Chris McEniry

Gemma Spofforth – World Record Holder in the 100 meter…

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth - World Record Holder in the 100 meter...

Gemma Spofforth – World Record Holder in the 100 meter Backstroke and 2- Time Olympian for Great Britain. 

We originally shot Gemma a few months back for a British lifestyle Magazine called Zest. Right about this time we were working on a project with my agent Luke Lalor in Berlin at Periscope Creative and Dan Jones the in-house producer there shooting a series of Olympic swimmers from different countries. They had produced a successful series with famous soccer players from different countries with the colors/Flags of their home country painted onto them in various ways. Not so much an exact replica of the flag but more an artistic interpretation. Still trying to be faithful enough that the viewer understood and it would be patriotic not offensive.

We began pitching the idea to different Olympians and their agents to see if they were interested and we got a great response back but we found out we should have begun the process (especially for editorial with little to no budget) a year earlier, these athletes were now in the 6 month workout lead up to team trials and the Olympics and did not want to risk any media distractions.  Some agreed others did not, however it has led to a worldwide process involving all Olympians and multiple photographers in multiple countries shooting athletes around the world. If you know a past, present, or future Olympian that might be interested in taking place in this series have them get in touch with us we may be interested.

Back to my original story. We did the shoot for Zest with Gemma and then pitched her on the idea for this Olympic shoot as well. Our luck is that she came over from England for college a few years ago in good old Gainesville, FL right up the road from us where she swam as a UF Gator and does her Olympic training there full time.  This meant we would not have to travel across the Atlantic and it was very easy to get her to our studio as she came to town for various reasons quite often. 

Gemma took about 2 months since we shot her to train undisturbed and get through team trials for London this summer, which she did clenching her spot on the England team for her second Olympics. Gemma is a pretty inspirational character and has had to come back from the loss of her mother and a pretty nasty accident on a bike and still win a spot on the team. Her world record still stands and she is looking very fit for the games this summer. She was a great sport letting us paint her up, dress her up, and even throw water on her. We love working with her and wish her the best in the pool.

Thanks to Kristen Nugent @knmakeupdesigns for her flag painting and great job on the H&M, also to Tammara Kohler @fusedfashion always great. These girls make me look like I know what I am doing dressing women, thank god I know I just need to have them. Once again, Zach and Flipper did a great job throwing the water as well as tolerating a shoot that definitely went longer than planned……

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game” James Shields…

ESPN the Mag Apr.2012 Go Section

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...
James Shields Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...
James Shields Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...
James Shields

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...
James Shields

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields...

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher “Complete Game†James Shields for ESPN the Mag

All photos are the sole copyright of Chris McEniry and any or all usage of these images in any manner in web, print, or otherwise are not permitted without express written consent of the copyright holder mentioned above.©2012ChrisMcEniry

Spring Training and ESPN

This Spring I have been busy with multiple assignments from ESPN the Magazine shooting the Technique section for the Mag. This section is used to illustrate a very specific action(s) that different professional athletes perform in game that makes them elite in their respective sports.

ESPN has sent us to the Orioles training camp to shoot catcher Matt Wieters (*will post and update once the images run), TB Rays pitcher James Shields, and Braves base stealer  Michael Bourn*.

James was awesome and knew quite a bit about photography because his wife is a photographer, which was cool because he wanted to know everything about our Hasselblad and which lenses we were using. It’s funny how many of these guys are actually into photography, you’d be surprised.  He was very gracious with his time and told us some pretty cool major league stories, especially the one about the Coco Crisp fight, when Coco charged him at the mound, it’s all over the web you can find it.  Once again James was super cool and thanks to everyone from the Tampa Bay Rays organization, especially Dave Haller for catching some pretty hard throws, all down to earth guys you could easily throw one back with. Also AK Clemmons the writer from ESPN is really cool, and is definitely the girl you want on your team for sports trivia night, super knowledgeable about some obscure baseball techniques.

The main purpose for our shoot has been to capture the technique of individual athletes doing very specific things.  James is the man when it comes to throwing would be base stealers out at 1st.  He has developed a unique style for doing it and shared some of his secrets with us. The coolest one I thought was how he measures the distance from 1st base to the edge of the infield grass apron, which he uses to tell him how far a runner is from the bag. One step to far (which is around 10’ to 12’ apparently) and he’s got them. We shot multiple angles on him doing the pitchout and together with ESPN photo editor Nick Galac, and my digital wunderkind Zachary Scheffer we created the series you see before you.

For technical details, we wanted to keep these shoots looking natural but have some pop to the players, while also being able to do super fast sequences. We used 4K HMI’s in order to match daylight and punch in enough fill so we could motor drive @10 fps to capture the action and not worry about strobes recycling fast enough.  We also bumped up the ISO slightly in order to be able to shoot at faster shutter speeds as well. Several of these shoots involved us shooting TV/video elements in slow motion on the Red Epic camera at speeds up to 300 fps is another reason we opted for HMI’s.  I would have loved to have had a 12k HMI or more out there, but for one guy on the mound the 4k’s proved to be plenty.

I will continue to post updates from the all the different MLB shoots as well as several other shoots including pro golf and Olympic athletes, so keep checking back. I am officially going to keep up with the blog this time.

Mont St. Michel Normandy, France ©ChristopherMcEniry2011 This…

Mont St. Michel Normandy, France ©ChristopherMcEniry2011

This place experiences some of the highest tides in the world and is truly the national symbol of France. When the tide goes out, it goes out for 9 miles and drops 50 ft., leaving nothing but very small creeks, sand, and quicksand. This geological anomaly made it an impenetrable fortress until WWII when modern Nazi weapons threatened to blow it up. It survived the English for the entire duration of the 100 Years War and every other invader in it’s history, as any invading army would be drowned when the tide came back in. Legend has it they would let the horses run free from the Mont St. Michel and then follow their hoofprints because the horses instinctually navigated away from the quicksand. Still a Catholic abbey to this day, my wife and I attended Sun. Mass there and had communion, the monks chant and sing the entire service in French and Latin inside the epic Gothic Cathedral. Amazing. There are several very cute small hotels and restaurants inside the small city you must walk through on your way to the top, and the shops are all pretty cool even if a bit touristy. Get there early to get a decent shot of it as the cars begin to line the entire causeway by the end of the day.