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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 2 of 33

Focus Umbrella Outdoor Portrait

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

2. Focus Umbrella Outdoor Portrait

Lesson Info

Focus Umbrella Outdoor Portrait

This is a very directional light source. It's basically. It's called a focus umbrella. And most of the light is pushed very straight out. And again I'm using this because I want to up up the power of what I have right now which is an 800 watt light. And I want to utilize as much as I possibly can. So I can then turn up my shutter speed more, and get a little bit darker sky in there. So, let's see. I'm moving it in just a tad bit. So we can get a little bit more power. And let's see where this is angled at. I'm gonna come over here and sit with you for a second. Can we scoot it just a little to the left. The whole thing? The whole thing yeah. Were on 10. And then direct the head back over. Stop right there. Yeah, cool. So again, because this is so directional you wanna make sure that it's hitting your subject in the key spot, which right now we're really wanting to light his face. The fall off will still hit him everywhere else but, I really wanna make sure that his face is very vis...

ible, so I'm gonna go back to my three quarter angle here. Ready one, two, three. Good. I haven't made any changes to my settings here. We are looking a lot better. I'm going to now make some change so. We're still at 10 on that right? Great. I'm gonna drop this down to. I'm gonna drop my aperture down to 2.8, I gonna bring up my shutter to 1250th. See if this works to get a little brighter. So we're going to get again a little bit closer. We want a lot more power. Again, I'm really trying to darken down the sky. Does it feel like it's getting brighter to you guys too? Okay, so yeah. The sun is starting to break through a little bit more, so the sky is actually getting brighter right now. So, we're just fighting that a little bit more. So we're just gonna bring in the light and keep at higher power. Okay. So same thing. Lights a little closer. And we're gonna take the shot. Good. Here, look out straight. Great. So you also have to be aware when you're shooting at higher powers, usually the recycling is a lot slower, so you have to shoot a lot slower. I like to shoot usually with a mid range power usually, especially when I'm shooting an athlete. So I can actually get them in a correct like authentic motion. A lot of times you'll have like a basketball player and you don't want to slow them down, because it'll look inauthentic. And the whole point is to show them how they really are and what makes them really special. So, being able to do that at full speed is fantastic and not having to slow down and shoot one frame at a time every three seconds. I'm gonna do a test on your face just to see how much light you're actually getting right now. Let me see here. Alright. So we're gonna use that same first set up just a straight on light, but instead of the light being pushed straight on and forward, we're going to put it right above him so it's gonna become like almost an overhead light. I think if he was inside of a locker room and you're having that very overhead directional light and recreating something similar to that. So lets bring this light over this way. Just stick with this? Yeah, we'll stick with it til we get back. We can keep shooting. And then we'll have you Jerry, we'll have you move to the middle again, and then we're gonna actually probably if I could get right here and then boom it a little bit would be great. Just even like that would be fine. Looking good man. I'm gonna sit back in with him. I usually like to sit in with my subject, just to chat. Just so I can see where the light is actually heading to. And right now it's kinda going down towards the knees. So we'll either do two things, we can either bring in the light and put it about where my three quarters is gonna be and boom the arm out. This is a C stand. And they're really great because they're very standard for this type of location work. And you can utilize them in a bunch of different ways, one of my favorite is putting lights straight over the subject so I can really sculpt down and get a really defined jaw line. But, you can't do that with a regular light stand because there is no way you can actually shoot around the stand without a boom arm. So, the C stand arm is fantastic for those reasons. So, we're gonna move it just to the side here, like this, put it over like that, give it a bit of an angle we're going to pull it back this way now. And I'm gonna direct Ken over to my right. If we can get it almost at this angle right here, cause I like how his head is sort of leaning back too. So it's kinda naturally just, would collect the light right there. Almost where the hoop is. And this right in front of his face right here. So. Great. You could scoot back just a tad. Coming too close. There you go. Let me see here. Alright. So now the light is very overhead. It's angled, I'm not a mathematician but it's about like that. At his face. So it's not completely overhead because I don't wanna give him some deep shadows in his eyes, so I wanna be able to hit it. I liked how his head is sort of leaned back naturally, how he was like that, so it's gonna collect the light on his face really well. Under his chin it's just gonna be really dark and it's all gonna focus right up towards his face. We're gonna do that same straight on shot first. I'm gonna go back down to my position here. Keep your head right where it's at. Great. Let me check that. Fantastic. I would even, tilt it even a little bit more, if you guys can. Yeah a little bit more, of an angle, I would say, I know the hoop is in the way. We can just rig it from the hoop. That'll be perfect. There we go. Cool. Do you want me look directly at you or. Just straight for a second. Yeah so. It's kind of almost like. And maybe hold the ball a little bit. This is more of a like, I figure this lighting is a little bit more dramatic. I feel like this wouldn't be really a smiley posy picture. It'd be more of a I'm a serious basketball player type picture. Just because we are utilizing a lot of that very dramatic lighting right now. So. We're gonna set him there. This one is gonna be kind of a waist top shot. And then we're gonna move over to the side again so. We'll see how this looks first. Tilt your chin down just a tad, there you go. Thank you. Great. Now, I want you to. Let's see here. Let's hold the ball in a different way here. So, let's try to get it up where we can kind of yeah there you go. Perfect. Actually you know what, let's stand up. Let's go ahead and get you off your spot there. You know what this might be easier if we pull them away from it. How about that. So instead we're gonna pull him away from the background just so we get a little bit more clearance from the hoop. And that way, we can kind of. Then when we pull him away we'll also get the light off of the metal. Off the background. And we can kind of deepen it and make it look, again, going towards our dramatic series of shots. A little bit more dramatic. So before we have the light, with that big octave, it's a big source. And it's close. And so you're barely seeing any shadows. Very soft. And then right when we started moving it and then turning it up a little bit more, and like angling a little higher, you're starting to see a little bit more of that shadow. It's a little deeper. So right now, it's gonna just be, most light is gonna be directed on him. Let me check this angle real fast. Good. Again, not a mathematician. It's about that angle. It's not straight overhead. But it is at an angle there. Let's move this basketball behind just in case we use this area. Alright so I just want you to stand there for a second. I'm gonna get just sort of a feel of what the shot looks like. Great. Oh yeah so now we have a really dark shot. Most of the light is on his face and his chest right now. Actually, so there is a little bit of shine on his forehead I don't necessarily want that right now, so I'm gonna have him take a half step back, and hopefully that hot spot will transfer over to his maculosus face right here instead of his forehead. So we'll do that one more time. Same thing from the same angle. Great. So you can see most of the light is just directed on him. We darkened the background a lot. It really emphasizes him. And you can see. He's a basketball player. Right away. I mean you don't necessarily have to see the hoops in there. It's nice to have again those storytelling images where you have that sort of atmosphere in there, but you get the idea across really fast, by just showing a little bit of it.

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.