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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I have to admit, I really enjoy the bands, artists, photographers and other creative professionals I discover watching Carson Daly’s show Last Call. One such artist is Los Angeles based photographer Alex Prager. If I had to describe her work, it would be very editorial in nature with a lot of retro clothing, fashion wigs, and classic Americana references. What I find most inspiring about her work is that she holds nothing back when creating the bright and simple world found in her photographs. Almost every one of her images looks as if it was actually created in 1967 whether it be the hair style, the makeup, the clothing, the cultural references, or even the lighting and film grain. What’s even more remarkable is her humble story on how she became a photographer with no formal training at all. If you enjoy this interview from MOMA then click the full post to watch more candid video of Alex talking about her work.
Getty photographer John Moore enjoys living life on the dangerous side of the lens. The Pulitzer Prize winner has traveled the world covering wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Central America. Back in February he was sent out on assignment to cover the uprising in Egypt and wound up staying to report on the military actions of Gaddafi in Libya and revolts in Bahrain. Halfway through his travels, John’s cameras were confiscated and he was left to shoot with one of these. The images in this video are intense but are probably the most remarkable photographs I’ve seen during these political uprisings in the Middle East.
I can’t remember the first time I saw this video by Gregory Crewdson but I’m glad it came across our desk again. Gregory is more or less a conceptual photographer who uses both sound stages and real locations to create images that make you stop and question what is going on in the shot. His lighting is very similar to what you would see on a big budget movie, and the amount of resources required for these sorts of productions is probably beyond what most photographers would even consider.
I remember seeing this video a long time ago and really enjoyed it. Maybe we thought it was not educational enough to post it but after watching it again I think it’s worth sharing. For those of you who have not already seen this short story, the Dark Side Of The Lens is a poetic journey into mind of surf photographer Mickey Smith. The cinematography is outstanding and the locations are breathtaking. It’s this sort of presentation that truly makes me appreciate what we all do as artists.
We have been getting a lot of emails about this movie called The Bang Bang Club which is based on real accounts of photojournalists during the South Africa apartheid. I’m sure the movie is going to be a big Hollywood blockbuster type of flick but it should be an interesting watch once it hits the screens on April 22nd. Check out the trailer below and read up on their story here.
I can’t tell you how many photographers I encounter think being successful has to do with being at the right place at the right time. Sure a bit of luck on your side always helps, but if you are looking to quit your day job to become a professional photographer, increase your photography income over last year’s earnings, or catapult your career as one of the industry leaders then you need to work hard and work smart. The guys over at Photoshelter sat down with professional photographer Brian Smith to talk about what it takes to push your career to the next level. You simply can’t wait for your big break, you need to create them.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Help-Portrait, an organization of photographers who shoot free portraits to share their art and enrich others lives. Most photographers shoot free portraits around their communities but Sasha Leahovcenco wanted to shoot people that may never get the opportunity to have their picture taken at all. Sasha and his crew traveled to Chukotka, Russia and produced an amazing video of their experience.
Ben Von Wong just sent over a quick video explaining his latest band photoshoot. Their isn’t any actual video footage of the shoot (feel free to scold him for that) but Von Wong does a great job of explaining his process without it.
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring “Lord Vader” I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can’t remember the full story of the Twi’leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I’ll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.