Our good friends over at Pocket Wizard have had a great year with the release of the new Nikon MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 wireless radio triggers as well as the new AC3 controllers which allow you to control groups of flashes directly from the top of your camera. This video of Neil Van Niekerk shows how he is able to use the new AC3 controllers along with some relatively small softboxes to produce quick and easy studio style shots on location. I’m a huge fan of the Photoflex Octodome softboxes that I use on most of my shoots but these small Lastolite softboxes have an interesting look that you can’t always get with larger softboxes. I guess it’s the soft directional lighting that adds a bit of moodiness into Neil’s images that I like. If you have had a chance to experiment with different sized softboxes on location, which ones do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.
Everyone loves a good timelapse video, and Benjamin Sichert has a great one here. Ben filmed this at the NA Otto & Cie factory in Germany which was the first plant to produce 4 stroke combustion engines back in the 1870s. As you can clearly see in the video, this was entirely filmed on a Canon 5D Mark II (video sequences), a Nikon D90 (photo sequences), and the automated Pocket Slider. I love how Ben added a behind the scenes element by including a few camera shots of the setup and motion. It always amazes me what these motorized dollies can do…might have to pick one up soon.
It’s summer time which means you probably are looking to get out of the house and find some adventure. For photographer Jerry Monkman that often means taking his DSLR cameras out with him on the water. In this short video, Jerry gives some great tips on how you can keep your camera safe from water while still keeping it within reach. Using the camera system made by Cotton Carrier, Jerry is able to keep his camera snug against him and out of the way. If you prefer to get a little more wet and wild, you can always opt for our personal favorite underwater housing by Iwa-Marine. I’m not going to give away the ending of this video but I’m sure you will find it as scary as I did watching Jerry casually rowing along during this video. Any of you guys doing nature photography that requires this sort of thing?
Vincent Laforet recently released a new short titled “Epic #308″ because this was the first test footage taken with his new Red Epic camera with the serial number of 308. The footage was shot in California, from Big Sur, to Ft Bragg back through Mono Lake and Death Valley. Check out the full post to see the finished product and head over to Vincent’s blog for the full gear list.
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.
A few weeks ago we posted a video by SLR Lounge that we called “The New iPhone Fashion Shoot.” In that video a reflector was used to light a model and the results were fantastic. In the video below Pye takes us through a few of the ways that you can use a reflector to get similar results.
When I first saw this video I was completely blown away. Michael Levin is an outstanding black and white landscape photographer. Recently Michael teamed up with Brad Kremer to produce the most artistic behind the scenes video I’ve ever seen showing a day in the life of a photographer. I really really wish there was more technical information to this video but unfortunately like most landscape photographers their secrets are hard to pull from them. Brad shot this whole video on a Canon 5D Mark II and the highly praised Dynamic Perception Dolly. Michael is primarily shooting on a Hasselblad body but that shouldn’t come as any surprise. Make sure you check out Michael’s portfolio — much of his work features spectacular locations around Japan.
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.
Here’s a clever idea… EA decided to make the cover shoot for Madden 2012 a promotion in itself. How did they do it? Well they created a studio in the center of Time Square in NY and allowed thousands of people to watch the photoshoot take place live, and in person.
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.
Have you ever tried to shoot an interior photograph and have it look like the shots in magazines or high end property brochures? If so then you probably know there are two routes to go: HDR or Flash. Photographer Dom Bower recently made a video showing the differences in both techniques and how you can combine them both to create a sort of hybrid image. Keep in mind that Dom is only using one single speedlight directly above the camera. Many of the amazing images you see for high end hotels and expensive properties often have dozens of light sources accenting very specific elements in the image. What techniques have you guys used in your interior photos? If you have examples, feel free to post your images in the comments below and check out Dom’s final photos in the full post.
Terje Sørgjerd has created a few timelapse videos that we have featured on FS but this may be the best. Terje writes; “My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser.What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun.”
“I had numerous setbacks including: airline lost my
luggage, struggling to swim ashore after falling into the Arctic sea: twice, breaking lenses, filters, tripod, computer, losing the whole dolly rig and controller into the sea, and even falling off a rather tall rock and ending up in the hospital. As much as I wanted to give up, the best way out is always “through”. I am glad I stuck it through though because there were some amazing sunrises waiting.”
Ben Canales is one of those photographers who enjoys taking photographs in total darkness. He also enjoys shooting when the skies are the clearest and the stars are the brightest which also happens to be when it’s freezing outside. At some point you have probably seen these amazing night images and maybe you have even tried your hand at a few. Well Ben has a made a rather simple but exhaustive tutorial on how you too can capture the earth and the skies at night. Some of his tips like the 600 rule and how to easily setup a nice composition in near darkness are really insightful and almost makes me want to try my hand at a few long exposure shots next winter. Check out his other star tutorials, and hopefully this post helped you forget about the blazing summer heatwave going around!
Shawn Smith is a photographer from Melbourne Australia. His company Blinq sent us this very informative BTS video outlining how they recently shot editorial portraits for two Ironman triathletes Luke Bell and Matt White. What caught me most about this video was how Shawn gave so much detail and insight into each photograph he was setting up. They were using top of the line gear like Profoto 7B packs and beauty dishes, but all of these shots could have easily been produced with less expensive gear and small speedlight modifiers for the photographer working with a budget. If you want to see how Sean and crew approach shooting triathletes underwater and in their natural element, check out the exciting video we featured back in December.
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.