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.
Sometimes it’s a pain to bring a client to your studio, or maybe you don’t even own a studio. In these situations you must figure out a way to bring the studio to the client. Diana Deaver shows us a quick glimpse of her last shoot that involved bringing a paper background and a single large parabolic reflector into a clothing store.
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.
You may remember a post that we did months back of Lakai shooting a video with skateboarder jumping over huge flames… Well I believe this video is actually older but I like it more. This time the shoe company used explosives to ramp up the excitment and I love it! Usually we post the BTS on the front page but the finished product is so cool I’d rather you watch it first; then you can hit the full post to see all of the “mistakes” that actually made it into the finished product.
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.
Director Paul Clements produced a pretty amazing commercial for Cat Footwear. By using a single high frame rate video camera and a large array of DSLRs he produced something that I am having trouble describing with words. You’ll just have to watch it for yourself.
Check out the BTS below and the finished product in the full post.
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?
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.
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.
As creative professionals, we always take extra care to notice the details in our work and to make sure that everything we do is as perfect as possible. In the video world, sound engineering and production can actually make a huge difference in the overall success of the visual elements on the screen. If you enjoyed seeing how Oscar winning editors produced the sound of Inception a few months ago, you are going to enjoy listening to Craig Henighan as he explains some of the effects used in the blockbuster hit Black Swan.
This month NASA’s space shuttle program turned 30. To commemorate the occasion they decided to take a single image that included every single employee standing together in the shape of a shuttle.