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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich

Corey Rich

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What Makes A Great Action Photo


Conceptualize the Shoot


Research Location / Wardrobe / Props for Action Shoot


Safety Tips for Action Photographers


What Gear Do I Need? Packing and Prep


Workflow and Asset Management


Ingesting and Organizing Files


Editing Down Your Selects


Post Processing Overview


Working with Clients to Select Finals


Retouching & Post Processing: Image 1


Retouching & Post Processing: Image 2


Retouching & Post Processing: Image 3


Final Client Delivery


Introduction to Snow Athletes


Setting up the Shot: Using Natural Light


Getting that First Action Shot: Snow Park


Scouting Location for Action Shot: Snow Park


Capturing Variation of Snow Park Action Shot


Refining the Snow Park Action Shot


Action Shot with Strobes Overview


Shoot: Action Shot with Strobes


How to Light Using Strobes


Action Shoot: Snow Park with Strobes


Refining the Snow Park Action Shoot: Using Strobes


Capturing Variation with Snow Park Athletes


Capturing Portraits: Snowboarder


Capturing Portrait: Skier


Shoot: Feature Jump Action Shot Afternoon Natural Light


Introduction to Today's Shoot


Building a Rapport with the Athlete: BMX Rider


Scouting Location for Action Shot: Indoor BMX Park & Natural Light


Getting the First Action Shot: BMX


Conceptualizing the Action Shot: BMX


Prepping Gear & Refining the Action Shot: BMX


Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Natural Light


Setting up Remote Cameras


Capturing BMX Action Shots: Remote Cameras


Conceptualizing the Shot: Using Strobes in Indoor BMX Park


Lighting with Strobes: Indoor BMX Park


Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Strobes


Capturing Variations of BMX Athlete


Shoot High Angle Action Shot: BMX Rider


Directing an Athlete Portrait: Indoors


Lighting a Portrait: Indoor BMX Athlete


Portrait Demo: Indoors BMX Athlete


Portrait Demo: Adding Atmosphere


Transmitting Live from the Field


Panel Q&A


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hey everybody, how's it going? Welcome to CreativeLive. I'm Chase Jarvis, I am gonna be your host for the first part of this class. If you don't know anything about me, not only am I Chase Jarvis but the CEO and co-founder of CreativeLive so this is an unusual role for me but not really because my only career prior to starting CreativeLive was as an action sports photographer. I spent my whole life in this industry so I feel like I'm reasonably well-qualified to kick this broadcast off. It's a thing that's been a dream come true for me, we've been working with Red Bull Photography over the course of the past year to bring this to you. It is a class that's never before happened. You're gonna get to see the insides of the industry, how to make pictures a living and a life in the action sports photo industry. Today's, gosh, the whole class, the class, you are going to go to places you've never gone to before and your guide for this journey is a man named Corey Rich. Before I bring him out...

here I have to say a couple things about Corey. This is a guy that I watched come up in the photo industry faster than probably anybody and doing so across so many different sports, in climbing, in kayaking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding. He is really, really a master of all of these things. So to be able to collaborate with CreativeLive, Corey Rich, and Red Bull Photography, this has been a dream come true and you guys are in for a huge treat. So we've got some great students that are also Red Bull Photographers. We'll introduce them in a little bit but I'd like to ask for a warm round of applause for my man, the myth, the legend, Corey Rich. In the house. (audience applauding) I wish these, well, I'm sure over the course of the next, gosh, we don't like to talk in days because this things gonna live on and on but over the course of the next number of lessons they're gonna learn so much from you but they're also like, we are at a cabin in the middle of Tahoe here, are we not? That's right, one of my favorite places on the planet, my favorite place actually. My favorite, yeah, good catch, good correction. We've also got some Red Bull photographers here from all over the world. They've come to learn from you in this particular class and you guys, as you know, are proxy's for the whole world. We're in this little cabin here in Tahoe, we're gonna be, where are we gonna go actually over the course of the next couple days? We will end up, we're gonna spend the day today talking more conceptually around what makes a great photograph, the business of action adventure photography. Really we're in the house today, we're gonna get into some kind of the post production, the gear, the workflow. And then tomorrow we're going to North Star to the terrain park which will be really fun to be outside. Weather might be a challenge but that's part of the game. That's real life, right? Yeah, that's right, that's right. And then on day three we're gonna go to Woodward which is one of the most remarkable parks for BMX, learning to do aerials for athletes. Another amazing facility and we'll create another set of challenges which is really that's adventure action sports photography is problem solving on the fly in the field in tough conditions. Well there's so much lore about Tahoe, about Woodward, about you and your work that we're gonna of course peel back that onion, and Red Bull. They have stood for action sports for a long time, feel really, really lucky to be collaborating with you and that brand. Tell us a little bit about what the first sort of lesson's gonna be and what do you wanna talk about to kick this broadcast off? 'Cause I know the folks at home, you've got thousands of people watching from all over the world live and they wanna go in and see what you have to talk about. Sure, and you know the one thing I will say, it just struck me as we're sitting here in this chairs and I'm staring at a Red Bull refrigerator in the corner. It just hit me all at once that it's almost we've just come full circle. It must have been 65 years ago, which we're both going on that I was in Seattle working on a project for National Public Radio and my buddy happened to be living a few blocks from your office. And I remember walking by this photographer's office, Chase Jarvis, and there was a glowing Red Bull refrigerator in the back of your office. And I thought, visionary. Like this guy is visionary that he has that-- Because I had a Red Bull fridge, there you go, that's all it takes. Well you know, you just understood, like that's right, that's right. You understood that you needed energy. But here we are, honestly close to 20 years later and not only did you have this remarkable career but you've created this teaching and sharing opportunity which is CreativeLive and Red Bull has come back into the fold. The sort of a beginning and here we are 20 years later and this is what's possible which is-- Yes, it's remarkable that the full circle, as you mentioned, I did contribute to, I was the first photographer in the U.S. to contribute to the Red Bull photo files back in, dare I say like the 90s? And to flip it back to you, I remember as I said in my intro seeing you come up so quickly through so many different outlets. I remember looking at great photographs, all the top brands that you had shot in all of the action sports photography magazines that we cherish so deeply. Well, I know that you wanted to talk about some photographs in the first lesson here, take it away, I'm happy to ride shotgun. Again, my role here is the host, this is the guy who's gonna be taking you on the journey, your trusted guide, mentor, and should we, are we talking about anymore context or do you wanna get right in? Yeah, you know, why don't I give an overview? So, like I said, top level. We're gonna be in this room in this cabin in Truckee for the next, today, all day today. Overview of the course which I think is really valuable. So segment one, it's what makes a great action photo? And we thought that would be a fun dialogue for Chase and I to have. We're gonna look at pictures, some our photos, some from the Red Bull content pool, and actually just dissect them. Maybe weave a few yarns in the process and tell some back stories. And then in the last 15 minutes or so of this segment, we wanna talk about the business. How do you turn this into your lifestyle? What does that transition look like? What are some of those sort of fundamental rules to live by that allow you to make this a living, make this a lifestyle really? Segment two we're gonna get into really conceptualizing the shot. How do you preconceive an idea? What is the sort of methodology to going from idea to reality and depressing that shutter to capture an amazing photograph? We'll talk about location, wardrobe, props, get into safety. My saying is, "safety is no accident." And then we're gonna talk about the gear. What are we gonna use in the terrain park? What are gonna use at Woodward for BMX? Third segment, workflow. I think this is the least sexy of the segments-- But it's so important. It's so important, that's right. It's so important. One of my philosophies, and you're gonna figure this out over the next three days, it's not just what I know, it's about building a team of people that are incredible. Surround yourself by people that are smarter, more talented, more handsome, funnier. And it turns out, when you have that group around you-- We've got that figured out. (laughing) Yeah, that's right, that's exactly right. Turn the camera around and show you what's on the other side. That's right, that's why it's working. That's exactly right. So workflow and asset management, segment number three. And then segment number four will be post-processing or retouching. And it's really from the moment you've downloaded the images, they're backed up safely, it's how do you make it go from that good raw file to that amazing image that gets delivered to your client? And how do you deliver that image to your client? So we have a ton of information today that we're gonna cover. These are kind of specific break outs of the days. Let's not worry about this now, big picture, we're here today, we're going to the mountain tomorrow, we're going to Woodward on day three. Lots to shoot. We're gonna be working with remarkable athletes. This is Cody LaPlante. And this is a pretty special CreativeLive in the sense that I guess it's my backyard so this sort of makes sense. But Cody is a kid that I've been photographing since he was about like this tall. I remember shooting him in a ski school shoot years ago and now, gosh, he's only 14 years old I believe and he is one of the best park skiers, I think it's safe to say in the world at 14 years old. So it'll be incredible to be out there with Cody. His career is definitely doing this and I think it's because he's cut from an amazing fabric, the LaPlante family fabric of superstars. Dylan Zellers, Dylan is another guy that is from the actual Truckee area and I also have known Dylan since he was about this tall. Dylan's actually famous for, or his skillset is really big mountain riding and back country terrain. But he's volunteered to come into the park. And I think there's a great lesson in what we'll do with Dylan. Often times, you're put into situations where everything is not perfect. In fact, I think it's safe to say 99% of the time, it's not perfect, it's not the right conditions, the athlete might not be in best shape or it might not even be their discipline, but no one wants to hear those excuses. They just wanna see you bring back great, compelling photographs. So it'll be fun. Dylan already warned us, "I need 4,000 vertical feet of Alaskan spine "to really show you what I do." But we're bringing him to a park and so I think there will be a lesson in that. And then we have Corey Martinez on day three. Corey is a legend in the BMX world. And here's a little video of Corey doing his thing. He sort of makes the impossible possible on bikes. I would encourage anyone that doesn't do this, just try it on your mountain bike and see how it goes. I think it's a good way to appreciate his skillset. A remarkable athlete and definitely some great photo opportunities because he can just deliver anything that we request. And that's one of the realities you're gonna learn. When you do work with great athletes and you have your act together as a photographer, that's the perfect combination. So true. Great talent, the right tools, the right mindset, the right environment, that's the recipe for success. But I thought what we would do, Chase and I could probably do this for six hours. Oh I would get a lot of joy for doing it for a long time but I think you're right, it's gonna add a lot of value to kick this class off with this-- And what we wanna do is actually just look at some pictures and talk about what makes a great photograph. And I think what you're gonna realize is that it's important to be your toughest critic. And you will see Chase and I do that with one another's photos, with some of the content pool photos, it's just really being willing to say, it's okay to pat yourself on the back and say, "Hey, great frame," and then tear it apart. And then figure out what could I have done better? What worked, what didn't work? And that's really what we're gonna do. We have I'm guessing 20 or so pictures, maybe 25 pictures that we're gonna look at over the next, oh, 40, 45 minutes. And by all means, you guys are here for a reason. You guys are talented photographers, you have great portfolios, you think about photography every waking hour of your lives hopefully, and don't be afraid to ask questions at any point. Just fire them out. And let's kick this off. So, you will see, by the way, you will see the name of the athlete and you will see the photographer's name. I think that's one of the beauties of our craft actually is that we get credit for what we do. I think we'll talk about that a little bit in the world of the business of action and adventure sports photography. It turns out, a lot of careers launch simply by having your name at the bottom of photographs. That is certainly how I first became aware of so many photographers, you included. Seeing your name in different advertisements and all of those magazines that we sort of talked about off camera and the ones that people see on the newsstand. Your name is always very, very prominent there. You know, you said something last night, Chase. We were having beers last night and you made a comment which was, I thought, both astute but also a great intro to this whole course and it was around this idea that adventure photography, action sports photography forces you to work in kind of the least ideal conditions imaginable meaning you're not in a controlled environment nine times out of ten. The weather is a factor, the athlete's health is a factor, they're doing complicated tricks and so it's not repetitious. Often times it's a one time deal. You're traveling, often times you're in the wrong time zone, you're eating bad food, you're sleeping on someone's couch. The location is like on the side of a mountain, you're literally repelling hundreds of feet down. That's right, getting to the spot is hard. So true. And you made a statement that really, as I closed my eyes last night it was the last thing I was thinking about and I think it's what's so relevant about this course, is if your roots are adventure action sports photography, if you can make this career work, it's really this jumping off point to virtually anything. If you can make it work in this career, it forces you to work in these challenging conditions, it forces you to problem solve, you have to be this one man band. You're Bob Dylan with like the drum pedal, the harmonica, the guitar, and you're doing all of these things at once. Later in life, and case in point, this guy, you evolve into doing larger advertising commercial shoots, directing films, running a company that's all about education with 120 employees that broadcasts to the world. But the roots, the common thread amongst a lot of really interesting people is adventure and action sports were the core and that's whether as an athlete or whether as a photographer. It's the perfect foundation for lots of opportunity later on in life. It's so true. And I think this class is designed for people who aspire to be or to learn more about action sports photography but it really is for anyone because if you can sort of understand what it takes to make it, make a good picture, make a living in this industry, you really, literally can make it anywhere. I think this is the hardest charging, hardest working group of people that I know in photography and if you're hanging on the side of a mountain and getting a shot while it's snowing and the wind's blowing 40 miles an hour, you can certainly do that in the studio and all the other places that are remarkably less challenging or less dynamic. So this prepares you for so much, there's no question about it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Action Sport Photography Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

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!

Zoe Heimdal

I really enjoyed this class! I am not an "action sports photographer" -- just an avid photo enthusiast, and I found this class highly informative/interesting. Corey has a very down-to-earth quality in the way he presents information... a regular guy, who knows a ton, and is sharing his wisdom. Clearly many topics/tips were off-the-cuff as he ran into situations during his shoots -- it just felt very "real" -- like I was there with him, getting a private lesson. There was quite a bit of info dealing with camera cards/photos/apps that was ubiquitous to any photographer. And then it was interesting to hear about his travel bags and what he brings to shoots (a ridiculous amount of gear, but everything with a purpose). There are hours of on-site filming for an outdoor ski and an indoor bmx shot... with Cory trying/failing/succeeding in many attempts at things -- just like a real photo shoot would happen. His advice for capturing a good/workable shot from the get-go and then spending the time on the riskier/more-creative shots, was solid -- as far as keeping your clients happy no matter what. I was genuinely surprised at how interesting/useful I found this class (being that I rarely take action shots) -- and I'd encourage any photo enthusiast, or person in the earlier stages of any professional photography career, to check out this class. My one piece of constructive criticism for Cory/CreativeLive -- try to represent women? This class only had the briefest of inclusion of females, and left me with the impression (I'm hoping incorrectly), that the world of action sports photography, is a man's world.

Student Work