How to Capture Action with Your iPhone

Lesson 1/4 - Assess Location and Action


How to Capture Action with Your iPhone


Lesson Info

Assess Location and Action

My name is Michael Clark. I'm an Adventure Sports photographer, and today we're here in Seattle, Washington working with Aiden Jarrett who's a parkour athlete, and we're gonna shoot a series of action photos with him with the iPhone 7 Plus. And the iPhone 7 has all kinds of different features that we can use to really capture the action, 'cause he's gonna be moving really quickly, so we're gonna have to really pay attention and use the burst mode, and then we can pick the images we wanna use after that. So, in terms of setting up an action shot, things you first wanna look at is where you are, the location. Where's the light on that location as well? You wanna look at your background. Try and find the cleanest background you can find, or a very interesting background. Here we have these doors that have a really nice texture on them. And so that's creating a really nice uniform background. If you're outside, you know, say you're at a skate park with your children, or they're riding thei...

r bike on the street in front of your house. Maybe look for some blue sky in the background, or just look for something that's not too busy. Or if it is busy, look for something that's uniformly busy, like a bunch of trees in the background behind the skate park. In terms of the lighting, things to think about... Here you see, there's these giants windows lighting these doors directly. The brighter the lights, the faster the shutter speed that the camera will use, and the more it'll be able to stop the actual action. In this setting, we have a pretty good amount of light coming in here, but even so, Aiden is moving so fast that in the test shots we just did, he's still getting a little bit of motion blur in there. Which is actually really cool to have a little bit of motion blur, because that actually helps show the movement as well. A very simple lighting technique is just put the sun behind you and photograph that way. If you wanna go off axis from the sun, then that gives a little bit more of a three dimensional feel to the image because it introduces shadows that also help the image pop off the screen. So think about how the action's gonna happen. And with Aiden here, I just watched him do his trick a few times. If you're at the skate park and you see your son or your daughter do a certain trick, maybe they're not in the perfect position to line up with your background, or maybe the light's not that great. Maybe they're in a shadow. If you can ask them to do that same trick in a different area of the skate park, or wherever you're at, whatever the situation, manipulate it a little bit so that they're in the perfect place to get your image. That will massively improve the overall image. And for the action stuff, definitely use the burst mode that's built into the iPhone 7. Push down the button and hold you finger on the button, and you'll see the frames ticking away in the little circle, and it's shooting at an incredibly fast rate so that you can really capture the height of the action. And after the fact, you can select the image that you want out of that. So you can find the perfect height of the action moment. When shooting in burst mode, you wanna start well before anything happens and just keep your thumb down on the button to make sure you get the whole movement. You might even wanna pull back and shoot a little bit more loosely so you have more room around the athlete so that they can do their thing and you don't cut off their foot or whatever's going on and you get them in the frame, because you can always crop after the fact in photos. You wanna definitely get the height of the action and, by using the burst mode, you'll definitely capture that, and you can decide after the fact which is the best picture.

Class Description

Are the subjects of your photos always moving? Do your pictures often end up blurry? In this class Adventure Photographer Michael Clark walks through how you can freeze time and make your subjects the focus of your photos. He’ll talk about how to use lighting to grab focus on your subject. He’ll also talk about how to frame and anticipate your athlete’s movement. If you’re out at the skateboard park or just chasing toddlers around all day- this class will show you how to get photos that look amazing and make your subjects shine.




A neat little class on shooting and editing action video on your iPhone. It's mainly intended for beginners, but even experienced photographers with no video know-how will learn some useful tips on using their phone to shoot. Short and to the point!