Skip to main content

Adventure Photography

Lesson 6 of 32

Afternoon Selects & Discussion

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

6. Afternoon Selects & Discussion

Lesson Info

Afternoon Selects & Discussion

One of the things you covered was the importance of focus when on moving subject what's the biggest takeaway there like what you would see your best practices so if you have a subject that is moving towards you and they have nothing in between you and them I like to use ah point focus system different cameras matrix are the three d on the night cons, but basically I will move that to that third where I know I want that person to be so if you think about your frame is your blank canvas, I'm going to put that auto focus point where I want my person to be in that frame as they walked towards me I'm keeping that point on them they're still in that same spot in the frame and it's tracking them, but if there's something in between me and my subjects such as you know, grass or foliage or a chain link fence or something like that that's where I start zone focusing, which means I'm going to pick a point in that zone and using that app app like I told you that simple depth of field or photo pill...

s you khun say at say and you can guess say it thirty feet you can say it's about thirty feet out their focus and you look look at the apple it says oh from twenty feet to forty five feet everything's in focus so I know that when he walks through this zone he's going to be in focus so I've taken one variable off the table I'm no longer like having to figure out is he's moving and I can't get him to focus because there's a bunch of stuff between me and him so we've taken that problem out of the equation um so that's taken care of the other thing that I would mention a ce far as this goes white balance and this is just what we're gonna talk about creative white balance later on but white bounce the number one problem and it's not a problem, but I know people love to be in front of their computers because you know, that's what we do all day, right? Um the problem is people keep it on auto white balance what's wrong without away about well, if I'm inside nothing because it doesn't really good job when you go inside and you're like there's seven different kinds of light and I don't know what color the white bounces I'd rather be outside and be wrong on the incorrect white mounds and be consistent. Why would I want to be outside and be wrong but be consistent because I'm shooting raw and when I bring those images in the light room, at least they're consistently wrong and I can change them all to the correct white balance instead of when it's on auto everyone's a little bit different and all of a sudden I've spent forty five hours toning ten pictures so the consistency really helps out so you know, keeping that consistent ah white balance as well as figuring out that auto focus that's going to go a long way to go to making better pictures another question is really good that gear package you're really using not very much stuff in in your first video you showed the gear and this was the same same stuff you're using here on this shoot correct? So three lenses basically a wide angle zoom in my case it was a sixteen to thirty five fifty millimeter one point eight and a three hundred millimeter f for those air. All three very reasonable lindsay this is a nice package if you're looking to go to take it to the next level you know and I you know whatever brand agnostic whatever brand you like you know find something in that range fifty millimeter one point eight you could probably find it for one hundred two three hundred dollars you know, finally you can find an old one in a pawn shop for maybe forty five dollars but it's all about that focal length fifty being a one eight after meeting very wide having a lot of light coming in allows you to be able to shoot after the sun goes down down handheld and having that wide angle zoom allows you in the outdoors sometimes you're not able to move yourself physically to be where you want to be because there's a cliff or something so being able to zoom a little bit helps you frame your images and make more consistent better images and shooting in that afternoon like very difficult so it's really the lens that helps you to create a good image is exactly and you notice so initially with eric we went to a three hundred millimeter f or why did I do that? Because the light was really bad and when the light is bad if I focusing just on a small zone and I have the light coming where I wanted to come all of a sudden I've taken out a lot of problems because all of a sudden those hot spots where the lights reflecting off the ocean is not there you know all of those sorts of things so I'm shooting tight and as the light gets better all of a sudden I'm backing up and I'm shooting wider because all of a sudden the light is better and more consistent so in my mind I'm going okay the light's not very good what how do I how do I fix this problem? Well a shoot tight and I shoot an aspect I know that the light is going to be the most flattering for my subject I think lucas, my biggest takeaway for that video is something that I'm really bad at and that's like maximizing my time in one location I tend to get really distracted best advice for that so go in with a plan and this is something that, you know, I'd rather walk away with one or two really outstanding pictures in any given session then two thousand they're just sort of ok go on with the plan what what do you want to produce? I want to produce a portrait I want to produce a person in a big landscape all right, well, put yourself in the best position to do that how do we do that? Well, we're gonna shoot a portrait in prague and put a three hundred millimeter lens on I'm gonna figure out what's jangle the sun's gonna be those flattering for that person and start shooting those shots and and work until you get that shot on. You may not know and even me doing this for seventeen years in the business I could walk out there and I'll still see things like you saw in the video like we're like, oh, eric just turned for a second and you know and that was that nuance that I hadn't planned for, so be playing on getting something good but also be open to seeing something new and different let's take a look at your select and anxiously wanted to know your thoughts on why you why you and what you might change so these air this is just a really simple selection I basically entities in about fifteen minutes this is just a one so they're not any heavy retouching done or whatever just I want to go in and basically just start showing some sort of nuances um and showing some different angles you know, for instance here I like this because it feels very natural uh the nose of the board is just enough in the frame to not feel cut off but he has a really natural look this would be something I would shoot for a catalogue client you know, because it's you know it's feels like he's actually going surfing this is nice because it's generic this is that moment in the video you saw where he sort of he's looking back this is one of those sort of unplanned, you know, happy stances, you know? And then you can see here working through that zone focus and in making those foreground elements a little bit more interesting um the next step going a little wider giving ourself a sense of place and I can't stress this enough this this summing it up all in one photo you know, lemons and a lemonade you know, making making this shot this like, okay, this is the quintessential shot and doing that, this is that's the hardest photo to get, so finding that canvas find that background is really important. So I like these just because they really said big sir, and again, the wise it's, a little bit harsh here, but we're still making decent pictures, you know, I wouldn't want to walk away and say, this is a nice shoot, we're getting some good stuff, you know, it's sharp, he's in a nice spot in the frame, as you can see consistently that rule of thirds where he's never dead center in the middle. If you want to make better pictures, move that auto focus point or pre focus, um, or if you want to keep in the middle, you can use that auto focus, but then recompose, you know, auto focus don't focus anymore, recompose and sort of work through that, um, you know, and the the hardest thing when you're when you're talking to a model or working with a model like, like eric, is to make these feel natural because they're not it's, not natural, I'm telling him what to do, and you can see eric sit down, eric, walk, eric, do that and it's, those in between moments, um, and really giving that the viewer or you know the people you're trying to connect with your audience per se or hopefully your future client if you want to do this professionally a view into the window of what you're what you're trying to say here and for instance I shot probably thirty of this exact same image and the only thing I changed was going up or going down about maybe an inch and there was a spot where it felt like almost like a point of view shot and it just I felt like it really works a lot better so um something I'm always working out and is faras starting with that background first you know, one of the uh I think frank capra said it best because of your photos aren't good enough you're not close enough but the same thing with don't be lazy just because you have a zoom lens doesn't mean you always have to zoom the subtle nuances of of your subjects say eric's here and all of a sudden he's you know he's on a spot in the background that's not very pleasing you're like oh, all of a sudden there's a tree that sort of distracting or something? How do you fix that? You move right you move left, you kneel down, you move up I'm constantly surveying the background and seeing where my subject lines up on that and making subtle changes because remember we don't have to worry about the camera anymore we've already figured out our auto focus point we're using aperture priority it's doing all the calculations for so we're not worried about the camera making a mistake here right? We're doing everything everything to be in a good position to make good pictures now all we need to focus on is where he is the next step in this sort of photography is I would be waiting for the waves to get even better so it's that's you know we're adding these layer is this complex he like okay, we've got a good background eriksson a good spot well now in a perfect world we'd have a perfect barreling wave in the background would be like oh well selling the dream I want to be there and that's sort of what my photography or what I tryto vote because I want people to look at the pictures of me like I wish I was in big sur I wish I was hanging out with a bunch of ticks you know all those sorts of things so um do you have any more questions we sure do so when you're doing selects right and you're doing your editing how many hundreds of photos like on this shoot, how many did you take and what sort of your process for deciding what's good and what's not so to make a long story short on the whole two day shoot that we did for creative I've we shot I think it was about twelve hundred photos which is good is actually about six hundred because I shoot raw plus j peg because I used the jpeg just for quick viewing purposes and actually just you and the rods are all all the ones that actually, um use for toning and such s o six hundred images and you know I'm very cognizant of of not hammering on the one thing too much, you know, like if it's not working, why isn't it working and moving or waiting till the lights a little bit better so on so forth so you know it doesn't you know only takes one shot I think national geographic on average for every photo they publish in the magazine I think they shoot about four or five thousand frames so don't feel bad if you shoot a lot of images you know, uh, compact flashcards are relatively inexpensive these days you can delete him if you don't I don't delete anything personally ever isa professional photographer because there's unless it's completely like a photo of my foot you know or something like that, you know, storage, storage spaces inexpensive and there may be a shot that, for instance, you know, I was in costa rica once and I took a picture on the roadside just random sort of eco lodge and I all of a sudden had a cover of, you know, travel, leisure magazine, and it was like somebody said, oh, do you have a picture of it? And I was like, actually, I do, you know, and it was not a great picture by any means, but it was it was the subject matter that they need it, so I don't shoot too much. But then again, don't feel bad, you know, I didn't shoot seven frames to get these shots, you know? They were obviously some some that didn't work for various reasons, a couple more questions from here, but then we'll go to the studio audience, and I noticed this myself. You don't wear a camera strap. Yes, well, sometimes I do if I'm hiking, actually wear a strap or clip the camera on the reason I don't often where a camera strap is because I'm shooting a lot of video a cz well simultaneous or I'm doing time lapses and you don't want something flapping off of the camera, especially if you're seeing long exposures on tripod so you don't want something hanging off of the rig. It's just a personal choice, I know a lot of people. You know, I also know a lot of people that carry a very long lens and all of a sudden walk around like this because they've been carrying a camera for thirty years. So I prefer not to. But it's, just a it's, a personal choice.

Class Description

Learn how to capture the intensity and movement of an epic experience in a single, still photograph with Lucas Gilman in Adventure Photography.

Lucas is one of the most celebrated adventure photographers in the industry. His work is infused with color and energy and in this class, he’ll show you how he creates his amazing images. 

You’ll learn: 

  • How to take powerful adventure and outdoor images
  • The key to selling to commercial clients
  • Gear and equipment essentials
  • Post-processing tips and techniques

Lucas will share the history and process behind some of his most challenging and exciting shoots. He’ll also offer tips on how to prepare for long stretches of intense outdoor shooting and how he keeps his gear bag stocked for adventure.

Let one of the industry’s most exciting photographers show you how to inject excitement into your outdoor images in Adventure Photography. 



This class is perfect at all things. The best class for nature photography with or without model. Personally for me this class is best of all because we have most practical learning, that is perfect. I have sense just like I am there. I am gladly wait for starting today class because this class is two days. Buy it that material must to watch and have it on your hard disk! Just perfect. Regards to Lucas and Creative Live.


Lucas is an amazing photographer. I love how he keeps it simple with the way he explains and shows things. This class is perfect for anyone with a camera, as you can take his teachings and apply it to not only adventure photography but to any style.