A few weeks ago, commercial photographer Jay P Morgan showed us how to balance strobe light with ambient light on a large 18 wheeler (which involved closing down a California highway on ramp). In this video Jay is shooting a lifestyle image for Pilot Freight Services which requires him to light a large outdoor areas with studio lighting. The answer to the question in the title could probably be “one light,” but using one strobe on a commercial shoot is not only going to produce a less than perfect image, it is also going to look unprofessional from the eyes of the art director. When photographing large advertising campaigns, I’ve learned that giving your clients that “wow” experience is perhaps even more important that the actual final image so don’t underestimate the saying under promise and over deliver. What is great about this photoshoot is that even if you don’t shoot large campaigns like this on a daily basis, it should still force you to think why certain lights are needed, and more importantly, ask what you yourself would do if this was your hired job.
A while back we featured a behind the scenes video on the making of the 2011 Pirelli Calendar and people enjoyed commenting on it (especially Karl Lagerfeld’s crazy gloves). If you aren’t familiar with the Pirelli calendar, it’s basically a glamour nude calendar that is only released to VIPs and Pirelli customers. Even though the calendar is not for sale, it has become an icon in the fine art world. A few days ago this BTS video on the making of the 2012 calendar was released and it’s pretty interesting at well. It features photographer Mario Sorrenti as he and his crew scout out locations throughout Corsica in pursuit of the perfect light for each nude image. There are two video versions available below each having a slightly different perspective. While I wouldn’t consider this pornography, this video is definitely NSFW so you might want to revisit this later. [more]
We first featured film maker and timelapse master Tom Lowe almost 2 years ago. This week he released another mind blowing trailer for his documentary TimeScapes (pre order your copy here). Tom’s vision was to give viewers a modern look at the American Midwest in all of its glory, and it to say it’s glorious is an understatement! Shot primarily on Canon 5d MKIIs and RED Epics (with some of the best cine lenses available), TimeScapes has to be the best timelapse videos I’ve ever seen. This project has taken Tom over 2 years to film so you know the final release is going to be great to watch especially in ultra HD. Head over to Tom’s Vimeo page for more details on how this was shot, and also check out our original post to see some BTS on how Tom creates these breathtaking images.
A few weeks ago we posted a video by Nick Fancher that became a huge hit. Nick showed us what it was like to shoot for an online clothing store that required over 10 unique looks shot and edited every day. I was hoping that Nick would create another video for our Behind The Scenes Contest which ends on December 31st and lucky for us he did. With a camera and a few on camera flashes, Nick creates some fantastic shots.
There are a ton of car photographers out there but very few of them are this good. Lee Howell just sent me his newest portfolio shoot that involved shooting a new Audi R8 GT in a soon to be opened tunnel. Lee got his hands on one of the craziest car rigs I have ever seen and walks us through the basics of his production. With a little bit of post work, the images become world class shots. Head over to Lee’s website to get more info and pictures.
Most people know Joe McNally for his photojournalism or his editorial work. Others know him as the author of some of the best photography books on lighting. But Joe “numnuts” McNally is also one heck of an advertising photographer too. Recently Joe photographed the Anti-Gravity Dancers in an ad campaign for Epson’s new R3000 printers. By using huge Octobanks and powerful gridded rim lights, McNally and his team were able to create some dramatic portraits of the dancers flipping and soaring above the New York City skyline. Click the full post to see the final image and a BTS lighting setup and head over to Joe McNally’s Blog to view a ton of images throughout the day. This shoot looks like a ton of fun and has my wheels turning a bit!
These days it’s not surprising to find out that most of what you see in a movie or commercial is completely green screened or created with CGI. So I was pleasantly shocked when I saw the behind the scenes video for the outdoor clothing company Quechua’s latest advertisement. The slow motion footage of wild animals interacting with hikers and campers is nothing sort of amazing. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this video as much as I did. Click the full post to watch the final video. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have all of the tools we need to create the projects that we envision. It’s easy to just think “if I only had that new camera I could finally take the type of pictures I want to.” or “If I could just afford the new Red Scarlet I could finally produce that video concept I’ve been thinking about.” I can tell you from experience that you have access to everything you need right now. Stop thinking so much and take the cell phone out of your pocket and do it.
A week ago today, a friend of mine introduced me to environmental art photographer Jack Gescheidt. Minutes after talking with Jack about his Tree Spirit Project I knew I had to share his work with the Fstoppers community. Jack’s photographs are unlike anything I’ve ever seen; yet even while they appear rather innocent, they still somehow strike up a bit of controversy. In a nutshell, the Tree Spirit Project is as much about bringing attention to ecological injustice as much as it is about evoking an almost spiritual experience for Jack and those posing in the photographs (yes he has posed in his own images). By allowing both groups and individuals to pose naked on and around trees that are involved in political and ecological debate, Jack has not only found a way to create amazing art but also unite communities together who value their natural surroundings. Recently Jack was in Charleston, South Carolina where he caused a huge media frenzy as he posed more than a dozen people naked around the Angel Oak (claimed to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi). Check out Jack Gescheidt’s story below and click the full post to see a few images of his work. NOTE: while Jack’s work doesn’t always contain full frontal nudity, it still might be Not Safe For Work. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did and click here for many more photos of Jack’s amazing work.
Now this is clever. Victorinox makes a few fragrances and wanted to create an interactive video that shows just how fresh their perfume makes you feel. So they sent a crew up to Cauma Lake in Flims/Laax, Switzerland to film a 360 degree video UNDERWATER! To capture 360 video footage they used the new Yellowbird camera which works a lot like the Google streetview car. After watching the behind the scenes video, click the full post to see the final interactive campaign and you yourself can smell like a clean lake from Switzerland.
In this Slanted Lens lesson Jay shows you how to create background motion by moving the camera and subject together on something with wheels. This image was shot at a warehouse for one of Jay’s clients. Jay was trying to think of something a little different when putting the camera on the fork lift idea came out. Its hard sometimes to come up with something fresh when you’re shooting the same location and subject over and over again but Jay created something that the client was really pleased with.
Now despite the way this apparatus looks, it’s actually something that has been discussed by major photo industry companies. Event photographers continually struggle with needing to have their lighting equipment in just the right spot while simultaneously needing to be somewhere else to get the shot. Even if they do get everything in place, seconds later they will need to somewhere else. In the current economic slump, not everyone can afford an assistant, so what can you do? Build yourself a strobist backpack, that’s what.
Nick Fancher is the lifestyle photographer for the website JackThreads.com. JackThreads is constantly receiving large shipments of totally different types of apparel that need to be shot as quickly as possible. Nick takes us through a normal day of shooting that may involve multiple, totally different looking photoshoots. This is a fantastic example of how a poorly filmed video can still become a killer BTSV with some simple voice over information. The bottom line is that Nick uses the absolute smallest amount of gear to come up with fantastic images in an extremely short amount of time. I’m hoping that Nick has something big planned for our Behind The Scenes Contest.
Von Wong has been featured on our site many times because he is constantly coming up with unique ideas. In this video Von Wong sets out on an unplanned photoshoot with a couple of dancers. Sometimes too much planning can actually limit your creativity. While many of us would have worked on a single shot, Von Wong came away with a group of excellent and completely different images. I asked why this video wasn’t a contest entry and Von Wong said “Not epic enough!” I hope this means that an epic entry is on the way.
For any of you DSLR video shooters out there, you might not know why you may need some of the equipment you often see on some of the larger rigs found on major studio sets. Well the guys over at Cinevate show you exactly why you might need one of those tools called a mattebox. Matteboxes are essentially barn doors for your camera lens and allow you to control flares and the subtleties of light that make a good film into a great film. Cinevate also shows you how using different filters can really make parts of your movie stand out.
Read the full post to see some side by side examples so you can really examine the differences closely.