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Adventure Photography

Lesson 21 of 32

Using Light Modifiers & Strobes

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

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Lesson Info

21. Using Light Modifiers & Strobes

Lesson Info

Using Light Modifiers & Strobes

We're here today with adventure photography with lucas gilman I want to tell you a little bit about this man that we've had yesterday and today teaching us adventure photography he is one of the world's leading adventure photographer photographers go to his website and check out the crazy stuff that he does I'm talking on top of cliffs he's on beaches and yesterday he brought us some really great stuff he works for huge companies like espn dot com he worked for national geographic and, you know, sports illustrated the biggest names in adventure sports photography he's sponsored by nikon, man photo and sandisk without any further ado let's, bring him out yesterday was awesome, I think for folks out there that are really just wanted to kind of get started yesterday was a great primer for just getting the basics, but today we're going to take it further correct little more advanced stuff we're going to do some shooting more big sir tell us a little bit it's not scary, we're going, we're g...

oing to basically continue to build on those those basics that we've got and you know we're gonna we're gonna learn a little bit more about lighting, we're gonna bring out multiple lights, we're gonna learn about using props working with athletes and we're going to bring all of these lessons together and into a really nice package, which the great thing is it's a step by step so it's really approachable free it's not scary stuff and I think I know what or what level you're at everybody's gonna walk away with something one little tidbit at least fantastic right? Well let's get to it cool thanks. So we've got a little shoot here today live she always loved doing a live shoot we got ah model athlete joseph's going to come in here and we're going to do a little skateboard shoot this is something that is kind of typical for me ah lot of times I get thes athlete portrait's uh shoot a lot of professional athletes and it's the last minute so we're going to sort of mimic that today so we've got our athlete joseph you want to come in here? Um I've got my case here pelican case this is how I travel this is we just rolled in and, uh how's it going, lucas thanks for coming. And one really important thing is, you know, we actually literally just met this morning so you know, building this report you know, you want to make them as comfortable as possible right off the bat. So um let's go in and look at what you brought going and grab your gear I'm gonna go and start working on my camera gear here um trustee pelican case here this is how I bring all my gear I fly a lot of regional jets in my small airport so this is how everything is packed a couple bodies as like twenty four to seventy eight, four hundred twenty four one four but I'm going to use my nikon d ten my favorite cameras you guys know and you know I'm to start with the twenty four to seventy, which is pretty much my favorite lands you guys hearing you say over and over um don't really need a lens hood we're just shooting a portrait here today and one note on compact flashcards are you sandisk extreme prose because they're fast reliable but whatever brand you purchase, make sure that you're buying reliable memory because you know you spend a lot of money to gets location and you know these moments don't happen over and over, so make sure whatever brandy you buy that you are buying reliable memory and brand name memory the brand names they buy the best memory, which is the centre of the way for all the sort of ofthe rams by what's in the periphery and just isn't as reliable. So you throw that card in the camera first thing I always do is form out the cards I've got a fresh card all right? All right, we're already formatted and I'm gonna start off in an aperture priority here we've got some pro photo lights and the first thing I like to do on any shoot you sort of get a lay of the land somebody go and set this down and let's just do a little walkthrough so we've got we're on a rooftop deck here that a great audience thanks for coming, guys and you know we've got a skyline of you here. Um we've got a wall but this right here he's sort of cool we got this little alleyway working over here and so I'm gonna go and just sort of check that out, you know, I'm seeing some leading lines we talked about leading lines so sort of these air sort of coming together and I'm in my mind I'm pre visualize ng I'm working from this background first and I'm gonna have my subject joseph skateboard we're going to do sort of like a hero post so joe so let's see what we brought here today so we got looks like you got jackets skateboard gonna hat let's go and put the jacket on I think we can leave the backpack well, we'll have the skateboard and you know we'll see here orion, my assistant if you can come on over here, we're going to go ahead we're going to use these pro photo be ones which are my go to because literally what's which one do you have there so we're gonna be on c banks got this set to see so I've got my wireless transmitter here and basically what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and just start doing a couple of test shots, get our baseline exposure and today we're gonna mix it up since we're going a little bit more advanced, I'm gonna go to a manual mode one hundred percent, so, um, we're on c here, we also have the grid, which is ten degree grid, which is the other edition I really like it goes on the front, and the reason I use that grid pretty much all the time either is a primary or secondary flash is because it really controls that light, and the biggest thing for me is to control where that light goes, you know? I want to light very particular parts of this frame and not all of it, so I'm gonna go ahead and do my baseline exposure to start, and I don't even know if this is the right lens. The job you know, twenty four to seventy is the one I always go to first go and get my baseline shot manual mode s so probably around one hundred to start that's just a guess, and I'm gonna be around to fifty the second that f eight seventy seventy millimeters I want to be a little bit longer seventies not quite where I wanna be, so I'm gonna go ahead and switch out lenses. Uh, and I'm gonna go with the aid of four hundred that'll give me a good range here because, like I said, this is all, you know, kind of on the fly and we're going to figure out right off what's gonna work. I don't need the lens hood check to make sure this guy's clean little maintenance goes a long way. Uh, throw this guy on top and we're gonna do a quick, quick test again. Cool. Looking good. Alright, cool our white balance. We're gonna go ahead and be on a flash white balance because our donald light source is going to be either sun or flash that's real close in the color spectrum so we're good to go so let's, go ahead and have you go out there, you can go and leave the hat we're just gonna have you with the board in the jacket and I want you to walk about I'll just tell you when to stop, keep going, keep going, keep going and stop right there for me all right, that's good and just sort of relax just a little bit there you go, we're just doing a test, this is, uh nothing too scary and what I'm doing now you see I just move to the left move the right what I'm looking for is where does he line upon this background? I'm trying to see if there's any vertical lines going out the back of his head and trying to find something sort of simple um it looks like we're good right about here and we're gonna go and, uh turn this flash off because we don't want this in the finished shot for right now doing this based on exposure cool all right, so we got a good shot our exposure's good worried about f seven point one two fifties of a second and we've just got our available light shot it's looking pretty good uh, you know, most times I'd be pretty happy with this, you know? I'd work sort of work with the athlete and we sort of start working through this but we're gonna add the strobe because we've got this pro photo flash oh mac's gonna have you walk up here on the right up on the roof and turn this guy on and I'm just gonna have you keep keep go up, go past thea keep going, keep going, keep going and I'll go up the roof a little bit there you go and you're good right there so just point that right in his face and what power setting we on their orion three point eight so we're three point it's about half power I'm going to say we need to go up to about, uh six five or something so tell me where about sixfive okay, I'm gonna be on c now it's going to work in there they're just gonna do a quick test shot here so that was my fault I was on banking and nazis and now we're on bank see quick test and we got a beep so we got some way and all of a sudden what was kind of a flat portrait is all of a sudden working a lot better so now we let us face, which is what we're trying to do uh we've got a very well balanced portrait shoot a couple of those just we have some of those for demo so just skateboard down just hold it by the trucks sort of, you know, just on your left or right that's there you go exactly just sort of give me a little attitude that you go to sort of the winning shot they go looks good and again move a little bit on the background cool. Just make sure we get what we want all right it's looking really good uh we've gotta balance ambient light exposure were lighting his face it's really looking pretty, you know, pretty good uh the next thing I like to dio to mix it up uh we're gonna go ahead and throw a gel on here eso everything that is lit with the strobe eye's going to be this nice warm full cto is this is this moody blue thing that we talked about yesterday it's going through the gel on here you've got that new pocket do so we're gonna throw this full cto this is a full tungsten jell I'm just gonna go right on the front of this guy we're gonna have to turn the power up because we just took light away by adding that jealous we're going to turn the power up so I'm gonna change my white balance now because this is now going to be a full tungsten cto gel on his face so what color is the opposite of orange? Well, that would be blue so we're going to change our white balance now to a tungsten setting which is the little light bulb on every camera like you're shooting indoors, which basically you're telling the camera I'm shooting indoors and the cameras now saying ok, we're gonna add a lot of blue to this so we're gonna do another test uh ryan tell me when we go up about another full stop their fate okay there you go at eight eight power okay there we go looks good way added more power because we just added the gel ugo looks good and all of a sudden everything it's not lit by the strobe is very, very blue which is really cool so I'm going to show the audience here what we've got let me go and make this full screen so see how this is working kind of cool huh yeah kinda cool so see we've done all of a sudden we've created something kind of artsy out of justin available light shot so way good coalition one question I hope I have one answer good uh I have a question about your playing the flash to this photograph okay? The first thing he did was achieving available light expects so much of exact exposure emmanuel exposure we center the needle which means we got our available light uh ambien exposure with the camera then you set the light and you said it to taste were you setting the light to match the f stop basically setting the light to match the f stop just that we had a little phil we've got some light here it's you know it's okay, but I just wanted to give him a little bit of like nice clean light on his face so that light even though you said it to taste you than you like me now you're just looking to bring it up bring it up to land or below exactly not over but not over because the next thing we're going to dio is we're going to actually stop down by about two thirds to a stop we're gonna drop that background down so then all of a sudden everything that's around him is a little bit darker on dh that available light that ami and exposure is going to drop down between two thirds and a full stop and we're just going to sort of see what we get so again, this is a process there's no like you need to be on this setting you go here you go there you know, I just literally make a guess and it's it's too bright I turned on the power of its too dark I turned up the power and just sort of continue to work through this so we're att f ten two fifty for the second and I'm gonna have to go back a little bit here because I'm gonna have a ryan get really close so ryan, if you could keep moving in, keep moving in and stop right there you go look right here for me, joseph you're doing great cool quick test and let's go ahead and move just a little bit he's not where I want him on the background, all right? If you could move just even a little closer, they go and move out just a little bit, so what I'm doing is basically what I'm telling you ryan to move in and move out is because I want him to be as close to the subject as possible without being in the frame and the reason I want him to be as close as possible is because as we talked about yesterday the size of the light source in comparison to the distance to your subject, it really affects how soft that light is. So the closer he is to that subject, the softer that light is going to be so we got another shot here and I'm going to show you guys real quick we dropped that background out and all of a sudden we've got a pretty cool shot we're gonna do one more of these, so bye bye, justin, you've dropped in the background dark to post online. Great. So, uh, let's see here about that show my fingerprints on the back of the camera because it's hot in san francisco. Man what? I brought the weather, huh? All right, I'm going to two more of these shots and I think we can move on because, you know, this is really working well and let's go ahead and arrived here in a good spot. Let's, go ahead and put the skateboard a little higher closer closer up there, yeah, exactly and just again, uh, come this way just to here for me, this is just going to be o from your thigh up essentially so all right you're looking a little um I'm making you nervous or is it all these nice people the audience all right, so again you're the report you need to really you know we just met he doesn't know me he thinks I'm probably a horrible photographer right? So I need to know what I did to coach him through this because this is a real given take so you know, it feels like he's getting stiff just like you know be like I'm not very good at jokes but I usually hire people that are so you know, bring somebody along it's funny so right here for me go exactly just sort of move the board but as soon as you have few these cool way got some shots and I think we're looking pretty good let's go out and come on up here and we're just gonna continue like I said, we got sort of three spots here we're gonna do one more shot here there's a really cool wall right behind us here this sort of a white wall and I'm gonna like justice face and it's going to be sort of dramatic we're gonna go with the same blue theme initially I kind of like that because we can always again these air raw photos were shooting wrong let me double check that yes, we're shooting raul photos one of things you should always check before you get too far into it but you know we're going to find this other section here let's go and move up to the wall and I'm probably going to go with a different lands because all of a sudden I want to be ableto to move a little bit closer I want to be able to talk to him and all of a sudden this long lens and sort of a little bit large so twenty four to seventy make sure we're clean just give this guy a little wipe and cover this guy up and just sort of lets go and sort of like put a foot up against the wall and sort of lean back you know, like you know, sort of there you go exactly just like that and all right I want you to be a little higher with the light just up and just just his face so there you go and keep moving in orion stop there you go good again our exposure hasn't changed right? Because our available light is about the same in the clouds of sort of coming and going but I'm gonna do a test first thing I'm gonna do a test and I'm going to see where we're at looks pretty good ryan if you can come like right on my axis we're going to try to do almost like a ring light shot like almost like an on camera flash shot, because all of a sudden we're with someone moved my car way want to do is basically do something that's, a little bit artsy and, you know, I shoot a lot of the outdoors, but we also have to look at our environment were also solve a son, an urban environment, as you can hear from the car alarm going off, and we want to make it match, so we're gonna go ahead and do something. This is a little more artsy little we'll find our little gritty, and we're just going to sort of continue to work to the process here and look a little bit more about what you're trying to accomplish with the gel. Ah, the gel is basically a full ct, which is a conversion gel on what that conversion jealous it is white balance or color balance to it's, usually thirty two hundred kelvin, which is a tungsten color of light, which is a very orange light on what we've done with the cameras. We've said, our white balance on tungsten, so everything is lit with that orange gel will be the correct color, everything that's not which is available light from the sun will go very, very blue, ok? And so you're going to get that yin and yang exactly that thing we talked about yesterday. Ah lot of fine art painters they use that really warm, very cool it's a very pleasing look combination exactly exactly thank you let's do one more shot with the jelly then we're going to sort of move on. Um uh let's see here good he's got some great s so I'm gonna actually switch it up again and I'll throw in my sixty macro here so that could even get closer and we're going to do sort of like a close up portrait so we're gonna get really close and go looks good I don't want it to be dead center I want to still be working on my rule of thirds, you know? And I'm gonna have him just a little bit off and let's see let's move you just a little bit this way we're going to cover up their little weird spot on the on the wall there and moved half step back this way sorry, sorry there you go looks good looking right here at me or task because obviously we've moved the light and let's see you go up anymore on power on this guy we're going to take the power up about another stop and perfect here we go and right here so this is very very we're very close so we want to have the light is on access is possible there you go and turn this guy down. Little trial on air. The sun just came out. They go. You doing all right? Go. Looks good. Cool. Awesome. All right, let's, take that gel off. And, uh, we'll do one more shot because I don't want a pigeonhole myself. I don't want to get so so enamored with this. This moody blue shot, right? That all of a sudden I walk away from the shoot and every shot is the same sort of, um, look, so I'm gonna go ahead and just go this normal look again. Looks like we have a question. Teo. Yes? Look, it's real quick. Um, why aren't you doing this in post doing all the lighting changes in post? How hard would it be to do that person doing it here with gels? You know, they're what you can do with photo shop and light room and everything is absolutely amazing these days. I come from the days of film, and I try to do as much in camera as possible. Uh, it's just there's. Something satisfying about walking away and having a really nice looking images image in the camera. Besides that, the post processing is very expensive, the amount of time that either I spend I feel like my time's pretty valuable I don't know about you, but exactly so I mean, you'd have to hire somebody else to do my post processing or, you know, I have to do it myself. And I would rather be out here with you guys photographing and not being in front of a computer and there's, you know, there there is an art form to being a post post processor, and I totally appreciate it, it's just for me, I would prefer to be the guy behind the camera, not the computer. So cool. All right, so we're just gonna do a little bit longer shot here and, uh but, ryan, if we could ask you have you scoot back? Ugo looks good quick test and I'm still on the original white balance, which I just forgot and that's why the first shots? Always a test and now I'm gonna go back to flash white balance how do you make mistakes? You know, it happens on occasion uh, looks good, perfect. And can you go a little closer? Orion on stop back it up, back it up, back it up and good right there, go cool composing this one, so I've got him on a sort of the left side of the frame, and what I'm doing is I'm I'm using this light, almost like you were the son. I don't mind a little bit of shadow coming off the side, so I'm having him on the left side. I'm using my rule. Third, I've got my auto focus point, not actually in the left third this time, but what I'm doing is I'm focusing. I've got it in the middle, I'm focusing on his face or his eyes, which are the most important thing to me. And then I'm re composing, so that he's on that left side or as I'm looking, this left side of the frame with giving some breathing room so that he's, not bull's eyed on these, got something interesting.

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. 

Class Materials


Big Sur On Location Gear Guide.pdf


Ultimate Adventure Photography Gear Guide.pdf

Media Management Gear Guide.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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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.