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Adventure Photography

Lesson 18 of 32

Big Sur: Surf Vignettes

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

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Lesson Info

18. Big Sur: Surf Vignettes

Lesson Info

Big Sur: Surf Vignettes

All right, uh, ryan jump outwards quick as you can yeah, I just started walking forwarded for now, you just start a little bit more forward to see one shot basically looking really actually really cool. So basically ah, what I've done is again and this is you know, we're gonna hammer on this point over and over and over again is that it's background? First we're getting eric placed were exposing were in the shade right here. We're exposing for out there, which is way brighter, probably three stops at least brighter and ah, so we're exposing for that we're putting eric up on this sort of buck rail here and we're gonna have him move forward and he's just a nice sort of silhouette. You're good right there? You're good right there, it's always the board up in orion to jump out. All right, perfect it's looking really good eric dropped the tip of the board of the board's dropped a little bit ago. I'm just moving myself and can you take a half step forward for mayor? Drop a tip of the board t...

hey go stop tip cool and shoot a little wider and you move forward at all good god, what we've done here is we're exposing for this this area the sun's coming up, we're still in the shadows ah because we're behind the mountains and these air a little vignettes I'm always looking for ah, we're actually just in the process of going and looking for some waves, but I'm always on lookout freeze the play of, you know, bright light and shadows ah, and there's a beautiful sort of scene here we got these cliffs sort of going out to the ocean, and the light's really likes kind of dramatic on them and were trying to incorporate a human element because is a adventure photographer. I like to have people involved in all of my shots, so we had eric up on just sort of this buck rail fence he's in shadow, we're exposing for the highlights out here or, you know, the ambient light there, which was much brighter about three stops plus different. And we've just made this really nice shot of him just saying on this spence, which is a silhouette, you know, is that the most magnificent shot is a portfolio quality. I'm not sure, but it's one of those shots that you, you always air looking for these little vignettes, something to sort of round out the story, this is storytelling er and at the end of the day we is photographers are trying to give this sort of broad scope of where we were were and what we did and this is a really nice sort of scene setter we're always looking for these like vignettes or seen centers to give us a sense of place and this really sort of sums up big sir we've got these beautiful trees sort of over our king we got the ocean out here and the light raking across these cliffs and you know it worked out really nicely as far as you know there's a you know I'd say is a is a photographer really sort of you know, getting your you know, your wings you know, just shoot shoot, shoot and don't be too worried about you know, taking images which may not work out because you know, even if it doesn't work out we learned something from those images and why they didn't work out but uh be very critical of yourself but also go back when you are in the editing process ah and look at those images and understand why they didn't work out are they over exposed are they back focus so they front focused look at them and understand why ah that happened in you know light room has a lot of powerful settings that will allow you but such is the metadata to know where you were focused what your shutter speed wass what your aperture wass and and by looking at those settings you could learn very quickly how should not repeat those mistakes sarah just ran and ran down to the beach and ah looks like we have waves are kind of small but we're gonna we're gonna go ahead and get suited up and ah gored and see what we can what we can get when ah go down to the beach ah that's sort of the middle section's breaking he said ah typically ah I've scouted a section here att the end where there's sort of a shot from the bluff down but sounds like the zone is breaking on and we're we're just at the whim of the tied and the waves so is in the middle it's going to go down to the beach and we're gonna shoot directly from the beach and we're gonna work through finding on interesting background holy there's a little bit of air sections here and there and we can just, you know, make something out of this this is again that's part of the whole process we don't show up there's just, uh magnificent barrels all the time, but we go out every day and with a little luck and a little perseverance, you know we walk away with something we'll do one more shot on the way down there with that, so what shot work really nicely there were still having some really interesting shadows here ah I'm going to try to get one more sort of scene setter here too really give us a sense that were in big sur uh, so we're gonna go ahead and do that right now you know what caught my attention about this shot in particular and it's sort of like every shot is I'm always looking at these backgrounds, you know, basically I'm a landscape photographer in a sense where I'm looking for a really sort of dynamic and interesting landscape so you know, we've got waves out here we got big serve, these beautiful clouds sort of rolling in, you know, light nice light coming over the horizon, and so I'm basically shooting a scenic I'm I'm looking for those sort of scenic backgrounds, something this dynamic and then from there I'm placing the subject into those trying to add sort of a human element ah little person, big landscape type shot so just just about uh, eric so if you could walk about fifteen feet out he is walking straight towards that tree right there yeah, stop there for me and come back towards me about split the distance keep coming, keep coming yeah, walk towards me, yukon right about here stop right there and look that looking that way like you're walking, turn your whole body stop right there, go back alright looks good and again so I'm trying to do again do a similar shot to what I had before of eric ah which was the one where he's in the shade and just sort of sum it all up here so in a pre focus here low angle and used the uh preview quick test looks good and we're actually let's walk out all the way to that shadow line eric trying to get him is high on the sky as possible ah while still being in the shade and to get this sort of quintessential big sur shot and walk right down right down that shadow line for mark cool looking really good so he's walking down the shadow line and we're getting some nice sort of dappled light coming through and do the same thing but walk about five feet uh further this way in the shadow and just the same direction along the same shadow line there there you go fool out there and come towards me just a little more and same thing that direction again so again we're just using the play of light and dark we're exposing for this very very bright sort of ah exterior here but we're still staying in the shade as you can see I'm having eric just sort of walked back and forth to make sort of a dynamic shot um and we're going to next move just a little bit further we're gonna have him just in the light because the lights actually pretty nice right now so, eric, if you could just be just out in the light right here, we're still looking for this sort of scene setter this quintessential, like big sur shot you're looking down got all these sort of ah spires out in the ocean, I'm going to the same shot, but now eric's gonna be lit up, go ahead and go and I'm going to stop there and turn around and go back the other way. There you go. Cool. All right, nail that. So it's good and head down. Um got a couple nice shots again. We're just sort of working through this process and ah, you know, we're being open to the possibility of finding other shots on the way to ah going and shooting the action. So are you seeing again where to see these pools of light? Ah, that eriks walking through. So I'm just shooting images of him as he walks to the pools of light. Ah, my exposure hasn't changed. I'm still just shooting the same ami exposure for this bright area out here. Ah, and I'm on emanuel exposure because typically the camera solve this dark it's going to try to bring that exposure up to basically middle gray eso in order to have it not get tricked I'm just shooting manual and you know the next half hour forty five minutes the light as long as the cloud doesn't come out and the sudden go behind it uh the lights going to be the exact same exposure as long as we're facing this direction so pretty simple do a test figure out that exposure is and you're pretty safe to just make good pictures so yeah just right you know I just literally like three steps so keep keep going back to that like little wide spot you can turn around right and keep it the board on the other side there you go cool remove myself moved him on the background put in the left third of the frame have some area here give a little bit of breathe breathing room and going to start walking towards me yeah looking towards the ocean and let's look the other way this time because I can't actually see the ocean so um put your light your face in the light a little bit more there you go looks good cool perfect I've got my twenty four to seventy on which is there probably one of my favorite sort of all around lenses because a twenty four it's pretty wide and it's seventy econ zoom in which is a little bit telephoto so I'm shooting before about between twenty four and thirty five millimeters so I'm still getting a nice open landscape um with ah, you know being able to zoom in and out because I'm not always able to to be able to move myself physically to the spot where I want to be so that's why having a zoom lens in this situation is advantageous beautiful cove here in big sur and it's just a really nice spot, eric, if you could move out just a little bit right there perfect and actually jumped down off the rail and come this way and still looking out that way uh actually need you back up on the you stand on this this poster like at the end so again we're doing the same thing uh eric's basically mostly in the shade here again and to return your body towards me just a hair there you go yeah beautiful so I use um the back button focus teo as my focusing technique and what I'm doing is I will use I don't you know I used it could be the center point sometimes I don't want to move it around so I will use the focus point wherever that is in the frame focus by pushing that back button and then I will recompose so focus and now recompose so that he's not in the center of the photo I want the ability to be able to have my subject in any part of the frame I want so I don't I want to be tied to having him be on that focus point and he's not moving so it's, pretty simple. So all I need to do is just focus, and then recompose make something kind of similar, uh, here can drop the tip of the board down just a little bit. There you go. Yeah, and then a little more straight out. There you go, looks good. Focus, recompose, cool. All right, let's, get down there.

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.