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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 16 of 33

Mixed Light Athletic Portrait

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

16. Mixed Light Athletic Portrait

Lesson Info

Mixed Light Athletic Portrait

We are now on set, on location in the Mount Baker Bike Tunnel. And we have two amazing tri-athletes here. Kirsten and Jesse and they're gonna help us out doing some bike riding today. So come over here, let's have you stand a little bit in front. Okay. And I'm gonna balance the light with it, so. In front of my bike? Let's stand, let's put it a little to the side of you. Let's see here. Yeah and let's try to get you right in the middle. I would almost stay, I don't wanna cover you too much but let's try this. How would you normally stand with a bike? Would that be okay? Yeah. Okay can we lift and move right there? Perfect. Okay, I like how you're standing. Looks great. We're gonna bring in a little LED light. Right there. Perfect. It has a CTO filter on it so we could balance the light a little bit. All we're gonna do is just, it's really bright, right. So we got a couple of random back shadows. Again, try to come a little tighter here. Just waft in that. Perfect, right the...

re. Okay. So stand there for just a moment. (camera shot sound) Just a test shot and my other light's going, right? Yeah. Okay, turn that one off. Are we hitting the sweet spot on the chest or the face? There we go, just a little up. Great. I'm just balancing the light in between the ambien and with the little LED up here, making sure that we have a nice pop from the LED, but also a nice glow from the background. (camera shot sound) That's great. I think we're almost there. We're at currently, like, only a 50th of a second. But I think I'm gonna bring my ISO up just a little bit more so I can get a little higher shutter speed. (camera shot sound) Fantastic. Let's keep going a little bit darker there. (camera shot sound) Great. Let's see how that looks. Fantastic. This looks great. So I'm gonna do a couple of different ones. I like your smile a lot. Let's do a couple of smile shots and then we're gonna do more of a serious athlete pose. Okay. Great. (camera shot sound) Good work Ken. (camera shot sound) Great. Now I want you to, kind of, look off and do that same sort of smile. Okay. There you go. (camera shot sound) Fantastic. Now look back to the right, same thing. (camera shot sound) Nice smile. Okay, now look at me and I want you to give me, sort of, a game face. Okay, I'll (mumbles). Perfect. Oh I know you have a game face. There you go. (camera shot sound) There it is. Yes. (camera shot sound) Perfect. (mumbles). Sometimes the best moments are when you can get them to laugh naturally. So I end up saying a lot of weird stuff when I'm doing it, just to kind of engage with the athlete a little bit more and get their real personality out of them. (camera shot sound) Okay, so game face again. Straight on at me. Perfect. (camera shot sound) Square up your face. There you go. Now I'm gonna have Ken here stand off to the right just a little bit. Can you turn the bike a little bit more to the side? Perfect. Look off this way. Great. Think strong. Hold that left shoulder back a little bit more. And pull your left hip back a little bit more, rotate, yeah. Oh, like this? There you go. Perfect. (camera shot sound) Okay. Remember, strong. Widen your stance a little bit so I can... Yeah, there you go. Maybe left leg out just to the... Yeah, perfect. You are on top of it. Currently, my exposure's at 125th of a second at 2.8. My ISO is at 500th of a second. Again, we're trying to balance the overhead light, make it a really cool shape on the wall, but also then, adding in this little $35 LED light here. (camera sound shot) Great. That looks really good. Ken, I want you to move even more that way. Now we're gonna add a litte bit more shadow to the side of the face. So you can see, because thins is such a hard light, it's throwing a hard light on the wall. But I don't really care in this situation. We're already getting a little bit of shadow here and there, but I think this looks cool. (camera shot sound) Great. (camera shot sound) Fantastic and one more. Let's grab this. Switching up cameras here. It's gonna look a little different because it's a different system. The color balance is gonna look a little bit different and we're shooting a lot wider. We're are also going to turn that light off. Thank you. (camera shot sound) Fantastic. It's a little warm. Gonna change the white balance. Again, it's a little different. Really come in here. (camera shot sound) This is called the lens shoot. You can perfect it once you're a professional photographer. (photographer laughs) Oh man, you never know what you're gonna get with me. Okay. You're doing great right now. Perfect, so good. Okay. Just a couple more. I'm just gonna get a little wider of this shot. I really like these lines here. (camera shot sound) Great. And last one. (camera shot sound) Great. So what we're gonna do now really quick, we're gonna take Ken out of the shot. We're gonna put that light in the exact same spot. We're gonna see how the professional strobe handles compared to a $35 LED. 'Cause sometimes it's not necessarily about having the best light. It's just what you have in your toolbox that's gonna fit the right solution here, or the right problem. Because we don't need much light in this situation. An LED light will do. It doesn't mean we need the most powerful light. So this is an 800 watt strobe. A little bit more expensive than a $35 light. And we're gonna see how it handles. So let's see where this is facing. It's gridded too. The LED light is very directional as well. So we didn't put any diffusion on it but this has a grid on it now. So we're gonna have to be pretty directional. Is it 30 degree? Yes. Okay. Tilt down just a little bit. There we go. Again, we're gonna throw a shadow on the wall because this is a very hard light. But it's okay. Can you turn the modeling light on actually? A modeling light really helps because you can see what's happening. I mean, we can literally just use the modeling light in this situation and I think I might right now, so. Let's see what that looks like. One second. (camera shot sound) Great. That looks really nice. I'm actually going to increase my shutter to darken up the ambien a little bit, up to 200th of a second, now that this is so bright. Keep looking off towards that light. That's great. (camera shot sound) Try to maintain that, kind of, stoic look. Yeah. Perfect. (mumbles). What are you saying? (mumbles). Okay. Great. So this looks really nice. I think now that we've done it with just the modeling light, we're gonna turn on the strobe. So what are we at for the power? Two. Two. So I think this is gonna be a lot brighter than what we have, but we'll see. Two out of ten on power, that's not really too much. It's basically the lowest this light can go. (camera shot sound) There we go. A little bit, pull it back just a little bit. Okay. Look off one more time. I'm gonna come in. (camera shot sound) Look off just that way, one more time. Perfect. (camera shot sound) Okay. Now we're gonna do, look a little this way. And now that we have the modeling light, we can see exactly where the shadow is going too. So right now, half her face is in darkness and the other half is in light, which is fine. We're gonna try this one really quick. Remember, game face. I love your game face immediately turns into a smile. Okay, ready. One, two, three. (camera shot sound) Good. Perfect. And now, just for giggles here, I'm gonna come over this way and shoot this. (camera shot sound) Why don't you square up a little bit more towards me with your left hip. There you go. Great. Now look off straight, where I was. Perfect. (camera shot sound) Cool. So I'm pretty happy with these last ones. Actually, I wanna try one more here. Look at me. (camera shot sound) And then, one last one at just regular height, just to see what it looks like. And let's try one without the strobes, so we know exactly what that looks like without any light. And we're just doing a little bit of fill. I do wanna try one just from the top too, because we did do the other shot that way. So let's do it straight on, just like we did the other one. And then we'll move on to our next shot. But right next to me, like how Ken was standing. So good, you're holding that position. You're doing great. Perfect. Thank you. Okay. So again, we're gonna come in here. Actually, maybe I can switch to my Canon but I'll just keep this one, just for a second. I'm still at 125th of a second at 5.6. My ISO is at 500 and my power is still at two. We've got a grid on there and I think I want your chin up just a little bit. There you go. Perfect. (camera shot sound) What were you saying? Look off just a little bit that way. Can I have my Canon camera? (camera shot sound) Thank you. Switching to 24-70, 125th of a second and I think we're gonna go back up to 5.6, but let me see what this one looks like. Different lenses, kind of, have different looks to them too. So sometimes you have to change a little bit, depending on your camera and your lens. (camera shot sound) So switching back and forth is not always the easiest. (camera shot sound) There we go. But this does have a little bit more of a flatter look, as opposed to looking up at her so much. All right. Hold that position. (camera shot sound) Let's see here. Can we angle, yeah, it doesn't feel like it's strobing. There it goes. Thank you. I was like, it looks dark. My remote was off. Always remember to turn your remote on when you're firing, 'cause sometimes you don't notice when you're just adding in a little bit. That's what just happened right there. (camera shot sound) Look off one more time, sorry. (camera shot sound) Good. Now look at me. (camera shot sound) Great. We're all done with that shot.

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.