Three Ways to Light Up Sports Action By Dave Black

2 hr 22 min

Take your sports action photography to the next level with lighting! When you control the lighting you will set your work far apart from the rest of the pack. Join veteran sports photographer Dave Black as he takes you through three different action sports scenarios using a different lighting setup in each location. From speedlights to the Elinchrom Quadra and Ranger systems, you’ll learn about all of the gear Dave uses, the camera settings needed to freeze fast action, how to use zone focusing to get tack sharp results, how to work with your subjects to keep everyone safe during the shoot, and so much more!

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Dave as he goes over the concepts covered in this class before jumping into the setup for the first shoot on the tennis courts with speedlights.
It is helpful to understand what your camera's shutter is doing when using high-speed sync.
Dave goes over the basics of setting up the lighting for tennis action portraits.
Time for a change of clothing, setting, and lens to create a whole new look.
Dave sets up for a soccer shoot with a change in lighting equipment, and goes over all the gear he uses with the Quadra system.
With the lighting gear set up, Dave goes over camera settings, camera position, and begins working with the soccer players.
With everyone warmed up Dave goes on to capture a variety of soccer action shots.
A new athlete brings a new opportunity for more dynamic action shots.
Dave takes the lighting power up a few notches for this final shoot location by using the Ranger system. Join Dave as he goes over the new gear and the approach for lighting this type of shoot.
Weather conditions are not ideal, but Dave shows how to get up close and personal with the racers as they come out of a turn. This first pass is to help everyone get warmed up and comfortable with the process.
As the team gets more comfortable with the process they are able to build up to capturing multiple riders in a single shot.
A change up to the 400mm lens comes with a new framing position and a different concept.
Earlier in the class Dave spoke about how the camera's shutter behaves during high-speed sync and HyperSync. Back in the studio he reviews the concepts with the aid of animation.
Dave returns to the studio to review his images and critique what worked and what didn't during the three different shoots.
Profile photo of Dave Black

Meet your instructor

Dave Black


As a freelance photographer for over 30 years Dave's work has primarily centered on the sports industry for such publications as Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and the award winning TV show Sports Century on ESPN. The list of event coverage includes the Masters, Kentucky Derby, National Football League, NASCAR and extensive work regar...

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Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of

    Awesome course!! Thank you Dave Black!

  2. Profile photo of Chris Fritsche Chris Fritsche

    I’m still a little confused about the set up. I’d love to shoot some of these ideas, but I’m not sure where to get started. I own 3 Yongnuo 560-II’s, but I’ve learned they do not support HSS… So I’m not sure if I need to buy a different model of Yongnuo or speed more $$$ and buy Canon’s.

    If I buy Canons, which model of flash do I get, how many are needed in an array and what transceivers are required, (I like the Pocket Wizards), do I need a transceiver per flash for the HSS?

  3. Profile photo of Mike Mahoney Mike Mahoney

    Let me begin by saying that I think Dave Black’s tutorials are fantastic! His sports photography (and light painting) is awesome. But, having worked in the motorcycle industry and race track safety for over 30 years, I must say that he and his crew were in serious danger photographing the bikes at such close range. On wet pavement, no less!! This method of shooting should not be recommended to any photographers. I remember a few years back when a photographer and rider were both killed while photographing in a situation not unlike this.

  4. Profile photo of Joshua Joshua

    I love Dave’s enthusiasm so much. He is just fantastic.

  5. Profile photo of brianw brianw

    Just finished watching this video, wow, great stuff. Gonna cost me a bit for tt5’s now though…..oops :D

  6. Profile photo of Justin Meldrum Justin Meldrum

    What a fantastic course! Dave you are a great teacher and you’re so enthusiastic. I loved those shots you took out on the race track. You could tell the adrenaline was pumping when you were down low and those bikes flew past. Thanks very much.

  7. Profile photo of Joseph Crawford Joseph Crawford

    I want to start out by thanking KelbyOne for getting Dave to do this course. I had actually written to them requesting that they post a video on motorcycle photography out on the track. This was a very informative course that I am sure I will be watching again because as Dave said there is a ton of information to digest. I also want to thank Dave for doing this course it was very well put together and very informative.

    If you are into lighting you are going to want to check out this course, Dave covers three different sports with three different lighting systems. These lighting systems are surely out of my price range but as I grow as a photographer I will build up to the gear.

    Thanks Again!!

  8. Profile photo of PaulFrocchi PaulFrocchi

    Dave Black!!!! YOU are my HERO! Awesome stuff around the track. Love your classes.

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