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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Swim portrait in black-and-white

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

THE LOCATION: Hempfield Rec Center, Lancaster, Pa.

THE EQUIPMENT: Canon 5D Mark IV | EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM | two FJ Westcott FJ400 strobes | FJ Westcott Octa L softbox with double diffusion | FJ Westcott 4x3 Rapid Box | Gray Muslin Backdrop

THE STORY: The booster club for a local high school swim team contacted me because, well, they were looking for something new.

They wanted a media day style photo shoot with the high school swimmers, and my business, Creative Sports Photography, seemed to be a good fit for their vision.

This particular swimmer, a senior, told me she simply was unable to look at a camera without smiling.

And indeed, her other portraits are of her just beaming joy. Like her teammates, she was given a choice of a "fun" or "creative" portrait. Anything they wanted.

She chose the iconic hold the goggles look. And I caught her in this look right before she smiled.

Those large eyes say it all. They're just radiating a competitive vibe she must feel at the starting gate before leaping into the pool to out swim the others.

The way the light and the camera were positioned, only one of her goggles caught a white reflection. So back in the home office, after working the image in Lightroom, I switched to Photoshop. There, I managed a cut-and-paste-and-drop-in job to give both goggle lenses a similar reflection.

Probably my favorite from this shoot.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at

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