Action Sports Flash Photography By Dave Black

1 hr 17 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

He wowed the crowd at Photoshop World Orlando ’11 with his incredible skills and passion for photography. Now, Dave Black is bringing that passion and skill to with his debut class! In Action Sports Flash Photography, Dave uses his Nikon Speedlights and DSLR to create the kind of stylized sports portraits that you normally see in feature articles, programs and magazine covers – and he shows you how to do it too. In this class, you’ll learn how to capture action sports, in varying degrees of action from track and field to motocross, with high-speed sync and fast action shutter speeds. You’ll also learn what equipment and settings work best for each progressive action sports situation; but most of all, you’ll learn that while you may not have the exact same kind of equipment Dave does, it won’t matter half as much as you think as long as you share his exuberance and desire to take an amazing picture.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Meet Dave Black and his first subject, an Olympic track runner.
Dave gives you a rundown on the equipment he will be using throughout his class and in which situation he plans to use them. Do you need the exact same equipment to get a similar shot? According to Dave, you don't. But if you don't use Nikon Speedlights
Back at the track, Dave consults with his athlete before explaining his set up and technique for a commercial action shot taken of a runner out of the starting blocks.
Even though he was pleased with his first set up, Dave's advice to shoot not only for the assignment but also for the subject, prompts him to make some small changes to his light positions and his own angle for a more dramatic effect.
Next, Dave visits a Baseball diamond and sets up to shoot a pitcher with high-speed synch by starting with some portrait shots to test his short depth-of-field.
Dave studies the pitcher's actions as he sets up his Speedlights and captures the action.
Dave changes the white balance and adds warming gels for a more dramatic look.
Dave studies the track to find the best place to set up, then really gets in there for some impressive shots.
As the ambient light fades, Dave catches some impressive action before his final review. Thanks for watching Action Sports Flash Photography with Dave Black.
Profile photo of Dave Black

Meet your instructor

Dave Black

10 Courses


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...


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of maugbiker maugbiker

    Thank you so much for this kind enjoyable time with Dave Black. He is OUTSTANDING not just as a photographer but also as a teacher, love his passion for teaching and photography. I have seen all his clases and really love his work. Hope to see more of him in the near future. And special credits for Larry Becker who did such a great job conducting this interview! Guys you really rock!!! Love being an active subscriber for 2 years now and love how you get better and better each day! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  2. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    You gotta love Dave Black. Superb photographer, fantastic teacher and great personality. Highly recommended. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of lburke12 lburke12

    Hey Dave are strobes still used in pro basketball games? Or is everything balanced with the lights already? I was always under the assumption that flashes were not allowed.

  4. Profile photo of Scott Chandler Scott Chandler

    Dave was informative as usual. Larry was excellent. Asked very good questions. I hope you use Larry more often for interviews and other spots.. I miss Larry not being on the TV show with RC Concepcion.


  5. Profile photo of Carolyn Fahm Carolyn Fahm

    Wow! No wonder Scott Kelby calls Dave Black his mentor. Sports photography isn’t my thing but I now plan to watch all of Dave’s courses because if someone of that calibre is teaching us, we can only benefit by learning from a master. Superb interview, Larry! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of alanjsmith93 alanjsmith93

    Dave is excellent and provides so many “little” things/ideas to think about and work on, thank you Dave! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Newbie_Dave Newbie_Dave

    I was fascinated by Dave Black’s life story from film to digital. Larry Becker was also great as the interviewer. He asked the right questions at the right time and kept quiet for the rest of the time to let Dave tell his unique tale. A great pairing! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of TXCqql TXCqql

    Dave Black, another reason for my 2nd yearly subscription. Thanks, Dave! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Char at CanDew dot Com Char at CanDew dot Com

    Thank you Dave & Larry! As expected from anything to do with NAPP/Kelby Training now known as KelbyOne, the quality is second to none! I’m just starting to do a lot of rodeo photography which is usually at night or occasionally in an indoor arena. I learned a lot from your interview Dave and am going to raise my bar as you suggested.

    And thanks to KelbyOne for merging! What a great help to the little gal like me. I’ve been a NAPP member almost from the start!

  10. Profile photo of varlalik varlalik

    This is not the first interview I watch here on Kelby and I have to say that these photographers are amazingly generous by sharing their knowledge and experiences with us. BUT the sound is TERRIBLE (the slight echo booming the whole way through is unbearable) also the compression is so pushed and aggressive that we can hear it coming in and out like a storm. We all know the treatment is bad when we can notice it. Please give us the same amount of commitment and generosity and make sure the audio is impeccable. Thank you