky in comparison to what’s usually in my bag : a car battery-type ‘portable’ power source, heavy duty C-Stands and high-speed sync capable studio strobes along with a Nikon D750. In this case I used a couple of Elinchrom Strobes radio triggered  by the El-Sky Sport Transmitter Plus HS .  The lens was Nikon’s well known 24-70 mm f 2.8.  But just as important as the kit, we also needed a spot with an urban feel and offering an interesting enough stage for Yamato to do his thing ! Behind the Baltic turned out to be the perfect spot.

You’d be tempted to believe that ‘all’ you need to do, besides having a vision, is get the angle and light right and rattle off  shots like red-carpet photographers. Not at all. At high enough outputs  to overpower daylight ( these photos were taken between 10:30 and 12:00 in the morning ), the flashes needed a few seconds to recycle to full power between each shot. Yamato was moving so fast that even Nikon’s D750 lauded dynamic focusing system couldn’t keep up and I had to set-up focus manually before every shot .  I used shutter speeds up to a 1/4000th of a second and had to judge timing shutter release hoping to capture elegant lines and expressions. The difference in colour temperature of the flashes at high-speed and the ambient cloudy sky day light added an extra dimension to the images where the background appears to have slightly grungy colour pallet.

It was the first time I had the pleasure of doing some action photography of a Street Runner and  Parkour adept. And it was the first time Yamato worked with a professional photographer. We hit it off instantly and as the session went by we both grew in our understanding of each other ,of what motivates us , of a shared quest for a certain elegance in what we do, a recognition of the importance of constantly working at improving our techniques and taking  on new challenges. I was as astonished and delighted  by Yamato’s moves as he was by the photos. We really learned to work together and I’m looking forward to meeting Yamato again for another session: both of us have got some things we’d like to try !

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