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Capturing the Action: Lighting Set Up for Trail Running

Lesson 31 from: Advanced Lighting for Adventure Photography

Michael Clark

Capturing the Action: Lighting Set Up for Trail Running

Lesson 31 from: Advanced Lighting for Adventure Photography

Michael Clark

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Lesson Info

31. Capturing the Action: Lighting Set Up for Trail Running


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Evolution with Lighting


Why Use Artificial Lighting?


Pre-Production and Pre-Visualizing


Equipment: Overview of the Gear


Equipment: Selecting the Right Gear


Strobes vs. Speedlights


Lighting 101: Flash Sync Speeds


Lesson Info

Capturing the Action: Lighting Set Up for Trail Running

Just roll into the next video here I think, and we'll answer a bunch more questions after that and you'll see how I did the shoot. So at this point we've got our lights set up. We've put a little diffusion on the deep oct over here. We've got our long throw reflector. So we've still got the, you know, the light traff going on, the two lights set up. I'm gonna have Tom step on the rock here. Just to do a little more refining of the light, because we feathered up the deep oct, just so we didn't light the ground fully. So go ahead and jump in there, Tom, and then we'll get dialed in here. Just, then we can have Dillon jump in. And, there you go. (camera clicks) And let's just have you stand there instead of moving. I think we might need to change the light in the back. (camera clicks) I think if we can, can we boost that light up higher? Yeah, that's fine. I'll go get that. Yeah, same power at 5.5 or whatever it was at. And you might need to actually change the flash head orientatio...

n down just a hair. Just 'cause we're boosting it up so, maybe not, a little up. Right there, that looks good, once you boost it up. Yeah, somewhere in there is probably good. Is that pointed right at his position? From where he's jumping in. Cool, cool. You want to stand in here for us, Dillon? I'll take another test shot. (camera clicks) Let's look at this. So I'm shooting ultra wide at this point, wider than I'm probably gonna shoot the shot, just so I can see what's happening with the light all around the scene. And for some reason, that one, so let's take that one down a full stop or close to it. What's it at? 5.5? And let's take this one up. For some reason that light is now, I think it's feathered up so much, that we're not really seeing it. Or you just want to feather it down a little bit? I think that'll help. Oh that's good, let's try that. We're boosting power too, so... Let's jack the power up really good. Another full stop if we have it. What are we at right now? 6.2. Let's go to 7.5 just for giggles. (camera clicks) Well, that's definitely a lot more light, that's for sure. All right, so I'm gonna increase my ISO just a little bit. Take one more test shot. All right, histogram's looking good. We've got some pretty good shadows in there as well. And for you, is it pretty easy for you to get a stride off of that? I'm guessing you're gonna have to get a stride off of that, so the stride might be taking care of itself. Yeah, yeah. It might take me like two or three goes to figure it out but- Yeah. I think I can make it look pretty cool. And if we switch which let you're going off of, is that gonna be tricky for you, or not really? It won't be overly tricky. Okay, we'll just try it however you, however it feels natural, we'll do that first. So for this, just so you know, it's the same deal as we've been doing all day. High sync, I'm at ISO 500, just to boost the ambient light in the background. I am literally two stops underexposed for the background, which is maybe a little, I'm just trying to create a pretty dramatic shot at this point. I might decide that since a little too underexposed, 'cause certainly I could pull the shadows up, in the light room and adjust exposure back there, and play some games but, I'm trying to get it right in the camera. Then we'll try it once like this, and then maybe we'll switch it up real quick. So let me go ahead and get down low. I'll probably start slower, and then kind of speed up, and try and make it look cooler as I figure it out a little bit. Yeah, as you get more comfortable, for sure. So and I am in continuous auto focus again, so I'm gonna be tracking him in. I have my focus point set to the far right side, not far right side, but a third to the right side, so the rule of thirds are in play here. So I'll just keep that composition dictated by the focus points I'm using. All right go for it, whenever you're ready. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) Okay, well there you go. That's pretty actiony. It's a little awkward, because I got him just as he's jumping up, as you'll see. Let me just see focus-wise, if it's sharp. He's sharp, that's good. I'm thinking that background's pretty dark, is what I'm thinking. Look at that fog. I think it's beautiful. Yeah, that would be good. Nice, nice spotting that. So you know, I think I'm gonna pull up the background just a little bit, so it's not quite as contrasty. I can make it more contrasty in post, if I do that. So to do that, I'm just gonna up the ISO to 800, which will be about the equivalent of changing the power on the packs, see what that looks like. We might have to turn down the power on the packs now just a little bit, yeah. Now I'm basically one stop under. So right about the sweet spot. So Tom, let's turn down the power on that pack. We were at 7.5? Yeah. Let's go 6.7. And I think... So by 6.7 I went down 8/10 of a stop. Okay, let's go down two more tenths of a stop on that. And also, what's happening, because I've opened up the background. I'm not just opening up the trees over there, I'm opening up the foreground a little bit too. And there's no real way I can darken the foreground down, except for maybe drawing a vignette in post or something like that. But that's pretty typical of how I work at my images. So I'll definitely play around with that foreground, and force us to look at the, at him, he's gonna be lit. All right, here we go, rolling again. And this time, when you go through, it seemed like you really jacked up high. Just flow over it, don't think about getting air, so it looks natural. I'm ready when you are, go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) That was nice. So let's bring that power down on that pack, Tom, another like, let's come down to, we're not blowing it out. I don't know 6.2? And let's take the power, does somebody want to go change the power on that pack over there? I think it's on 5.5 down to around 4.8? Yep, 4.5 right now. Let's go down to four. So with this scenario, we're gonna have a little stronger light behind him, as if that's the sun behind him, which might make sense, 'cause it's gonna be a bright sky through the trees. So they're not equal power, which will give us a little bit more of a nuanced feel to the lighting. Tom, do you want to jump in there real quick, just so we can test the lighting? And just stand there. Don't worry about running. (camera clicks) There we go. All right, so, sorry for the delay. No, that's fine. Let's go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) Cool. So as you can see, this one's gonna be a little tougher to dial in with the exact movement. He's a little constrasty with the lighting, but we can deal with that in post. In terms of naturalness, it's just a matter of me catching that exact right moment because, even though we might have a really good split step, what I might ask you is, maybe elongate your stride a little bit? So we're just, just a hair. Just the tiniest amount. Okay. Not too much. And just really flow over that. I know you're getting a little altitude off of it, but just flow over it as much as possible. Okay. And it may be that I'm sitting so low, he seems really tall for that trail. I might have to just stand up a little bit off the ground, not fully like I am now, but somewhere in here, to really kind of get the right feel for that image. Does this make sense? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Any questions, at this point, do you guys have or? You chose to shoot him from there, just to get like that heroic shot? Well, because I also want to see his face a little more. If I shot him from right where you're standing, perpendicular to where it's happening, we'd have a different angle for sure, and it might be a little more contrasty, because you're gonna see more of the front back, and a black stripe down the middle. But this way, we just get to see his face a little bit more. And I don't know, that gives it a more personal feel. That's a little less personal there, because he's going that way. He's not looking at camera, and he's not really looking at camera right now. But somehow we still get the stride, we're a little bit more in front. It just seems a little bit more natural. So, whenever you're ready, or go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) All right, that was really good I think. His stride was really nice. Oh yeah, so that's the perfect stride. He is looking down, so his face is a little shaded by the hat, but that's okay. I can still see his face, I can still connect with him. He's running on tricky terrain, so he should be looking at to the ground. I don't know if you don't look at the ground, but- No, you look at the ground for sure. For sure, so you don't eat it (laughs). So yeah, but that's the perfect stride. Let's just do a couple more options- Do you want me to go like hat backwards? It's on brand for me for sure. You ever run like that? All right, let's do that. Yeah, I like that casual look. Go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) All right. The thing is, once he gets his timing down, that allows me to get my timing down as well, which is really, makes it easier for both of us. Is that feeling more comfortable? Yeah, yeah, how's the distance? I'm trying to sort of launch, but forward rather than up. Mm-hmm (affirmative). If you start a little farther away, will that help you get, does it- To me, I mean- Does it matter to you at all? I think it looks pretty great. Come here and look at this, Michael. That's pretty spectacular. That's pretty sweet. Yeah. Let's do another couple. He is sharp, looks good. He looks great. That stride, I mean the- This stride, he's a little, like the legs have just come together a little bit. I want it stretched out a little more. I mean, I'm being really picky. Yeah. So that's not you, that's just me catching it. Yeah, yeah. But you know, I still think, exaggerate the slide link. That's sweet, yeah, yeah. So we're getting great stuff. We're just gonna work it a little bit here. And you know, if it was just me shooting, I may have him do this 50 times until I get the shot I want, or we would shoot with the HS, and then we'd switch out the heads, and we'd do the motion blur like we did this morning. So it's just a matter of mixing it up, and then I would switch lenses. What about the lower power? And five frames a second? We tried that. So that's actually a great question. So the first thing we tried, was we put the packs in the B channel. And I've done testing at home to know that at whatever power setting, at 3.7 or 4.0, I can shoot at five to eight frames per second on my D4. This camera goes five frames per second. So I just shot it single frame, just to see if we even had enough power to do that. And at that setting, it was such low power, that it was filling in, but it wasn't creating the dramatic-type shot that I really wanted. So that's why I axed that idea. And then also, really the moment is when he jumps off the rock. So as long as I could time that. If I just blast away at five frames a second, I could fully miss that one moment three or four times in a row. Sure. So it kind of made more sense just to go this direction. Given the circumstances. Given the circumstances. If it was different, and we weren't on a rock, then it would probably work better the other way. But again, it might need to be just a little darker, because we're at really low power settings. We're at like 100 watt seconds, or maybe not even that. And maybe if it were getting dark, in the dusk and in the twilight, then that would be an option for you? Exactly, if we were staying out, I mean sunset doesn't happen 'til 8:50 or something. And that's four hours away. Yeah. We're not gonna stay out here that late today. No, no. But you know, yeah. And we would need a lot less power at that point. It wouldn't even have to be after sunset. It would just have to be when the sun dropped a little lower. Yeah. And we did that on our kayaking shoot just a couple weeks ago, and it worked great for that situation, because the sun was lower in the sky at that point in time. Okay. But let's just do this a couple more times, and we'll be off to the races. I think we've got some solid images already. I just want to see if I can get a little different. Now I'm actually gonna sit down lower, and shoot a little wider, just because it is a cool landscape. Go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) Pew! Pew. I think he popped off a little bit. How's that? Is it better? Worse? (men mumble answers) No, there's a fist in front of his face. Yep, there you go. And I caught him too early. So you see how this is working? Yeah. Let's see... Let me try what you were saying. Let me just get down here, shoot a little bit more off-axis like we were looking at. That's gonna change... I've got this strobe here, so I gotta watch out for that. Can I have you, Dave, move out just for a second? All right, ready when you are. (camera clicks) (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) All right so I think I have my strobe in the picture, so we set up the lighting for a certain angle. It's kind of cool, but I think it's better over here. Yeah. Go after it. Which foot are you going off of? I just, the last two I did left. That's good 'cause it's, no it, I actually prefer, yeah. His chest is more open. Do you like that? Yeah, the way you were doing it at the beginning was better, because your chest was more open to us. Yeah, so go off the right, extend with the left. Yep. Exactly, perfect. Whoo hoo! All right, and... I'm ready when you are. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) I think I got it, but we'll see. You, that was great, you actually-- I think I've got it figured out. You floated, Yeah. For a little bit, which allowed me, and I still missed it, but you did float. (mumbles) upper body. Is that it? No, yeah that was the shot you just took. Okay. You were too early. So that's great, if you could float it like that again. Slug it. That's was great, 'cause that gives me a millisecond more to dial in the timing. Okay, I think I've got the floating figured out there. Sweet. One of the other tricks, when you're not working with a runner who's as good as Dillon here, is you have them stand where you want that stride to happen, and then if they can walk their stride back, seven or eight steps, and then start with that exact stride all the way through, you can time it almost exactly to where they're at. It might take a few times of doing that, to get it down. But typically, you can get it, so that if their stride stays the same, you'll get it every single time. And this way, it's my fault this time, it's not you, because I'm just triggering the camera a little, just a millisecond too early. Go. Go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) And I missed it again. Pretty sure. And I might have chopped off his head. Yeah, both of those things. Wow. Amazing how you can see all of that. The stride was great. The stride's great. The what's great? The stride's great. The stride was really good, the head was, everything but the head. So you remember I was telling you guys earlier? Shoot a little looser, just in case they float. I just, you know. It's okay, it looking great. There you go. Of course we will. Let's see, go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) Ooh, I think I was early again. (Michael groans) (camera clicks) I think we got that one. He floated like a gazelle there. You know, and this is, this does not apply to Dillon in any way, shape or form, but just for you to know, if you're gonna photograph running, it is critical in the pre-production that you see this person you're gonna photograph run. Because they may splay their feet. They may have really funky technique, and you do not want that, because it's gonna make your pictures look really awkward. So see them run in real life? Yeah, because you've got to like, okay, I'm not hiring you as the person for the shoot until I actually see you run. And it's also, it's every adventure sport, it's not just running. There's certain athletes that just have a panache. Like they know what looks good through the camera when they're hanging off the cliff, riding the bike, you can see it with Tim this morning. He knows what's gonna look good, in terms of how to articulate the bike, how to lean forward. He knows exactly how to position his body to make it look aggressive, even though it, you know, he's just rolling down a hill. For him it's, he could do this all day every day for the rest of his life. So there's things like that, that you just learn all the different athletes you photograph. Who has that extra little 3% that makes the picture just quite a bit better? So I just thought I'd say that, because that may or may not be obvious. But, did you grow up running track in high school? No, no. No? Wow. He's just born this way. I used to play Lacrosse. There you go, lots of running in Lacrosse. All right let's go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) Okay, that was gazelle-like for sure. That's pretty cool, that's a little different. Oh that's pretty good except his hand on his face. Let's just do two more, and I'm going to get in closer and a little tighter. All right. Ready when you are, go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) That was the one. That was the one, he can tell, because he sees the flashes. Yep. Was I at 7.1 before? I might have changed the aperture. No, you're good. I'm good? It's always been 7.1. Different perspective. Yeah. The shadow on his hands. Yeah, my hand's coming up too high, is that, does that screen with the shadow? It would be nice if your hand's not in front of your face. Keep it out, yeah. It's a little too-- Just keep 'em down a little bit. Yeah. Keep the chin down. Last one? I'm a little bit more in front of him, so I'm a little more restricted, because I can't go too crazy with the lights. But let's see if we can... And you'll notice, I am practicing moving the camera before he comes in, so there is a pan in the shot. Just to make sure I am free. I don't want my hands on my knees, because that might restrict me a bit. I want the whole body, locked and the torso moving and rotating. All right, go for it. (footsteps pound) (camera clicks) And I might of clipped his head. It's like mystery theater over there. No, that's pretty good. All right, okay. I think I'm done, I think we got, we got two or three good shots there. Nice. That's awesome. All right, so you can see how it is to shoot running. You can see, obviously, I screwed up several times in there, and totally missed the shot. And that's just kind of how it goes when you're shooting running. You've got to anticipate. You've got to have a really fast shutter release on the camera, then you've got to be able to time it yourself, so you can actually get the shot. It's much easier to shoot running if you're not using lighting, and you can just shoot it eight to 10 or 12 frames per second, because you know if you're shooting at such a high frame rate, you're guaranteed to have strides in there that are gonna be perfect, every three to five shots, however fast you're shooting. Also, so here we have a few of the images from the shoot. And again, I'm not blown away by my own images here, I have to say. This is, running is all about location, and the athlete, but the best running pictures you see are of some epic location, and there's a Dillon in it. But running, unless you're showing a technique with running, which for a non-running, you know, for somebody who's not a runner, it's not obvious about technique. Not like rock climbing or something else. So if I wanted the epic running shots, I would pick a location that's not in a forest. I would pick a location that's on a mountaintop, or a ridge, that has a single-track trail in it. And I did this, I did a shoot for New Balance just last July, which were actually friends of his. Those were the friends that I shot the year before, that we were talking about to build our relationship the night before the shoot. And I would say, "Okay, we're gonna go to that mountaintop, "and we're gonna go before sunrise "and we're gonna shoot sunrise." or sunset, whichever version is the right direction. And maybe we'll light it, we'll shoot some available light, and then maybe we'll add some strobes in there, and we'll have that perfect sunrise. Like the background will have this epic view, with all these sharp, jagged mountains in the background. And then the runner, lit up, flying down the mountainside, or going up the mountainside. So your location is a huge factor. Here, you know, it still could work, and we're still showing Dillon running, and this is maybe even more typical, of him running in a forest, than it would be on a mountainside. But as an ultra-runner, I'm pretty sure he's run the Chamonis Mont Blanc Ultra, which I mean, if you want to talk about epic landscapes, it doesn't get much better than Chamonis and Mont Blanc in the background, with the Drew and the Petit Gray Pon, and all these sharp, jagged peaks back there. So if budget was not an issue, and we could go anywhere we want, then we could do that. Or Iceland, or somewhere in Greenland, or somewhere with just, you know, maybe even in China with like reds, and all these yellows, and colors in the soil in the background. So whenever I think of doing a trail running shoot, it's often, I really focus on the location, because that's gonna be 70% of the image. And when you have a runner. Dillon's obviously important in the image here, but still, it just sets him up, and it makes it a lot easier for me to get this epic image. And one thing, I don't think I've said in the class yet is and I'll say it when we talk about the business is, you want to set yourself up for success. Like if you pick a location where it's gonna be really hard to get an amazing image, not like this was unbelievably difficult, but this is more difficult than it could be. If we would have had less snow that year, and we could go up on Mount Bachelor, and find one of these locations with mountains in the background, we would have had a much easier time of creating a really clean image that reads really well for trail running. So if you find the location that's great, you go at the right time of day, you have a great runner, and you dial in your lighting before they get there, or quickly, you've set yourself up. Like it's not going to be rocket science to get an amazing image. So everything's set up for you to come back with stellar images. And I think that's a key that all professional photographers do this. We may not talk about it that often, but if I don't set myself up for success, I'm gonna get just as many bad pictures out there as any other photographer. So, key little tricks here. So I'll show you a few of these, and they're basically the same shot. I processed it, that same image twice, so the ground was darker. And that was done in Photoshop, because as you saw in the video, the ground was lit up to some degree. This was also late in the afternoon. We only had about an hour and a half left to pull off these shots so, not as much time as we had with Tim unfortunately. But in this picture, it's probably my favorite for the stride, because you can tell he's really going for it. And I think, even some of the Red Bull photographers that were there, got better pictures than I did, because they weren't shooting with the strobes. They did all kinds of cool motion blurs, and I think if we could have gotten this shot, with a motion blur, and I could have moved the camera, and had him moving in the shot, that would have been the best possible scenario for this position. Just like that mountain biking I shot, I have where the forest is completely blurred in the background. And you still see parts of the white here. If I would have actually just gotten down low, and ran with the camera, and I only have to move this far, or even just like that, I could blur the entire background, and it would clean this up massively. So there's ways I could have made this a much better picture, but I just didn't get there. Just so you see that. And I'm being harsh on myself, but I just want to be real, because for me, I don't feel like I got there on these images. But, do we have any questions after that video? We do have a couple questions. We'll start online, but grab a mike in studio. So you're talking about, in this scenario, say the background wasn't ideal for you. Do you ever do composite photography? Composite work? And this has come in from Photo DJ. Since you are using lighting to separate the background, and do you do that type of work? Not really. Because I wanted to be true to the scene, and what's going on there. I mean, and I'm definitely, these days, most of my clients are commercial clients. I've never done a shoot in at studio, and then composited it onto a background. A, because maybe I don't want to spend that much time in Photoshop, and B, one of the big reasons, this is a whole different reason, but one of the reasons I am an adventure sports photographer is because I love these sports. And that's 90% of the reason that I'm a photographer. If I shot something else, I wouldn't be a photographer, because I'm just as passionate about all the sports we're shooting, as I am about taking pictures. And for me, what my whole intent as a photographer, is to convey the beauty of the outdoors, convey the beauty of these sports, the interaction of the human form in the outdoor element, and that's what gets me passionate and jazzed up. So if I'm doing it in a studio, and then transferring it to a background, it's hard for me to get excited about that. And that's a very personal reason. That has nothing against compositing. I mean, I wish I could composite some really cool stuff together, but I would rather go there and experience it, and get it in camera, at least partly, at least mostly in camera. So one of the things I noticed when I was watching the video that I didn't notice in the field was, as he was preparing, your back thumb went onto a button. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Is that your auto-focus? Are you activating auto-focus? And have you decoupled the auto-focus from your trigger? From your shutter release, to the back of the camera? And if so, why? Yeah, I go back and forth. Most photographers either do front focus, which is on the shutter release, or a lot of Canon photographers especially, went to back focus button on the back of the camera, so the shutter release does not initiate focus. And I switch back and forth quite often. It just depends on the situation. For me, on my Nicons, I don't fully commit to back focus all the time, because, especially for portraiture, I've found if I use back light and focus in continuous focus mode, because typically if you're using back button focus, your auto focus is always in a continual focus mode, and you don't switch the auto focus modes. Now, but I've noticed that when I rotate the camera, or if I'm doing things, take one picture, then change my orientation, change my zoom or something like that, the image is just a little softer than I want it to be. So when I'm shooting portraits, I'll probably be in shutter release mode. It's also because I've been shooting Nicons since I was 14. And this is how it's always worked for Nicon cameras, and most digital cameras, as you push the shutter release halfway down, I'm comfortable both ways. But in this instance, I did push the back of the button, or the back focus button. And whatever works for you on that regard. So piggy-backing on your passion for the sports and the outdoors, a huge thing is always the community as well, like the comradery. Do you ever shoot more than one athlete doing the sport? Like a group of trail runners? Or group of bikers? And if so, how does that affect your lighting setup and your overall choice for lighting? I do, and it depends on the sport with trail running or mountain biking, it's actually way better to have more than one athlete. Especially if you're shooting like downhill mountain biking where hey, somebody could get injured, and it's just good to have other people around to help out in case something happens. White water kayaking, holy mackerel, that is the world's second or third most dangerous sport. You may not realize it but, wow, kayaking is pretty serious, so always having safety kayakers. And on a recent shoot, we had safety kayakers, and they actually ran the exact same waterfall that the athlete from Red Bull was running, which also gave me a chance to time the shots, and see what I'm getting with the safety kayakers, before I've got, excuse me, the person who's actually running the waterfall that I need to get. More so, what I was referring to is like, more than one model in the shot. In the shot, yeah. So if I had like three runners here, running the same line, to make it look like a race, or a group run, or does that make sense? Yeah, no I hear ya. So if that affects, right now you have the dual lighting, and you have your pinpoint, but if you had two runners behind him, then it would be not the focus. That would be tough with lighting. Yeah. Okay. You would have to set up three different lighting stations, and that would be really weird. I would do that more ambient light than with lights. But yeah, I've shot sea kayakers sea kayaking together. It seems like when you add multiple people to an image, there's kind of the rule of thumb is, use odd numbers of people. So it's either one or three. Two looks a little strange sometimes, not always. I've done shoots with, that New Balance shoot, it was two runners, so I had them running together, and separately in a lot of the different scenes. Typically I'll shoot it all different ways. I'll have, like just say for that shoot, it was a male and a female runner. The male come through, the female come through, and both of them come through. Then I'll switch it, so that the male and the female are reversed in different shots. So we'll have every possible option for the client. So it just depends on the shoot. It's really good to get multiple people in your shots, because you don't see those shots as much as you do just single person in the shot. But with lighting, it's typically one person, because the lighting's so specific. Do we have an other online questions? Nice. We did have one, and this is from Monica who asked, "Can you talk about your laptop stand? "Sunshade setup, so that whole tethering scenario." "A, can you talk a little bit about what was there, "and how it was set up?" Definitely. And B, how often are you doing that? Are you out therein the field with clients? When do you do that? Tethering. Typically I'm not tethering, even when a client's onset in the outdoors because A, carrying a laptop in addition to lighting and all that other stuff, five to 10 miles, however far we have to walk, just adds more weight to us. I'll show the clients the images on the back of the, if we have to really hike in, the client, A, understands immediately, "Okay, we're not gonna tether." Or what I often do, especially with Hoselbot, is I'll take my iPad, and I'll hand that to the client, and with the Hoselbot, it's got wi-fi built in. Most modern cameras, they're starting to do this. I know the Nicon D750, the D500, most of the new Canon cameras, the Fugis, the Sonys, all have this built in. So my older 810 doesn't have that, but the Hoselbot with the focus software is great, because the client can just sit there and see every single image as it comes in. He can even rank them on the screen, which is great. In this instance, we didn't have that, so I was tethered to my laptop, which is the same one I'm using here, a 15 inch MacBook Pro. And that case you're seeing is, like an ancient low-pro case I've had for more than a decade, they don't make it anymore. But there are cases, or screen, who is it, Hoodman Loop, makes a screen that you just put your face into it, and it's fully dark in there. I think they're about 60 to 70 dollars, and they kind of snap down quickly and easily on location. And then you can just put your laptop in whatever case you have. The stand is just a normal light stand. It's kind of a heavier-duty light stand. And then it's also has a tether tools tray on it. And then the cable I'm using to tether with, is the one that came with my Nicon camera. But it's only three or four feet long, so I have a 20 foot tethering cable attached to it, and I have it gaff-taped where the connection is. And I think somebody else noted here in the audience, that that D810 has a little plastic receiver for the cable, that goes into the camera, so that it snaps in and locks, and it's kind of difficult to snap in, and it's really difficult to unsnap. The whole point is that it doesn't pull out easily, so that's nice. Tether tools actually makes all kind of great stuff that I don't typically have, or I don't have. I rent it if I need it, but because, that's why you see me grabbing the cable and holding it like this, because if I'm holding the cable between my fingers, or in my hands, even if I trip over the cable, I can lock down with this hand, and not rip it out of the side of the camera. And I have screwed up cameras from accidentally tripping over the cord, and bending the cable, or bending the connection on the camera, and then have to send it back to Nicon to get repaired. That is the one beautiful thing about mia format in that Hoselbot, it's the same with phaze. It is a super beefy connection. I mean with that H5D, I can plug in the tether cable, and sit here and spin the camera around like this, and it's not gonna hurt anything. So, they've thought through that a little bit more than the 35 millimeter cameras. But typically, there's a few times I've shot tethered. I did a golf shoot years ago, where the art director was watching them come in, and literally, I shot 12 shots for this huge golf campaign, because they were shooting a $4 million TV commercial in the background, and they had the director from best in show, and the cinematographer that did the last four James Bond movies, and like 60 other grips and techs, and everybody else, and the client, and they're standing there, waiting for me to take these shots. And I had an hour to set up the lighting and everything, so the art director's like, "Dude, "every second you're out here, "you're costing us $150 to $200." Every second. So, they needed me to get those shot quickly, and get out of the way, so they could keep shooting the film, the commercial they were shooting. So in that situation, he's looking at the images, and he zoomed in, saw that the one was sharp. He's like, "That's it, we're done. "We're outta here." I was like, "Okay, that's what you're paying me to do. "We're done? "No problem." But so there's definitely instances when shooting tethered is great, especially with portraiture actually. Some of the studio shots, if I'm in a studio, and we've taken hours and days to set this up, there's no reason not to be shooting tethered, because it's not like you're running around and moving really far away from the one spot. And it just really helps you to see what's going on with the lighting, massively. So, any other questions? No, that's great. Thank you for the tip about the iPad as well. Yeah. 'Cause that's a great consideration. And I think, you know, with the DSLRs now, I know the Sonys, Nicon's got the Snap Bridge. All of those work on an iPad, and that's a really lightweight, easy thing to use. And I also have one of the bigger iPhones, where you know, if you have a big Android, or iPhone or the Google Pixel, that's almost an iPad. And even if you're going super lightweight into the field, you can take that, and I usually have little extra Goal Zero battery packs to charge that phone up, so it won't run out of juice while we're in the field.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Reference Guide
Chapter 2: ABCs of Lighting by Michael Clark
Advanced Lighting Keynote PDF - Day 1
Advanced Lighting Keynote PDF - Day 2

Ratings and Reviews

norah levine

This is a course that I could watch repeatedly and be able to learn something new each time. Michael is a truly an expert in his field and is so generous with his knowledge. This course really breaks down the process of adventure photography, but it's more than that. I don't think you need to even be an adventure sports photographer to get tons out of this course. Michael is really good at breaking down some very complicated technology. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

Great course that combines the technical aspects of shooting with light in different situations, with the art of making a great image of athletes. Michael is a great teacher and I'm sure his lessons will continue to help guide over and over again!

Jeph DeLorme

Great class with dozens of tips, ideas and lighting strategies for tough outdoor lighting challenges. Advanced class taught in a way that allows even a beginner to get a handle on lighting tough situations. The location videos provide real life examples that make this class a definite must have for my Creative Live collection. Thank you Michael Clark and Creative Live! Jeph DeLorme

Student Work