Action Sports Flash Photography, with Dave Black

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.

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.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 02:42)

Meet Dave Black and his first subject, an Olympic track runner.

Lesson 2: Equipment Check (Duration 13:01)

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

Lesson 3: On Your Mark (Duration 11:59)

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.

Lesson 4: Get Set - Go! (Duration 11:03)

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.

Lesson 5: Seventh Inning Stretch (Duration 04:59)

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.

Lesson 6: Here's the Windup (Duration 09:40)

Dave studies the pitcher's actions as he sets up his Speedlights and captures the action.

Lesson 7: And the Pitch (Duration 05:13)

Dave changes the white balance and adds warming gels for a more dramatic look.

Lesson 8: Motocross Up Close (Duration 09:32)

Dave studies the track to find the best place to set up, then really gets in there for some impressive shots.

Lesson 9: Catching Air (Duration 09:26)

As the ambient light fades, Dave catches some impressive action before his final review. Thanks for watching Action Sports Flash Photography with 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…


  1. a really inspiring course, makes you want to get out and do each of the genres shown here. Great shots from all but the motor cross ones were a bit special. Thank you Mr Black

  2. Wow, what an awesome class!! Dave Blackís energy and enthusiasm are absolutely infectious. I am a still life photographer and only watched these videos out of curiosity but now I wanna go out and take pictures of athletes in action! Thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge and passion with us!

  3. This is one of the best Kelbytraining videos. Why? Because Dave's passion and excitement for getting the shot comes through. He's loving what he's doing, and when you add that to technical know-how and a bit of genius, you've got a great teacher. I love all of the Dave Black videos, but this one "takes the cake."

  4. Great course and Dave is a FANTASTIC instructor. I just have an acquaintance starting a sports clothing line and she said to me "You are good with a camera, right? I need someone to take sports action photos" I knew this class was EXACTLY what I needed to watch. It has helped me big time and I have gotten tons of ideas from it. Now I know how to prepare for the "big day" Thanks Dave and Kelby Training!

  5. Fantastic amount of very helpful information, repeated often enough that the viewer should be able to grasp the content. Enthusiasm overflows, as does his sense of humor enriching the total experience. His lessons are worth the price of admission. More please, when time permits. Thank you.

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