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High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Lesson 10 of 15

Shoot: Timing Action and Test Shoots

Clay Patrick McBride

High-Speed Photography: Capturing Motion

Clay Patrick McBride

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Lesson Info

10. Shoot: Timing Action and Test Shoots

Lesson Info

Shoot: Timing Action and Test Shoots

Come right over here, we got a little mark for you. Right up to the front. And if you want to do, I don't know how you want to hit it, but if you wanna be coming to the mark, then doing your movement, but right now we're just going to check the lights. So if you could just, give me some flowy stuff, I don't have the best dance vocabulary in the world. But even what you just did with you leg was pretty outrageous there. Right on. Let's start without that light and then pan it in. Okay? Come down here in my cobra pose, making sure my, yes ... Am I good there, Chris? You're good. Okay, right on. So just give me some flowy movement. (camera shutter click) Beautiful. (camera shutter click) Beautiful And that's with out the light. And can we bring that light in now? Right on. So we're talking a lot about recycle. (camera shutter click) Yep. Beautiful. Turn in to that light where Douglas is over there. Here's over here. (camera shutter click) Yep, thank you. (camera shutter click) Yep, be...

autiful. Let's just check a couple of them out and see how the fill's working. Let's see it without fill. (coughs) So how's that feeling for you just in the way of showing off your physique? How that light's moving for you, and how those silvery highlight are shaping your body? Is that all looking good? Yes. Right on. So this is no fill? On the left, yeah. Which is it's own thing, ya know? And this is with fill. I think that's looking pretty good. Seems a little flat on this screen. Let's see it over here. Still a little flat. Yeah? Can we give it a little bit of love there? Yeah. Right on. When we shoot these dancers, you need a pretty big area. You know what I mean? Trying to do it a small space around an eight foot roll of paper, you get very boxed in. Everybody is falling off the area. If I could, in a perfect world, I probably would shoot this on location. outdoors, with some big open sky or just on a rooftop somewhere. And try to really make it simple for myself and clean it up. But this looked like the best spot here. Right on. Just give me a little bit of an idea, before we even shoot it, just want to get an idea of what I'm shooting. Can you run through or block out a little bit. Just keeping in mind you don't have to be right on this mark anywhere on this mark I can shoot it. Within a couple of feet of it would be great. Just give me a little flow of what you're thinking, Krista. Thanks. Should I jump or ... Yeah jump, do whatever you want. These are your pictures. I'm here for you, you know what I mean? And just know that we're going to be doing this for awhile, so if you want to save some of your ... - Oh, great. I don't know how hard and long you can dance. We'll be shooting this for a few minutes, and we want to keep your energy up. (background noise drowns out speaker) Before I even shoot, I'm just gonna look. Yep, that's beautiful. Great. Do you feel that you've got a good side of your face? A bad side of your face? Is there a side of your face you like more? Not particularly. Okay, cool. (laughs softly) Alright. 'Cause we'll bring that beauty dish a little bit left and a little bit right. We've got plenty of cord on it there? Okay, so keep rocking it. I'm choosing a low angle for a couple of reasons. Speaking just to the audience now ... (camera shutter click) Keep it up, Krista. Just keep going there. Right, you got that. (camera shutter click) Beautiful, lovely. (camera shutter click) Just keep the face warm and beautiful just like you are. (camera shutter click) That's looking great. Beautiful. Head in to that light. Let's bring in that light, Doug, if you would. Just try to follow her face with it, you can take a quarter step in 'cause I think it could even be a little bit brighter. So, you can walk in a little bit. Yep. That's great. Keep it up Krista. (camera shutter click) And you'll notice how quick my recycle is. I just want to talk to my studio audience and my people out there in the ethos or the internet, right? So if you listen (equipment beep) for that beep, it's almost immediate, right? That's one crazy thing about these particular packs. They're made for this sort of work. I can ... (camera shutter clicks repeatedly) I can shoot as much as I want, I could spray and pray. Right? There might be some photographers who think that's a tool move, but why not let it help you? Right? Maybe I don't have a ton of time with this dancer, so I need to get as many frames as possible. I need to know I nailed it. Can we see some of those shots? Sure. Right on. I'm not shooting from ... Let me just shoot this one. (camera shutter click) Just compare this last one I shot to ... Yes, okay. Right on. So one, I'm shooting from a low angle for a couple of reasons. Right? One, to emphasis the height and the movement, it's always gonna work that way. Two, the black floor is not nearly as beautiful, not beautiful, but tonality-wise I just think coming lower simplifies and flattens out the floor. Right? And kinda gets rid of it. 'Cause I'm shooting straighter in to it, so it simplifies that plane, visually. This is looking great. Yeah. Can we go through a couple more? Sure. Yep. And can we go down here and can you zoom in a little bit, and take a look at how 100 % frozen she is. Right? There's no trails on that. There's no funny business. I'm just gonna really slow down my shutter for a second, and make a mistake, (camera beeps) Let me see one thing for a second. Do you want this? No, not right now. Okay, cool. Can you give me a little bit of movement? (camera shutter click) Okay cool. Let me just check this for a second. Here I'm at a fifteenth of a second, and I thought, "Let's get a little bit of where's she's moving most." It's not even fuzzy at a fifteenth. Right? No, still looking good. Wow. It's still looking great. Right on. Can you give me one where you whip your hair up left to right a little bit? (camera beeps) Yeah. Let me just shoot that. Like over the top? I don't know if you like ... Just turn? Just give me a big turn with the hair. Let me just see that? (camera shutter click) Yep,okay. This we might see the movement in. Can you just give me some hair there? Right on. So this is a fifteenth of a second. Are we seeing a little bit of trails off there? No it's killing it, right? Surprisingly. Clay can you talk a little bit to that? Letting us know it's really the flash that's freezing her Yeah. It's the flash duration that's freezing her. I thought with a little bit of too much ambient light coming in the room, we might see a little motion blur from it. But we're not at all. The flash duration is very short, and also as much light as there looks like there is in this room, because I'm shooting at such a low ISO, fast shutter speed, and a deep f/stop, it's not coming in to affect us. Yeah, and exactly where are you at with your camera settings? I'm an f/9, 1/125th, at 200 ISO. Is that where they were all shot? f/9, an hour and a fifteenth, but before we were at 200 Looks like it. Yeah, right on. Alright, cool. So let's talk about your needs and what you need a little bit more. And let's go through and look at what we've got so far, Chris. Sure. Yeah, I think there needs to be a little more light in your face. I prefer it more with the fill than without. Are you with me there Krista? Okay great Okay, cool. This is awesome. I think we just need to keep your ... I like this a lot. Were you turning towards the light in this picture? I'm so confused because we're spun around. I was looking away, actually. Away from the light? Let's go for this again and bring the light in to this side of your face, because I think looking away is hurting it. So bring that cord around. Can you just follow him with that cord? Just bring that cord across the set anybody. Lorenz, that's you. Just walk that through. Thanks. Yeah, just bring it around this way a little bit. Cool. Right on. You're good. I can walk that in. Yep, just give me one second. Coming down. Geting super low. Focusing. Coming in on the light. (camera beeps) You're right on that mark. Good. Nature lights on. Just turn towards that light again with your face. I just want to check my exposure. You with us, Doug? (equipment beep) Quarter step in. Help Doug. What? Help Doug. Sure. I'm on my way. Set this guy right there and hit test. (equipment beeps) Alright, alright, alright, beautiful. Give me some improvisation, there. Same sort of pose. You can step in a little closer Doug, with that light. Yep, perfect. That's too close, half way with it. Yep, perfect. Go Krista. (camera shutter click) Yep, beautiful. Let's just take a little step to your ... Yes, this side. A little bit more. What is that? Your right, right? As you come to the movement here, as you come to the pose, you're hitting that X. Mm-hmm. And your just following her with the light, Doug so you can see the light, you can follow her with the light. Yep, beautiful. Thank you. Alright, let's hit it. (camera shutter click) Oops, ready when you are. (laughs) One, two, three. Yep, beautiful. Let me come a little bit wider, I'm cropping you. Go ahead. We need this cord brought towards me a little bit more. Yep. It's just in my shot. You can walk in front of the shot, move the cord. Nobody's shooting right now. Yes, people. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Alright, Krista. Ready when you are, love. (camera shutter click) Am I chopping her arms there? Yeah, just a little bit. Alright, let me come a little bit wider. Alright, ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Alright I got both a little bit of light up there. Yep, cool. Alright, let me come this way. Ready when you are, love. Let's hit it. Stay with the light there, Doug. Go. (camera shutter click) Oops, I'm cropping her there. Let me come this way. This is the challenging part. one time I had to shoot this soccer game, and I could never get the ball in the shot. It was really humbling. Alright, I'm just saying action's not easy. Go ahead, hit it. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Beautiful. Okay, cool. That's all in there. Yeah, that looks great. Light looking good? Light's looking great. okay, great. Her face is great. Alright, I want more air, more movement, more peak action. Right on. Can you give that to me, Krista? Beautiful. Alright. Step out a little bit, Doug, and just come a little bit towards me, this way. Great. And I might need to use an even longer lens. That 70-200. Yeah, you got it. Let me just see your arms out. Let me just see where your arms are when they come out. Alright, that's great. Beautiful. Got it. You're great right there. A little more height movement, you good Doug? Yep. You can tag out at any time, I know that gets heavy. I will. Right on, good. Go Krista. (camera shutter click) Now normally in this situation I'd ask them to crank in some music, whatever she's in to. Some Chopin or I don't know what you dance ballet to. Maybe Twisted Sister. I don't know what you're in to. Definitely have some music going here to help us both inspire. New lens coming in? Yeah. Okay, great. Clay which lens are you taking off and which one are you putting on, please. I'm taking off my 24-70 and I'm putting on my 70-200. 'Cause I just want a little bit less space, ya know? Just want to see a little bit less of the background and everything. I think that's what I want. We'll see. So you think you want to compress it a little bit. Yeah, compress it a little bit. Thank you, Jim. Alright, we are still tethered, everything good there? Everything looks great. Give me some height. Give me some movement. Give me some ... Yes. Go Krista, one, two, three. (camera shutter click) Higher. I want that ... Yes. Alright. Bigger. Yep, beautiful. And if you want to come to that mark and jump in higher, if that works for you. Sure. You want to take a couple steps back? Pardon? Can I change it up? Yeah, you can totally change it up. It's your photo shoot, have some fun with me. (mumbling) We can try it and see. Okay, good. Alright, here we go. Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Alright, lights gotta come from the other side, right? Stay with me, keep your head in the game. Who's following with that cord? Go crew, go crew! Good work. I think he's got it. Yep. I wouldn't be afraid to take a step back or two, if you need to come in to it. You know, like run in to the move a little bit? Great, Okay. Ready when you are, love. One, two, three. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Yep, great. I just need that to happen a little more to camera. Right? She's a little too turned away from camera? Right? Yeah. Is that what's happening here? Yeah. Is my exposure good, everything good? Yeah, exposure's good. Focus is key. Alright, key's looking good? Fill's looking good? Yeah, I like it. [Clay] Alright. Ready when you are Krista. For those photo nerds out there, I'm using the AI-Servo, so it kinda follows her with the focus as she goes in to it. So I'm using my auto-focus. Go ahead. Ready when you are. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Yep, great. Let's walk it even a little bit more to camera, and do it to camera. I think I'm also gonna come a little bit higher. Am I losing her head, there? No, not at all. No? It's looking good? Talk to me Chris. I can't see what I'm shooting. It looks really good, Clay. She's in the frame completely. Can't see the floor, is that alright with you? It is alright with me, I think. Does it make it look like she's higher when you can't see the floor? I think so, if you take a bit off the top. Right on, great. Ready when you are Krista. Do want it straight on? A little bit straighter would be great. Just so I see your face a little bit more. Let's see what you got. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Yep, great. Okay. (laughs) At some point I'm a big believer in, "There's a time to create, and a time to judge." I'd never in the world have a 64 inch monitor, right in front of you, to make you feel completely self conscious while you're doing this the whole time. I'd probably tear this tether cable out of my camera and just shoot the card and let the photo shoot be the photo shoot. Because I do think judgment and criticism can destroy a lot of creativity. You know? Yes. Cool, tagging out? Good work. (mumbles) Okay, great. Can you just for a minute, just improvise and just dance your ass off there for a second? Like you're not being photographed. And I'll see what I love. Right? Sure. You don't even need to bring that light up right now, we're just watching her move. Seeing what she's got. Let's see your bag of tricks. I wish there was a huge soundtrack here. (laughs) Alright. So just go for it. I'm not even sure what I'm going to do. (mumbling) I apologize to the audience. Don't apologize, it's all beautiful. We don't even know what it looks like, so just keep it coming. (laughs) Can you keep it coming a little bit more? I just want to see what you're doing, what I dig. (mumbles) Just make up a phrase or whatever works for you. That's totally what we want, right? Yeah, that was great. I think just what you did, how you came to the mark, how you jumped just like that. Totally in the area. Can I just see it again? Once more, just like you did it. Coming from that 45 degree angle. Yep, that's great. I know I'm gonna need the wider lens again. I'm gonna come a little bit closer, and try to make it a little bit more epic. (lens cover dropping) Can you get that Apple, Chris? Yeah. Right behind you. Turn the camera back on. Let me see where I'm at. Can I just see that again? I just want to see how my lens and everything is dealing with it. Ready when you are. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Missed it. I think I missed it. Yep. Little bit late. Where's that shadow coming from? Is that from our umbrella? Yeah. I think it's just because you're moving so far to the left of the frame. Okay, cool. Let's just bring it a little bit forward, and spin it back, Chris. You got it. Walk it straight down that wall. And let me see if once again, nevermind what he's doing. Let me just see it again. You with me? Stay with me. Up there. Yep, cool. Go Krista. (camera shutter click) Oops, I think I cut her head off. Right on. (laughs) I'm just trying to anticipate exactly where I need to be when she comes in to it, 'cause it happens so quick. Ready when you are Coming in, one, two, three. (camera shutter click) Yep, I felt that was it. That was great. Okay, I cropped her foot a little bit. Just a bit. This is just like that soccer game I was at. (laughs) Just like you were. I'm just getting my angle. Same angle, same exact thing. Just like you did. Come in from that angle. Go big with the jump, arms straight out. Can you just move this so I can see for one hot second? Instead of bringing both your hands forward, can you bring them forward and back? (mumbles) But I like what's going on. It's all looking great, let's see it. One, two, three. Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Oops, I missed it again. I missed the crop. I missed the crop. (laughs) Let me come a little bit higher, I'll take this Apple box. Yep. (equipment moving) Shooting in to this corner as best I can. Can we tilt that light? Pan it, just pivot it. Keep going. Yep, thank you, beautiful. Good work. Good work, Jay Bird. (laughter) And you just come pretty close to where that light is, a little big high up. Sweet, alright. I don't know if you can follow her with it, or anything. Just Hollywood it in. Yep. I'm think you guys keep me from falling asleep. I just want you all to become human light stands, get helmets with lights on top of them and run around my set. Alright you ready? Yeah. Go big. Alright, ready when you are, love. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Alright. I'm having a hard time not getting my light in my shot right now. So I'm just gonna have to live with that, right? But it's looking better and better, right? Let's hit it again. One, two, three. Come strong. (camera shutter click) I need it to happen a little bit earlier. See you're kind of jumping here. I need the jump to happen out there, so you come in to this mark. That's some of the problem I'm having. Alright. Okay? I'll make it right. Yep. I'll make it right. We both will. Can I just see you come out there for a second, just so I can get my focus? Just stand right there. I want the jump to happen a little bit earlier, so I can kind of anticipate it. (camera beeps) Great. That should be it. Okay, ready when you are. Oh this mic keeps happening. Chris can you fix me up here? Yep, I got you. Alright Krista, so the jump's gonna happen a little bit earlier. Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) [Clay] Still getting those arms. Instead of going so ... Yeah, I still want this other arm ... Can it come back instead of both coming forward? Yeah, I'll do them back. Okay, right on. You hit it with the light that time? Yeah. Seems like we missed it. Ready when you are. Go, love. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Almost. Am I cropping her leg every time? Yeah. Yep. Every time. Just a bit. (laughter) (mumbles) What's that? To walk over this way? I can live with that, right? I can live with that. Let's hit it again. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Oh boy. You're getting really close though. (laughs) I'm getting really close. I'm almost feeling like I should shoot it and just works with the crop. So can we hit it again? Just go with it again, just like you did? Can I ask something? As a dancer, I wouldn't want a shot where my ... (shushes softly) Yep, so I should shoot it from a different angle? So if you could shoot it from the other side. Sure, let's hit it from the other side. Just show me what that's going to look like. Yeah. (noise drowns out speaker) Just come in here with that light. Just somebody's minding the cord the whole time he's working, it's kind of a two man job. (noise drowns out speaker) We're unplugged. And now we're good. You're gonna have to hit the power button. (equipment beep) Great. I think this is going to work better for my whole composition. Can you just run it once and block it? So I can block it? Do you still want over here? (camera shutter click) Yeah, that's so much better. Such a great idea. I like this way better. Yep, okay. Do I do it from this angle? Let me see what it looks like from this angle. I'm afraid it might get too wide again. Let's see it. (camera shutter click) I think that's light just gotta walk down that angle a little bit. Great. I'm coming low. Can I see just where you hit again last time? Same exact way. Yep. Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Oh! So challenging! (laughs) As big as this room is, no matter where I put my light right now I'm kinda ... That one's working. Yeah these ones are light. Yeah, alright. You were saying? I was saying she's coming more from ... She's coming from this angle, right? Yeah. Can we bring the arms maybe more up front and back and less ... Yeah, sure. Right now they're here. Can we try it a little more front and back? Right on. Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Alright, that felt great. Yeah this one's fantastic. Let me just get a little bit longer in my lens, and come back a little bit. Could you just come to the mark so I can focus? Yeah. Just up a couple of steps. Great. Back one step. Focusing right there. (camera beeps) Great, you can step back and hit it. Just keep the face really bright and intense and beautiful. Ready when you are. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) Oops, a little but too tight on my crop. Just a bit too tight. Okay. Let's go again. Sorry my camera was focusing. Let me just focus on that spot where you were. Just come up a little bit. Thank you. Alright, cool. Just step out. Ready when you are. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) I'm sorry. This cords a little bit in my shot. (laughs) Ready when you are. One, two, three. (camera shutter click) That felt great. That's really great. Let's see that. Alright, we're looking better. I don't like that corner in it so much. I'm gonna come this way a little bit. Okay, just like you did. It was beautiful. Hit that again, repeat that. Okay. One, two, three. Go Krista! (camera shutter click) It's a happening a little late. I need the jump to happen a littler earlier, okay? I know. Just not enough room in this little room big room. One, two, three. (mumbling) Ready when you are. (camera shutter click) Oh beautiful, that's looking great.

Class Description

The ability to freeze a moment of time can show power, emotion and detail. Learn how to utilize high speed flash duration to create powerful images in a fraction of a second. Through a variety of examples, Clay Patrick McBride will have you experimenting with your photography in a new way. He’ll explain:

  • High Speed Syncing techniques
  • T1 and T2 Flash Duration
  • How to capture the tiniest of details like water droplets or dust
  • Different trigger techniques depending on your unique setup



I enjoyed Clay's workshop, he is very methodical, and had clear simple explanations for the various shoots. I am excited to experiment with different lighting because he made it seem easy. As he mentioned "start small and make it bigger, bigger, bigger. Thanks!

joanne duncan

I agree with Alison, i think this could have been so much better. Too much tampering around on set, i like the small talk and the model talks, love his presence, very charismic, the only thing that kept me watching although i did fast forward some bits. just too slow and not much info.


Watched it live, I thought it had lots of great info. Hoping to buy it soon.