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Featured Belgian Black Belts Team Photo

Belgian Black Belts Team Photo

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Here's a little more info about the purpose and origins of the photo shoot with the Belgian Black Belts.

A few months back I was at a sports related networking event organized by Here I met Sandrine Billiet, she's a young, very talented Belgian Judoka. We started talking and before we knew we were planning a photo shoot for her great team called the Belgian Black Belts.

They are a unique team that consist of 4 aspiring Belgian Judokas, this is quite special since Judo is a solo sport. The Belgian Black Belts were founded in order to create a team-spirit, and improve their chances of finding sponsors for the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. In this digital age having a proper website with content is a must. And when you say website you automatically say photos. That's where I came in.

After rescheduling a few times due to international contests and overbooked agendas we finally organized a photo shoot in the Dojo of the University of Ghent. Here I met the other vibrant team members Milane, Roxanne and Lotte.

I prepared a few backdrops in theme with the Olympics, this made it easier to calculate my shooting angles and quickly do some tests.

Here you can see the tethered camera setup in the upper right corner of the image Here you can see the tethered camera setup in the upper right corner of the image

The camera was tethered to the computer for every shot, this allowed me to review the images on the spot and check for accurate focus. I used Canon EOS Utility to transfer the files between camera and computer. Inside Lightroom I set up a watchfolder so I could see all the photos enter in my familiar workspace.

I triggered triggered the camera with a remote, this way I didn't have to jump up and down the table to push the shutter button manually, saving me tons of time.

My great assistant Nick doing a quality check at the review station

I quickly imported one of the test shots into Adobe Photoshop to see if my camera angle was the same as in my backdrop. Once this was checked we got the action going and the girls flying through the air with one Judo throw after the other.

Here's the first shot we got that day. I transformed a Helicopter landing pad into an outside Dojo where the ladies could fight with Rio de Janeiro in the background

Large version

Belgian Black Belts 


 Shot n°2

 This shot was totally different from the pervious one as I didn't already have the surroundings prepared. I shot the girls separately in front of a green screen and later combined all the images in Photoshop. This made the lighting much easier as I didn't have to think about shadows being cast from other team members. At first I didn't quite know how I would make the backdrop so I got some inspiration on the websites of some of my favorite photographers such as Tim Tadder, Adrian Sommeling and Blair Bunting. It was on Blair's site that I saw a very nice shot of an American Football player with a moody/foggy background. I thought this type of mood would go perfectly with my group shot so I went on and created the image above inspired by Blair's photo.

Check the gallery below for better quality

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