On Saturday I visited Esporta in Tunbridge Wells for my final shoot for Amac Training. The brief was to provide a range of images of a Level 3 Personal Training course in action, for the company website. My assumption was that the training would be in progress, and I would simply be able to observe and photograph at my leisure. But of course things never turn out the way one expects.
It transpired that it would be a couple of hours before the group returned to the gym from the classroom. Hence, in order to get the shots I needed, it was suggested that we visit the gym during the course lunch break and set some shots up. Having been a gym instructor in a past life really helped, as I was able to speak the language and set up a range of shots on equipment I felt would look good in a frame.
Lighting was a problem, though, as the Esporta gym is quite dimly lit, and light falloff from my speed-lights was a a real issue. Hence I upped the ISO and slowed shutter speed as much as practicable, in order to mix in as much of the ambient light as possible. Shooting in RAW was also a great help, permitting me to up the exposure during processing, to obtain the suitably high key shots I wanted. The tangle of black and white gym equipment, together with mirrors around many of the walls, was enough to throw even the most advanced of metering systems. I therefore elected to shoot in manual, and once settings were nailed, consistent results could be achieved.
Fortunately, instructor Luke and his group of students were extremely co-operative, repeating exercises numerous times as I honed into the best angles, and also avoiding members of the public with whom we were sharing the gym. So a big thank you to these guys.