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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 26 of 33

Camera Raw Post Production: Basketball

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

26. Camera Raw Post Production: Basketball

Lesson Info

Camera Raw Post Production: Basketball

So I shoot pretty flat on all my images. In my camera I set my profiles to flat so I can have all the tweaks and everything I want to do and I'm not too thrown off by what the camera's doing for me. So right away I think my intention is drama and contrast. So I think this first image here I want to go for this even more. So, it shows a little bit of that already, but I want to punch that in more so I think I want to bump up my contrast first. Add a little more, it's getting a little dark now. So I think the clarity goes up. You don't wanna do too much 'cause obviously this could look really bad real fast. So I usually just add a in just little bit to clarify the image. It might even get too much. Sometimes I'll even take down the contrast. If it's a little too much. But this one, I wanna get that punch. The sky was a little overcast. I like warm images. His skin tone I think it looks a little nicer warm. So I just gave it a little bit of boost in the temperature. Highlights look pretty...

good except in the sock area. I'm gonna go into Spot and take down the highlight on the sock down here. A little bit oh I can use the tablet here. I use a pen tablet sometimes. It's hard editing on a laptop. I'm still up pretty high on that so let's bring it down even more. There's a lot of room in these new cameras. DSLRs have endless, endless amount of, well not endless but of dynamic range and when you shoot specifically for that it's nice. So I'm gonna crop out the light on the left. My horizon is a little off so I'm gonna rotate. And try to work in a nice composition here. Again I'm shooting a little wide. I want add in the context of the scene. There's a nice garbage can back there we can probably edit out. Pull in just a little bit on that side. It's still gonna be a little weird on the structure in the background. This is not an architectural shoot. This is about a basketball player. So I wasn't really paying attention on this part in terms of how wide my lens is and what's it's doing to the features 'cause I am shooting up at him. I usually free form crop and just whatever I feel like it looks good in. That's what I usually go with. Feel like the ground is getting a little bit more attention than it should so I'm gonna take a gradient and I think highlights still can do the heavy lifting right here. Pull it up, just take it away just a little bit. Maybe I might actually bring the actual exposure down right there too. We were shooting with a pretty soft source I believe on this one. It looks like the shadows not really too hard back there. So it's not very contrasty or anything right now. I haven't really done much to this in terms of that, these are basically the same image I think. So I'm gonna see what it looks by just copying it over. All the settings and see what it looks like. See it gave it a little punch. I'm a little hot on the face now, but we can bring that back down. I think I'll take down some of the contrast I'll add that in when I get into Photoshop. The horizon's a little wonky but only because the right side of the frame is going up that way. I'll mess with that crop later. I think I like what's going on now, it's a little bit punchy in terms of the color so I'll bring that down. I think most of these orange tones right there need to be worked on. So same thing for this sock right here. Same exact location. I'm just gonna bring down that a little bit. It might be a little too much, yeah Kat. Could you tell us about what you're using as the tablet? Yeah I'm using Wacom tablet. This is very helpful for fine tuning stuff and getting in there really close and more precisely. It's really great, really pressure sensitive, so the harder you press the harder it'll actually fill out. You can draw with it. Can you see the image on there as well? What's that, not on this tablet. You can get ones that you can actually do it directly on the screen. But I'm working with one just off to the right. It's kind of hard to get used to, but once you do it makes work speed up way faster. Like if I was doing this with just the track pad it would take me a lot longer. But I think this leg needs a little bit more contrast to it too. So I'm gonna go into a new adjustment, add some contrast. And then I'm gonna go back with my pen tool and put in some contrast right here. It's not really much. Some of this stuff is just small tweaks. I'm still in camera RAW. I still fine tune it back in Photoshop. Also if you set your pen tablet down and you're using your mouse sometimes it's messed up. So I'm gonna keep adding more contrast to this 'cause I'm still on that same layer, or that same adjustment brush. And I think that's a lot better now. Let's go in the face a little bit and pull down a little bit on the highlight spots right there, and also I think the color too can come down on those cheekbones. I opened up the ball I think a little bit right here. Actually I brought down the shadows so you can see I made a little adjustment brush. I think I'm gonna pull it back to a little bit above where it was so I'm taking some shadow out of there. I can do some more stuff to this but I think it's pretty good at this point. It's a little darker on this side maybe I'd want to do a gradient on the left side just to balance it out a little bit. Just a quick exposure, no, too much. On the ground and then we can pull back a little bit if we need to. So grab that click on the adjustment and do this right there and you can see I did a little bit of groundwork right here too if we do the before and after. You can see I did a lens correction. Actually this is the lens a correction. This is without it. It's kind of bowing forward. Sometimes I actually don't like the lens correction. See here's the lens correction. Here's without it. It's kind of bulging forward towards you. The ball kind of actually extends a little further out and makes it a little oblong. But it does lighten up those sides and corrects that issue I was having. So I think I am gonna keep that on there. Let's move on to the next image really quick. We're gonna see these ones again. So I currently I'm still not sure what I like out of those two dribbling shots. I like this shot. I think I'm going to, yeah I put in the image correction. It didn't do much. Took away a little bit of the grating around the sides. Okay so I kind of pre-did these ones a little bit already. This is one of those one sample shots I was talking about. I did pretty much a similar exposure. I decreased some of the contrast 'cause it was getting a little too dark in the darks, however, then I pulled down some shadows because I really wanted to make a little bit more dramatic. Pulled down the highlights because it was a little hot on his head. I wasn't really feeling that, puled that down, added a little clarity so we could get that contrast back in. And a little bit of the saturation or vibrance I pulled down as well. So we're gonna edit that picture. This one I kind of did too just a little pre. I'm gonna add a little bit more warmth to the sky. It's looking a little wonky blue there. I always like skies that have a different color to them. You can see a little bit of warmth down here. I might actually just pump that up a little bit put a little gradient filter on the bottom. And then add a little bit of warmth down here like it's later in the day or something doesn't make sense but I like it. A lot of what I do in Photoshop is literally what I feel like the picture I want it to look like and yeah I don't know if I want that or not. I feel like that's a little wonk. I don't really care about not having the hoop too much. And the net thing is okay you see what's going on. This kind of puts a stopping point down here. I'm not sure if I'll keep it, but for now I think I will. Again it feels very posy in this picture. I don't think I would submit this one as a final. So this one right here again the grating at the top or the hot spots at the top I think I would correct that a little bit more. Let me pull in a new one bring down that exposure a little bit just right here so it's more balanced and not so drawing to your eye. You gotta watch out for these brushes sometimes you can go a little bit into the sky like over here and then you have to take it back, but I'm gonna do it afterwards. I'm just going to erase and try to carve around here and use this pen instead. Because again that track pad is hard. You can also use the auto mass feature but sometimes it doesn't work incredibly well. Usually it's pretty good though. So I like that one to go into Photoshop now, and then we look at this one. This one's real dark, dark. So I'm gonna bring this up just a little bit in the exposure. Bring up my clarity, do I like that? No, I don't really care for that too much. I'm gonna bring down my contrast. I'm not feeling this image as much as I was earlier. It's just good having second eyes on it. Let's pull this up. Sometimes I like to just isolate my athletes. I don't really like this tree down here. I think I would just Photoshop it out. Or if we were doing this for, it depends on my client what I Photoshop out by the way. It's not always like I'll just take that out in post because who wants to do that? It takes forever. So sometimes I will try to do the work ahead of time if I possibly can because it just takes so much out of it and it makes it a lot easier on you. I think I'm gonna keep this for now. I'm gonna do this anyway. I'm gonna add a little more warmth to it. I kinda like it cool. Okay and this last one nothing really done to that. The exposure is a little bit too much for me. His forehead caught a lot of light. If I were gonna do this again I'd tweak it a little more so we could get that off of there. We might be able to take it out in post as well. Because we were moving that around a lot. We ended up putting it behind his head so it wouldn't be as much. I'm gonna add some contrast into this. Pull down some shadows, usually using what we already have there we created a shadow under there but being flat you don't see it as much so you gotta really stick with what you imagined. Like I imagined this to be kinda moody so that's what I'm gonna use in Photoshop as my guide for it. So I'm gonna increase those blacks 'cause his shirt was black. It looks a little more grayish right there. We're getting down in our exposure now. I still feel like this has a nice look to his face. Again the highlights on his head aren't the best but I don't mind too much. Let's go into lens correction and see what that does. Nope don't care for that. Sometimes I just try stuff see what it looks like, and if I don't like it just put it back. It's a lot of playing around a lot of back and forth and however I feel. I'll play music a lot of times and that will influence how I am editing. If it's kind of upbeat and funky I'll be like let's add a lot more color to this. It just really depends on my mood or what I'm going for.

Class Description

When starting out in Sports Photography it’s difficult to begin finding your creative style. Going out and practicing with friends or local athletes is the best way to start building your portfolio. But what happens when you want to take your images to the next level?

Join Red Bull Photographer Dustin Snipes, as he takes you on a journey through the creative process behind photographing 3 sports at 5 locations with 5 athletes. He'll be working with students to show the best ways to communicate and inspire the athletes he's photographing, as well as how to maximize time spent with them. Dustin takes students through the challenges of photographing in direct sunlight, at public locations, in parks with mixed light, and in water.

Dustin teaches:

  • How to photograph basketball athletes, triathletes, and a fencer
  • The pros and cons to working outside in direct sunlight
  • How to communicate with and work with professional athletes and non-pros
  • Working through unique challenges of on-location shoots
  • Lighting techniques to capture the athlete
  • On-location portraits
  • Freeze motion and capture water to get that hero shot
  • How to use motion blur to capture a moving bicycle
  • The importance of being flexible on location to maximize your surroundings

Do you dream of taking professional athlete’s portraits? Do you want to have your images on the covers of magazines? Then join Dustin Snipes as he teaches you his secrets to maximizing locations in short periods of time, communicating with athletes to get the most out of their movements, and lighting a scene to capture the frame you want. 

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Loved all the ideas and why he's positioned his athletes the way he did, and positioned the lighting. I met Dustin a few years ago at and NPAC conference. It's nice to see him doing these teaching videos. His work is very inspiring to me.

a Creativelive Student

Less talk and all action.. This is the best no mumbo jumbo talks and straight to practical work..

Alexandra Schaede

I really enjoyed the multiple exposure video, the pity is that they are no videos to talk about the post processing of this image.