From Jimmy Chin's MasterClass

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.

Topics include: Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography


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.

Topics include: Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

Jimmy Chin

Teaches Adventure Photography

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JIMMY CHIN: Photography is really a way of life. It's a vehicle for you to explore the world. It's a process of discovery, both external and internal. It's bigger than just images. It's bigger than a career. You as a student have to ask yourself, what is my idea of success? What does that look like? What is my dream? Then you have to ask yourself, what am I willing to do to get there? What am I willing to sacrifice to get there? How far am I willing to go to get there? I want to invite you into my world of photography, into my process and how I think about my work. And then share some technical aspects of photography, my ethos around it, and give you some practical skills to think about. I hope you can come out of this class and have a better picture of the direction you want to go and how you can think about your photography. I'm Jimmy Chen and this is my MasterClass. So we're shooting in kind of my backyard, in Jackson, Wyoming, in Grand Teton National Park. And this is where I live. This is where I call home. I've been living here for 20 years. And it's incredible and it's beautiful. And you can really do all these different things that I love to do personally. This is kind of a place that I find inspiration. This is also where my heart lives, as well as my community. I'm really excited to be able to bring one of my great friends and someone that I've worked with for a very long time, Conrad Anker. - Oh-hoo, hoo-hoo. - He's going to be our extraordinary talent. We're lucky to have him. And Bree Buckley, a local Jackson climber, in this as well, and Blaine Conrad. And you've done this? - Yeah. That looks good. It'll be nice and fingery. JIMMY CHIN: It's been-- - So you probably-- the best shot might be 3/4 of the way up. JIMMY CHIN: Yeah, probably. Even-- even higher-- BLAINE CONRAD: OK. - A little bit, right above 3/4. - Yeah. JIMMY CHIN: Cool. So I'll see you up there. - OK. Sounds good. JIMMY CHIN: All right. So for the purposes of this class, the reason I chose the location is because its kind of got an incredible backdrop of Grand Teton National Park. It's fairly simple. But I think the fundamentals of how you put it together, what you're thinking about, really apply to a lot of much bigger scenarios as well, On shoots, where there's a lot of variables, I like to get the hardest shot first in the can and over with and then work backwards from there. Because that's the most technical aspect of a shoot, where it requires the most gear and prep. And getting that in the can is always nice to have. OK. So I'm going to be pretty close to Conrad. And I don't need a lot of focal length. So I'm bringing a 24 to 70, and a 16 to 35, and maybe the 14, just to have that option. But I usually go pretty light on a little shoot like this. Cool. So probably the more challenging shot in this scenario is getting good light on Conrad climbing. It's the big iconic shot of t...

Push the limits of your 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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

First of all, excellent talent. Jimmy is clearly a master in his field. His insight and knowledge inspired me to try new things and expand my view on things.

This class was SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Annie Leibovitz class. After watching her fluffy 'class', I was about to give up on MasterClass. After Jimmy's class... I want to watch more. Great job.

Excellent class. I highly recommend it for anyone chasing a dream.

Ive been shooting for 5 years full time and this year hard some good brakes in to commercial work. It was interesting i guess on a more philosophical level to hear how he deals with clients and his vision and drive. Mostly i feel motivated to change some of the ways i look and feel about situation. Good stuff thanks


A fellow student

Nice scenery but I don't understand why the shot information doesn't include the ISO. It would be great to understand a little more how you selected the ISO, f/ and exp when changing from shooting with the sun in frame to shooting along the wall. Can you tell us more please?

Steve T.

I hope it gets better. I get you're hanging your life out there to get a shot, adds to the drama but overall it was rather dull or maybe just too long for what it is. And where's your helmet?

Brian C.

Hey friends! Brian Craig from mentor Detroit here. Any fellow Michiganders here?

Shayne O.

Great start. Love the solar flares and reference to having the subject above the horizon and moving the subject away from the flat wall to differentiate him from the surface.

A fellow student

I am a total beginner in the photo world and climbing world and I find this first class to be simple enough to invite me to feel curious yet is full of specific details to take note on. I think the class is offered in a way that awakens my intuition around visuals, textures and the emotions behind shots- which I feel is so important when it comes to the art of photographing. I rather that to begin with than a bunch of technical info. Thank you!

Lachlan C.

Interesting and kept me engaged. Hopefully more information about what how and why Jimmy shot these images will come out of the following chapters.

Josianne B.

Wow! How beautiful! Didn't realize how much patience it takes to get a great shot. I will have to overcome my fear of heights to get shots like that!

Jess G.

It gave a good perspective on the depths and angles to approach a climbing shoot with. Cheers.

A fellow student

would love to see the edited aftermath of the photos too! Im excited for this :)

A fellow student

Seeing the shots taken in action is very helpful! Especially with the EV displayed. I learn well from watching others and then emulating so for a first chapter this was a good start for me. Hopefully chapters get a little more detailed gradually. Also I always use a wrist or neck strap and feel like a knucklehead I never thought to tether it to my backpack with accessory cord.