First of all, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Douglas Sonders and I am a photographer and filmmaker. I’m excited to share this first post as an official member of the Fstoppers team with you. I have loved this site as a reader since its inception and am honored by the opportunity to share with you loads of new original content, much of which will come from behind the scenes of my own crazy shoots.
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Douglas Sonders has been features a few times on this site with some incredible images and this series doesn’t depart from that sentiment. This video walks you through the post production of his “Beard Series” and gives you some great insights into how to use some excellent Nik Software to create a beautiful high contract black and white image.
Douglas Sonders has to be my favorite commercial photographer hands down. He was my first introduction to a commercial photographer back in the summer of 2011 and through his work and advice inspired me to become one myself. His images are striking, unique and always have a story behind them. Recently Douglas and Phase One, medium format cameras, have joined together along with Nik Software to share their love and knowledge of photography to the masses. [more]
Douglas Sonders has always created some pretty interesting behind the scenes videos of his photo projects. Recently he shot the band Blink 182 for the cover of Alt Press Magazine. The behind the scenes video below doesn’t show much mainly because Douglas only had about 30 minutes with the band and had to shoot 3 separate covers with each band member individually as well as 1 complete band photo. The lighting is pretty straight forward though with a few rim lights, a soft over head key light, and a ring flash. Check out the full post to see a detailed video on how Douglas photoshopped the final images for print and how he uses the Nik Software Viveza in his workflow.
Douglas Sonders just sent over this really quick BTS of a photoshoot he just did in a field of sunflowers. I think he does a great job of lighting his model and balancing the harsh sunlight with the strobes. Check out more about this shoot here.
Douglas Sonders is an amazing photographer out of Washington DC, and his work is very stylized with studio lighting and exotic action themes. Check out this behind the scenes video as he brings out the weapons, poker chips, and Bond characters during his Secret Agent shoot. Also check out his website for more inspiring work!
Here is a very simple video of a very complicated photoshoot. I have trouble posing 1 subject but Douglas has to pose 7 guys, a truck, and a hovering helicopter. After turning day into night with Photoshop this is one successful shoot.
Curious how to properly shoot a background environment to drop a studio-photographed subject into? I know that is something I honestly struggled with early on. We regularly feature Glyn Dewis on Fstoppers, and recently he put together a quick and easy 2 minute video that gives crucial tips on how to make sure your focus/depth of field and angle of your background is captured correctly so it matches up with your portrait subject. [more]
In case you missed it (and there might be one or two of you), there was a little bit of news this week about the new Nikon Df camera. Depending on your view, this news was either awfully astounding or astoundingly awful. Whether you love or hate the idea of the Df, I can’t help but feel that arguing it’s pro’s/con’s is sort of missing the entire point. “Pure photography” isn’t about a camera. If you really want to make better images, focusing on learning to improve how we see is all that really matters. [more]
My buddy and talented retoucher and photographer Glyn Dewis has done it again. He’s created another awesome post production tutorial for those of you interested in improving your composite skills. He shows easy and effective tools to create dents and damage effects in your images. In this case, he adds battle damage to an otherwise pristine Iron Man character he photographed. [more]
Last year, I decided to pursue a fun portrait series of Luchador fighters from the Chikara Pro Wrestling League, located on the East Coast of the US. I’ve always been fascinated with this style of fighting and entertainment. These big colorful characters take the ring to pummel each other to the great delight of their dedicated fans. Some may call it “fake” or a performance, but I can tell you first hand that I saw blood drawn during a match on more than one occasion. These fighters are dedicated to their craft and I wanted nothing more than to capture them on camera. [more]
Sean Madden, creative director from the ad agency Brains On Fire, reached out to me earlier this year and asked if given an arsenal of stunt drivers, the newest high performance BMW’s, and a closed race course, could I create a 58 foot long composite print for BMW. My answer? “When can I start?” Watch the video and read the post below to learn how the shoot came together. [more]
We’ve all had that moment. You’re out shooting on location, the shots are looking great, the weather’s perfect, and then CRASH… a rogue gust of wind tears through your set and blows over your light stand. Bummer, but there’s one piece of gear you can take on a shoot to prevent this kind of catastrophe, and it’s not a sandbag. [more]
We live in a digital age where we can showcase our work to possible clients all around the world, but what’s the point if we cannot shoot for clients outside of our home market once in awhile? Following Andrew Link’s post on creating a perfect travel light kit, here’s an article with tips on how to travel as a professional photographer effectively. As a commercial photographer and filmmaker, I travel over 100k miles a year on assignment and have learned valuable lessons. I hope this list of tips helps make your shoots which require flying to a location more seamless. [more]
I’ve been shooting commercial photography for years and despite any fancy gear I might have in my arsenal, I never walk on a set without at least one reflector with me. SLR Lounge put together a great tutorial showcasing the power of one of the most affordable photography tools that every photographer should learn to use.