If you were approached by a big client and asked to only shoot with one light, would you freak out or would you make the most of the situation? In Nike's latest basketball commercial Basketball Never Stops, they only used one single hard light to tell the story how the game and fans go on even after the court lights turn off. I think videos like this are a great reminder that sometimes less is more. Sometimes a simple setup can still produce dramatic results (even if you have you substitute a helicopter for a lightstand). Check out the video below and click the full post to see a short Behind The Scenes video on the making of this latest Nike Ad.
The amount of effort that went into Sony's 3D commercial Two Worlds is pretty unbelievable. I've watched this video twice now and still don't know if I know what I'm seeing. The creative team filmed the actors at 2500 FPS which required more than half a million watts of lighting and some of the largest fabric grids I've ever seen. Then using green screen, they filmed tons of slow motion projectiles to help their CGI team in the rendering of the background and moving elements. Because super slow motion video often looks fake even if it's real, making sense of what is real and what isn't real in this video is what makes it so interesting to me. Check out the video below and click the full post to see how they created this commercial inspired by the legendary Leonard Cohen.
Eric Curry is a photographer who specializes in painting with light. Unlike using strobes to exposure your photos, painting with light requires you to use long exposures and constant light sources to effectively "paint" over your subject and capture it on your sensor. The newest image in Eric's American Pride and Passion series is one of the most complex light painting images I've ever seen and the behind the scenes video shows just how much work goes into such a big project. Click the full post to see the final image and be sure to click on Eric's website to see many more examples of his layered light painting photographs.
A green screen, also known as a chromakey, can make life really easy if you are doing a lot of video work and want a simple solution for dropping in different backgrounds. David Dugdale created a great tutorial for green screen which shows how to effectively light a chromakey background and key it out in Premiere. ReflecMedia has created a different solution for chromakeying with their Chroma Background Kit. It uses a green LED ringlight that illuminates their special background made up of glass beads. Even with the lovely Olivia Tech explaining how it works, I'm still a bit shocked that such a small ringlight can illuminate the background without affecting the subject. This system isn't cheap but I can see the advantage of not having to carry extra lights just to evenly light a huge background especially out on location.
TheUnderwaterRealm.com is a blog that is following the production of an independent film that will take place completely underwater. Each week the guys and gals are releasing a BTSV which shows exactly what they have been working on. If you are interested in movie production, I highly suggest checking out their website. In the video below the team is forced to build an underwater Kino Flo lighting system. This video is 1 of 29 so there is a lot more quality content to be seen.
If you are planning a behind the scenes video for our 2011 photo contest, you probably also need to setup an interesting interview segment to explain the details of your photoshoot. Most photographers spend a lot of money on their flash equipment but often don't have much in the way of constant lights. The guys over at SLRlounge have come up with a great BTS video on how you can create an interesting interview set on a budget. In this video, Pye Jirsa used basic work lights mixed with natural ambient light. In our contest video we either shot completely natural light or mixed in some of these inexpensive LED lights to make it a little more interesting. Taking a little bit of time to make your interview footage look good always goes a long way and is often just as fun designing as the actual photoshoot itself.
In the past a ring light/flash was a piece of gear that few photographers could actually afford. Today there are a few cheaper options including the Diva Ring Light that can be found on eBay. In the video below Olivia Tech does a quick review of the $200 unit. Now you may still be thinking that is a little steep but when you look at similar products, the price isn't too bad.
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.
Monte Isom had one of the most populars videos on Fstoppers back in February. Well he is back with a fun stop motion video for NYC comedian Colin Kane. Monte filmed this entire video on the Nikon D3s with just a few Litepanel 1x1 bicolor constant lights. The final video was made with 14,000 still images to create the final 90 second promo. Below is the final video but you can check out the BTS video in the Full Post as well as read Monte's own words on how he approached this shoot.
Everyone claims that they know how to shoot subjects on pure white but many of them still struggle with the background light washing out their subject. In the video below, Olivia Speranza shows us how she created the look for a video but the same techniques apply to flash as well. The key is to light the background as evenly as possible and expose it so that it is just barely pure white. If your background is a few stops past pure white, the light will begin to eat into your subject.
A few months ago Patrick and I flew up to NYC and filmed our first ever full length DVD (dual DVD actually) with Peter Hurley. The DVD is still being edited but we can finally see an end in sight. Initially we didn't plan on having a pre-order but when Peter Hurley decided to start teaching workshops, we decided to create a special pre-order deal. When the dual DVD is released, it will cost $300. If you purchase it before October 1st, 2011, we will give you a $300 credit towards any of Peter's workshops (and this can be used at any time) so you are actually getting the DVD for free. Peter is also going to personally sign all of the pre-ordered DVDs. Patrick and I are working as fast as we can to edit this DVD while managing Fstoppers.com and also shooting a wedding every weekend. Things are busy but we hope to have this DVD released sometime this summer. Head over to Hurley's website to sign up for "The Headshot Intensive," his new 2 day workshop. There are currently 4 slots left for his first workshop on May 21-22.
Yes, it has been done to death but everyone loves to see it so we will keep posting it. Digital Rev TV has been doing a series called the "Cheap Camera Challenge" and so far they have created 3 videos with 3 different photographers shooting on 3 different cheap cameras. Check out the full post to see all 3 videos.