This video is a couple years old now but it’s the first time I’ve seen it. One part Geico caveman, two parts Macgyver, Bryan Peterson shows how easy it can be to create a simple yet eye catching stock photo. Using nothing more than a Nikkor 200mm Macro Lens, some sparkling water, a glass, a lemon, and some old Christmas wrapping paper, Bryan shows you how easy a product shot can be if you just focus on the composition and some easy reflector lighting. What shocked me even more than this DIY photoshoot next to an interstate setup was the realization that someone gave me his super popular book Understanding Exposure as a gift years ago and it’s here on my bookshelf. His tips make photography look so easy, even a caveman can do it!
If you are like me, then you might have jumped straight into studio lighting without paying much attention to manipulating natural light. If that is the case, now is a great time to play around with reflectors outside especially since the sun is lower on the horizon this time of year. Jay P Morgan heads to the ultimate graveyard with the lovely Liz Hernandez to show just how effective reflectors can be in place of strobes.
Jay is using a few of the Photoflex 5 in 1 Reflectors in various sizes to manipulate not only the size of the reflected light but also the color. Unlike when using strobes, when using a reflector you really need to pay attention to where the sun is shining so you can maximize the amount of fill light bouncing back into your subject (backlighting your subject is a good starting point). The other major selling point of using a reflector over a strobe not mentioned in this video is your ability to shoot wide open at 1.4 or 2.8 for shallow depth of field. Unless you are using something like the Pocket Wizard Flex System, strobing outside is usually going to force you into the > f8 category which destroys the wide open aperture look. Hope this helps those who haven’t used reflectors as much and good luck shooting!
Inspired by Google’s street view, Honda Civic is launching their 2012 campaign by creating an interactive 360 degree online experience that will let viewers explore unique environments that have never been seen before. This behind the scenes video is just a peek at what is to come and so far it is pretty awesome. They have filmed areas like the previously unexplored Alaskan ice caves and an underwater art museum in Cancun, and the Boneyard at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Watch the preview and making of Honda’s upcoming campaign below.
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.
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.
I just realized that our Fstoppers Twitter account has tons of unread direct messages (we prefer you email us). One of them was from Douglas Sonders who had a crazy experience with one of the original Ghostbusters Ecto 1 Cadillacs. These caddies have so many lights on them that I can’t make any sense of what is going on but it looks pretty cool. Douglas does a good job explaining how he plans on using a few long exposure shots to burn in the ambient light while using spot grids to pop in just the right amount of flash for specific areas of the photo. Does anyone know if the Roscoe Fog Machine in this video is made by the same company that makes Roscoe Speedlight Gels? Either way, nice touch on bringing the smoke machine to the shoot. Check out more details about this shoot over at Douglas Sonders’s Blog.
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer based out in Los Angeles. His behind the scenes videos have been a hit with our readers because they always feature some useful lighting or photoshopping technique. In his latest video, Jay shuts down a highway ramp in order to light an 18 wheeler truck against the LA skyline. It’s pretty interesting that an image like this is shot in camera and not completely photoshopped but that’s what makes Jay P. Morgan a hero around the office. If you enjoy this video be sure to check out some of his other videos here.
Strobist has an interesting article by architectural photographer Mike Kelley. Usually exterior shots of homes and buildings are simply too large to effectively light with speedlights or big power packs. The tried and true method of capturing a great looking exterior shot is to turn all the lights on in the building and wait for the ambient sky light to match the build’s artificial light. In the behind the scenes video below, Kelley shares his “selective lighting” technique and how it can be combined with multiple exposures from a small Canon 430EX to produce a sort of hero shot for publication. Click the full post for the final images.
It seems every day someone is creating an interesting timelapse that shows something we’ve never seen before. This one comes from the International Space Station as it orbits around the earth at night. The video was made from using data from the Gateway To Astronaut Photography Of Earth and stitched together with the open software Virtual Dub. It’s pretty amazing how much light pollution makes it to each exposure and look carefully for bursts of lightning over the Pacific Ocean. Props to the person who spots the satellite that makes the frame as well!
Recently Petapixel featured a rather amusing video of photographer Fabio Pires out of London. Fabio is a street photographer who shoots spontaneous photos off the cuff. Unlike the video we featured of Clay Enos’s street setup, Fabio’s approach is more in your face, candid, and potentially more risky. In Fabio’s opinion, the best shots come from strange and interesting people who aren’t expecting to have their photo taken. I dunno, maybe in England this isn’t frowned upon as much as it is in the United States?
If you have seen Peter Lik’s work in person then you understand that it’s impossible to put into words the look and quality of his prints. Peter’s photography (and his post production) is fantastic, but what really makes his work stand out is his printing and presentation. If his images were printed on standard photo paper at a standard size, his work would not have the same “wow” factor.
Right before a trip to Italy I went back into Peter’s studio for a little inspiration. After studying his work and speaking with a sales rep about his printing process I decided to shoot, print, and frame a shot in Italy for the absolute cheapest price without losing the “wow” factor that Peter’s work has. This is how I did it.
It seems like there are at least a dozen “photo trends” going on right now but this one has to be the most abstract and definitely the most risky. Steven Leckart of Wired Magazine explains how you too can bring out the artist inside of you by throwing and twirling your point and shoot camera into the air with a long exposure. While Steven explains that you need a few constant lights, I’m willing to bet that you can come up with some interesting results with just natural light too. If you really want to up the ante, throw your DSLR camera with fish eye lens up in the sky ala Mike Larson. I can’t find his wedding video at the moment but he demonstrates his unique portrait toss in the full post.