This year's poster was a fun challenge for us to create. The concept was to capture the excitement of a fast–break sequence inside Hilton Coliseum. Since last year's poster was so bright, we wanted to embrace a darker vibe this year while still utilizing the edgy lighting style we've been using since we started working with the MBB program. The trickiest part of the concept is that we didn't have access to photograph the court inside Hilton Coliseum because it was set up for other sports. As a work–around, we used a live game–shot from last year's Texas game as a starting point for the background elements of our frame:
Dan photographed the basketball court and the hoop inside the Sukup practice facility using flashes to create controlled lighting (for better blending later) with a deeper depth of field than a live game shot. We used these images as the top and bottom elements to our scene:
The next step was the fun part! We brought the team into our studio to photograph them with precisely controlled lighting. This year we ended up using a six light setup to give the illusion of Hilton Coliseum lighting the players from above and behind, while providing plenty of dimension and sharpness to the texture of their jerseys and limbs:
The large wooden floors and 16 ft ceilings in our shooting space proved to be a great location for photographing full–speed basketball players! Here are some images straight out of the camera:
After each player was photographed, Dan did a rough knock–out and dropped them into the poster to make sure the correct lighting and perspective was achieved before moving onto the next player. The guys got a kick out of watching themselves get drug around in photoshop! Seeing how they looked in big-picture context helped them get into the zone and brought authentic energy to the shoot:
Now the tricky part: combining all of these elements into the finished product. For the sake of making dozens of photoshop hours more easily digestible, I made an abridged gif of the process for your enjoyment. (If you're a gif lover, this is the second gif we've made and the fist can be enjoyed here)
And here's the finished poster! If you're an avid Cyclone fan and don't want to wait until this weekend, we have a limited amount of pre–release posters that we're giving away at our studio Today through Friday from 10am–6pm each day! 210 5th St in downtown Ames (right across the street from the library under construction).
We hope you enjoy this year's poster as much as we do... Go Clones!