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News & Insight

Sports Action in Small Spaces: Behind the Scenes with Pete Webb

By Megan Kennedy on February 5th 2014

Beer and sports often go hand in hand, but this recent photo shoot with Pete Webb took on a new twist. Aiming to show off Morvelo’s new line of winter biking apparel, Webb was challenged with working in the impressively small, but texture-rich environment of Dark Star Brewery’s walk-in cold room in Sussex.

Morvelo shoot by Pete Webbpete webb morvelo shootpete webb morvelo shoot

Due to tight spaces (as you can appreciate in the behind-the-scenes video below by Dale Reubin), Webb kept his set-up simple:

… a pair of Bowens 500 monoblocs bare bulb on minimum power and the fill came from a Canon speedlite next to me with a diffuser cap fired into the roof by Pocketwizard TT5 radio triggers. Not much room for anything else…

Other than the obvious appeal of working alongside an alluring lineup of draught beer, the cold temperatures allowed Webb to capture the drama of the cyclist’s steaming shoulders as he worked up a sweat on his stationary setup. The warm amber of the poured beers compared to the cold atmosphere leaves a lot to be appreciated beyond the Morvelo apparel.

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As Webb mentions in the behind-the-scenes video, this still shoot was motivated to compliment a previously shot video campaign.

Morvelo cycle brand has developed a great content strategy along with myself and Alex Wykes from Verri Media. This strategy provides them with regular video and photo content to spread over a relatively short term before the next is developed and deployed.

It seems that further questions about the location selection are answered by the creative development of those videos… particularly the second location of an old wooden barn, housing antique automobiles behind the featured cyclist. As a fan of creative sound design, I loved this concept.


Again, the three light setup reminds us that we shouldn’t be intimidated by small spaces. Depth of the shooting space is often a great asset, but with a bit of creativity, even tight quarters can accommodate the tools needed to craft dramatic images.

Morvelo shoot by Pete Webbpete webb morvelopete webb morvelo shoot

While I am still most inspired by Webb’s outdoor adventure sport work, the versatility he shows here in what he achieved is inspiring. Webb had this to say about his collaborative work with Alex Wykes:

The key as ever is in the planning, and this allows us to shoot some great photo and video concepts in a short space of time. Often while we are on a Morvelo shoot we are getting the ideas together for the next one and the wheel rolls on.

We’d love to hear from you and what your most challenging location has been. What spaces have pushed your boundaries or limited your use of gear in a challenging way? Let us know in the comments below!

CREDITS: All photographs by Pete Webb are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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With roots in nonfiction and commercial video production, Megan found a passion for still photography in 2009 while traveling through Ghana. Today she shoots weddings and portraiture with an adventurous bent with her husband at Rogue Heart Media, as well as continuing her work in video production. Connect with her on Facebook or through their website.

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