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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 14 of 33

Environmental Portrait

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

14. Environmental Portrait

Lesson Info

Environmental Portrait

So, uh, we're currently on the Helix Bridge with Miles. We thought it'd be a really cool place to shoot a fencer in a non-fencing location. We just think the architecture is really cool and the mesh kinda reminds me of fencing mask. So, just showing that you can shoot somebody in a place you would not suspect. So we're using the architecture right now. We're kind of framing him in this little opening right here and trying to get some dark, dramatic clouds behind him. And then we're gonna open it up and get the whole, the whole bridge and show the architecture of it a little bit, a little bit better. We're just testing our lights right now, not really dialed-in. We're going to be in hyper-sync for our first shot so we can really pull down those clouds and make it really dark. Currently I'm at 800th of a second, 5.6 100 ISO and that's at full power at 10. Okay, so let's have you step back in once this gentleman passes on by. Thank you very much sir. (man mumbles) You're a gentleman and a...

scholar. Okay, step forward towards me, Miles. A little bit more, this is super wide lens. So we're gettin', you're gonna look like a giant. Scoot back that way. There ya go. Perfect. Great, good, light's in a good spot. (camera click) So, right now we're at 1250th of a second, 5.6, ISO is at 100. We're kinda side-lighting him from up top here. We're utilizing this little triangle thing in the background of this bridge. We're adding a little bit of separation light on the side over here because it's such of a hard transition so it kinda helps balance out the face with the lighting. And we're trying to get the clouds really dark. So, he's just kinda standing there right now. I'm gonna move him a little bit and get him into a cooler position, something more heroic. So I think what I want you to do is, coming to me, pull back your right, actually I like how you're kinda doing this just emphasize it a little bit more. Yep, there ya go. Perfect. There ya go, look right at me, perfect. (camera click) We get a little wider. (camera click) Good, look off towards that way. (camera click) Good. (camera click) One more of those, we're gonna wait for this recycle. (camera click) Good, let me check this out really fast. (camera click) Look out towards the edge, yep, perfect. (camera click) Glance at me. (camera click) Let me check that out. Nice. Let's do that again. Keep that up, keep your foil up real quick. I'm shooting a little tighter now, it's more of a waist-up shot. Kind of cropped out all the architecture but really we're just shootin' for the sky. Take about a foot to your right, a footstep to your right. Over this way. Yep perfect, just like that. Okay, right here at me. (camera click) Good. Rotate your right shoulder back more again so we can see the foil longer. Great, just like that. I'll show you one of these in one second. (camera click) Good. One second, let me look at this. Great, let me come in, just one more. Actually, I'll come in right here. (camera click) Good, don't move. (camera click) Look out that way again. Not so much, kinda just keep your face a little bit this way but eyes turned. There ya go. (camera click) Good, give me a little grin at me now. (camera click) Good. One second, wait til that recycles. (camera click) Give me a nice smile. We haven't gotten any good smile shots of you. (laughing) (camera click) So it's basically sky, yeah, just looking for some dramatic sky The clouds look really cool. (Miles mumbles) Thank you, yeah. I mean you look cool in it, so. When we pull back a little bit more and we kinda open up to this kind of space here so it's kinda like darkening it out. And it's looking pretty dark in the sky, it's pretty cool. There's a lot of nice clouds back there. I think I'm gonna get up a little higher though now because most of the really, really dramatic clouds are actually at the bottom so I kinda wanna shoot out a little more towards the water. Just hoping I don't get the top of the building, so. Miles, can we have you come up just a little bit? Stop right there. This is going to be a little bit more head-shotty, so, let's turn your shoulders again, like this, give you a little bit of depth. I like seeing this in the foreground. I think because we're shooting like this-up, we want the foil back up again. Okay, right here. (camera click) Good. One more. (camera click) Oop, didn't fire, one second. (camera click) And let me get a little wide one. Look off this way, straight down that way. Actually, take a half step forward. Okay, stop. Great. (camera click) Pull your foil back a little bit. More right, yep, there ya go. Chin up a little bit. Good, looking off. (camera click) Couple more, hold up. Take your right foot, put it out that way more. Pull more forward. There ya go, just like that. (camera clicks) Oh yeah, perfect. We'll take a few more. (camera click) Good. One more, I'm gonna block this extra light over there. Look right at me. You are, I can see it now. My eye was coming off that way. (camera click) I'm gonna jump back just a little bit more. (camera clicks) Drop your foil to your side. There ya go, just like that. Great. (camera clicks) All right, let's go to our other location.

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.