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Recently I had a magazine assignment to photograph Christopher Schafer and the miniature skate park he had built in his backyard. Schafer, a clothing designer, has always had a passion for skateboarding so he built a 16-by-30-foot half-pipe in his yard. Skateboarding and custom suits are not normally synonymous but we thought photographing Schafer and his family on the half-pipe wearing their custom suits would be a fun touch. Although the feature is about the skate park he built in his yard, I found the trees to be a little distracting, so I decided to set up a couple of lights to light the subjects while letting the trees go dark. Avoiding lens flair from the lights and trying to balance what was left of the ambient light was a bit tricky.

The goal was to still get the feeling that we were in his yard, but focus the attention to the structure and the skateboarders. The lights definitely helped add some punch to the image and managed to keep the trees from being a distraction.

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