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Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens traces the arc of Annie’s photographic life, her aspirations to artistry and the trajectory of her career. The film depicts the various phases that shaped her life including childhood, the tumultuous sixties, her transition from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair magazine and later her most significant personal relationships including motherhood.

Check out the full post for the rest of the documentary.


Behind The Scenes With Fashion Photographer Mario Testino

Most guys are drawn to fashion photography for the over the top concepts and beautiful women. The issue is that most of these men will never truly gain an interest for fashion and sadly, shooting a pretty girl isn’t really “fashion photography” at all.

Mario Testino is to many, the top fashion photographer in the world. Testino rarely allows cameras to roll while he shoots but in these three videos we can get a glimpse of what a true fashion photographer is. Check out the full post for the other two videos.



How To Photograph/Film A First Descent

Many photographers claim that they will never shoot a wedding because there is too much pressure. If you miss some of the key moments, you will never get another chance. I agree with this to an extent but at least weddings have hundreds of “moments” over the course of a day. If I miss a couple, it’s usually not a big deal.

A first descent is another story though. In the video below, Lucas Gilman shows us all of the work that goes into capturing just 5-10 seconds. When it comes to something like this, there is absolutely no room for error.



A Million Tshirts And One Photo Studio

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.

Robots Have Taken Over The Desert

droidz in the desertDouglas 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.

Full Tutorial On Mastering Studio Light

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.

Photographing The Power Of Music

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.

A Glimpse Of Shooting Commercial Ads With Hot Lights

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.

Lakai Blows Up Skateboarders To Sell Shoes

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.


Hasselblad Goes To The Ocean

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.

The Black Keys Behind The Scenes

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 NCAA Football 12 Cover Shoot

EA Sports NCAA Football photoshootEA 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!

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