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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 21 of 33

Create Your Own Environment

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

21. Create Your Own Environment

Lesson Info

Create Your Own Environment

So, say if you wanted to shoot an athlete like this, a triathlete, and you didn't have access to a spot with water, you can kinda create your own environment and really make a picture out of nothing by just picking any location, it can be inside or outside, and just make something a little bit more creative. So right now we're just going to use the water in front as a texture and to get the idea across that this person spends their time in the water. So we're starting that right now, we're testing light and seeing what's working, and I'll tell you about it as I go along. So, okay, so let's test some light. What is the power out on this one? Do you guys know? (Crew talking) Okay, let's pull that back down. How're you doing? Good. Cool. I5. What are these, these are eight? So these should probably go up to about seven because it has the thing on it. Actually, let's go to 6.5. So we're gonna try it out, this one at 6.5, it has a grid on the front of the beauty dish, the grid is really...

gonna direct the light straight over the face, and I'm doing it at, if you're looking at this, it's like at this angle right now, I kind of want it to be very dramatic and shape the face and kind of carve it out. The edge lightings are really gonna hit the sides of the cheeks, and again just like really emphasize her bone structure in her face. So I think it's gonna look really nice. It's also going to highlight the water as it crosses in the back. So, after we get this all tested we will start shooting. Let's see, where are we at right now? Cool, looking good. Okay, I'm gonna do a test, see what we're at. That one's turned in just a little bit, try to come out. And actually it needs to come in a little more this way. Looks like it's a little off. Come up just a little bit to me. Right there, stop. Great. And take a half-step to your right. A small step you your left, right there. Good, perfect. This is very, very precise. We want the light to be very very even because it's such a close shot, so it's a lot of little movements, and a lot of small tweaks. So let's see what this 85 looks like. Alright. It's a little hot, let's bring out my aperture just a little bit. I'll try to correct this with just changing my settings. That's a good lean, good lean right there. Cool, let's see what we got here. Great. Zoom in just a little bit. Take a half step back. Right there, perfect, thank you. How're you feeling? Good. Good, okay. It's pretty good right now on the sides, I just want a little bit more eye light I think. So. Let's see, maybe we can just tilt this up just a little bit. I'm gonna walk right beside you, don't move. I'm just gonna look where this is at. I like to check a lot of times from the athlete's perspective, 'cause there's a lot of times that you could see a lot better from that side. Just getting into the shot. Try to get it from their perspective. Let's see chin down just a little. Yep, perfect. A little bit more up. There you go, good. Perfect. So here's what we got so far. Oh, cool. Yeah. So-- what's that? You want to do one more? Okay, we'll do one more. That right side, actually, if we have any sort of black to fill that little corner right there. It's because it's wrapped up a little too much. (crew talking) Let's see here. So currently, my settings are 250th of a second, my aperture is at F8, and my ISO is at 64. So the reason I'm shooting at F is 'cause I want a lot of texture and grittiness for everything being in focus. So I'm trying to shoot as much as I can. So these are at pretty high power. Do you remember what we put this one at? 6.5? You remember, that's great. And these ones are at F8, or at 8 on the back. Great, so here, let me pull back just a tad bit more. This looks pretty awesome. Good, perfect. Alright, let's show you guys what it looks like real quick. So this is what we got so far. So you see we're wrapping around the light around the face to really shape her and really make her stand out. She looks very strong and heroic, we're giving her a lot of shadow, really emphasizing... The suit looks really great with this light, I think. Hang on, let's show you, hang on. If we can zoom in just a little bit. And you see how even I try to make the light on the sides, it's very close. This one could be moved just a little bit more. But it's got little darker edges around there too because the way with the grid, it's not really wrapping as much because we have that grid on there and it's really just pushing it all right here, and once it gets that edge on her jawline, it just cuts out-- on her cheekbones, I mean. So, we're gonna keep shooting it, we have a little tiny flare on the left, so normally in this case we would put up a flag closer to me so we would cut that down, but we don't really have time right now so we might just use a little longer lens and it would help out a little bit more. Use what you got. We're making a flag right now. We have a couple of extra umbrellas, this will block the light coming back at my lens, and I think it'll help take away some of that flare. Okay, same thing. We're just gonna do some pretty standard straight on shots, and then we're gonna move a little bit and then do some water. This is great. You check this? We're getting more flare actually now. Yeah, come to my right. Or, come to your right, sorry. Stop. Okay, hold it. We might have to block the right side too, honestly. So yeah, here let me give you a little direction. Come in, Jordan. Right there, stop. Come back just a little bit. If you can actually turn this way a little bit more so I'm not getting so much of that, that'd be great. Come in just a little bit more Jordan. Come in just a little bit more... And stop. Now Caleb come in just a little bit to my right, keep going. A lot more, actually. And... stop. Okay. Great, let me check that. So. Let me show you guys real quick. So I was getting flare before, so you can get a lot, especially with these lights pointing right at your lens, you can get a little bit of that. And we cleaned it up. Looks a lot better now, a lot more crisp. So basically, I was looking at this, and then I was kind of-- I stayed in my same spot but I turned a little this way to see if I could still see the light, and if I could it's basically can see my lens. So I just kept moving Shawn in slowly until he was blocking it, and then that way we blocked all the flare out. So, let's have you step back. And then, we are going to... Before we do the wet shot, we're going to have you do a 3/4. Just hero shot. There you go. Little wider stance on your feet. Left... yep, there you go. Okay. Yep, stop. And a little in, Caleb. Right there, stop. Okay. A little bit down there, Shawn. Okay a little bit more in. Stop. Good, great. Okay. Bring your left shoulder a little bit more towards me. Great. One, two, three. Good. One, two, three. Good. Look off to your right side. Perfect. Good. One more. Great. Let me check those out. Those look wonderful. Okay, square back up. We're gonna just go right into it. Put your goggles on. I'm gonna spray your face. Don't be scared. Oh, I put my fingers on it. Oh, it's okay, we're gonna spray you. Actually, can I have the lens cleaning cloth again? Thank you very much. That's how you put your goggles on, you press them. Sorry. Tell me if anything's pushing weird on my face too. I just start shining your head. Is that okay, yeah? Let me see this string. I'm gonna pull this back and tuck it in. Just like one of these little straps back here. I'm gonna tuck it in right here, if that's okay. Cool. So you're gonna spray one side? Sure. We need another sprayer! Anybody wanna spray? Okay, I'm sorry. Sorry, I know, every single time. I'm gonna do it a lot just to... Okay, so. What I want you to do-- I'm gonna spray your shirt too. ♪ Do do do do, do do do ♪ I'm gonna do your head. 'Cause you're not actually spraying her. So what you're gonna do is make sure you just kinda get in front like this. So from each side you're gonna do that. Lemme see where you're at. Let me do one without it first. Block the light, gentlemen. Let me see, okay. And do a half step to your right. Perfect. Thank you very much. Come in a little bit, Caleb. Right there, good. One, two, three. Good. Check this. Okay, let's start the spray. Up. Good. Keep going. Okay, slow down on the spray. There you go. One of you do up, one of you do down. Real quick. One of you do behind, one of you do in front. Yeah, and just do one every one second. There you go. Good. Come in, I'm gonna come in a little bit more guys. Good, keep going. Right there. Okay, spray! Let me check these really quick. Actually I like it in the back. Spray in the back, both of you spray behind her. So right now we're at 250th of a second, F8, ISO 64. We're on the same exact thing, we're just kind of adding stuff as we go along. Everything looks good so far. I was shooting in the front, it was blocking too much of her face, so we're gonna pull it back and put it behind her and still get the same effect I think. So, lets go again. Both of you spray up at the same level this time. You're good. Okay, go ahead. Chin down just a tad. Yeah, there you go, perfect. Good. Can you hold the sides of your goggles. There you go. Perfect. Good. Turn your right shoulder a little bit towards me. There you go, stop. Get a little bit more room. Keep going, spray a lot. Up higher. Great, lower. Get a little bit more spread. Scoot back just a little, there you go. Okay, go again. Nice work. Couple more. Pull this back just a little, there you go. Okay, I wanna do one more shot. So basically turn to the side. Okay. Just like that. Okay. Same thing, spray behind. (Model mumbling) You're good right now. I'm just shooting kind of a head shot. Scoot in just a little bit. There you go. Okay, turn a little bit towards me. There you go, stop. Chin up a little. Good. Okay, goggles on top of your head. Okay. Yep, just like that. Spray. Come back just a little. Thank you. Glance over at me. There you go, perfect, don't move. Little bit more spray in the top right. Good. Now by her shoulders. Perfect, that's great. Okay. Hold for a second. Actually, give me one smile. Do that again. Pull this back just a little. Go again, spray. Good. So there's obviously a lot of variation here with the spray. You see how we add a little bit of texture to it. So you see there's a lot of variation in the water so you gotta really just... You almost have to coach them a little bit on who's spraying and really direct it where you need it to go. Yeah, some of these work really well. Yeah, and I like the hands up. We were just talking about it, I wanted to make sure they felt like, your sport, and it felt good. So that's good. So we're gonna try one more time. I think actually if somebody came and sprayed this way that might work really nicely. And just have one for a second. You could maybe even try both. But try one first, let's see what that does. Okay, bring this in just a little bit. Good, right there. Don't move. And spray. Yeah, there you go. Nice, I like these. I feel like that's good. A little bit more to your right, Cat. There you go, perfect. No, you're good. Good, chin up just a tad, there you go. Now down and lean in a little bit towards me. Push this back just a little bit. There you go, yep. Good, couple more. I'm gonna scoot in, so guys scoot in a little bit. Little bit more there Shawn. Right there, cool. Okay, spray! Good. Couple more. Here I'm gonna do a horizontal. Check this... Yeah, good. Spray, spray, spray! Two of them now. Double spray! Oh, she's getting ready. There we go, good. Okay, cool. So we're gonna move on with Jesse, real quick. Thank you so much, that was awesome.

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. 



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.