TECH TIP: Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Exploring the Creative Process: Creating a Composite Action Sequence

by Corey Rich

We all know that still photography is all about capturing that decisive storytelling moment. With the depression of a shutter button, you freeze time and capture that single incredible moment that would otherwise be gone forever without your camera. Freezing time and capturing single moments is one of the things I love most about shootings stills. However, certain situations beg to show the whole sequence or progression of movement. This is equally powerful, though in a much different way. And in fact, having the ability to document sequences, and make moving pictures, is one of the reasons I was drawn to filmmaking.

But for still shooters, the question becomes: can you show a whole action sequence in a single frame? In my latest Tech Tip for “Adorama TV presents Getting the Shot with Corey Rich,” I talk about the creative process behind building a composite action sequence to create a much more interesting and powerful storytelling still photograph. This Tech Tip takes me back to 2008, when I was working alongside Big Up Productions on a documentary of the famous professional climber Chris Sharma—a situation I wrote about in this Story Behind the Image.

I was standing neck-deep in the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Mallorca, watching Chris try to climb the hardest deep-water solo in the world, and racking my brain for how I could best capture in a single picture the drama and power of what Chris was actually doing, which was climbing 5.14 moves with no rope, 50 or 60 feet above the sea. Taking inspiration from the film crew I was standing alongside, I decided to create a composite image, using all the tools available to me at the time, from Nikon camera equipment, to Apple laptops equipped with Photoshop. The result, I believe, is an interesting way to tell a greater story while working within the parameters of still photography.

Hope you enjoy this Tech Tip and it inspires you to embrace all technology available to you and push yourself to capture the best storytelling visuals you can dream up.

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