Action Sports Photographer Lucas Gilman On Taking Better Travel Photos

Brought to you by SanDisk


Lucas GIlmanThis month, the award-winning sports and travel  photographer Lucas Gilman answers PDN readers' questions Lucas Gilman answers readers' questions on how to prepare for your next big photo adventure, maximize your results while on your trip, and how to make sure you get all your data home safely. To submit your question for Lucas Gilman, email or We'll be posting your questions and his answers all this month.

Traveling the world in search of untouched places and wild experiences, Lucas captures images ranging from kayaking in India, Brazil, Uganda and Costa Rica to backcountry skiing in Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, and South America. He has also covered major events and stories around the globe including the Ironman, Kentucky Derby (six times), open water swimming in Australia, and the Tour De France. He uses SanDisk Extreme® memory cards to capture action sports around the globe from an extreme perspective.

Gilman grew up in the mountains of Western Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism. A winner of numerous prestigious awards, Gilman also  teaches photography workshops around the US and worldwide. This month, he brings his experience as a photographer as well as a workshop leader to PDN's Ask The Experts.

 If you could take only one lens on a trip, say to New Zealand, what lens would that be? Thank you.
--Kristen E. Hellstrom

If I were to take one lens on a trip it would be a Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8. I love the wide to medium telephoto zoom for travel and the 2.8 aperture lets in lots of light for giving me maximum flexibility.

 What gear do you pack for a trip? What extras do you pack depending on whether you’re heading to the ski slopes or sub tropics, or climbing is involved?
 -- PDN Editor

I always bring extra clothes and extra memory. It's ALWAYS colder, and ALWAYS wetter than you think it will be. Staying dry and warm will allow you to focus on the job at hand and not the elements.  Having plenty of extra memory lets me shoot without being stressed about running out of card space. I always use a Lowepro Dryzone 200 waterproof backpack for water related shoots. I always carry a set of Pocket Wizards and extra lens/body so I can set up a remote camera - that way I have a horizontal and vertical most shots. Shower caps are great to cover the front of lenses when working in rainy or wet conditions.

You’ve shot a lot of great skiing pictures. Do you have any advice about working with snow reflections and glare?
--PDN Editor

When shooting on snow, or in any other situation for that matter, I try to shoot early in the morning or late in the evening, when the light is the most interesting and avoid shooting during the middle of the day.  Snow can throw off many camera meters, but also provides great bounce light. If you're not sure of a proper a exposure, shoot a test image and look at the histogram on the back of your camera to make sure you have data all the way across the histogram, or use the flashing highlights function built into many DSLR cameras.

What can you tell us about the shot of the kayaker on the waterfall? How did you find the spot where you wanted to stand, and how did you direct the kayaker from that distance?
DH Sullo
New York, NY

The Kayaker on the waterfall was shot during a kayaking expedition in Washington State. The image was taken at Upper Lewis Falls. I picked the spot and lens that gave me the most scenic look of the falls. We use radios to coordinate. Generally we scout every falls to check for dangerous obstacles. The paddler in our group who ran the falls first actually almost drowned. He got into a bad spot behind the falls, almost didn't make it out. Our safety couldn't get a throw rope into him due to the tough spot he was in.  
You really don't get a second chance to shoot these images as you really can't ask the athlete to go up and do it again.


PDN August 2016: The Fine-Art Photography Issue



Tout VTS



Contact PDN | About Photo District News | Camera Reviews and Gear Guide | Photography Blog | Photo News | Photo Magazine- Print Subscription |
Photography RSS Resources | Free Photography Newsletter | Photo Magazine Advertising | Photographer Features & Resources | Stock Photographs
© 2016 Emerald Expositions, LLC. All rights reserved. Read our TERMS OF USE and PRIVACY POLICY