Hoka One One, an athletic shoe company best known for oversized outsoles, dubbed "maximalist" shoes due to extra cushion. This is in contrast to the minimalist shoes trend that was gaining popularity at the time of the company's founding in 2009. To emphasize the product feature, creative shop Kayser&Co. envisioned “cloud runners” to convey the lightness of the shoes and the cushion that gives runners a sense of flying over the earth.
Kayser&Co. selected Marek to capture runners, dancers and gymnasts that would combine with cloud imagery to create dreamlike silhouettes of runners inspired by the work of Belgian surrealist René Magritte.
“I set the shoot up on a soundstage to provide ample space for my talent to have uninhibited expression of athletic performance. Even with high powered fans, crash mats, a trampoline, and runners blocks the space felt very open and aided in achieving a variety of looks to the frozen moments of the cloud runners.”
“Lighting was designed in such a way that we’d have flexibility to incorporate a certain amount of lighting on the athletes or dial it out for a total silhouette without damaging edge detail for a very high-resolution finish.”
Additionally, special studio strobes were selected that had extremely short, action stopping flash durations. “Even though our athletes were leaping through frame, there’s no part of them that isn’t pixel sharp at medium format resolution. They were frozen at 1/13,500th of a second”
Triggering the camera was done with a handheld wired remote. “Having a big handgrip with a thumb button on top allowed for the most reflexive, quick reaction to nail the timing. Also, I found I got better results when I viewed the approach in my peripheral vision. I think we have an evolutionary survival trait of being able to detect motion in the corner of our eye.” Getting the timing right consistently was important to not have wasted takes and miss the perfect performance.
Hoka is a subsidiary of Deckers Brands which includes well known footware UGG, Teva, and Sanu