Everyone knows Annie Leibovitz is one of the most, if not THE most, well known photographer in the world. Her images evoke a strong sense of story, drama, and beauty. It's not surprising why so many advertising agencies choose Annie to take their clients' portraits. In this video Annie Leibovitz puts Profoto co-founder Conny Dufgran in front of his own lights for a series of environmental portraits. Like most of Annie's behind the scenes videos, you really have to pay attention to the details because she isn't going to spell it all out for you. The first time I watched this video I noticed how much feathering she does with her medium octaboxes, how she controls fill light with large black cards, and even a little on how she directs her subjects. I also like the magic arm trick she uses to get her softlighter closer to her subject...I might have to steal that one. If you have any tips you have taken from Leibovitz share them in the comments.
Last time we featured a video from Mike Tittel, he was showcasing his edgy lighting look on some female tennis players. This time he has taken his photography team to the salt flats of Utah to photography the Brazilian sport Capoeira. For this shoot, Mike pulls out a few Profoto 7Bs with 2x3' gridded softboxes for many of the shots. However it's his natural lit shots that really grabbed my attention which he lit using the very helpful 4x6 California Sunbounce to fill his subjects. After the video, head over to Mike Tittel's Website to check out more of his work and click on the full post to read how Mike lit these shots in his own words.
This time last year Lee and I were profiling concert photographer David Bergman as he was shooting a series of Bon Jovi concerts in their New Jersey hometown. A lot has happened since then with David, and he is now currently traveling the world and seeing some pretty amazing venues. Mark Wallace recently caught up with the rockstar photographer and asked him some specific questions about both his photography and his concert website TourPhotographer.com. If you follow David on facebook, be prepared to be blown away and extremely jealous of his news feed - he's always up to something interesting.
Laptop makers Lenovo have released a new series of laptops that they claim can startup in less than 10 seconds. The new ThinkPad T420s and IdeaPad Y570 are using a new technology called Rapidboot which they claim makes their computers boot up faster than any other computer on the market. Lenovo teamed up with the ad agency McKinney to prove just how fast their Windows 7 computers can start. The idea was to throw a laptop out of a plane at 12,500 feet and see if it could trigger the parachute after loading Windows. Check out the behind the scenes video below and then head over to the full post to watch the final commercial. I'd love to see Apple run a marketing campaign like this!
Recently LeBron James was photographed for GQ Magazine. The video below is really just a promotion for that magazine but if you keep a sharp eye, there is some really good information to be learned. The lighting for most of the shots appears to be pretty simple; a single light above the camera. The size of the light changes from shot to shot from a huge parabolic reflector to a simple bare bulb held by an assistant.
The guys over at Stillmotion video have come up with a rather interesting way to film point of view video. Instead of mounting something small like a GoPro to a helmet, Stillmotion decided to use a Canon T2i. The camera was upside down directly in front of several football players' eyes as they trained in the 2011 NFL combine. Everything was made from common parts you can find at Home Depot or Lowes and the results are pretty interesting. After you watch the behind the scenes video below, head on over to the NFL Network to check out the final promo piece.
Every now and then it's fun to go back in time to see how photographers approached photoshoots requiring a large amount of production. Back in 1988 Brian King was on the cutting edge of digital photography with his use of Sitex imaging computers. Well before the advent of Photoshop, Brian was able to piece together multiple images by scanning negatives and turning them into primitive digital media. By today's standards, the final product is pretty comical but this is what the first results of 'digital photography' looked like in the advertising world. I have to say, if a single photograph took this much effort and planning today I would probably have given up on commercial photography a long time ago.
I just ran across an incredible ad by Nike called "Nike Chosen." The concept was to grab the best surfers, snowboarders, skaters, motocross, and BMX riders and film them doing their thing at night. The BTS footage (that can be found in the full post) is not as informative as I would like but if you pay attention to the details, there is a lot to be learned. The lighting, especially for the surfing session, is really amazing and although you may not ever do a shoot of this size, the same techniques could be used for your still photography at night.
Have you ever seen a car ad in a magazine and wondered "how did they do that?" The car itself seems to be glowing and the location is always perfect. I've always known that tons of photoshop is involved by I didn't know if the car was actually shot in that location or if it was shot in the studio and dropped into the scene in post. In the case below, the car was shot on location and lit with a very simple rig (umbrella on a stick). The magic happens in Photoshop afterwards.
Travis Tank needed to shoot a portrait of a bicyclist riding down the road. The average person would probably shoot this with natural light but Travis wanted to light his subject with a large, off camera light source. For this to happen Travis mounted Profoto lights to a vehicle. The video seems to have been shot on a cell phone but this video is still very informative.