Graham & Clint with the Nikon D500

Graham and Clint are two of the TOP body builders in the entire state! Next weekend they’ll be competing in the IFBB NBC South Carolina Grand Prix. That means they are now in peak form. So I jumped at the chance to photograph them!!!

Even though they’ve been in Charleston a long time, one of their “summer bucket list” items was to finally visit the historic and picturesque Morris Island Inlet on Folly Beach. Since that’s one of my favorite areas to shoot in, we decided to meet there for their photo shoot. The late evening light was gorgeous, we got some KILLER images, and Graham and Clint were able to check one of their bucket-list items off the list!!!

To be the best of the best, Graham & Clint have to push their bodies to extreme limits. I thought, what better way to put the new Nikon D500 to the test, than to use it for this shoot? The snappy 10 fps allowed me to capture micro bursts of peak action. The beautiful 21MP sensor delivered excellent dynamic range. And the lighter weight body made it a lot less tiring to hand-hold.

But what most impressed me was the AF sensor’s ability to focus in extreme back-light situations. For the photos where the sunset is behind Graham and Clint, the subject is completely black and you have to squint really hard into the sun just to see their shadowy outline. Previous to this camera, I would have to take a couple steps to the side and acquire focus with the sun out of the frame…then step back into position to re-compose and shoot. With the D500, it effortlessly locked focused on the shadow-side of their faces without any trouble!

All images were photographed hand-held with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII. Natural light was augmented with 3 Nikon SB-800 flashes on my home-made triple-threat mount, attached to a Manfrotto 3333 light-stand off-camera. The setup was triggered via a Nikon SB-800 master flash on-camera, using a RadioPopper Px transmitter to communicate to the others.

I owe a HUGE Thank You to Graham & Clint for suffering through the humidity and bugs on a muggy Charleston evening! But we had a BLAST, and they were AMAZING to work with!!! You can follow their crazy life at #clintstagraham, where you’re sure to be inspired to better fitness. 🙂

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