One of my favorite images of last year has to be this Hadrian’s Wall image of mine, not because its my best image but because it’s creative, took a lot of planning, was technical to shoot and retouch.
This image was used as a preview to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in the summer. Its supposed to be a bit of fun with participating athletes dressed up in St George’s Cross kilts and kit! I wanted the English team to look warrior-like and invading the Games by leaping over Hadrian’s Wall.
Including preparation, planning and shooting this image took three months. Athletes are spread all over the country and were involved in heavy training in the lead up to the Games so I could only photograph them individually at their respective training camps. As these were all elite athletes it was impossible to get them to Hadrian’s Wall, they only get one day off a week and the last thing they want to be doing is spend it traveling to Scotland. This meant that the finished pic would have to be photoshoped together. I wanted it to be as real as possible so on the drive up to Edinburgh in the spring for the Scotland v England rugby game, I stopped off at Hadrians Wall to shoot the background. I wanted a panoramic images of the wall so the finished background is made up of 6 individual images. All shot at dawn on a beautifully sunny morning the forboding grey sky was added in later!
The individual athletes (Louis Smith, Adam Gemilli, Max Whitlock and Sasha Corbin) were shot in hotel rooms, corridors, car park and gyms in locations from London to Leeds. All the athletes did a great job at visualising where they were in the image even though standing in a car park or bouncing on a trampoline.
The real genius behind the picture is Anthony Mcdonald, the creative retoucher, who was able to bring all the elements together and polish them into a consistant group image. The finished image created a talking point on the first day of the Games which was exactly what we wanted!
See below for the slideshow of the retouching from start to finish………….