In keeping with the spirit of Life Is A Beautiful Detail, this story is a behind the scenes on how the project was shot. I share these to help others who may be interested in photography and to create a place for others to share ideas. Hope you enjoy it.
A couple weeks ago I got a message from, No. 22 bikes - the titanium titans of Toronto. They were planning for a new kit preorder and of course had a tight timeline to get it shot. The funny thing is that almost all good projects are missing one thing... time. You sort of just get used to it after a while.
Anyways. Bryce and Mike, the co-founders of No. 22, needed a combination of studio product shots and outdoor lifestyle images to support pre-order promotion across their site and social media. It initially took us about 2 or 3 days to nail down the specific project plan with a finalized shot and locations list. Basically, I needed to shoot 2 jersey styles in 3 colours, 1 bib, and a vest (coming soon) both in the studio and on the bike. The lifestyle, or on the bike photos, are important because they give a better sense of fit through proper context. When at all possible, I prefer this over shooting models in the studio.
For every project I like to start with a project plan. This plan puts all the specifics and details into one place, including the all important shot list. I love project plans because they help me stay organized when juggling multiple projects. It's the first thing I open up with I start sorting and packing gear for the job. Having a written record of the shot list, locations, and any other criteria allows me to quickly and objectively select the correct gear without pondering too many variables.
While a project plan keeps the project focused and moving smoothly for me, it most importantly ensures that I have what I need to meet the expectations of the client - and the client knows what to expect from me. In this case, my estimate was that this was going to conservatively take 25-30 shots to do it right and provide enough selections. But without over shooting the job.
Here is a quick summary of what I packed in or out for the two parts of this project.
For the product shots in the studio I shoot with a Canon 5D MKIII and a combination of the Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro and a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I choose these lenses for their critical sharpness and resolution. This is because I want to bring as much pixel information into retouching. Lighting is thanks to a pair of Elinchrom BRX500 strobes, an Elinchrom DX-One, various reflectors and bounce cards, and even some frosted glass. The exact setup is a secret but I will admit it looks and sounds a lot more complicated than it is.
When I outside, I prefer to work fast and simple. On foot I move with the 24-70 f/2.8L as my workhorse and back it up with the 135mm f/2L or the 50mm f/1.4. The 24-70 f/2.8L on a full frame sensor is wide enough for most outdoor locations but usually gets in close enough when needed, all while minimizing unflattering facial distortions. When I may nor may not be able to completely control all conditions, I prefer a zoom lens in order to allow cropping in camera. That means I won't have to throw away valuable pixel detail by cropping down in post processing. The relatively large max aperture is decent for subject isolation but I find it lacks sharpness. So when I need to really pull something or someone away from the background, I'll switch out to the 135 f/2L. If there isn't enough room for this long focal length I'll throw on the 50 f/1.4 and just close down the aperture a bit.
This is the first time I've had hands on any Cuore of Swiss and I have to say it was pretty impressive stuff. Cuore is a custom cycling apparel brand from Switzerland with its own manufacturing facility in China. To their credit, they are the kit manufacturer for IAM Cycling.
The new No. 22 jersey is available in a more traditional style with woven front and back panels but modernized with raglan styles sleeves in a highly breathable mesh fabric. Cuore call this 'vent'. Another option for the jersey is the full 'vent' for hot weather and lightweight requirements. Both feature a full length YKK zipper up front and of course the standard 3 rear pockets. But there is an internal entertainment pocket which is accessed via an external zipper. The internal entertainment pocket is custom branded for No. 22 with their shield pattern and has a pass through port for headphones that connect to a webbing tab inside the top collar. You can see in the lifestyle photos that the fit is race cut and the sleeve length is on trend at a mid-arm length. There is no particular identification of origin for the 100% polyester fabric, but considering Cuore is Swiss, Schoeller fabrics are also Swiss, and they've been used in other Cuore kits, I suspect it's from Schoeller.
Speaking of the bibs, they were pretty sweet. These top of the Cuore line bibs are a multi-panel compression style bib short with an in-house Embody EM2 chamois. The Cuore built bibs are constructed from 100% polyester and graphics are screen printed rather than sublimated which helps to keep the deepest of blacks and stave of the dreaded fade. To make it all matchy matchy, No. 22 have carried the customer shield print pattern over to mesh panel in back of the bib for added breathability.
Below is a selection of the final images from the shoots. The kit is up for pre-order now through July 9th with a discount applied. If you're riding a No. 22 or you're into the kit, check it out. You can see the full set of images there.