I know I do!
I don’t usually include a lot of action shots in my photography, which is something I have been wanting to change, and I just finished reading an eBook that has given me the knowledge I need to get started.
Of course I love doing my landscapes but I think adding a little action into the mix will add a new dimension to my photography.
One of my favourite ways of learning photography is by reading eBooks and when I find a really good one I like to share it with you because I know you’re here to learn photography too.
But it has to be a really really good one! I don’t just share every eBook that comes along or my recommendation wouldn’t mean much, would it?
I just finished reading “Behind the Action — Creating Adventure Imagery Step By Step,” the latest eBook by Dan Bailey, in which he invites you to go behind the scenes with him and learn how to make outdoor adventure photographs.
I enjoyed this eBook so much that I am prepared to offer you a bonus if you purchase it through the links in this post! More on that later…
In “Behind the Action,” Dan lets you look over his shoulder and learn his creative process from the initial concept right through to post-processing the final image. The reader actually gets right into Dan’s mind to learn how he came up with the initial idea and plan for the image. Then we go behind the scenes and learn how he went about coming up with alternate ideas if the initial plan didn’t work out and we see all the photos that led up to the final shot.
This 64 page downloadable guide will show you how Dan plans, chooses his equipment, sets up the shot, and executes each of 12 amazing outdoor adventure photographs.
For each photograph Dan shares all the details:
- The Concept: The basic idea behind the shoot and what he was hoping to achieve in the final shot.
- The Gear: An exact inventory of what gear was taken along and what gear was used.
- Lighting Conditions: Dan’s assessment of the light and the challenges that each scene presented.
- Dan’s Approach: Dan’s unique ideas on how he planned to tackle the shoot.
- The Execution: What ACTUALLY happened after all the planning.
- Final Thoughts: Reflections on what went right and what went wrong.
- Post Processing: Exact notations of how Dan adjusted the image in the digital darkroom.
- Quick Tips: Thoughts and advice on how to get these kinds of results for yourself.
Here is the Table of Contents from the eBook where you can see the 12 images that are reviewed in detail:
One thing I learned in this eBook is that when it comes to photographing a person doing an activity, rather than approaching the scene from the standpoint of the person being photographed in the image, Dan says “You start by choosing an appealing background, approaching it during the best possible light and then adding your subject with different variations of framing, placement and exposure until you get it right.”
When I first looked at the image to be analyzed in each chapter I tried to figure out how it was made before I read Dan’s description. Each time I was surprised by what I learned.
In his image of the trail runner, which Dan says he tried for years to accomplish, he is so close to the runner’s shoe that I figured he must have used a telephoto lens to zoom in to the spot. I was surprised to learn that he in fact used a wide angle lens and had the runner jump over the camera and land immediately in front of it. Looking at the image a second time I can see now that it is a wide angle shot because you can see the forest on either side of the trail. I just never would have thought of doing it that way.
“Try imagining what you want your ideal “final” image to look like, even before you pick up your camera.” — Dan Bailey
Reading Dan’s tips I realized that two of the things I do out of necessity because I have a really bad back are things that Dan does because it’s helpful in outdoor adventure photography! Who would have thought?
First, he usually only carries two lenses because he is able to move faster and cover more ground throughout the day. Second, he uses a chest pack to keep his camera accessible. When you have all your stuff in a backpack it takes time to get your camera out and at-the-ready each time you need it. Plus, for me, it’s the on and off with the backpack all the time that is hard on my back. These are great tips not only for being ready at the critical moment but also for saving yourself from back pain.
By the way, I love using my Cotton Carrier Vest to carry my camera in the front where it is quickly accessible. And a side-note for you fellow female photographers out there, our bodies are designed to carry weight in the front! It’s much easier than using a backpack.
I don’t think I’ll be doing any rock climbing or downhill skiing, but I learned many things I can do that will improve my action shots.
“Great subject matter doesn’t live at your desk.” — Dan Bailey
In his description of photographing the rock climber, Dan explains how persistence pays off. He scouted the location and tried out some ideas with one rock climber, “sketching” the image with his camera and experimenting with different settings. Then he returned to the location another day under optimal conditions to make the final image.
“Consider making a location notebook with potential scenes and write down your ideas for potential photos that you can create there.” — Dan Bailey
Here is an example of the kind of detail Dan goes in to with each shot:
In his description of photographing the mountain biker, Dan explains how his initial intention was to photograph the mountain biker in action with the mountains in the background. But when he made the test shots they turned out just OK. Noticing that the beautiful light was behind him, Dan switched gears and quickly came up with a new approach. He ditched the mountains in favour of the dramatic sky as a background.
“You’re in complete control of whether your photo shoot is a success, in fact, that’s the mark of a pro. Even if you can’t control the ambient light or the weather, you can control your own creativity and your own equipment.” — Dan Bailey
Another thing I learned from Dan’s eBook is how he goes about getting his “models (a.k.a. friends)” to cooperate and look good. Whenever I have tried using my friends as models they seem to adopt an awkward and uncomfortable look!
Dan’s trick is that he is always in the middle of the activity with his friends. He is an active participant in whatever sport they are doing. If they are biking he is biking too and, in the middle of the adventure, he will suggest they stop for a photo break. At that point everyone is all relaxed into their adventurous day and warmed up into the activity. They spend a couple of hours riding, a quick 15 minute photo break, followed by another couple of hours riding.
“Don’t overwork your models. A happy model will be a more willing model next time.” — Dan Bailey
If you are interested in learning outdoor adventure photography, this eBook will show you some time tested techniques and methods that you can use to create your own dynamic and exciting images.
Right now you can get the eBook for 20% off by using the discount code EARLYBIRD in the shopping cart. That brings the price of learning how to make your own inspired and dramatic adventure images down to only $19.95!
I know you wont be disappointed when you see the difference Dan’s techniques will make in your own images. And, it comes with a 100% money back guarantee.
My Bonus Offer For You
If you purchase Dan’s eBook through the links on this page (which I do earn a commission from! This bonus is my way of thanking you!) I will give you a sneak peek into my upcoming eBook “The Compelling Photograph: Techniques For Creating Better Images” (that’s just a working title). The eBook will help you understand the elements of good image design, give you some fun photography techniques to try, and assignments that will help you hone your craft.
You will receive 2 chapters from my upcoming eBook absolutely free as my gift to you.
In order to get your free gift you must:
1. Purchase Dan’s eBook “Behind the Action” using the links in this post.
2. Forward a copy of your receipt to me at email@example.com
You can only get this bonus if you purchase the eBook using the links in this blog post.
Remember, by using the discount code EARLYBIRD in the shopping cart you can get “Behind the Action” plus two sample chapters from my upcoming eBook “The Compelling Photograph” for only $19.95!
Purchase “Behind the Action — Creating Adventure Imagery Step By Step” here.