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Refining the Snow Park Action Shot

Lesson 21 from: Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich

Corey Rich

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Lesson Info

21. Refining the Snow Park Action Shot


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

Refining the Snow Park Action Shot

So Bret I think we're gonna move to this up and skiers right position and shoot longer lens. Okay. That didn't really, wasn't very fruitful. Okay. Now as it turns out, the top is so wide that they're barely visible. Okay. So they were just really low in the frame. So kinda cut the losses, shoot something interesting. So this is great, this is perfect, we'll make this work. Okay. So let's, I'm gonna switch to 70 to 200. See how long that is compression wise. (inaudible speaking) How did that work for you, that shot? Uh it was okay. It's not high enough but I mean. Yeah. I wanted to have the silhouette right in the middle of the sun and starburst it. Right. It hit a little bit lower and made a really poor shadow on the foreground but I kinda cropped it out. Right. Well that's alright, I think this is, you know for us down there we realized it was kind of a non, it wasn't the perfect location without a lot of work and so I think this is again, I would, this is anot...

her safe shot. Like we know we can nail a 70 to 200 style shot here. Compressed, so let me, oh I'm gonna tether. Let me just shoot a frame and see how we're doin'. (camera shutter clicks) Okay. (camera shutter clicks) Okay. Alright, let's tether. I'm sorry I'll just move my hand, cool. Alright, so guys in these environments you know we're talking about this idea of you know wide shot, I'll just frame it up and let them move through the shot. This is all totally treated differently. I'll actually track with them and try to really maintain focus throughout the frame. This is now, so I'm using, it's the 3D tracking. And so you can either use Group Area-AF for 3D tracking but really it's pretty impressive how it locks onto the subject. So I'll roughly frame my shot and I'll try two different ways. Actually I'll try it once where I'll actually track with him and then once where I let them pass through the frame and let the autofocus system grab 'em and it's pretty impressive the way these cameras work today. You're on which camera is that? We're on D4. D4 yeah, this is like the new... Yeah, yeah, Group-area AF I think came in the D4S and then I think we get this, it's even more refined now in the D5. What do you guys put your settings through the 1DX? (speaking inaudibly off camera) Do you ever change any like autofocus settings? And so one of the things I find if your on the D4 is obviously we're in continuous autofocus. And I'll actually...I'll follow the skier in so I'll actually literally follow in and hold with him because once the camera locks onto them then we're not gonna lose them. But the hardest thing to do which I think group area A is pretty good at, is you know if this were an olympic style event and your downhill and you can't track him in. Since this camera's remarkable, actually as he's coming over the lift it locks on. Yeah It's incredible. In these environments, I'd prefer to actually follow him in and then you know, follow him out of the frame. Right. Yeah cool Okay. So guys I think wherever you want to be. Yeah go for it, wherever your interested in. I think just give him a clean line in. I guess for those of you that are watching from home so now we're still just taking advantage of the natural light, shooting fully front lit, so the sun is behind me, it's like having a giant light, the sun, the biggest light of all, directly on the subject and so it gives us an opportunity to really have clean front light, we can shoot low iso, super fast shutter speed, I'm at one three thousand and two hundredth of a second so really fast shutter speed, their gonna be totally locked off in the shot which helps quite a bit. Bret can you check exposure on the computer? If I actually give you a frame. Yeah go for it. How does that look Bret? Looks good. Good. Okay. That's 1/3200 of a second and 5/6 and it looks like that Dylan that we've got up there. Are you still at 400? 400 I can drop down. Okay let's go.. Okay I'm down to 200 so I'm dropping down to 1600. Bret how does this look? Real Good. Cool. Okay. Let's send Dylan. And let's get Dylan the direction we want, slow, stalled out grab, like I'd rather even no spinning, it's just gonna look better on camera. (inaudible speaking) Alright so Dylan we're gonna have you drop first, and again we'd love a slow, stalled grab over additional rotation so just whatever you want but just a stylish grab. Okay let's send him. Dylan drop when you're ready. And maybe let me know when he's dropping Bret. Dylan's dropping. Okay. And in this environment it's easy to kind of look uphill couple of seconds beforehand I'll yeah..yeah that's great. Alright. Three...Two...One... (camera shutter clicking repeatedly) Great. Okay. See that was nice. Super controlled environment makes it a lot easier to actually track him. How does this look on computer? I'll just look. Whose backpack is this? Hey Blyth? Can you clean up the knuckle there with that flag and that backpack? Maybe even just tuck it behind the knuckle from this perspective. Cool. That's nice. Super clean. Shallow dipped the field, I could almost step down. I'm gonna go. So I'm gonna step down to four. One..two..three..okay.. I think the same thing, just less spinning more just grabbed, stalled out. I think that's kind of the key ingredient. (inaudible speaking) (shutter clicking) Okay Bret can you just tell me exposure correct right there? I just made some adjustments. Yep Okay. (inaudible speaking) Sure yeah give us some variety. Yeah let's do it. Let's do it. Let's drop. Drop when you're ready. So Bret I went to I'm at 4 so we're gonna get shallow depth of the field, that was good exposure. Yeah. Okay. Great. Here he comes. Alright. Three...Two...One... (camera shutter clicking repeatedly) That was great. That was real nice. I can already see that with a little less depth of field it's gonna be a beautiful shot. Yeah. Nice. That's Great. Boy can ski. Great. How did that go for you? It went okay. Great. Let's see what you got. Let's see what you got. Turn it this way a little bit. Cool yeah I like that. I mean I like the way you're using that left side of the frame. You know obviously there's this challenge... Right. ...of the creative live camera op there but I think what you've got there is nice. This looks like you're more 70 millimeters. Great and are you sharp, locked in? Yeah. Good. Nice frame. Let's see what you've got. I'd love to check out. What happened? My focus fell off as soon as he came off the lift and as he was rotating back and the helmet and crosses all good. Got it. Just lost focus. Dylan's is okay. Got it. So you opted to go vertical which is nice, I like all of that dead space at the bottom of the frame. I kind of like these thirds, beautiful clouds in sky and then we have Dylan.. Yeah, yeah,'s a nice moment. I mean we are behind him so the reality is unless he's spinning we're gonna get him behind us. Let's see what you've got. See this the one with the longer lengs. Yeah that's nice. I like that. Cool. And this is full frame. Oh that was punched in. I kind of like that you know that flag is right on the edge of the frame which makes it a little bit tricky in terms of you know we're losing that, but I do like that you're actually you know you've squared it up I mean it almost feels like you're in an impossible position, and that you're sort of you know, spectators never get to stand directly behind the takeoff and I like that it's all squared up. Front light works here, it's like low enough in the sky, you know I think it's a nice frame. And you we're on a 1.4 converter. Yeah I wanted a little bit of compression. Got it. Got a little more compression. Alright. Okay. Well I think that was a really good taste of shooting in a terrain park, it's a little chaotic, we're on location, stuff doesn't always work as planned. We had some communication breakdown. Radios weren't working. That's normal. That's part of the game, it's figuring out how do you communicate with your athletes when your technology fails, you know we went from radio one to radio two back up to using iphones and eventually hand signals. I think you just have to be ready and be prepared for, that's how it works and you just need to make it happen. First angle that we shot worked pretty well. Beautiful safe shot, wide angle, big valley in the background. Angle two, it was a bust, we went down in the trees, we looked for kind of a through the tree perspective, add a foreground, let the subject fly through the midground and and beautiful background, we wanted sunflair, sun was in the wrong spot, the foreground that I chose, athletes were too low and that's one of the lessons is knowing when to call it, and when to say this isn't working, let's move on. So we moved up, so now we're above the feature for our last shot, we shot long lens compressed, everyone was sort of 70-200 millimeter zone, we could track the athletes in, it's a little safer frontlit and I think it's safe to say we all made pretty nice frames, but I think that's the nature of shooting in the park, working on location, the logistics of communicating. You just go for it. You make intelligent, informed decisions about what's working and what's not working and that's what makes it fun.

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