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Advanced Lighting for Adventure Photography

via CreativeLive


How do you freeze action, create motion blur and showcase the strength and style of athletes? When you introduce artificial light into your adventure photography, the opportunities are endless! It’s easier than it looks, and once you master the technical aspects, lighting on location can unlock tremendous opportunity for capturing portraits and action.

Red Bull Photographer, Michael Clark, joins CreativeLive to break down the barriers that are keeping you from letting your photography stand out. In this course, he’ll cover the basics of gear, incorporating flash, finding unique perspective and so much more.

Through demonstrations in the field, Michael will work with incredible athletes in a variety of lighting scenarios to show how to capture the heart of a sport and the spirit of an athlete. If you’re looking to make your mark in the world of action or sports photography, this course is a necessity in making your work compete with the best in the industry.

Michael will cover everything:

  • Location Scouting for your camera and your lights
  • Packing and gear tips for various locations
  • Scouting the best point of view to capture action
  • Safety and considerations for working with athletes
  • Strobes vs. Speedlights
  • When to use High Speed Sync, Hi-Sync (HS) or Leaf Shutters with your flash
  • Getting into the business of adventure photography
  • Creating tension in your photos

Michael will be working with professional athletes like trail runner Dylan Bowman, cyclist Tim Johnson, and incredible rock climbers to give you a rare and one-of-a-kind look into the world of adventure photography.

Submit your work to the Student Gallery for a chance at feedback from two of the best adventure photographers in the world, Michael Clark, and Chase Jarvis. 


  • Class Introduction
  • Evolution with Lighting
  • Why Use Artificial Lighting?
  • Pre-Production and Pre-Visualizing
  • Equipment: Overview of the Gear
  • Equipment: Selecting the Right Gear
  • Strobes vs. Speedlights
  • Lighting 101: Flash Sync Speeds
  • Lighting 101: Flash Basics
  • High-Speed Sync (HSS) vs. Hi-Sync (HS) vs. HyperSync vs. Leaf Shutter
  • Gear Requirements for Hi-Sync (HS)
  • Flash Exposure
  • Pre-production and Location Scouting for Rock Climbing
  • Gear on Location: Rock Climbing
  • Rock Climbing Photography 101
  • Rock Climber: Environmental Portrait
  • Finding the Shot
  • Capturing the Action: Rock Climbing
  • Shooting at High Angle: Rock Climber
  • Digital Workflow: Overview
  • Editing and Post-Processing of Rock Climbing images
  • Cyclocross Photography 101
  • Location Scouting for Cyclocross
  • Gear on Location: Cyclocross
  • Intro to the Cyclocross Rider
  • Capturing Action: Motion Blur
  • Communication with Athletes
  • Variations of the Shot
  • Cyclocross & Trail Runner Portraits
  • Location Scouting & Planning the Shot
  • Capturing the Action: Lighting Set Up for Trail Running
  • Editing and Post-Processing of Cyclocross Images
  • Editing and Post-Processing of Trail Running Images
  • The Business of Adventure Photography
  • Image Critique with Chase Jarvis

Taught by

Michael Clark

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