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.
R. J. Kern and Amanda Tipton are both photographers from Denver Colorado. Together they setup a vintage "Mad Men" style photoshoot at the Cruise Room within the Oxford Hotel. They give a lot of useful information about how to achieve a true throw back look by using Fresnel Hot Lights, vintage clothing, and a classic 1950's style location. By shooting with hot lights, RJ and Amanda are both able to shoot at the same time without having to worry about recycle rates or light contamination as they work on sets in close proximity to each other. You can check out Amanda's images HERE and RJ's image HERE. I think both sessions turned out great but if you have a preference for one style over another, let us know in the comments.
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.
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.
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.
When Denis Smith found himself faced with a dark depression in his life, he found motivation and purpose through his newly found photography hobby. After moving to South Australia, Denis picked up a camera and began to explore the serendipitous world of night photography. After playing around with long exposures he realized he could bring his own creativity to his images in the form of light painting. Denis's images are really interesting because he mixes strong technical long exposure landscapes with his unique "ball of light" light painting technique. Skip to 5:20 on this video to see how he came up with the idea and check out many examples of his work over at Ball of Light.
I created the iPhone Fashion Shoot to attempt to prove this point. 50% of the people who saw it "got" it and the other 50% claimed that it only looked good because I used $10,000 worth of light. Well I've always said "light is light" and all those expensive light modifiers do is make the light source bigger or smaller. Don't believe me? Bert Stephani will take over where I left off shooting with these work lights (the same ones that I used for part of the iPhone shoot) and a shower curtain.
The other day I came across a popular video on Vimeo right now that featured an amazing new projection technique hitting large buildings across the world. The art is called 3D Projection Mapping and the effect is really cool. By creating 3D graphic models and merging it with video and stills shot on green screen, these artists are able to project dynamic sequences onto buildings in a way that makes them come to life. Everyone from Samsung, Adidas, and Toyota have used 3D projection mapping for advertising, and the results are spectacular. Ralph Lauren recently created a 3D Projection Map sequence for their 10 years of digital innovation runway show in NYC and they filmed a great behind the scenes video. Click the full post to see the final video and several other amazing videos.
If you were a film student and your professor gave you an assignment requiring you to show a series of different lighting setups, what would you do? John Note and his fellow classmates created a pretty funny video tutorial that shows 10 different lighting setups that you could use in both your films and your still images. If you are a photographer you might not be completely familiar with the power references but you can probably imagine the different ratios if you had to convert them to strobes or speedlights. I have often found in my own photography that simply changing the lighting setup to one which I might normally overlook can really change the story telling element of your photos. Has anyone else tried to reproduce morning light or midnight lighting before?