As part of the upcoming Betty Designs catalog we were looking to shoot a road bike on dirt series to coincide with the recent Belgian Waffle Ride. Riding road bikes on dirt is all the rage here in San Diego. So, I scouted a location about 3 months ago. The plan was to get an epic sunrise behind the rider, dust flying, and all that. The problem was that in the last 3 months the angle of the sun at sunrise changed so the road where we were planning on shooting was in the wrong place. Oops. Whatever.
So, I was up on the hill scrambling around trying to salvage the shoot and remembered a landscape picture of a snaking river (I think by Marc Meunch). The lines in that image were pretty sweet so I decided to turn the winding river into a winding road in my image. Although the sun was up by now, the road below me was completely in shadow so the light was flat and boring. Here is the shot directly out of the camera:
As you can see, I added a single light to highlight the rider from the background. Looking back I should have added a second light behind her but whatever. The goal of the light was to just give her a little mini pop to separate from the background so I took the photos when she was just entering the spray of the light. As you can see, the light was actually aimed directly in front of where I took the image so the light was featherd. In short, I wanted her lit but not overly lit. For comparison, this is an image taken a split second later with no flash.
After removing the light the rest was easy. Just a little touch up here and there and a little twiddling with the colors and that is how we made what is going to run as a 2 page spread in the upcoming bettydesigns.com catalog. Here is the final image.