Yuri Arcurs is probably the most successful stock photographer on the planet. The last time we featured him on Fstoppers he was explaining a lot of his lighting setups for great stock images as well as how to get great reactions out of your models so the images sell. Now he has a new ridiculously expensive studio filled to the top with profoto gear, and he is giving us a first person tour of the place. I can’t imagine how anyone could need this amount of gear but at the rate he turns images out it is all probably well justified. Does anyone know how to use the lowering metal mount he has for his lights? It seems like making adjustments would be difficult when they are suspended that high above you.
Recently over at the forum, a conversation came up about shooting nudes and glamour style images. One of our readers recommended a short documentary on famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton. We’ve all seen Helmut’s images but if you were like me you might not have known the man behind the images. This 5 part documentary, filmed by June Netwon, shows Helmut working through his shoots with such famous models as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer as well as the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. It always amazes me how images I would consider ‘snapshots’ can become iconic images in the fashion world. Fashion photography today often involves studio lighting and extensive photoshop, but as this documentary shows, Helmut was able to cut through the heart of his subjects with nothing more than a film camera often times in auto exposure. Check out more about Helmut over at the Helmut bookstore.
Speedhunters.com is an online blog dedicated to the international auto and racing community. They have have a pretty amazing staff of photographers over there. After watching this behind the scenes video they have me wanting to out to the speedway. I love Jonathan’s quote, “You can be artistic as a photographer, but…all that is, is really just trying to take a different shot which is risky because it can go all wrong.” I know we have all felt that way before yet we keep trying to push the envelope. Check out more work by Jonathan Moore, Linhberge, and Mike Garrett, and head over the SpeedHunters if you enjoy auto photography; Linhberge’s stuff is sick!
After our half disastrous sailing trip in the Charleston Harbor today, it’s only fitting to feature this really inspirational video on sailboat photography. Tim Wallace is an amazing auto and commercial photographer but today he is taking his Hasselblad out on the water. Shooting large boats like this with just natural light is always a challenge but Tim makes it look like a walk in the park. Equipped with helicopters, chase boats, models, and expensive cameras most people probably can’t afford, Tim creates some spectacular images in Project Genevieve. I love this shoot because it’s both commercial and editorial in nature and features spectacular shots of the sailboat as well as some lifestyle images with models that aren’t hard on the eyes. Be sure to check out Tim’s full portfolio especially if you like automotive photography.
If you have ever wanted to frustrate yourself as a photographer, try shooting food and actually make it look appetizing. Edward Gowans, a photographer based out of Portland Oregon, has made a living shooting food for almost 20 years. Edward learned there was a big market in the northwest looking for stylized culinary images. Using the lighting knowledge he gained from shooting fashion models, Edward began creating stylized culinary images for his clients. As you can see in this video, some of his setups are pretty extensive and sometimes take full days to design. With food, the light often needs to be scrimmed, flagged, and reflected perfectly to showcase both the textures and colors of a well plated dish. Check out more of Ed’s work in his portfolio here.
Kate and Nate over at the Beepshow make all kinds of interesting timelapse projects. I first heard about their videos the other day when I came across this timelapse featured on Gizmodo. Using just a Canon 5D and a 16mm-35mm lens (and well an iphone too), they were able to photograph a full 11 hour flight from San Francisco to Paris. Using long exposure images ranging from 2 to 30 seconds long, they captured all sorts of interesting scenes 30,000 feet up including a spectacular view of the Aurora Borealis. Nate really lucked out having Air France and his fellow passengers allow him to film the whole trip without raising too much of a fuss. For more information about how this was created including the original score created on the ipad, head over to the full post here.
One of my favorite bands recently is The Black Keys (ironically, I like most bands with the world Black in them). They have really exploded in popularity with the release of their current album Brothers, and the latest video to come from that album is Howlin’ For You. In a nutshell, this video is ridiculously badass; I’ve never seen a music video completely bury the music under a fake trailer before! The Black Keys are pretty good about making BTSVs, and in this one Chris Marrs Piliero explains the concept behind probably his best video to date. There’s not a lot of technical talk in this clip but the overall concept and great directing make it worth watching. Pick up at least one Black Keys record if you think about it and check out the final music video in the full post.
EA Sports has been allowing fans to vote for the cover of their newest installment in the college football series NCAA Football 12. For the contest, they filmed four short behind the scenes videos from each player’s photoshoot which can all be found in the full post. The photoshoots consist of two primary setups: hall of fame style portraits and on the field action shots. Each portrait was created with a gridded beauty dish and a hard background light while the action shots were lit with a huge octabank, some stripboxes, and a bunch of white v-flats acting as both gobos and reflectors. I’m not sure that the final images are online yet since the contest just wrapped up, but you can see a lot of them on photographer Tim Mantoani’s site. My vote goes to Mark Ingram; roll tide roll!
One of the first things you learn as a photographer is to get a proper model release when considering to sell your work commercially. However, simply having a model release still might not prevent you from litigation. A law firm recently published an ad looking to represent firefighters who were affected by the federal James Zadroga Act. The advertising agency used by the law firm photoshopped a stock image of Robert Keiley who was modeling as a firefighter. They then created a scene where it appeared as if he had been at Ground Zero on 9/11. The argument is how much can a stock image be altered before it becomes false advertising (the ad did clearly state that the image was a depiction of a 9/11 firefighter)? In this Fox News story, two attorneys give two different sides of the argument. I think the law might fall in favor of the law firm who hired the ad agency; what do you guys think?
Every month here at Fstoppers we run a photo contest that is judged by one of our readers. We’d like to congratulate Jim Dillahey for winning the March Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest. Click the previous link to see his winning photograph and watch for his banner at the top of the site to see more of Jim’s work.
As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Jim has chosen “CONFIDENCE”. Just like Jim, this month’s winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also a HUGE Photoflex White and Gold Reflector which is great for location and studio uses. The winner will also get to choose a custom camera strap from Riley G Designworks who are making some of the coolest photography straps I’ve ever seen. As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month’s contest so you have to impress Jim not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the April Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
Robert Seale is a high end sports portrait photographer who was recently commissioned by Sports Illustrated to photograph Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. His attempt to create something unique and a bit off-kilter involved using a huge 8′x5′ piece of Plexiglas that was 1.25 inches thick and 400 pounds. He then set the huge piece of Plexi on a 5 foot tall frame of scaffolding. Using a couple of Profoto Pro-7B strobes and a unique ‘below the player’ angle, Robert was able to create this photograph for the magazine. The concept and image are fantastic but unfortunately the BTS video is just a timelapse. If you have a hard time imagining what is going on in this video, head over to Rob Galbraith’s post for a traditional write up.
There always seems to be two camps when it comes to photography: those who go by feel and those who go by technique. Neither one is necessarily a wrong approach but knowing the technical stuff definitely helps when you are faced with problems or unexpected results. In this video Mark Wallace explains the inverse square law and how it affects light falloff. I’ll admit, not having gone to school for photography, it did take me a while to completely grasp this idea when I first started shooting. Once you understand this concept, you should be able to not only light your scenes better but also become more versatile when giving a single light double duty lighting both your subject and the background.
I was going to post a video showing Rafael Nadal’s latest Armani underwear shoot but figured Megan Fox might be a little easier on the eyes. Now you are probably thinking that any photoshoot with Megan Fox wearing little to nothing would probably produce strong images from any photographer and you’d be right. But what I found interesting was the way photographers Mert and Marcus used hotlights and large scrims to light the entire set creating a natural light feel. You can see the setup around :35 seconds. Not everyone has access to large HMI lights but it’s still an interesting way to shoot and could probably be reproduced firing strobes into white walls in a room. Click the full post to see the final video and you can see the photos here.
If you’ve ever been hired to photograph an environmental portrait or a lifestyle image, most of the time your client is expecting a very natural looking image. Using too much flash will kill the mood and remove any sense of a natural environment. Matthew Jordan is no stranger around here, and we love his videos because he articulates his intentions well and tells why he does the setups he does. In this short and to the point video, Matthew talks about how he photographed a natural lifestyle portrait of Vanessa Williams with her daughter. Knowing how to pull off an image like this is an important tool to have in your bag of tricks and is a big money maker in the editorial and lifestyle market.
Novak Djokovic is currently ranked alongside the top tennis pros in the world. Only a crazy person would put his life and talent in jeopardy…but that is exactly what Head Tennis Racquets have done for their Untek IG Speed MP racquet commercial. The full commercial is really awesome with mysterious briefcases, seductive women, vintage prop planes, and music straight out of a Tarantino film. As far as I can tell there are no special effects here just lots of conjones by Novak and his tennis trainer.