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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 9 of 33

Dynamic Mid-Air Basketball Image

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

9. Dynamic Mid-Air Basketball Image

Lesson Info

Dynamic Mid-Air Basketball Image

We're gonna keep the same angle. We're gonna keep the lights the same way, and we're just gonna change up the move. We're not gonna shoot with the hoop in there. We're going to try to just do some sort of, like pass, or move in the air. Some sort of acrobatic sort of jump that makes it look dynamic. So, they're both guards. So, they're both like ball handlers, so we're gonna talk with KB and see kind of, what we can do here. (Dustin laughs) Okay. Like, what do you think we can do? So, I like it, again, when body parts are kinda spread out, you know. When you're jumping, but you look like you're moving in the air as well. So, like, think about, like, if you were catching it, like, going up, wait, wait, let me think here... Almost like a trick pass, in a way, like, almost if you were on the Harlem Globetrotters and doing something completely ridiculous, you know. So, let's try to do... (Dustin exhales) Let's see here. So yeah, still using the trampoline, we wanna kinda get you up. Yo...

u can go under your leg, you can go, like, around your back or something, like a no-look pass sort of thing, around your back this way. What do you feel most comfortable with? Behind the back is pretty easy. Okay, let's try that and see what it looks like. Okay. And, see if we can kinda tweak it to see where it would work the best. Okay. So, let's see what it looks like. We're gonna have you looking this way... Actually, show me what you're gonna do first, and then, let me try to figure out which way we're gonna move your...everything else. Can I grab that? Thank you. What's the setting? One second, KB. 2000. 5.6. Can you stand there just for a second? Because the ISO's a little bit different. (camera shutters) (camera beeping) Can we move those lights a little bit more behind? 'Cause they're hitting a little bit on the side too much. I'm gonna be like this way or I'm gonna be here? Don't act like the hoop's there. That doesn't matter right now, yeah. Behind you is the more important spot right now. So, realistically, if we we're gonna shoot this, I'd probably go over there, and get you away from the hoop, so you don't think about that. But don't even act like that's there right now. Act like we're, this is more of a, like, he has, like, if we're doing a story about you, it'd be, like, he has one of the greatest agil- or passing, like, he is the greatest passing mines or has a monster agility or something like that. So, we want to show off like one of your talents, like, during this. It's more of a feature on you and your abilities and what you can do. Okay. So, let's think about it that way. Let's have you go up and try the around the back pass really quick. You want me to actually, like... Yeah, go ahead and do it. Where would you be throwing it to? Generally, in this area. Let's have somebody over this way to catch the ball. Actually, do you want it? Well, you can take a break. (Dustin laughs) I'm gonna have him pass. Yeah, you got it, Ken? Yeah. We'll see if I take one to the face. (Dustin laughs) I like your attitude! Okay. (camera shutters) Yeah, okay. Let me speed this up a little bit. This camera's on slow. Let me see this. I like that. See this was - I caught it too slow. Oh. But, can you stand there for a second so I can kinda pre focus? A lot of times with action too, if I know exactly where they're gonna jump, I'll pre focus it a lot, especially if it's on like a 5/6th to F8. If we can nail our spot every single time, it really helps, and, I think with these guys, they're so good at this that we can just basically pre focus it and not worry so much about tracking as we go along. Because it's really hard to make sure everything is in focus, and then, your framing is cracked as well. So, we're gonna pre frame it. We're gonna try to keep you in this area. Okay. You can literally even... if you don't need to run and jump, that's fine. if you wanna just jump and do it... Yeah. That's totally cool too, and then we could just kinda repeat a couple of them. Okay. So, I'm gonna pre focus on you, so don't move just yet. Let me get in my position. I'm gonna sit on this controller again. Perfect. Okay, jump up there real fast. Let me see. Stand there. (camera shutters) Good. (camera beeping) Loop? No loop. Okay, so. Remember, try to... big. Think big. Out there, you know, very big moves, and then we'll pull you back if it's too much. Actually, I wanna lay back on the ground. 'Cause I wanna get over that railing. Okay, whenever you're ready. (camera shutters) Cool, let's do it again. (camera beeping) I shot a little too late on that. Let's rotate just a little bit. Okay. So, we can see more of the pass. So, try it again. (camera shutters) Okay, go ahead. (camera beeping) (ball bouncing) Yeah, even that. (camera beeping) Like, right as you're... I wanna see right as you're letting it out of your hand, and looking towards the direction. So, I wanna see it right when it leaves your hands. So, kinda. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, see how spread out...feel how spread out that is. That's what I want. Wait, watch out. Oh, wait. Here. Stand up there so I can pre focus again. (camera shutters) Okay, whenever you're ready. (camera beeping) (camera shutters) (ball bouncing) Let's do it again. Try to bring those legs up. Okay. (camera shutters) Let me check that really fast. (camera beeping) Okay, let's do two more in a row. I wanna pre focus one more time. Okay. Ready when you are. Okay. (camera shutters) Little late there. Same thing. Okay, I'm gonna count three, two, one. And, then, right after one, jump. So, three, two, one, jump, but I won't say jump. I'll just say three, two, one. Three, two, one. (camera shutters) Good. Two more in a row. (camera beeping) Three, two, one. (camera shutters) One more. (camera beeping) Three, two, one. (camera shutters) (ball bouncing) Oh, did you go under that time? (camera beeping) I did go under. Here, try it one more time. Rotate a little bit more. This way? The other way. Yes. One more. There you go. Right there. Three, two, one. (camera shutters) Oh yeah, we're going under again. (Dustin laughs) (camera beeping) I have a short memory. Okay, one more time. Under? Yup. Alright. Just jump whenever you're ready. I'll try to catch ya. Alright. (camera shutters) There we go. Let's check that one really fast. (camera beeping) For this one, try to keep your mouth, like, tucked in. You know, pretty closed on this one. But, otherwise, I think the movement looks good. Actually, you know what, for this, since we're going under the leg, let's come even more this way. Rotate even more this way. So, where do you think the ball is gonna go now? Towards the middle? So, it's gonna be like... Yeah, so right about there? Cool. Let me pre focus again. Just one second. Okay, ready when you are. (camera shutters) Nice. Look where the ball is going this time. (camera beeping) Okay. Okay, whenever you're ready. Alright. (camera shutters) Nice. (camera beeping) Then, one more, and then we'll switch off. Alright. (camera beeping) See if you're ready. Go ahead. (camera shutters) Cool. Let's switch it up. (camera beeping) (ball bouncing) So, we're gonna do a very similar thing, obviously, but I want your style on it. Okay. So, you saw what we were doing before. Mhmm. We're basically just trying to create a dynamic jumping. More of, like, a photo illustration of, like... Mhmm. Of you. So, what would you say that, like, would define you? Or, what would you like to try? So, maybe, like, I'll jump and then, just, like, try to go between the legs, like, looking up as if I was gonna dunk it like that. Yeah. Or, come in and turn around and do one of these. And, yeah. Totally. And sort of, like, tuck my leg. Yeah. So, if we're gonna do that, I would say. So, again, I'm right here. Mhmm. So, we wanna see. If you were like this. If your body was opened up towards me this way. So, if you came in and jumped that way or if you were gonna come around, I would wanna see. Yes. Just like that. I want your chest opened up to me on this side. So, and your face looking over up towards that way. And, again, your legs and everything kinda, like, really big. Think bigger. Mhmm. Because it's so hard with a still image to make it look dynamic, unless you're really just out there, you know. So, I think that what you have in mind is perfect. So, let's try that again. I think your approach was good. Leaning over. Again, leaning around towards this way to kinda open up your chest towards the camera that way. And, then, pointing your head back towards that way. Don't really... You don't even need to think that the hoop is that high either. Again, like, it's not necessarily there because we're not gonna see it in the image. So, don't overextend it if it's going up too high. Really just kinda make sure it's, like, this way, so it's visible to the camera. Okay. But, still, you know, look towards that way, so it's not, like, you're just, like, hey, what's up at the camera. (Dustin laughs) Cool. Alright. Here we go. I'm gonna do a quick... Okay. Yeah, a quick...sorry. Focus test. If you could just stand right there or I can have Ken or whatever. Somebody else stand there. That'd be great. So, do a little fake for me. Like what you were gonna do. Fantastic, and you're gonna be moving too at the same time, correct? Mhmm. So, you'll be kinda floating this way more. So, maybe I'll come a little bit more this way. Great. I love how the body is rotated. Try not to turn too much towards me because I do like this little, like, no. Pull your right shoulder back. Perfect. How you were envisioning it before. Yes. (camera shutters) Okay. (camera beeping) Great. So, now. Let's do it. Alright. Whenever you're ready, sir. (ball bouncing) (camera shutters) Let's try it again. (camera beeping) Try to pull those legs up. (camera shutters) Nice. Remember (camera beeping) try not to reach your head so far up because the hoop doesn't exist in these pictures. Try to make it, like, it's almost level with you, you know. You're about to dunk it. It doesn't matter about this. We're just really shooting you in the sky. And, so, think about it two feet lower. Okay. That way, we don't have to create our neck going up so much. (camera shutters) Yeah, just like that. (camera beeping) Oh, I love that. That was great. Do that again. (Dustin laughs) Let me get a little lower, so I can get the tree line outta there. And, one second. Go ahead. (camera shutters) Oh, I caught you too early. Went in front of your face. (camera beeping) (camera shutters) Nice. That one was pretty good. Let me check. (camera beeping) Nice. Try to get your face down just a little bit more. Can we give him an eye line? Mhmm. Just maybe, like, a little bit below it. So, Caleb is your new hoop. Okay. And, even to the right side of Caleb's face a little bit. Again, cheat out just a little bit. The camera's more important than making the shot in this one (Dustin laughs). (camera shutters) Yeah, same thing. (camera beeping) This one, I like the move you're doing. I really like the way your arms are coming up like this. I don't think you need to do the start part, unless it really helps you get into it. Yeah, it's just kinda natural like that. Do it, then. Yeah. I'd rather you do it natural and authentic than, like, forcing it into it. I was gonna say if you didn't need to do that extra bit... Mhmm. Then, just cut it out. But, do it again if it helps, for sure. Okay. (camera shutters) Cool. Can you bring your legs, like, split them a little? (camera beeping) You don't have to bring them up. Just split them a little bit. Okay. Let's try it. (camera shutters) Nice. Look towards the hoop. I mean, well, (camera beeping) towards Caleb. (camera shutters) Let me check that. (camera beeping) This is great. Pull. I mean, you don't have to split them so much. I meant just, like, before you were kinda putting them together. Just kind of a little separation. Okay. So it doesn't look like one leg, basically. Okay. So, not so far out. (camera shutters) Yeah! That was great. Angle the face a little bit more that way (camera beeping) when you're doing it. Yup. Otherwise, this body language looks really nice. How you feeling right now? I just want to get the head right. Yeah. (Dustin laughs) (camera shutters) Nice. Let's do one more, and then, let's look at some of these really quick. (camera beeping) (camera shutters) Nice. Okay, let's check these out. (camera beeping) So, let's see. So, the body looks cool. I mean, I like how some of these really worked out. So, that's what I was talking about with the legs. Yeah. Just a little split would work great. Even that looks really nice. Mhmm. Like, even that one with, like, kinda coming over, like, with the ball coming up or just a little bit higher would be great. And, I still like that one, too. They look pretty cool. See what I mean with the chin? Mhmm. A little high. That's a little separate. Even these look pretty cool, but the chin is just a little high on those ones too. Let's see. Try it with one arm. Does that feel, like, if you... no that would feel weird. You need two arms. To just keep it in position. Yeah. Yeah. I think coming around like that works. If we hold it in here, it looks good? Yeah, that works great. Do you wanna try that? Yeah, I can do the jump like this though. Yeah. Let's do it. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Got it. So, let's try three in a row. And, then, we're gonna get going. Okay. One second. (camera shutters) Nice. Pull that arm (camera beeping) really far back. Just cock it back. This? Yeah. Two more. (camera shutters) Oh. (Dustin laughs) It's okay. (camera beeping) Last one. I'm gonna get a little lower. Let's try it. Just wait. Stop. Let's just try a normal, straight on one. Because I'm gonna shoot tight as opposed to the ones before where I was shooting... Pull forward like this? No, pull back still, but not so, like, from the back. So, just, like, a straight on. You're just running, and then, this. So, this way, like this? Yup. And, remember, pull your feet back just a little bit. Hold on. One second. Okay. (camera shutters) Yeah. Okay, one more. (camera beeping) I swear. This is it. (Dustin laughs) Pull this back just a little bit. Because, now, you're getting a lot of bounce in there. Yeah, that was great. One second. Okay. Go ahead. (camera shutters) (camera beeping) Don't tuck your front foot so much. Just like this? Yeah. (camera shutters) Good. Perfect. (camera beeping) Man. So, what we're doing, again, like, coaching the athlete through is pretty important. 'Cause you wanna... it's pretty hard to just do a random movement in the air. So, these were the ones we finished on. Back here, and you see small movements, like, make all the world. You see the head's pulled back that way, but it's fixed in this one. But, we were fixing the legs. But, once you find something that works, tell them that it works, and make sure that we do it again. These were just going through a bunch of the different movements. Also, be aware of when athletes get tired, you know. Take a break. Talk to them. Show them the images. You know, make sure that you guys are on the same page. Action's one of the hardest things to do as a portrait really. Because, I mean, you saw how fast I was shooting. It's not very fast. And, so, basically, you gotta get on the same page in terms of timing and hopefully, you have the repeatable pattern with small tweaks each time in order to get the perfect shot. (end credits) (end credits) (end credits) (end credits)

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.