The Beauty of Parkour Photographed with a Flash and Some Flour


Dancers are often photographed with off-camera flashes and powder in order to capture their movement. Photographer Ben Franke recently completed a project titled Parkour Motion in which he used the same concept, except for parkour practitioners (called “traceurs”) rather than dancers.

Here’s what Franke tells us about the project:

I have been shooting the parkour scene in New York for the past few years. It’s a challenge for any photographer to convey authentic movement in a photograph — as it’s a 2D medium — but my series “Parkour Motion” attempts to translate motion by displaying the energy and power of these athletes.

The photos were shot over two days in Manhattan with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 24-70mm lens. They were lit using a 580EX flash with an umbrella and a reflector for a bit of fill. The trails were created using flour.










You can find larger versions of these photographs over in the gallery on Franke’s website.

Image credits: Photographs by Ben Franke and used with permission

  • pourio


  • Trent Chau

    idea is good, lighting could be a little better. But I love parkour so awesome.

  • fmfm

    I’ve seen this with the dancers and thought it was good. But this is a way better use of powder to show movement and motion.

  • fermin

    muy buenas todas las tomas! =)

  • Eziz

    It’s nice that you find it necessary to share your opinion :)

  • Trent Chau

    I know, isn’t America and the internet great?

  • Frank McKenna

    These shots are phenomenal, not sure what your referring to when you say lighting could be better. I think the lighting is pretty amazing with the flour trails and movement which is the whole point of the lighting effect.

  • Trent Chau

    Simplicity is good, but kickers can help. To keep the one light aspect though control of the spill so the focus is more on the movement and the artist rather than a pile of leaves. I don’t want to show my work, but would you like to see some done with flour a little ago that shows a couple more from my port?

    As mentioned the idea is great, criticism is only what people decide to take out of it. Not trying to say this is bad, but it’s obviously a start of a project and not what the conclusion will be. It can only get better.

  • zmaller

    It says he used an umbrella in the shots if you read his quote anyway, great way to show Parkour

  • Frank McKenna

    Yeah I see your point. Yeah I would love to check out your flour shots to see your recommendations.