As the Olympic gold medalist had told Heisler, “This is your lucky day, man.” Find out the fascinating story behind this amazing shot straight from the photographer’s mouth after the, well, jump!
Motion and infrared photography are tricky enough to try separately, and to combine them in a single attempt is just plain crazy. But renowned photographer Gregory Heisler, whose work has graced the pages and covers of respected magazines such as Life, Time, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The New York Times, did just that when he photographed Olympian Greg Louganis in an assignment for Life.
In a three-minute video, part of the Master Series Lecture by the Maine Media Workshops + College, Heisler himself said that it had been “a super bad idea.” The film he used was 4×5 infrared, “and it’s like ASA 0 and needs weird filters and it’s horrible.” However, he thought the film’s “very strange quality” would go perfectly well with the “dream-like, altered state” that athletes say they often go through during their events.
On top of working with a difficult kind of film, Louganis promised Heisler that he would only give him five dives for safety reasons because a week before their shoot, the athlete had already performed more than a hundred dives off a 10-meter platform for another photographer shooting for Speedo ads.
Believe it or not, though, the resulting image wasn’t even taken during any of the five instances that Louganis dived off the platform for Heisler. Watch as Heisler recalls his amazing story with humor in the video below!
Via ISO 1200.