Stuntman photographer: Teaming up with a cyclist for dangerous, dynamic shots


posted Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 8:35 AM EST


Payton Ruddock is a commercial sports and portrait photographer. In addition to his photography skills, he's also a triathlete and snowboarder himself, so it's fitting that he photographs athletes.

He got his photographic start shooting cycling and recently thought it would be a good idea to revisit the subject. If he was going to shoot cycling, he wanted to do it in a dynamic and fresh way. As it turns out, this is also a dangerous way, but the results are incredible.

In the video below, shot by Eric Walley, we can see Ruddock laying down on the bed of a pickup truck as he photographs fellow athlete Valerie, who he had wanted to work with for a long time. With the truck moving and Ruddock very precariously situated on the gate of the vehicle, Valerie cycles behind. Ruddock stationed a Profoto strobe in the bed of the truck that he then tethered to keep safely situated as he shot. He himself had no such tethering, so he's quick to mention that photographers at home should not necessarily try to emulate his shooting style.

This video is an excellent example of how approaching a situation in a new way can lead to some very cool images. Thanks to Ruddock's willingness to take a risk and Valerie's ability to consistently maintain speed and be a steady pace, the duo came away with some awesome action shots.


A photo posted by Payton Ruddock (@paytonruddock) on

The use of off-camera flash is particularly important here as well. By utilizing flash, Ruddock was able to light his subject while still utilizing a neat backlit effect. With a lower output from his Profoto flash, he also maintained a slow enough shutter speed to pan with Valerie and create a sense of speed in his images.

To see more of Payton Ruddock's work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

(Seen via ISO 1200)