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Adventure Photography

Lesson 32 of 32

Strobe Light Photo Shoot Reveal

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

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Lesson Info

32. Strobe Light Photo Shoot Reveal

Lesson Info

Strobe Light Photo Shoot Reveal

Speaking of clients wanting it yesterday, we have really tasked your superpowers, particularly today because we got up on the roof, we forced you to do a photo shoot and not only that, but we tied your arms and we said, and we want it processed by the end of the day today, and you were able to find the time you did the work, probably certainly not as much as you would like to have put into them, but I'm sure we've got some great results and we promised this morning that we were going to show the photographs from from that photo shoot yes, tell me a little bit about a big picture, maybe some of the challenges it's, it's hot here I every every other time you come to san francisco, I'm like pack your sweater, you know, but no again today date, you know, session too, we go out there and the sun burns off and I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm dripping sweat, but no really fun but there's just it's like, you know, when you're alive and anything that can happen will happen, but no, we had we had a gr...

eat audience. You guys have been great all weekend, we had joseph step in great model, very attractive guy took direction well you know that my challenges were trying to communicate with with you guys what I was doing uh isn't well as you know actually take some pictures get the gear all toe the sink simultaneously uh you know, find my backgrounds and you get all those settings right so that I actually had something to show you and do it in a really short amount of time you know it's not like I had the time to go and do one hundred test shots and be like okay, this is this is my inner creative working here but it was you know, sort of trial by fire but I feel like uh from the three scenarios we we've got some really solid photos and uh you know with another hour I'd say that we probably could have probably knocked a portfolio shot out of this you know, great location great model um and you know it's one of those things where you know I feel like I'm kind of ah control freak in some senses because really that's how you grow as a photographer if there's anything you can control in your sort of spectrum and that's by choosing the proper settings in your camera you're comfortable with all those little things turn to be big things because then you can focus on the art and the things in front of you and not you know all these sort of side things that are distracting you so are we ready to see I think we're ready we're way get a drumroll or I mean I don't think so this is the first shot and this is the moody blue technique here uh or it's you know basically were set on a tux and white balance again which is the little light bulb in the camera and we've got the age of four hundred millimeter lens on this guy and as you can see I was just trying to find a little spot where his head wasn't you know, having a vertical line growing out of it in the background um and I've been preaching all week rule of thirds rule of thirds and this is the one of the one times where we actually have some leading lines of some symmetry where it's okay if he's in the middle because this actually is a pleasing frame if he would have been over on the left I feel like the right might have been a little busy but so yes it doesn't always have to be in that rule of thirds this is one of the times when that rule is meant to be broken now if his face was dead center in the middle of the frame then we would have a problem but the fact that this feels uh natural well luckily had a ryan with that that pro photo be one just lighting his face with that full uh, tungsten gel and everything else that was available I fell off to that sort of blew the next spot we went we go I just really love that pop of greenback they're on how that, you know, because like you're seems like you're working with color, it seems like you're an artist, you're dialing in color composition, design talk a little bit about how you sort of marry things together as you as you post for sure so, you know, as we're posing him, you know, I'm looking in the background and I'm having to make decision on what do we include and what do we not include? Um, and a lot of the easiest ways who not include things is to step back and use a longer lens or a zoom lens such as eight to four hundred because the more you zoom in that angle that you're seeing his shrinking, shrinking, shrinking, shrinking so all of a sudden you're just seeing what's around him and not such a wide expanse, so but I'm looking at it the bushes I'm looking at vertical lines, horizontal lines and I'm going ok if I move left if I move right? If he's covering up this bush is it? Is it better? Is it worse? And I'm trying to make that decision where to place him on the background initially that's the first thing I do before I even before I even take a shot I'm looking going is this a good spot to start? Because once he sort of planted there we've got our lights set we don't want to be moving him around a bit because we want him to feel confident in our skills as a photographer and not be like oh yeah, that didn't work here move over here and we shoot me like, oh, that didn't work so you know being very thoughtful and being like and I know it didn't it wasn't a lot of time but we're like okay, this works I'm moving a little bit and all of a suddenly we got one shot out of this that was really nice and it was a one one set scenario again we're using the ten degree grid spot on the front of the pro photo be one so we're just letting his face as you can see the light falls off down on his hands and it just sort of a simple, you know, sort of pleasing almost like an editorial shot you wantto almost think it's like fall fashion skateboard is here, you know, two thousand fifteen so pretty cool, but our second scenario we decided to keep the sort of that blue theme going a little bit more and we just use the white wall and as you remember super symbol we had one light we had the gel over the flash and we had that one one little grid on there and I don't mind that there's a little bit of a shadow behind behind his head if I had time to work this for an hour what I have had it maybe moved to where that shadow was a perfect sort of almost like ring flash light on his face I probably would but that's me just being persnickety and wanting everything to be perfect again he's sort of in the middle here but I felt it sort of worked it gives him sort of a little bit of a sense of space um and he's got a decent expression it's lit well, we've got this sort of interesting thing going and then you know, to mix it up a little bit we went back to the rule of thirds and I thought, you know, he's wearing gray pants he's wearing all of green jacket he's on a white background why not bring in, you know, black and white element so we were all of a sudden three really sort of unique pictures out of this sort of scenario and I moved him over to this sort of third and uh you can see the little bit of shadow and we've the only thing we've done in photo shopped here is we've just bumped up the contrast in the sort of shadow area a little bit because I really wanted to bring out his five o'clock shadow a little bit because I wanted to feel a little bit gritty without being too gritty. So we've we've sort of popped the whites up a little bit our highlights, and we sort of brought those shadows the shadow contrast in just a little bit, uh, our last scenario was this guy, you know, we just put him on to apple boxes, and then all of a sudden you can see the quality of light is way different because we've got that soft box at thirty six inch octagonal soft box with the grid that were just sort of lighting, lighting his upper body he's getting a little bit of light here, but it's sort of falling off, and you notice the shadows on these the foliage down here, so we're seeing his face it's lit well, their shadows down here on the green. So we're not being distracted by anything that is as bright as he is and our backgrounds about a half stop. Tio, you know, two thirds of a stop underexposed um, you know, I was really quite happy with it. Uh, deal is you can see there's a little bit of a wire growing out of his shoulder. But we're hiding the telephone pole. And that was that. Was that those were my choices. If I wanted him on this background, this is what I had to do. And I moved to the point where we could hide the power pole behind him. Uh, and that's where getting a little bit lower, not having that power pole growing out of his head, uh, made made it a lot better because if he was not on those apple boxes, he all of a sudden would have, you know, all that stuff behind him that would have been really distracting, but kind of fun. Yeah, I really like the lack of of saturation on this. What drives you to sort of add or subtract a little bit of saturation and is really about the moon? I mean, first of all, it's it's, you know, if we were to start in the beginning, it's a client thing, certain clients have certain looks that they like, but to me this you know, to me, this just screamed. I don't want this to be super overly saturated. And, you know, I want this to be almost like editorial catalog, and he had this great look, um, even though he didn't know this morning that he was going to be our guy he was he was styled for it and like he has this great hair and it looks like you know it's it's almost he had this look where he's the guy that you know he walks out and he has a perfect hair even though it may have taken him an hour but it's kind of messy and uh you know, it just it felt really natural I will say one of the things that I look at a lot when I'm doing portrait's and this is something that people don't typically notice is when people are nervous in front of the camera their hands tense up their hands go like this you know, I was like, hey, just relax and as soon as you tell him to drop his shoulders the hands go is well so I was noticing he was getting a little bit like okay, you know there's fifteen thousand one hundred thousand people watching me on the internet right now and million's possibly and you know, I got a little nervous so you know, tell little joke a little banter get back and forth and they really relaxed so you know, really trying teo focus on the model or the athlete and getting them to sort of open up is paramount to getting that successful shot question yes, you mentioned a couple times about a portfolio piece could you define what makes a performance piece for you and do you get one out of every assignment? I would hope so um I know it's you know it's one of those things where my portfolio or anybody's portfolio really based on where you are in your career you know I try to go out and produce portfolio quality work on any given day and that's the goal it may not fit in my portfolio based on the subject matter because my portfolios are typically very very uh laser focused on the kind of clients I want to attract um because you know, art directors and photo editors and you know, creative typically don't think outside the box they pigeonhole you into you're our guy for this so it doesn't matter if you show them a bunch of pictures of things you want to dio if they've got you in this this view you're you're that guy so I try to make sure that it to continue to work with those clients that I'm producing the kind of work that I know that they're going to appreciate and expect from me I'm curious of our in studio go ahead, john oh, so you know it's just thinking and what you've been talking about for two days about picking an interesting background so as I'm looking at this and the other one's and as you're thinking it through creatively when you're shooting it then when you get into post processing like you're just walking us through are you exposing and are you looking at the background first to is that same workflow going through your mind exactly and typically hopefully I've done my job out here on on set and I've got a well exposed background for the exposure that I wanted because that's that's really are our baseline right because you know, we're putting on him on this this blank canvas on dh it's really almost is that campus bright white? Is it more of a neutral gray is that you know, a bright color we're putting on this canvas and we're exposing for that uh and trying to either draw attention to him or you know, in some senses when I shoot the landscape shots I'm drawing attention to actual landscape that happens to have a person so I'm constantly balancing all that to tryto make the most visually pleasing image in each of those scenarios uh which you know there's no formula for that it's just something that we you know when you see it all of a sudden you go okay? You know, we walked up there on the roof and I said this is the angle this dangle this single and you know that there there's quite possibly one that's even better than these three but you need to make decisions and you need to be especially when you're working with models you need to make decisions, and you need to be confident in those decisions because they need to be confident. And you, especially if you've got lots of people watching on tv. Or if you have an art director standing there, uh, right over your shoulder, you need to be the one in charge in that scenario because if you're not in charge, who is? You know, gentlemen, start with you since you have the might, but other thoughts of the audience you guys were up there for the shoot is this it was this your vision were you? Would you guys have other thoughts going through her head about what you thought we might end up with? So I was surprised by the first shot you showed us with the blue because I watched you do that. And I know you talked through blue, so I knew that, like, the way balanced, like I kind of could visualize that. But he looked so he like it just fit him. Like, if I like, I just take that shot right there and just use it. Yeah, like to me that such a the clutch editorial shot that I couldn't imagine how beautifully processed it would be in the end and also I can tell from being up there and then watching your vork workflow now on the screen you probably didn't have to tweak it too much because you got the lead in just right you actually picked a great background that was really simple but had leading lines and then you did created by about you should do my pr e oh no thank you, but yes, I mean that and that and I think that is you know where this is a photography workshop that I'm doing this week outdoor photography specifically this is not a post processing workshopping we're trying to do is much as we can in camera so that we can minimize the processing time and there's nothing wrong with people that go out in process believing daylight's have their photos I'm not against that at all it's not it's just not my thing I prefer to be a photographer first and that's what I enjoy is the photography aspect and being out on the location and things like that you taught me a lot in two days about how to think it through and chairman how much to do because I do a lot in camera, but you know I have to grow obviously so now I'm I think I'm less intimidated by the post process thing that I wass because I'm realizing k the fund is actually this for me and and it's it's totally doable and you just cut down your computer time yeah and it's people I think when digital first came out there was this really idea of what we're shooting wrong you know we'll just fix it later and which is which is fine but you can fix it later but all of a sudden you've got thousands of photos to deal with um it's a lot of time so you know even if it's just an extra sixty seconds per image at the end of the year that's the sixty seconds add up on and I have a five year old son and a wife and I like to spend time with them on occasion so you know, sixty seconds they're important so this one surprised me as well because I knew that you were talking about this blue you know the blue mood but this one really looks like day for night to me it is almost day for night yeah and even the light coming in could be a street light you know at night and so that was when when you I brought this one out to show us you know, I was surprised to see you know the results and step because I was kind of just picturing more of a blue daylight light you know and not not such a dramatic you know, different eight look, yeah, and that's where I was having a ryan, our assistant move in as much as possible because I really wanted teo to be ableto because this is the sun came out, I was like, oh, this is perfect. We've got clouds it's beautiful up here, not hot and almost on the sun comes out. I'm like, oh, jeez, we now need to for the vision I had is I want to be able to stop that background down by a stop or so, uh, I'm gonna need to get have a ryan get pretty close because we've put gels on that. We've got a great on that, you know, we're taking away a lot of light away from r r strobe units so, um, you know, that was one of the things where that's, why I'm always you here, me and you saw you guys have seen all the videos whole week is like, ok, move in and in and then stop back, you know, it's like he's right on the edge of the frame right there, but yeah, it's been a lot of fun, a lot of fun this week. When we come to this point in a workshop, I always kind of come back to the same question and lucas, this has just been an amazing two days, but I'm going to hit you up for one more thing, can you can you give us our sort of your big picture? Final thoughts and how your your last words to us before we let you go as to as to where should we go now, where we want to become adventure photographers? What your what? Your final words of wisdom yeah, yeah, my first thought is, you know, find find your own adventure, it doesn't have to be my adventure, it doesn't have to be surfing, it doesn't have to be going out and doing what what I did this week, it's going on finding your own adventure and it could be could be a roadtrip. It could be, uh, a vacation to some place that you've never been before. It could be something just really personal, but go out and find that adventure, go out and do some planning and be proud of that process that that you've worked through and, you know, go out every day and expect to come back with some failures, because those failures will really teach you, uh, how to move forward in your photography and, um, you know, take lots of pictures, uh, enjoy the journey and have fun because that's, what it's really all about great, great final words. Thank you eso lucas, thank you. Thinking from from everybody here, a creative live was absolutely a pleasure to have you back, folks, if you don't know, he also did a photo weak. You were here for photo week last year, where you did a segment, so encourage you guys to go out. Tio lucas is course, are his instructor page, and you'll see all of his courses big. Thank you to our model joseph from this morning. Also to lucas is assistant orion, and thank you to our in studio audience.

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.