MasterClass – Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

Jimmy Chin has built his career taking photos at the top of the world, earning him the cover of National Geographic and multiple awards. Now he’s taking you on location to teach you techniques for capturing breathtaking shots. In his photography class, learn different creative approaches for commercial shoots, editorial spreads, and passion projects. Gather the gear—and the perspective—to bring your photography to new heights.

Lesson Plan

  1. On Location: Climbing Photoshoot
    Meet your new instructor-world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin-and join him on location for a photoshoot with his climber friends Conrad Anker and Bree Buckley.
  2. On Location: Portraits and Natural Light
    The photoshoot continues as Jimmy leads you through an outdoor portrait session with Conrad and teaches you how he thinks about using natural light.
  3. Capturing Your Passions
    Learn Jimmy’s philosophy for finding your voice as a photographer, evolving creatively, and learning from failure.
  4. Principles of Narrative: Concept, Research, and Pitch
    With a focus on editorial photography, Jimmy teaches you how to construct a photo narrative to win magazine clients and tell a compelling story.
  5. Principles of Narrative: The Shoot and the Edit
    Now that you have a clear, powerful story in mind, Jimmy explains the core tenets of working with your editor and subjects to bring that story to life.
  6. Photo Studies: Shooting at the Top
    Join Jimmy as he breaks down two sky-high photoshoots from his career: one from the top of the tallest building in the United States, the other from the peak of the tallest mountain in the world.
  7. Commercial Work: Pitching and Working With Clients
    Learn Jimmy’s strategy for winning commercial clients, executing effective work, and integrating your creative voice into brand campaigns.
  8. Commercial Case Study: Canon Shoot
    Analyzing photos and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from a high-alpine photoshoot, Jimmy teaches his approach to leading a team and composing shots in the mountains.
  9. High-Stakes Photography
    Learn Jimmy’s set of practical directives for safely and constructively running a creative shoot when the stakes are high.
  10. Photo Studies: Creative Partnerships
    In this chapter, featuring an interview with renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker, Jimmy breaks down how creative relationships fuel his photography, and explores the importance of forging partnerships with those who push you to greater heights.
  11. Building and Leading a Team
    A photographer is often the creative leader of a team. Jimmy teaches you how to set the bar high for professionalism and convey your creative vision, and lets you in on the preproduction meeting for the on-location shoots earlier in the class.
  12. Photo Studies: Mountain Architecture
    Jimmy breaks down his approach to photographing mountain landscapes, and how he composes his shots.
  13. Editing
    Using the photos captured on the shoot with Conrad, Jimmy teaches you his process for sifting through hundreds of images to find the best few for his narrative.
  14. Post-Processing: Conrad on the Wall
    Jimmy takes you through a granular look at the tweaks he makes to a photo before presenting it to a commercial or editorial client.
  15. Post-Processing: Portrait
    Learn Jimmy’s techniques for retouching portraits as he moves through wide shots of Conrad against the horizon to portraits of him atop the wall.
  16. Gear: Cameras, Lenses, Power, and Storage
    Jimmy describes which cameras, lenses, and accessories he takes with him on shoots-and why.
  17. Settings: Modes, ISO, Focus, and Depth of Field
    Get the most out of your camera’s functions and lenses. Jimmy dives into how different settings have different effects, and shares practical tips for determining which configuration will help you get the best shot.
  18. Career Advice: Building a Body of Work
    Building a career takes tenacity and patience. Learn Jimmy’s philosophy behind a life in photography–and how hard work, passion, and perseverance can lead to success.
  19. Becoming a Photographer: Jimmy’s Story
    From his childhood in Mankato, Minnesota to the cover of National Geographic, Jimmy shares his story of becoming a professional photographer and offers advice for finding your own mentors.
  20. Conclusion: Be Present on Your Journey
    Jimmy wraps up his MasterClass with a few encouraging words on the importance of valuing the process over the final achievement, living in the moment, and pursuing your passion.

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