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Tips & Tricks

Tips on Photographing Extreme Action Images with Corey Rich

By Chris Nachtwey on April 28th 2014

Ever wonder what it takes to create eye catching rock climbing images? I know I have! In the Nikon sponsored video below, Corey Rich shows us just how far you have to go to get the “shot.”





Corey does a great job of explaining why scouting a location for extreme sports photography, or any photography for that matter, is extremely crucial. Not only does he think about the aesthetics of the location, he also explains that his vantage point is great for using natural light as a rim light, back lighting his subject and allowing him to expose for the shadows.

He starts off by creating an establishing wide shot, shooting it as if it’s a landscape image and is merely placing his subject in the image. He then moves onto a closer shot using a Nikon 70-200mm to compress the background and make his subject the focus of the image.

Corey, being a rock climber himself, goes the extra mile and actually rappels down the cliff face and shoots straight down on his subject to get dramatic angles of his subject scaling the cliff face.

Not to be deterred by the ambient lighting fading away, Corey attaches two Nikon SB-910‘s to a Light stand and aims them straight at his subject from his vantage point on the other cliff to light her, which creates a captivating nighttime portrait of his subject.



Nikon D800
Nikon SB-910
Nikon 16-35mm f/4
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander


For me, it was really cool to see how images like this are made. The simplicity of a great location, natural light, and a few flashes really allow Corey to create eye catching images. These simple ingredents can be applied to many different shooting situations that are not hundreds of feet off the ground!

Have any special tips for shooting extreme sports? Share them in the comments section below!

Via: YouTube

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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. David Hall

    I love the night shots. The SB-910 has a good bit of throw.

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