Skip to main content

photo & video

Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 4 of 33

Cross Light Outdoor Portrait

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

4. Cross Light Outdoor Portrait

Lesson Info

Cross Light Outdoor Portrait

Okay, so now that we had our one light in there, we're just gonna add another on in there. And this is mostly to to really make him stand out from the background and just add another element of interest in there. So, we have this light over on the left side of him and that's really just hitting his face right now. We're trying to keep it off of his shoulders, 'cause we really want a dark shadow right down this middle. Again, we're still in the same theme of being very dramatic in these shots. And then we're adding another light on the other side, where we can just hit the backside of his head. So we can show that a little bit more. And get it out of the shadow. Illuminate the subject a little bit better. We switched up our modifiers before we had a big, big really focused umbrella that was kind of hard. And we switched it over to a beauty box. Which is just basically a portable beauty dish. Beauty dish is kind of a soft, hard light. And it's kind of almost directional as well too. We'r...

e gonna use these two lights and see what we can get out of it. Yeah, so, yeah keep that same pose we had from the first light. Look back just a little bit more. Perfect, yeah. Just keep back. Try to replicate the same shot. (camera clicking) So I'm gonna lay back down on the ground to get a much lower angle, try to get sky. And just him in there. We're gonna shoot this same shot. Yep, I like that arm out there so really separates from your body, good. Pull your hand just a little bit back, though. In towards your, towards your leg. There you go, right there. A little separation is always good when you're working with arms around body. Especially in a very dramatic situation. Because otherwise you could end up losing limbs, a lot of the times. So, a little separation is very great. Okay, great. Couple more of these. One second. Pull your left shoulder a little bit more towards me. Fantastic. (camera clicking) Good. Pull our hand out just a little bit more on your right. On your right side, grip the ball with your left. Yep, good. (camera clicking) Perfect, one more. (camera clicking) All right, so now we have, we have a lot more light, we have a separation light on the right side. I think I want a little bit more, more shadow on his backside. Right now we have a shadow, oh thank you. We have a shadow right here if you can look off again. We have a shadow here. His shirt's a little bit more lit 'cause obviously he's facing towards the light. So we're gonna have Ken scoot this over to your, yep. Perfect right there. We're just really aiming for this side. And this one is obviously just aiming right here. We have a diffusion on this front side for his face to make it a little bit softer. And then the back side is going to be a little bit harder because it doesn't have one. So I'm at the same settings, 2500th of a second. 3.2 and ISO 50. So I'm gonna lay back down, shoot the same shot. (camera clicking) Great. (camera clicking) Good, one more. Breathe. (camera clicking) Great, let me see here. I really like what's going on right now. It's really lighting his face fully. But we can even move the light a little bit more that way and get a little bit more shadow on this side of his face as well. So, we're gonna have Caleb move it a few inches over, just to get a little bit more. This nose is gonna create a shadow right here. It's gonna kinda create this sort of a shadow and define his face a little bit more as opposed to just throwing all the light directly on it. He's not moving from his position, but we're changing up the mood of the photo. I'm gonna lay right back down where I was. My settings are still exactly the same as they were before. 2500th of a second, 3.2 and 50 ISO. And I'm still using a 24 to 70 millimeter lens. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) (camera clicking) Great, one more. (camera clicking) Perfect, yeah. Little progression there. We might not be able to go back to the first one. But this is the last shot here. So basically just added that edge lighting right there. This is the harder light. So you can see on the face, when we go back a few, and then you can see that's the fuller light I believe. So there's more of a shine when you get to the harder one. It's a little bit more like a hard white light on it. And you see a lot more shadow, you don't see the side light on that one.

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

Related Classes



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.