Chapter 1 of 20 from Jimmy Chin

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

Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

National Geographic photographer teaches his techniques for planning, capturing, and editing breathtaking photos.

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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. Learn his different creative approaches for commercial shoots, editorial spreads, and passion projects. Gather the gear—and the perspective—to bring your photography to new heights.

From selecting the right gear to telling stories through images, Jimmy Chin teaches you how to plan shoots, capture the best shots, and edit in the studio.

A downloadable book accompanies the class with photography and supplemental learning material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Jimmy will also critique select student work.


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

Jimmy was an excellent teacher and I felt that I was one on one with him as he walked me through all the different aspects of his work. It's amazing to be able to learn from someone you look up to and strive to emulate.

Jimmy Chin teaches more than adventure photography - he teaches how to make a living from a creative skill; how to take risks and build a long-term career. I'm going to look for his name in the credits henceforth; I'm going to dedicate a couple of managed risks to him as well. THANK YOU!!

What a honour to get to spend time with Jimmy Chin. So humble and calm, while at the same time absolutely committed to achieving his goals

Very motivational story! I think this was more inspirational, and a highlight of the mindset it takes to be a master photographer. I thought it would be a little heavier on the technical aspects of Jimmy's photography, but you can find this information elsewhere. Thank you for the great class :)


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.


This intro feels like 20 minutes of b-roll. He's snapping photos, paying attention to composition. Ok, great. Not sure why he's picking the lenses and f-stops he's chosen: That would be useful information. But we're not getting into any of that. At least, yet. Reply | Like | Report

A fellow student

I really enjoyed this section. I like your flow and your cadence. Your passion clearly comes through and it is engaging. While this section is geared for beginners, it is still intriguing and cool to see you in action knowing the level you shoot at. I'm also glad to see you with Conrad. It was amazing meeting him on his film tour of Meru as he held such a wonderful Q&A session afterward. I am ever grateful for that experience. Keep doing what you are doing!

Laura B.

Loved watching this hands-on perspective. What time of day were you shooting at this location?

Tina B.

Loved this masterclass and the perspective Jimmy gives. I would also love to see a master class with Chai's perspective on how to craft an excellent documentary. Congratulations to you all on the Oscar!

Jeff P.

Interesting but not very informative. Dozens of frames of essentially the same shot. Very little useful info.

Karmen B.

Will probably have to follow this lesson again. Most inspiring with much to learn. Love seeing the stills with info as Jimmy shoots.

Jim C.

Not sure I didn't just miss it, but did you say the ISO at which you were shooting? Also, do you think the GriGri has changed the way you shoot these climbing shots? I'd think and ATC would take much more maneuvering to lock you in safely.

Kenton M.

I always like to see the person in action! It's helpful to me as a portrait photographer to see what shutter speed and aperture is being used at the moment.


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...