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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 31 of 33

Selection Process: Triathlete

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

31. Selection Process: Triathlete

Lesson Info

Selection Process: Triathlete

So on next on the retouching schedule are, the, is the triathletes. So we got a great opportunity to work with two Red Bulls great triathletes. Some professionals to the end. They were great. We got to do biking in a tunnel, we worked with runners in the woods, and then we got to go to the beach. We also got to make a really cool portrait in a park and set up a little studio, but we're gonna look at some of the biking shots first. I think we started off with just seeing this random spot over here and adding in a little LED light. The color is a little weird on it, but we're gonna fix it. All we need is that pop of light right there on the face. I think this one is with the LED without a CTO on it. I think then we added it and I kinda like the little design in the wall, the horizons off a little bit, I would shift it back. Just looking at these, I like the fall off better on this one, but I think we got some better ones. Let's mark that up to two. Don't really care for that one too much...

shadow. I think we're not gonna, so this is, we went back and forth. We used a cheap little LED light it was about $30, $35 on Amazon, and it worked out pretty well. I've used it before, on a couple different assignments, when I had to do some running on stuff. But then we put in a strobe instead and I feel like it looks a little bit cleaner. So I'm gonna mark up one of these. Right there. This is just a standard little portrait, using the ambient and then filling it in with a pop right in the middle. Some just basic portraits here, I'm not really feeling them too much. This is a test, a light test right there. Then when we started riding, this one's okay. I think I was trying to keep 'em in between the lights, so I didn't have any competing things with his head. I like the colors in the background. I think I might tag that one. I don't really know if this shows a sense of, a better sense of place as this one does. 'Cause I like seeing where he's been, more than just seeing this random mural on the wall. So we don't really need these shots. I like the light on this one and I like the fall off a little bit better, but I think the other one works. Her smile is so great in this shot. I think I might go with this one. So I'm gonna grab that. We got a little more serious look, I'm gonna also tag this one as well. Actually I'm gonna grab that one as well. Oh, I kinda like this one. This one is different camera, you can see the color temperatures a little bit. This is flat and this is with a profile, a standard profile put into the camera. So, I kinda like the little upturn. Maybe I like the more straight face. Yeah, I'm gonna go with that one. And then, so then we started riding with her, I think this is another test shot. I like the color on this. I looked at this when I tagged it already. I think I can like really bring out the color a lot more, but I'll tag it a little bit more on here. I don't think I care for the expression, as much, on these ones. You can see we're still trying to find our, our exposure here. I'm really just slowing it down, I'm speeding up, I'm trying to find out what's right, so we can get a little bit of the ambient and the color in there, but I'm also trying to balance that with a strobe hittin' her. We have this one right here, just a nice shot with color. I'm not sure about the expression, he looks like he's looking off a little bit too much, but I really like the color on it. This one's okay, but we can see we have someone over here, in the background just running back there. So we could take him out in posts, but this wall is a little bit less desirable as well. I think it draws too much attention. So I think I'd moved along past that. This one I wouldn't choose just basically because this is in her, on her shoulder. If I did, I would probably take this part out. Again, just up the contrast and everything else. Again, these are shot flat, so there, there's not really much contrast in there right now. I like a little separation from her head, so I'd probably end up picking this one in cropping. Although this color is nice, it kinda transitions from the, the warm tone to more of the blue green tone over in the front. So I think I'll grab this one. They had a lot of nice colors in there. I like her smile on this but this isn't really a action shot, this isn't really a lifestyle shot. This one's okay. It looks a lot like that other, you can see we kind of just shot because we were basically just riding and trying to catch with the slow shutter and not everything's gonna be perfect. So it's a lot of trial and error, while doing these type of shots. Motion shots are pretty hard and it takes a lot to get what you want out of them exactly. So initially, when I was looking through these, I moved past this because it's a little bright, it's a little ghosting and everything else. But then I decided I was just gonna try to take it and pull it into Photoshop. So I'm gonna pull it in again, but I really just wanted to take a second look at it and see if I can make it a little bit nicer. I really like those lines. That's really what I wanted out of it. I wanted to have this nice trail. I like these down at the bottom too. I just like the warm color, it's pretty interesting to me. So I'm gonna hold on to that one. I like this one too but I think I like this one too, more 'cause I like the dark spots there, from murals on the wall but they're a little blurred. I like this trail and I like these kind of things right here, so I might play with this a little bit. The lighting is a little hard and little, little harsh. And this, again, was mostly because we were using one light source, it was right behind me on the actual scooter with me. So it was really hard to direct. If I was going to do this really, I would have another one and just have it really in front of her. So we wouldn't be hitting the wall because whenever we hit the wall, when you're trying to do a slow shutter, it's gonna freeze that too. Because the flash ratio is so fast that anything it's hitting, it's gonna freeze. So you can see we got a lot of light trails and that's because of the slow shutter. And then we move in and, and strobe it you can see this big shadow. So I move right past this one. It would take a lot of work to kind of clean this up, so I don't really wanna do that. This one's a little bit better, actually, it's a little cleaner, this parts nicer, I'm gonna tag that. But, I do like this because it has this nice color transition better. So, I grab that one as well. This one's just a nice overall, I like the color on this one a lot, I like the skin tones, the light looks nice. I wish it was a little bit better expression. I think I would go with something more like this. If I was gonna choose just a little riding portrait of him. I wish it was a little bit more intense but we were really trying to do that motion shot. These were just sort of secondary. This one's nice too, but again, watching that light on the helmet, I think I'll skip past it. This isn't very interesting. I don't really like seeing this stuff right here, it's not really interesting to me. I like the straight on look. I just wish there was those trails in there instead. The color on this one's very nice. I like it. Might be able to do something with that one too. You could see the exposure is a little wonky on this one too. But I think it could work really nicely as well, but we're probably not gonna edit this one. So we're, we're into our running. So these, this is actually lit right here but very softly. We kinda tried to mimic some ambient light, we don't have any backlight setup yet. We just have one front light, you can see the shadow right down here, and it was an overcast day. So the color balance is obviously very green. We're gonna play with that a little bit more, in a little bit. So now we added in our backlight right over here, making it kind of look like sun and you could see the differences between the two. We'll go between these two. So you can see how it's adding this edge light to the trees, really shaping them, separating them, making it so it's not so lost back there. Giving this some sort of separation from that, it's really shaping the woods a lot nicer. This light's a little bit harder. I like this. I like this, little like framing right her but I think, I want something not coming off his foot. So maybe him a little bit further back. I don't necessarily like the up more, I think down in this area is a little nicer. I really like this one. I think I wanted to see the scene, I wanted to show that we were inside the woods. I wanted to show everything going on. So, think I'm gonna pull that one in. This one, too is nice, but again, that back leg is just a little too lost for me and I don't think I'd wanna, wanna show that one to a client necessarily. 'Cause see we have our assistant standing back there. This is just a test shot, think we're adding a little bit of atmosphere in the air, kinda like give a little texture to the scene make it, pretty much it's the exact same light, but we wanted to get a second shot out of it, just by moving over and seeing what we could find. It's kind of a nice little portrait of her, I think we would probably OPT, you know, spend a little bit more time coaching her and everything else. But you get the, kind of, idea of what we were trying to go for here. So I'm gonna possibly pull that in. We were gonna initially do a running shot and try to get the atmosphere to pick it up and make it look like dust. But we used like a smoke in a can, and it runs out very quickly and gets out of the frame very quickly. So, this one's kinda cool too. I think this expression's a little bit better, than the last one. So then we move over to this. We set up this, this little, sort of, portable studio in a park and I wanted to show that you can basically make, if you didn't have water for this triathlete, you can make a little photo illustration of, of what you can you can illustrate water, without actually being in the water. And so what we did here was give her a very hard edge light. And mostly the edge light was to pick up this spray that we were gonna spray around. We had to spray bottles and we first started out spraying in front, but it kind of loses her a little bit. You can also see that we're a little hazy right now and that's because the lights are hitting right at us, and I'm getting a little flair in my camera. So we added a little bit of flags to block that out. And you'll see that in a second, and it'll crisp up, a little bit more, right there. And we're kinda honing in our spray right now, so we added it to the back instead, we took it away from her front because we want to see our athlete. We want to show off her, but again showing the background and showing that little bit of water, that little texture really added so much to the image. I'll show you some without too. So this one's nice. I like that one. So you can see without, it's just sort of a plane portrait, it doesn't really scream like I'm a swimmer. Even though he has cap on this, this, I think that little extra water just, amps up the picture. It makes it more dynamic. So then we moved into the water, so we did have a chance to shoot in the water. There was full sun outside. I just wanted to try to find the perfect area, then we did a few portraits here and there, using one light off to the side. Same thing with the female athlete. Just some quick portraits. This is our two cross lights. The same lighting we used for the getting out of the water shot. But I really think we should focus in on, on something that, like this one is one I wanted to pull open. I really like the motion, I like that you could see kind of her, her leg in motion there. It doesn't look like she's just actually popping out. She looks like she's about to take off, which is great. This one, too, kinda reminds me that and this one she's kind of coming at me. Thing I don't like about it is this, we're fairly shallow and there was a lot of seaweed in the water. If I could've, I would've flagged this off a little bit more, so you get that glassy look. But I like this one too, but I think the facial expression is better on this one, back here. So, we now went through all of those shots. We're gonna take it down to just the ones we like. I think we're gonna take those ones off, well, no, not that one. I wanna pull this one open too and then I want that one open and then I think, lemme look at these really quick again. I think we're gonna take this one or one of these. I like her smile. Let's see, that this one, this one's nice instead. Like the color but not as much as, this one might look nice. This one definitely I'm gonna pull open. And this, again, the color's nice on this one too. Save that for another day. This one right here, we have four of these, so I'm gonna narrow those down too. So, this one, this one, this one, let's take off this one. Really looking at the facial expression right now. I don't care about the shadow on the wall as much. It's a lot of weird light in this room, so it doesn't really bother me. Although if I were to be pretty picky, I'd probably choose this one. So let's go with that instead of the wides. Now we're gonna take these. I think I'm gonna go take this one off and go this one and this one. I might just play with this for a second. See what it looks like. It's a little dark but I, kinda, like the intensity in her face and these, this red looks really cool. I think if I was really gonna mirror this, I wouldn't like this mural over here. I'd probably take this, especially if it was advertising or something else, and flip it over to this side and put it on the other side. That way it just really makes a nice image that's focused on her as opposed to this being a little off balance with that. Definitely gonna use that one. I think we're in us the one with more smoke. Yeah, I like this one. She has a nice pleasant smile on her face. Let's take that off and this one. I think we'll skip this one for now. And then we're gonna do this one. So now I have nine images, we'll pull these in.

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.