Saturday Night Live has become an American institution spawning the careers of some of the most famous actors and comedians of all time. Alex Buono has been the director of photography for SNL now for over 10 years. Back in 2009 the directors wanted to film the opening sequence throughout New York City instead of the typical single location. In this video, Alex recalls how he was able to use the Canon 5D Mark II to film sequences that would have otherwise required the crew to close down streets in the city and bring in large lighting rigs. It’s pretty amazing how ground breaking DSLR video has been especially since there are so many photographers still resisting the feature. Click the Full Post for an extended interview with Alex about shooting for SNL, and you can watch the final SNL intro here.
Terje Sorgjerd has become one of the most popular timelapse photographers lately. His video sequence The Aurora has become a favorite here on Fstoppers, and his latest video, The Mountain, has already gotten over 3.5 million views in it’s first week. In order to capture the mountains of El Teide and the skies, Terje used an automated dolly created by Dynamic Perception. Using his Canon cameras, Terje was able to capture not only the Milky Way galaxy but also an amazing sandstorm brushing off the Sahara Desert. If you are a fan of these videos, join the TSO Photography facebook page for more of Terje’s work.
Full time photographers aren’t the only ones with working studios these days. Why would you outsource your photography if you need new images on a weekly basis? Tshirt company Threadless recently showed the guys over at Photoshelter how they use photography in their own business. What’s unique about the products shots on the Threadless website is that they aren’t the typical white studio shots or stock images of models wearing generic shirts. Instead, many of the shirts are actually photographed at the in-house studio or on location around the office. It’s pretty amazing to see how photography is being used in businesses like Threadless considering so many other sites have stuck with the traditional boring photos. After the video, check out some of their most popular shirts here.
If you ever need to carry your gear through a storm or even a waterfall, the Lowepro DZ 200 waterproof backpack is your ticket. But that’s not what this post is really about…no way! Craig Pulsifer is a videographer and photographer based out of British Columbia (that’s Canada for you across the sea). Instead of waiting for clients to come to him, Craig decided to start making his own commercial videos for products he personally uses like the Lowepro bag. While covering a story in the Philippines, Craig decided to hire a few local assistants to help him film video and audio clips for an exciting extreme style commercial he wanted in his port. The results might actually be better than the normal videos created by Lowepro themselves! By pushing his own creative talent and keeping the production level high, Craig has produced a compelling advertisement for his own personal show reel that will certainly help land him bigger jobs down the road. I still don’t think I’ll lend him any of my gear for his next adventure through the jungle!
A few month ago wedding photographer Jeremiah Guelzo of Stone Blue Productions emailed us a really exciting editorial shoot he did inspired by a mansion once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte. Like many videos we receive, Jeremiah didn’t include enough juicy behind the scenes tips and info to earn a place on the front of Fstoppers. However, we were thrilled when Shaking Hands Productions added a nice intro to his video explaining how he pulled off this love themed shoot between Napoleon and Josephine. This production was quite extensive requiring months of planning and over two full days of designing and shooting. You can click through the links over at Hill City Bride to see the final images as well as read more info on how they did this on their video page.
Douglas Sonders has been one of the most featured photographers on Fstoppers because he not only has great photoshoots but he also makes great BTS videos. Recently he headed out to Nelson, Nevada (a requirement of any photographer traveling to Vegas) to shoot a few promotional posters for The Showbots’ Droidz. In the video, Douglas uses a few White Lighting Strobes with 7″ reflectors and does some desaturated edits with Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro. Click on the thumbnail image to view the final images.
This video has been sweeping across the blogs and I thought you guys might enjoy it if you haven’t already seen it. It’s a bit obnoxious but definitely should put a smile on your face. I think it also makes you appreciate all the gear you have when you see someone this excited about her first camera. There are a lot of great one liners in this video
We’ve been kicking a lot of “behind the business” videos lately so I hope you don’t mind another one. Kareem Black is a celebrity and commercial photographer based out of New York City. His work is constantly featured in GQ and Vibe magazines as well as marketing campaigns for Verizon and Burger King. Being a photographer in the largest city in America, Kareem realized he always has to do something different to capture people’s attention and ultimately get them to view his work. Simply handing people business cards and putting up ads on a bulletin board isn’t going to cut it in a market full of ‘marketers’. Instead you need to make people proactive in finding you by sparking their interests in your brand and the work you do. Here are a few ideas that should spark some abstract thinking of your own. Feel free to share interesting ideas you have used for your own business in the comments below.
We have featured many of Mark Wallace’s excellent tutorials with Adorama TV, and it is apparent from the comments that everyone appreciates his simple and thorough explanations. Recently Mark released a full length DVD that covers a wide range of topics for all levels of photographers. There must be over 15 different lighting setups, and he covers everything from portraits, headshots, fashion, and glamour to camera gear, light modifiers, and the properties of light.
We always feature quality videos for free on Fstoppers, but we also realize a lot of work can go into these extensive DVD tutorials. If you’ve enjoyed the tutorials Mark has given for free, take some time to check out his Studio Lighting Essentials DVD. If you prefer a more hands on approach, Mark has several Studio Lighting 101 classes which we hope to check out ourselves next time we are in Phoenix, AZ.
Apple has been hard at work completely redesigning their flagship video editing software Final Cut Pro X which is set to ship in June 2011. At the recent Nab 2011 keynote in Las Vegas, FCP architect Peter Steinauer unveiled some of the new features as well as previewed the new user interface in a working version of the software. As a Premiere CS5 user, I have to admit I’m a little envious of some of these new features found in the competitor’s software. Check the highlights in the video below, and click on the full post for the complete keynote presentation from Vegas. You are going to want to become familiar with this software if you are looking to start editing behind the scenes videos or promotional videos for your business.
A few months ago we featured a popular video called Wisdom shot by Andrew Zuckerman. If you have not been exposed to Andrew’s work, he is known for shooting all sorts of subjects against a white background. In his latest project Music, Andrew sets out to capture the essence of a variety of musicians as he asks them questions about their craft. Most of the lighting in these portraits is pretty straight up and clean but what makes this collection so interesting is Zuckerman’s idea of striping alway all the auxiliary settings and environments usually associated with rockstars and popular figures. His portraits allow you to see his subjects raw and unedited. These series definitely have me thinking of pushing my own photography and creating larger scale projects like Music and Wisdom.
This video has been hitting the blogs recently, but I didn’t really watch it until it wound up in our inbox a half a dozen times. I guess I should say that this is probably the absolute textbook way to clean a lens but does anyone actually own all these rocket blowers, cleaning brushes, and cleaning supplies? I guess since I’ve never scratched a lens, I’ve always found one of these to be acceptable. Instead of using compressed air, I’ve always just used my mouth…am I a really bad person?
I was a little on the fence whether this video was good enough for the front page of Fstoppers or not. Although there is no technical information in this video, I think the final photos by Thomas Vassort are outstanding and should inspire us all to raise the bar on our commercial style shoots. I really love the aviation vibe Daniel Hechter went with on their Spring 2011 clothing campaign. It appears most if not all of these images were shot using natural light along with hot lights or HMIs which is probably a lighting style few of us have used. It also appears these were all shot on a regular old Canon DSLR (somewhat rare for campaigns like this). Check out the final photos in the full post.
I know many photographers ask themselves, “How can I use my artistic talent to give back to my community in some profound way?” Bringing awareness to a great social or ethical cause can be difficult when our culture is so bombarded with crazy images everyday. Photographer Chris Jordan, author of In Katrina’s Wake, recently discovered baby albatross birds who were dying in a very unusual way. Birds inhabiting Midway Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have been found dead in huge numbers. The cause of death appears to be from parent birds mistakenly eating plastic garbage found floating in the ocean and washing up on shore. These images are quite gruesome, and it is almost hard to believe they are real. Through this Midway Project, Chris hopes to bring awareness to the ecological problems not often seen at these remote locations. Head over to the Midway Journey’s website for more videos about this cause as well as more photography.
Have you ever had a client dismiss a project after you have already put in hours of work? What are you supposed to do when a client brings in a second professional to also work on your project? What can you do if a client says your work isn’t really what they were looking for after you have already delivered the final project?
Mike Monteiro is the design director at Mule Design Studio. During a seminar at CreativeMornings, Mike gave a really insightful and thorough speech about how a creative professional can protect his work and payment in the event that something goes wrong with the client or job. This video is long but it should at least make you aware of issues you might face on your journey to becoming a professional photographer. At the most this video will make you reconsider your contracts (if you even have them) and put the proper legal checkpoints in place to prevent problems down the road. If you’ve had a bad experience that a solid contract would have solved, let us know in the comments.