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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 17 of 33

Cyclist Action Image

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

17. Cyclist Action Image

Lesson Info

Cyclist Action Image

So we have Jesse now who's gonna do another shot with us. We're gonna utilize this space a little bit more, and utilize this really cool long tunnel and all the ambient light that it has. I really like that it actually switches up the color on each one of these lights. So it's creating sort of this ring thing as you go along, and we're gonna stick him right in the middle of this. Give him a little pop with that same exact one light, with a grid set up with a half CTO on it, and see what we can find with that. So, first we're just gonna do a simple portrait. So if I could just have you ride over right there in the middle, and let's frame up a shot. Cool, yeah, perfectly. That's great. So a lot of times when I'm trying to pose an athlete, especially when I'm starting out with an athlete, I just want them to get into a natural stance. And so if they are already very good at doing what they're doing, which you seem like you've done a few photo shoots before, So he seems like he knows what ...

he's doing here. So he has a very good natural stance and I'm just gonna shoot em in that first, and then we're gonna move into something a little bit different, and coach him little bit more along the way. So I'm just gonna get the ambient light first. I'm gonna test it out, because that's really the thing that's really gonna help make this picture shine, is all the cool colors in the background, and then we're introduce a light. So first I'm just gonna get a shot. I'm gonna try 1/800th of a second, or, sorry, 800 ISO and 1/25th of a second and F:4. And I'm on a 24-70 lens right now. So let's see what we got here. Gonna center him, great. Come back just a little bit, see what this looks like. (camera shutter clicks) Cool. Cool, I really like it. It's really colorful. I'll give you guys a little peek here, it's just the ambient color right now, I haven't added any light. I got two different versions of it. Now we're gonna grab one light, still has a grid. I want the grid on there because there's a really white wall here, and if we don't have that grid, it might just spill all over it and mess up my shot, which I don't wanna do. So we're gonna put it just straight right beside me, and just aim right for his face. It's a 30 degree grid, so it's pretty tight, but it'll probably hit pretty much everywhere, depending on where we're at. Yep, perfect. Modeling light really helps out when we're in a confined area, or where not a lot of sunlight is hitting. We can see where this is all going. Again, this is a hard light source, so it's gonna make hard shadows, so if we aim off to the side or anything, you might wanna have to watch out for that. Right now I'm looking, and we're getting a little hard shadow from this light, so I want you to come up just a tad bit actually. Let me see, kill this light for one second. Come up just a little bit more. Right there. Now try to do that bike at the skew we had before. Perfect. I think that looks a lot better. There's still a little bit, but I think that actually looks nice. Just a little bit hitting the nose, but if we move up any more we might actually run into trouble. Okay so now our power is gonna be, we're gonna start at 2. but I think we're probably gonna move to 3.0. Let's start at 3.5 actually, cuz we're a little bit further away than before. But my ISO is a lot higher, so that might be completely wrong. Let's just check it out and see. Actually I'm not gonna go down for this one. Stay right here, we're hittin' his face good. Great, let's check that one out really quick. Yep, we were probably right, let's jump it back down to 2.0. Thank you, Caleb. Great. Let's do a quick test. (camera shutter clicks) Should've popped it first. Great, we have a good balance. I would say even maybe we can go a little tiny bit more. Just maybe two more little clicks up top. So right now it's at 2.0, again the lowest setting. So we're just gonna move it up to 2. so we can have it pop a little bit more than the ambient light around it. So my settings right now, again 1/25th of a second, F:4, 800 ISO. I'm on a 24-70 at about 32 millimeters, somewhere in there. Okay ready, one, two, three. (camera shutter clicks) Good. Great, can we kinda feather off that arm? Maybe come over this way instead, because I feel like it's bleeding off a little bit. Just cuz the white on his arm's a little hot. And then if we can try to get off the white as much as possible if you can. I know it might be hard. (camera shutter clicks) Good. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, so why don't you kinda lean into it now? Just sort of relax a little bit. Perfect, yeah. Maybe back up, so we can center you a little bit more too. But I like that, just sort of a relaxed pose right now. Uh, maybe pull your back of the bike that way a little bit more too. Good. Cool. Okay, look right at me. (camera shutter clicks) (camera shutter clicks) Nice. Let's see what we got. Here's let's show you guys real fast. So you can see what I'm talking about with the white, it really stands out, so we might actually do a slight-- Do you have a picture of it before you moved? Yes. Oh, before we moved the light? Yeah. Well it's pretty similar honestly, but because he also leaned into it, so it's very similar. So I think we're gonna pose him in a way where we can pull that back just a little bit more. But you can see what I'm tryin' to do, I just want the different colors, I really want those to play really heavily into the scene. It's about him, but it's also about the location here. Yeah. Cool, I'm gonna try a little bit wider shot now, so let me get my 14-24. And I also wanna show a little bit more of the tunnel, so I might get up a little bit higher. Cuz right now I'm basically just looking at him, the lines are coming in, they look really nice, the color looks okay, I'm zoomed in just a little bit, so it compresses a little bit more. But right now I wanna see the actual tunnel, I wanna see the lines. So what I'm gonna do is get up on a little two foot riser, or apple box if you have one of those. Uh, we have this beautiful cart over here we're gonna stand on. And then what we're gonna do now, if we can do sort of maybe stand off the bike. Is there a way you could stand, there's no kickstand on this bike. No. You don't have a kickstand? Man! (both chuckle) Yeah okay, let's come over this way just a little bit. Cool. Great, let's do that. Again, it's great to talk to the athlete, find out what they feel comfortable with and how they would actually sit on a bike or stand next to a bike, cuz I want them to feel very comfortable in what they're doing, but also I want the picture to look authentic to their sport and what they actually do. And you could always push a little bit more if you have a vision on what you actually wanna do, but I like to start off as close as possible to it and then morph from there. So now I'm gonna stand on this just to get a little higher. I might have to scoot forward, but let me look at this really fast. Yeah, let's get a little bit more closer to this, so we might need to move that, but keep it there for now. Yeah, just for a second. This should be fun. Great, thank you very much. Cool, now we have these lines behind. I think they look really cool. Look right at me. I'm good Ken, you're okay. But thank you though. (camera shutter clicks) So let me do a test really fast. I have a different camera now, so again sometimes it just looks a little different with a different camera. So, I'm gonna change my settings. Again, 800. What was that on the other one, 1/25th, F:4? Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna bring it up just a little bit more cuz it seems to be a little brighter on this one. (camera shutter clicks) Now we're at 5.6. We're getting a little bit of a light pool at the bottom. Can we feather up from the bottom, and just tilt up just a little bit? Basically I'm just tryin' to still hit his face, but I'm tryin' to minimize the amount of light on the bottom. A lot of the light is coming from the light around, but if we can minimize it a little bit more so we can deepen that color, it's a lot nicer. Let me see what we got. (camera shutter clicks) Cool. Let's see here, gimme a little bit more power. So what's it at, 2.2? Yes. Go to 2.5 for a second. Alright, perfect. Great, Jesse, this is nice. Let me see what we got here. So now I have the head basically right in that little spot at the end of the tunnel there, and it's just really framing it really nicely with the lines of the light, and also the lines on the bottom. So, let's take a shot real fast. (camera shutter clicks) Good. Good, we have a little bit more light on his face. I'm gonna get a little higher. (camera shutter clicks) Look off just a little bit this way now. Great. (camera shutter clicks several times) Perfect. I'm gonna do one from an angle over this way just a little bit. Show the tunnel in a different way. And we're gonna roll around. Can you angle your bike a little differently again? Uh, yeah. Just rotate, yeah, kinda the same way. Perfect. Uh, come back just a little bit. Here, let's move over this way just a tad. Cool. Okay, it's sorta that same depth. Nice. Actually, maybe I do wanna be lower. I'm not sure here. (camera shutter clicks) Look straight down the tunnel now. (camera shutter clicks) Okay I'm actually gonna move in. This is such a wide lens, I kinda wanna really bring him into the frame, almost like he's coming out of it in a way. So I'm gonna get right in there, see what we can get. (camera shutter clicks several times) Cool. Now we're gonna switch it up. We're gonna have you on your bike, just kinda sit there for a second. I'm just gonna take a sitting shot, and then we're going to get on our way and start doing some motion. Just wait a second (chuckles). Okay, so let me do a test while you're sitting there. (camera shutter clicks) Let's see this. Perfect. Can I get my, uh, Ken? Switching up lenses here to a little bit longer of a lens so I can compress the background a little bit more. Scooting back. Then, trying to do that same shot I just had a second ago. Trigger might be off. Trigger might be off. Let's see here. (camera shutter clicks) Great. (camera shutter clicks) Is there any way, this might be weird, is there any way just to pop up on there to look like your feet are on the pedals, or is it too hard to stand like that? I would probably crash. Immediately? Almost. Okay, so, again, good thing to ask these people this. These are clip-in, I'm assuming. Yeah, my foot would clip in, if I didn't get going I'd fall over real fast. Great, so these are good things to know. Always communicate with your athlete. Find out their limitations, find out what they can do. They might be able to do something amazing that you have no idea, because they are the masters of their sport. Really rely heavily on these people, because they will make your pictures great. We're in this together, we're a team. It's for the good of everything. So I'll just have another just like this, and then we'll start doing some motion real quick. Uh, look forward one more time. Perfect. So right now I'm covering one of the lights right behind his head, with his head. So we have a little bit of orange glow right behind it, but also because it's distracting if it's right behind it, so I'm trying to minimize that extra thing that we really just don't need. (camera shutter clicks several times) Great, so what I'm gonna have you do right now is, I'm gonna catch you right there again, but what I want you to do is go back. You don't have to go very fast, just go kinda slow, ride through, but I want your face to show like you're actually in it. I want you to think about being in this moment right now. Battery's at half on this. Ken, come back a little. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, go ahead whenever you're ready. (camera shutter clicks several times) Great. So here's the last round we just did. We're basically just shooting the same thing, but having where he's coming from and where he's going sort of thing. I was trying to do this before, get him right in front of that light. And then here's some of just the standing shots. Very similar, it just morphed into a motion shot from what we were standing at. So Jesse I'll show you a couple of them too. So basically, when you're riding are you really up, or do you go down, or is that dependent? I would come down if I was racing, on these. Yeah? So yeah, I mean I can do that. I guess yeah, just look like, I guess, I don't know, just look like you're almost in the grit and grit of it, ya know? Okay. Like it's coming down to almost the end of this-- Yeah. And you're really trying to rip through it. Okay. Yeah, let's show a little bit more. You don't have to, you know, really be contorted face or anything, but if you showed a little bit more. Okay. I think it sells that you're going faster than you actually are. Okay. So we'll try like two more passes on that, and then, just one second Jesse. Basically again it's a 30 degree grid, it's pretty tight, so he's gonna just kinda move it along with him as he goes by so I can take a few shots, more than what I normally would take. And you could fire pretty fast now because it's on such a low speed. Ken, I'll need that in one second actually. Lemme get in position real quick. Let me just take one shot really quick to make sure my exposure's still there. (camera shutter clicks) Great. I might actually darken it up just a tad. (camera shutter clicks) Yeah. So I just changed my ISO to 1000, and 1/200th of a second, just so I can make sure that I'm freezing him as he's going by. He's not going very fast, I don't really need him to go very fast right now. That's why we're coaching him and directing him, and trying to get him in the mode of "this is competition". Try to act like that. And usually these pro guys know what that feeling's like, so they could replicate it pretty easily. Okay, go ahead. (camera shutter clicks several times) Cool. So we panned with him that time. Caleb did a great job of really getting him in there, but what I really like about it is now his body language, I just like how it's leaning forward more, and it looks a little bit more engaged. Here, I'll show you really fast. Yeah, sweet. I think especially people who don't know riding as well will really be like: "Oh he looks like he's really riding there!" Good. I mean, of course the wheels will be in focus, but we're gonna fix that in a second. Okay. We're gonna shoot one more, a little wider. Okay. Maybe we'll have, no, she's gone. I was gonna say Kierstin can do it. No Kierstin? We could do another one with him. What's that? Check your aperture, 1000. You wanna jump back over here really quick so I could do a quick test? Yeah. This one's a little brighter though, it's been going a little brighter. Was I on 5.6 for that one? You were at 4.0. Okay, I think it was 5.6 on this one earlier. Grab him there. (camera shutter clicks) There we go. I do kinda like how that was coloring everything better though. It looked nice. Okay, let's see. I'm gonna get a little closer to him on these ones because, again, this is such a wide angle, I think it really benefits from getting in there. (camera shutter clicks) So Jesse, I'm gonna catch you right about here. So, right about that line, really that's where I want you to sell it. Cool. Again we have a very similar shot than we just did, we're just doing a little wider. (camera shutter clicks) Usually when I'm shooting action, to keep focus I'll remember my spot and I'll kinda track with him a little bit with my focus, so I can maintain that. Ready? Yep. (camera shutter clicks several times) Nice. Let's do another one, I want you to pass me. Can you pump back just a little bit? Just the same thing, I'm just gonna pan a little bit more with you. Yeah. What's your focus setting? I'm on manual focus. Well no, not manual, I'm on auto focus, but I have a back button focus that I'm using. A lot of times when I'm shooting action and sports, I'll do that because if you have somebody in place, like yesterday when we pre-focused, I actually think I turned it off most of the time. But, I can then stop the focus wherever I want, and not worry about my trigger actually focusing. Alright, whenever you're ready. Alright. (camera shutter clicks several times) There we go. Cool, so I obviously fired a lot faster just to show the speed of these things when you're at a low power. I think I was firing probably six to eight frames a second. And it held up every single time, and we panned along with it, so we got a couple different looks to this picture now. You can come around and look at it. Here was the last couple shots, obviously these are not really ones I'd use. But we go back, and some other nice ones. I mean, they get a little different than what we had originally. And then we get that longer trail, which is what I really like. So even something right there is where I would really go and maybe crop a little bit more, punch up these back colors a little bit cuz they're super cool.

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.