Here are a few of my favorite images of cowboys doing their thing during the Wrangler Champion Challenge at Silver Spurs Arena on October 4th, 2014.
Octavian Cantilli

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This was a collaborative effort among friends strictly for the fun and love of photography. Doing shoots for this purpose rejuvenates the creative juices and keeps you visually young sort to speak. The concept here was to execute a series of fashion and active lifestyle poses with the use of water frozen with Broncolor’s new ultra short flash duration battery packs, the Move 1200L.
MODELS: Anthony Williams, Austin O’Brien, Brandyce Casella, Cameron Gagne, Darcy Harkins, Shana Albers
MAKEUP ARTIST: Paula Abraham
LOCATION: Studio One
H2O WRANGLERS: Chelsea Jones and Kerry Ward
CO-PRODUCERS: Eric Dean and Octavian Cantilli
Octavain Cantilli's Freeze Shoot

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For $1,100 to $1,400 either before or after the park opens to the public, you can rent Disney’s wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. A good friend asked me to photograph a private outing with a few of his co-workers, so I said sure. It turned out to be good times on a gorgeous, warm Florida morning with the golden light. Below are some of my favorite captures.

Here is a ridiculous behind the scenes story. The longest lens I have is a Nikon 200-400mm VRII, which on a D4 from land didn’t get me very close to where the waves break. Regardless that this wasn’t a paid shoot, I was there to make pictures I was proud of, so I ended up going wait deep into the pool to get close enough. Things got interesting when the wave hit me, but by raising the lens over my head, I managed to keep it dry the whole time. Maybe a couple drops got on it throughout the morning. All rubber frog shoes did their job. I should have been more worried about my shorts! I wasn’t expecting to go in the water so deep, so I wore my break-away snap-off shorts. One of the waves literally broke free all of the snaps except for one. I looked down, and my shorts were around my ankle (one ankle!)! Luckily, I wasn’t free balling it, and no one except the lady lifeguard with binoculars took notice… lol041314TyphoonLagoon01W

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My goal for this bull riding event of the 2014 Silver Spurs Rodeo was to create a system that once actuated would capture four angles of the same moment in time, with all four cameras using the light from the same strobe system. Getting all of the angles in focus and unobstructed by a clown, the back side of a bull or other cowboys standing around was extremely hard, and within each set of moments captured, one image/angle always jumped out as being the best. By working in a small team, this system gives a client the most options and complete coverage possible. Sports Illustrated has used a similar system for decades to capture key moments from different angles of huge sporting events. From the technical side, there is a lot of problem solving involved in getting all this to work, and even more problem solving needed to make it work reliably. Luckily, I had previous experiments and knowledge from Robert Beck, Shawn Cullen and Joel Hawksley to start from. I’m going to keep the technical stuff out of this blog post, but if there is enough interest, I’ll geek out on a later post. Last but sure as heck not least, a big THANK YOU for the generous help of my friends, Dam LeClair, who helped set up and position the lights, and Paula Bowers, Willie J. Allen Jr., Eric Dean and Roberto Gonzalez, who each focused a camera from one of the ground level shooting poisons on one of the two event days. Going forward, I’ll try this system out again in “motion studies” during more controlled and set up situations.


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The Kissimmee Getaway Airport is the home of the Warbirds Museum along with Precious Metal, a World War II era modified P51D race Mustang. On Saturday, January 25th, pilot Thom Richard and a group of volunteers removed the monster Rolls-Royce supercharged V12 out of the plane in order to take it from its current 2,000 HP to an estimated 3,500 HP! The build up will involve sending the bottom end to a custom builder in England. The team is hoping to have the new engine ready to be reinstalled in three months giving them plenty of time to have the plane ready to compete in the Reno Air Races held in Nevada this September. For you fellow photo nerds out there, I lit this with 4 x Profoto D1 AIRs each set to 500 watts on magnum reflectors positioned at each corner of the hangar and raised as high as possible, and it was shot with 2 x Nikon D4s one on a 24-70mm f/2.8G and the other on a 14-24 f/2.8 ED. Each camera used a Profoto Air Remote to trigger the strobes.

Photos by Octavian Cantilli Photos by Octavian Cantilli

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