Tiger Woods Golf Digest
Tiger Woods rarely gets boxed in, unless you're talking about setting up his Golf Digest January cover with the five most coveted trophies in golf.
Photographer Dom Furore built a floor-to-ceiling white box approximately 10' wide by 9' high by 15' long with seamless background paper, a white floor, and a white fabric overhead to ensure that all of the gleaming silver trophies did not create any unwanted reflections. When light fell off the all-white decor, Furore explained, it gave a smooth gradation from white to gray.
Similar to the overheads used on movie sets, this giant white cube was built to cage one very oft-photographed Woods. Only Furore could see him through the tiny hole he cut in the paper in front of the camera. Though the white room took hours to assemble, Woods and his trophies presented other obstacles.
Furore had to figure out where to place the trophies--not to mention that Woods put his paws around each of them--for the perfect perspective. He bought bar stools and patio blocks and went to work with Golf Digest's Art Director Nick DiDio.
While it took 121/2 hours to set up the temporary photo studio at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, Furore took just 10 minutes of Woods' clock-like schedule the next morning--and that included shooting other VIPs. An armed security guard stayed overnight to ensure that no one would disturb the makeshift studio, or the Masters, US Open, British Open, US Amateur, and PGA Championship trophies (from left to right) in the photo.
"We wanted the focus to be Tiger and his trophies, not, 'Gee, they sure did dress funny back then," said Bev Norwood, a vice president at IMG. Part soothsayer and fully on the Woods trail, Norwood initiated discussions of re-creating the 1930 classic photo of golf legend Bobby Jones posing with his four major championship trophies before Woods won the US Open and the British Open last summer to complete golf's coveted Grand Slam.
The classic look of the Jones' photo (Jack Nicklaus also posed with his four major trophies in the 1970s) set tight parameters for Furore, who said that "it left little room to be creative. But if nothing else I wanted to make sure that it was perfectly lit." Two twists made the shot challenging.
Furore used a hairlight (Chimera Pro 14x56") and a 40 fabric grid to separate Woods from the custom-made, dark charcoal Tanner background. And he lit the midnight-blue velvet draped under the trophies with a Plume Wafer Strip 100.
"I'm good at the shiny stuff," says Furore, who has shot golf clubs for 15 years. "The velvet was really the tricky part."
Two Plume 200 wafers stacked together on the left foreground served as the main light, and Furore used two identical units just to the right of the camera as his fill light.
He shot with a Hasselblad 503CW with a 120mm f/4 Macro-Planar lens, Gitzo tripod and Arca-Swiss ball tripod head at 1/125 sec at f/8. He used Fujichrome Astia 120 film, ISO 100 with normal processing.
Sales from prints of the photo will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation. Framed and matted prints are available exclusively from Famous Photography Inc., www.famousphotography.com