Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich

Lesson 22/50 - Action Shot with Strobes Overview


Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich


Lesson Info

Action Shot with Strobes Overview

We shot Cody LaPlante and Dylan Zellers this morning, two incredible stewards of being great athletes. Not only are they great athletes, they're also good people, which goes a long way. They leave their attitude behind; they're all about being out here, pushing the limits, having fun. Today's less about pushing the limits for them; it's more about just making pictures and really teaching the process, learning the process of, how do we as action-adventure sports photographers make images in an outdoor-adventure environment or in the park today? So, we shot on a 35-foot jump this morning. I shot a couple of successful frames, moved to three positions. I failed; I went in my second position, didn't work. Framed up through the trees, never saw the athlete, or too low in the frame. Second position, or my kind of alternate position, on the other side of the jump: as I was fumbling, changed the exposure, blew it. That's the nature of the beast. You just have to kind of understand where you ar...

e, and try to correct with your next shot. Now we've moved across the park, and we're at a pretty cool rail. And the plan is to illustrate how we use strobes. So, of course we're using pro photos. And I thought what I would do is actually start by shooting available light. So Dylan and Cody, they've already taken a couple of practice runs on the rail. We're gonna go ahead and shoot available light; I'll show you what the challenges of available light are, and we'll analyze that photograph, and then we'll actually start adding strobes to the scene so that we can see what's possible with strobes. I'm gonna give kind of a disclaimer, and this is really important: this is not when I would typically choose to go out and shoot with strobes. When you look at some of the best action-adventure photographs out there today, they typically happen early in the morning, and they happen late in the evening when the sun is low in the sky; you have beautiful light. And the reason for that is we're gonna be using high-speed sync. I'm shooting at a thousandth of a second, two thousandths of a second. And you need a lot of power, and it works to be low-light, so low ambient exposure, and then that high-speed sync really works. So, let's actually, I'm gonna grab my D5. We're gonna shoot some natural light first; I'll show you what that looks like, and then we'll illustrate what does it look like when we add some strobe to that same situation? So, everything won't be perfect, you're gonna see us fumbling, trying to get it to work. I like to create the illusion it's always perfect, straight outta the gate. That's not how it normally works. You just only see the final product. Here, you're seeing how the sausage is made. All right.

Class Description

Being an action sports photographer is about more than getting freeze frames of famous athletes. It’s about documenting the experience of people for whom the line between passion and work is blurred. At his or her best, the action photographer tells compelling stories that show us at our most daring, fearless, and adventurous.

Corey Rich is one of the world's leading outdoor adventure and action sports photographers, adept at distilling the essence of extreme action sports and adventure travel and lifestyle.  In addition to documenting extreme sports for Red Bull, Corey has worked for many of the biggest brands in the world.  This is your opportunity to follow Corey as he prepares for a shoot on location, and learn how he evokes powerful brand stories like those he has made for Red Bull. 

Join us for this live class, and you will learn:

  • How to work with a client, and shoot with their brand in mind
  • How to prepare yourself and your gear for a shoot in an extreme environment
  • How to take photos of extreme sports pros, and work with variable light conditions

This class will stream live from the location of the shoot in Lake Tahoe. Corey will be shooting Red Bull athletes as they perform at Ski Mountain Terrain Park and at a nearby BMX park. There will also be a live session from a Tahoe cabin to discuss photo theory and Corey’s experience of building his photo practice and working for Red Bull. 


1Class Introduction 2What Makes A Great Action Photo 3Conceptualize the Shoot 4Research Location / Wardrobe / Props for Action Shoot 5Safety Tips for Action Photographers 6What Gear Do I Need? Packing and Prep 7Workflow and Asset Management 8Ingesting and Organizing Files 9Editing Down Your Selects 10Post Processing Overview 11Working with Clients to Select Finals 12Retouching & Post Processing: Image 1 13Retouching & Post Processing: Image 2 14Retouching & Post Processing: Image 3 15Final Client Delivery 16Introduction to Snow Athletes 17Setting up the Shot: Using Natural Light 18Getting that First Action Shot: Snow Park 19Scouting Location for Action Shot: Snow Park 20Capturing Variation of Snow Park Action Shot 21Refining the Snow Park Action Shot 22Action Shot with Strobes Overview 23Shoot: Action Shot with Strobes 24How to Light Using Strobes 25Action Shoot: Snow Park with Strobes 26Refining the Snow Park Action Shoot: Using Strobes 27Capturing Variation with Snow Park Athletes 28Capturing Portraits: Snowboarder 29Capturing Portrait: Skier 30Shoot: Feature Jump Action Shot Afternoon Natural Light 31Introduction to Today's Shoot 32Building a Rapport with the Athlete: BMX Rider 33Scouting Location for Action Shot: Indoor BMX Park & Natural Light 34Getting the First Action Shot: BMX 35Conceptualizing the Action Shot: BMX 36Prepping Gear & Refining the Action Shot: BMX 37Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Natural Light 38Setting up Remote Cameras 39Capturing BMX Action Shots: Remote Cameras 40Conceptualizing the Shot: Using Strobes in Indoor BMX Park 41Lighting with Strobes: Indoor BMX Park 42Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Strobes 43Capturing Variations of BMX Athlete 44Shoot High Angle Action Shot: BMX Rider 45Directing an Athlete Portrait: Indoors 46Lighting a Portrait: Indoor BMX Athlete 47Portrait Demo: Indoors BMX Athlete 48Portrait Demo: Adding Atmosphere 49Transmitting Live from the Field 50Panel Q&A


a Creativelive Student

If you're looking to learn from one of the greats of action photography who also happens to be an incredible instructor, look no further! Corey Rich and his fantastic team will show you every facet of being a great action photographer and they share all of their insights from A to Z. Their instruction is heartfelt and they laid it all out there for everyone's benefit. A huge thank you to Creative Live and Red Bull Photography for bringing this to the world. This is a must have class in your library!


One of the best photographic purchases I've made. Big fan of Corey Rich's work and getting a behind the scenes look at how he works and thinks was thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. Corey and the others also provided a great amount of insight into the business world behind action sports photography.