Retouching & Post Processing: Image 2


Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich


Lesson Info

Retouching & Post Processing: Image 2

I've opened the two images for this Dawn Wall thing. So obviously what we're going to do here is we're actually going to combine two physical images to make one. And so you can see, Corey's in a very similar position, hanging on the wall. This is when it works really well. You know, things have to be shot in a similar style as far as lens choice, as far as location, camera position. So you can see here, he shot a proper exposure, close to a proper exposure for the subject, Tommy climbing on the wall, and then opened up a few stops here to allow for this background to come through. And he's shooting in the middle of the night. So it's really dark. He's trying to handhold here. You can see here that it's, you know, a quarter of a second, so it's pretty slow, and just trying to pull some of that detail out of the background. This is where camera raw works really well because we have these really, really dark shadows over here, and we want to kind of draw some of that detail out of there. ...

And it's worth pointing out, I know this when I'm shooting these photos. This is why you shoot raw that we have a ton of latitude in terms of what we can pull out of that shadow detail. So quick and dirty, again, I kind of walked you through, you know, a quick rundown of the camera raw there, but this time I'm going to open two images here. And what we want to do here is ultimately have that climber be in this position, which is a very similar position. It's just that he was blown out here with the headlamps that they're using and some bike lights that they had on the wall there. And so just sort of as a quick rough, what I want to do, is I really want to grab this frame, part of this frame, and move it to the other frame, the other image. I'm going to quickly just use the lasso tool here. You could pick and drag the entire image and make a new layer on top of the other image. The lasso tool is up here in your tool bar, or L as a shortcut. And what that allows me to do is just kind of quick and dirty, rough draw selection, on top of this image. I'm going to command C, which is copy that selection, and command V, which pastes that selection in a new layer. I'll grab that layer, click and drag literally, so that I can then move that layer onto this new image. And so you can see here, without doing much, we've sort of started to assemble a photograph that is the direction that we're heading. Now this gets a little tricky just because of exposure differences and such, but ultimately what we want this to do is look like one cohesive image. So what we want to do is just quickly move, you can see I have my move tool, which is these four arrows, also known as shortcut V there, is to try to move this image so that we kind of match up slightly with the rock here, and we can create, since this image is so underexposed, we don't even know where the edge of the rock is, we can sort of create that line against the original rock. Skyline there, profile of El Cap. Again, there's multiple ways to do this. We could use a layer mask feature, very similar to what I do with curves in my adjustment layers there, and literally kind of paint in what we want there and what we don't want there. Just for sake of time, I'm just going to kind of quickly go in and rough this out. What I've done is I've changed this layer on top of the background layer. I've changed its opacity, so how much it shows through to the background layer and brought that down a bit so you can see it starts to show through. You can change that to whatever's comfortable for you, but you want to be able to see both images so that you kind of know where you're adjusting. I've then taken my eraser tool, which is again down here or a shortcut of E, and with, you know, brush size that works, and again I've come over and my opacity is down on my brush, which is why it's not taking away everything that you see. And I would just come in and quickly kind of rough out the edge of El Cap here, so that then it ultimately looks like it lines up and matches the frame. And again, this is a little detail-oriented. I would probably be pretty zoomed in here and working in small bits and little details, but for the sake of time we're going to kind of do this roughed out. And so obviously we're going to make some editorial decisions about where this line is, where is El Cap. It's not about precision. It's more about, we're trying to create this aesthetic, which is you're seeing Tommy in one half of the frame, and you're seeing the valley floor in the other half of the frame. One of the other decisions that you're now seeing is we decided to burn down Kevin laying on top of that ledge, put him back into blackness. I think he actually disappeared almost entirely in our final image. Correct. And so again. Very similar. We're making some decisions about how do we selective adjustment, comping out. But what you see happening here, and you know, if we were really doing this, that El Cap tower just to the left, that would also become black because that's what the eye sees. The moon is not catching that tower just below Tommy. Correct. And we can just open up quickly here and see. How are we doing on time? How much time do we? Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes, all right. So we'll spend a couple more minutes here, as we're. So you can see again here, this is a final Photoshop file here where I've taken the background copies to the original image there, and just shown you kind of the adjustments that have been done to kind of, and you can see as Corey said, we took editorial liberal, we made the decision of where we wanted the edge of El Cap to be. And we know it's there, and it's not like we're trying to fake that necessarily, but it is farther away. I'm realizing now it's steeper. It got steeper in the upper left corner.

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.