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Behind the scenes of an unusual sneakers photoshot

Behind the scenes of an unusual sneakers photoshot

Photographer Fabian Hellgardt is based in Hamburg, Germany. His product and still life photography is graphic, minimalistic and clean. In this article he will guide us through the process of creating one of his shots. Have a look on how he made these Nike sneakers fly.

Behind the scenes of an unusual sneakers photoshot

The idea for this series was to create the look of theme park rides by composing multiple shots of sneakers.


For the discussed shot the sneakers will be levitating arranged as roller-coaster cars while doing a looping. Searching for perspective and composition I ended up with this mood:

 To get the positioning right I decided on building a rig that was able to move the sneakers as if it was riding on a roller-coaster track. The hard part about it was the combination of the sneakers rotating around while moving towards the camera.

I used different grip parts to build the rig: A video slider, a magic arm and some clamps. To get some more motion in the final shot I also used wire to make the shoe laces fly.

The resulting movement of the sneakers looks like this

I uses one flash positioned on a boom stand directly above the scene. A second flash was used to send light through the little window in the sole for some extra detail.

Here is the whole process of getting the shots for the sneakers

For the final composition I also took hand-held pictures of the sneakers insides without the rig to be able to recreate the part which was covered by the rig before.

After getting all the different exposures for the sneakers, I took a clean background shot which was blended in with a digitally created background gradient. Then I was ready to put the whole thing together in Photoshop

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