Sequence Shoot Practice

So, I’ve found inspiration over at the Redbull Illume site, which showcases some awesome work, in particular a series of sequence shots. After a little reading I set out to learn this technique and eventually reverse engineer some of these shots. Firstly, what to shoot? I had thought I’d practice with a simple rolling ball, I could set it up studio style and then run through the required steps from there. But since I’m shooting some skateboarding at the end of the month, and having this technique in the bag by then would be useful, I decided to head out to Whitesands skate park.

So, setting up:

  • Firstly, using a tripod means that all the images can be layered over each other without having to align the shots first. So keep it simple, stick to a fixed frame. Then make sure that the framing captures plenty of action before and after the ‘trick’ or ‘move’.
  • Set a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the rider, so in this case at least 1/250
  • Set drive to high speed, and check everything else is set for the scene.
  • Fire off a few runs, and scroll through full review on camera screen. If the subject overlaps themselves too much, ask them to go quicker (?) or move closer if possible. Both increase the separation, for a given shot frequency.

Post-production time:

  • Following on from the standard ingestion workflow, I grouped individual shots into sequence sets, picked the set I liked the look of and exported them all to Photoshop.
  • A little copy and paste brings them all into a single image, as layers.
  • Simple work from there; starting at the top of the layer stack, simply erase to show the layer below and the next bit of the action.
  • And where there is overlap, decide which one should be on top and adjust the layer order to suit. Or potentially, set the eraser opacity to 50% and have both.


Ok, so next time? Well, the shot above is the best sequence I shot, the others didn’t have enough start or exit shots to allow the image represent the full fluidity of the movement. In addition, I think this has a great deal of creative options, rather than this kind-a-vanilla trial run, so I’ll be looking to find an interesting way to include these shots in my next few shoots. And finally, there is a lot of technique depth to this too, for example I’d like to try a panning shot and then align the shots in photoshop…
About The Author


Action and adventure photographer based in London, shooting commercial and editorial images that seek to capture the beauty in the lifestyles he loves

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs