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Mike Kelley

Guest Contributor http://www.mpkelley.com +Mike KelleyFacebook
I'm currently a Los Angeles-based architectural and interiors photographer. I graduated from the University of Vermont with degrees in environmental science and digital art, and after graduating, I moved to the Lake Tahoe area to follow my dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder. While I was fortunate enough to have traveled all over the world competing, injury eventually forced me to consider a different career. Shortly after, a chance encounter led me from full-time hobby photographer to full-time working photographer (funny, this life). I had always been interested in photography, but never imagined that I would be working as a full-time photographer, and I'm very excited to be able to share my knowledge of architectural photography, lighting, compositing and retouching with everyone who reads Fstoppers.

My Photo Went Viral, And Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For What Happened After

A little bit over a week ago, I went to Los Angeles International Airport to make a photo. It was a clear day, and I didn’t want to waste it sitting inside. Being an aviation fan myself, as well as an occasional pilot and aerial photographer, watching planes, to me, is hardly the worst way to pass the time. As it turns out, making this photo would lead to one of the craziest weeks of my entire life.
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How I Photographed ‘Wake Turbulence:’ Eight Hours Of Airplane Takeoffs In One Shot

I love aviation and I love photography. So the other day, inspiration struck and I ran to LAX to capture a photo that compresses eight hours of airport traffic at one of the biggest airports in the world into a single frame. Here’s how I did it. [more]

BTS: The Anatomy Of A Luxury Hotel Penthouse Photograph

A few weeks ago Pat, Lee, Lauren and myself went to the Bahamas to get ready for the upcoming Fstoppers Workshop. While we were there, we wanted to film some kind of architectural photography tutorial video, and we’re happy to share that it’s finally ready. The Atlantis Resort is giving us an all-access pass to photograph anything at the resort for the workshop, and [more]

BTS: Building An Architectural Interior Photograph From The Ground Up

In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through how I build an architectural photograph from square one. We’ll discuss composition, lighting, staging, styling, and posing models in an architectural interior in order to create the image that the client has in mind. Despite appearing as a rather simple image, this shot took over an hour to finish on location with multiple steps and a lot of pre-visualization. [more]

I Shot A $15,000 Per Night Penthouse With A Single Speedlight (And You Can Too!)

I recently visited the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with Lee and Patrick to scout out locations for my upcoming architectural photography workshop and we were pretty much given unfettered access by the Atlantis marketing department to shoot whatever we wanted. First on the list? The $15,000 per night penthouse suite. I only brought a minimal amount of gear [more]

The Story Of The Most Successful Photographer You’ve Never Heard Of

In under five years, Andy Frame went from being a photography nobody to running one of the most successful photography operations that I’m aware of. I had a chance to catch up with him and hear all of his absolutely inspirational story so that I can share it with our readers, and so that I can motivate my own self to do better on a regular basis.
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Beautifully Filmed Industrial Timelapse Shows A Cruise Ship Undergoing Substantial Renovation

A few years ago, the cruise ship Balmoral was extended by shipbuilding company Blohm + Voss, and the company hired a crew to create a timelapse video of the entire process. What may seem like a rather mundane project to many has been beautifully captured by a company called MK Timelapse – I found myself [more]

The Incredible History And Craftsmanship Behind Architecture’s Most Famous Photographs

When it comes to architectural photography, there is one that stands above all: Julius Shulman. Not only was he responsible for creating the world’s most iconic images of architecture, but he was on the forefront of pushing the boundaries of the art form into what it is today. [more]

BTS: Capturing Hollywood’s Cougars On The Prowl Over Los Angeles

National Geographic contributor and wildlife photographer Steve Winter just created what might be one of the most striking photos I can remember seeing in recent memory: A 125 pound mountain lion, staring straight into the camera, with the background illuminated by the lights of downtown Los Angeles. [more]

See 50 GoPros Work Together To Create The Happiest Matrix Remake Ever

Devin Graham, better known by his internet alias Devin Supertramp, recently created this video (and BTS piece) that utilized over 50 GoPro cameras to capture dogs jumping and playing as if they were Neo dodging bullets in the blockbuster film The Matrix. If this doesn’t make you crack at least a tiny smile, I’m pretty sure you may be Scrooge himself. For a behind-the-scenes look at how this was made, check out the video after the jump. [more]

BTS: A Look Into The Creation Of The Beautiful ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ CG Title Scene

It’s always fascinating to get a glimpse behind the scenes of high-budget productions, and Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot provides us with an absolutely wonderful look into the creation of the title design and introduction scenes for Star Trek Into Darkness. The best part? The plugin used to create many of the effects only costs $150. [more]

A Fantastic Glimpse Into The Tricky World Of Photographer Agents And Representation

Disclaimer: This post isn’t riddled with eye candy, nor will it be the next viral hit of the month. What it does contain, however, may be far more valuable to any working or aspiring commercial photographer than any viral video or cutesy photo series. Norman Maslov is a well-known artist’s and photographer’s agent who recently performed a great interview with PhotoPolitic, a website specializing in promoting photographers [more]

Behind The Scenes With Wolfe Air And Their Incredible Flying Camera Platforms

Last week I posted a gorgeous video from Wolfe Air – their promo reel for aviation cinematography, and explained a bit of the process behind it. This week, I’ve found and put together a few videos which detail how they equip their planes and helicopters with some of the most advanced camera technologies available, and it’s pretty mindblowing. In these videos, Wolfe Air loads up a Learjet with [more]

A Beautiful Look Into The Rarely-Seen World Of Aviation Cinematography

Wolfe Air is a company that specializes in creating air to air footage for airlines, big-budget movie productions, the military, and private commercial clients, and they recently released their updated reel, which is absolutely mindblowing. Not many people think about what might go into these shots, so as the Fstoppers designated aviation photography dork, I’ve decided to write up a reader’s digest version of how they’re made. [more]

A Great Demonstration Of The Difference Between Raw And H.264 Video

Dave Dugdale of LearningDSLRVideo.com just published this great demonstration of the differences between recording video in raw and H.264 formats using Canon DSLRs and free Magic Lantern firmware. The difference is pretty astounding to me, as someone who has only ever shot video in H.264. [more]

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