When I first started shooting, I would spend absolutely no time planning my shots. I would focus tons of time and energy into every other aspect (location, wardrobe, mood, etc) but in some weird turn of events, it must have slipped my mind that the end goal is "The Shot." How that slipped my mind still baffles me. Instead of putting in the effort to plan what my actual finished images would look like, I found a model, found a location and showed up on shoot day with a plan to wing it.
It's nice to have friends from far off places. Especially when they are talented, hard working photographers who have something interesting to share. Such is the case with Helsinki-based photographer Anders Lönnfeldt. Anders started out working in radio, TV and short films but these days his focus is on commercials, music videos, portrait and concert photography. In this post, Anders demonstrates how to knock out character rich portraits for a magazine
FaceResearch.org has published the results of a recent experiment where experimental psychologists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have combined the faces of women around to world to approximate the "average face" of each country. Using a modern version of the technique that Sir Francis Galton pioneered in the 1800's, multiple images of faces are aligned and composited together to form the final result.
The phrase “go big or go home” seems to take on a special significance with photographer Dennis Manarchy. Obsessed with the concept of scale and the possibilities of working with massive negatives to create portrait images more than two stories high, he and his team have created a 35-foot view camera, the world’s largest film camera. The project, nicknamed “Butterflies and Buffalo”, aims to use the traveling view camera as a conduit for documenting more than 50 of the unique cultures in America.
My buddy and Germany-based Photoshop World instructor Calvin Hollywood has created a site called Photoshop Freaks which gives countless post-production tutorials. Recently he posted a video about how to give your photo that extra textured look and feel in a matter of seconds. It like a slight "high-pass" appearance without all of the messy glowing contrast lines or over-sharpening.
Dani Diamond is a talented portrait photographer based out of Connecticut and is also an active member of our Fstoppers Facebook Group. His headshot work is impeccable and eye-catching. Recently Dani has started a personal project coined simply as "The Project." His mission is to find fellow photographers from around the world, take their headshots and challenge his craft under the scrutiny of his talented peers.
My friend Israel Groveman is a photographer and filmmaker that is always up to something interesting and unique. Recently he helped a buddy promote an online fantasy series by crafting a group of creative portraits that I thought were awesome. This is how Israel made these compelling cinematic portraits, which took a little bit of gear and a lot of ingenuity.
Since joining Fstoppers I had planned on doing a "behind the scenes" of one of my shoots, so today I've put together a lighting diagram courtesy of Kevin Kertz, and a detailed description of how the finished product was produced. Fair warning, I am a bit of a technique nerd and can get pretty detailed. We've all seen diagrams online, and brief descriptions on what goes where, but it seems there are always details left out that can significantly impact the results. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to leave no stone unturned and give you guys as accurate of a diagram and explanation as possible.
Years ago the only way to print a photo was to make test strips, make a test print, go back and dodge and burn details, make more test strips, another test print and so on and so on until you got the result you were after. In these photos released by Magnum Photos in New York, you can get a closer look at the process followed by their master printer, Pablo Inirio.
Because most of us fear rejection to some degree, speaking to a complete stranger and asking them for something, let alone asking if you can photograph them, tends to be pretty challenging. I’ve never been one of those naturally confident people but over time I’ve developed some techniques that have provided me with the confidence to work with strangers, which has brought additional benefit when communicating with paying clients.
Tomer Jacobson and Maxim Golovanov, conceptual photographers based in Israel, recently started a very interesting project together: they take songs they like, and transform them into visual photographs. They analyze each song, and try to understand who are the characters and what is the story behind them. Their most recent song-photoshoot was "Lost In The Flood" by Bruce Springsteen and the E street band. This was a complicated shoot and it involved shooting out in the water with a lot of equipment and many people. Check out the behind the scenes video and the awesome final result inside!
Some people go through life and aren't sure how they can take their photography to the next level of giving back. There are many programs and non-profits such as Help Portrait and Operation: Love ReUnited, but nothing that you can say you did or created. Well these 16-year-old brothers decided they would do just that and create something worth remembering.
Last year, I decided to pursue a fun portrait series of Luchador fighters from the Chikara Pro Wrestling League, located on the East Coast of the US. I've always been fascinated with this style of fighting and entertainment. These big colorful characters take the ring to pummel each other to the great delight of their dedicated fans. Some may call it "fake" or a performance, but I can tell you first hand that I saw blood drawn during a match on more than one occasion. These fighters are dedicated to their craft and I wanted nothing more than to capture them on camera.
There is a fine line between having a well defined photographic style, and constantly putting out the same stale, boring work week after week. A fine and dangerous line. A line that can make the difference between being a successful, inspiring photographer and a photographer who has lost his audience and has even lost interest in his/her own work.