Since the start of Fstoppers, I have had a dream list of photographers that I think would make for a great FS Original. At the top of that list has been ESPN and fight photographer Ed Mulholland. Unfortunately getting clearance from HBO and UFC have been tougher than going backstage with Bon Jovi (who would have thought). Fortunately, Grover at Photoshelter recently caught up with Ed to talk boxing, UFC, and what makes a compelling sports photograph. If you don’t already know, The Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of the fastest growing sports in the US, and tonight’s card is pretty star studded if you want to check it out. While very few photographers are lucky enough to shoot for clients like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, hopefully Ed’s insight can inspire you to take better sports photographs regardless of who is in front of your lens.
A couple months back Patrick and I flew up to Chicago to film a BTS of a Gatorade commercial featuring Chaz Ortiz. We have still not completed our BTSV but someone just sent me ANOTHER Gatorade commercial shot at the very same school featuring Chaz Ortiz that has a killer BTSV. The video below was shot in one single take and it will blow your mind. Our video should be released soon but it will be hard (impossible) to top this one. Check out the full post to see the BTS.
I have to thank Tyler Kaufman for turning me onto this next video. Sports photographer Peter Read Miller recently shot some of the top NCAA college football players for the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. There really isn’t any super informative information in this video but it’s still great to see how the top photographers in the world pull off cover material for magazines like Sports Illustrated. From the video, it appears that these shots are lit with only 3 light sources: One large parabolic reflector as a key, one smaller parabolic reflector as a kicker, and a spot gridded flash head for a rear rim light. If you’ve ever shot in this style you know that small hard rim/kicker lights can really edge out your subject. If you click the full post and look at the super high res final image you can see how the larger side light makes the highlights broad but still harsh. It’s easy to think that a barebulb speedlight to the side of your subject is sufficient for a rim light but adding that one extra modifier can really make a huge difference in your final result.
A big part of what makes commercial photography so interesting is it often requires photographers to incorporate the latest graphic trends into their work. In other words, in order to cut the mustard in commercial photography, you not only have to be at the top of your game but you also have to produce something eye catching in a market full of interesting media. That’s exactly what photographer Gary Land did with his latest Adidas ad featuring soccer superstar Lionel Messi. However, his arsenal of Profoto lights and heavy photoshop has caused a bit of controversy over on the Strobist website where many photographers are claiming the final image is a bit overkill. I personally love the final image and think the direction Gary went is exactly what separates the boys from the men. However, I can appreciate the purists point of view who think great advertising photos should remain true to real life and capture a more realistic vision. Check out this great behind the scenes video of the latest Adidas shoe ad and let us know what you think in the comments. Check out Gary’s interesting website as well for more inspiration.
Being a sports photographer often requires standing in a place of potential danger. However some photojournalists have also found that capturing a sports story off the field or in the locker room can be just as dangerous when a player isn’t having a good day. Sports Center has put together 10 of the most outrageous attacks and hits on sports photographers. Not all of these confrontations end as relatively peaceful as Scott Kelby’s tackle last year as an NFL photographer.
Footage like this scares the bejesus out of me but also makes me wish I knew how to surf. Tahiti is home of Teahupoo, the world’s most dangerous naturally occurring wave. If you’ve watched the documentary Riding Giants then you’ve seen how monsterous these waves can become. I’m not sure that Teahupoo is actually larger than Peahi or Mavericks but it must be called the most dangerous wave for a reason. This video was shot with the Phantom in all it’s slo-mo glory. Click the full post to see more footage in real time as 32 of the world’s top surfers try to wrangle the beast.
I have a desire to jump off a cliff with a wing-suit on but I am still terrified to go skydiving. While I try to psych myself into it, I do enjoy watching others risk their lives from the comfort of my computer chair. I’ve seen a lot of base jumping videos and this one has to be in my top 3. Once again the cheap GoPro video camera has created another mind blowing video.
A few weeks ago Reese Moore interviewed Jimmy Chin for her column the Fstoppers Spotlight. Her Fstoppers interview revealed a lot about what makes Mr. Chin put himself in harms way as he climbs, rappels, and base jumps from assignment to assignment. In this behind the scenes video, Jimmy talks about the changing culture taking place within the sport of extreme rock climbing. He and his fellow climbers explore Yosemite National Park as he captures images for National Geographic. I dabble in climbing and think base jumping would be a huge thrill but I’m not sure I would ever have the guts to even hang with Jimmy for one day if this is his typical photoshoot. Check out 2:40 for some interesting off camera lighting while climbing!
This video has been making its rounds today through the blogosphere and for good reason. Photographer Josh Maready thought it might be interesting to view New York City from the eyes of his skateboard’s back wheels by mounting a GoPro video camera dangerously close to the ground. The result is pretty interesting and extremely creative. However we cannot say no camera was harmed in the making of this video; Josh destroyed the first camera and practically vibrated the second one to death. Read more about Josh’s simple video project over on his blog. It should be interesting to see what sort of GoPro projects we see in the near future as they make great tools for exciting behind the scenes contest entries!
Last time we featured a video from Mike Tittel, he was showcasing his edgy lighting look on some female tennis players. This time he has taken his photography team to the salt flats of Utah to photography the Brazilian sport Capoeira. For this shoot, Mike pulls out a few Profoto 7Bs with 2×3′ gridded softboxes for many of the shots. However it’s his natural lit shots that really grabbed my attention which he lit using the very helpful 4×6 California Sunbounce to fill his subjects. After the video, head over to Mike Tittel’s Website to check out more of his work and click on the full post to read how Mike lit these shots in his own words.
This time last year Lee and I were profiling concert photographer David Bergman as he was shooting a series of Bon Jovi concerts in their New Jersey hometown. A lot has happened since then with David, and he is now currently traveling the world and seeing some pretty amazing venues. Mark Wallace recently caught up with the rockstar photographer and asked him some specific questions about both his photography and his concert website TourPhotographer.com. If you follow David on facebook, be prepared to be blown away and extremely jealous of his news feed – he’s always up to something interesting.
Recently LeBron James was photographed for GQ Magazine. The video below is really just a promotion for that magazine but if you keep a sharp eye, there is some really good information to be learned. The lighting for most of the shots appears to be pretty simple; a single light above the camera. The size of the light changes from shot to shot from a huge parabolic reflector to a simple bare bulb held by an assistant.
The guys over at Stillmotion video have come up with a rather interesting way to film point of view video. Instead of mounting something small like a GoPro to a helmet, Stillmotion decided to use a Canon T2i. The camera was upside down directly in front of several football players’ eyes as they trained in the 2011 NFL combine. Everything was made from common parts you can find at Home Depot or Lowes and the results are pretty interesting. After you watch the behind the scenes video below, head on over to the NFL Network to check out the final promo piece.
One of the most important things any photographer can do to push their career forward is to take on assignments that are beyond what they feel comfortable shooting. When Todd Rosenberg was approached by Sports Illustrated for a commemorative issue, he was asked to shoot 10 historic cars from the last century of the Indianapolis 500. The only problem was Todd had never photographed an automobile before in his life! Using advice given by car photographer Michael Furman, Todd built a large studio (which included a 10′x30′ Chimera softbox) directly inside the auto museum. Check out this great interview conducted by PhotoShelter as Todd discusses how he organized the shoot as well as some business tips on how he got the client in the first place. Also check out all of the images on the Picade Indy 500 page.
Now that we are in the thick of the major league baseball season, you are probably going to see a lot more images from the league’s best photographers appearing on issues of Sports Illustrated and ESPN. One such photographer is Michael Ivins who is the official photographer for the Boston Red Sox. Check out this little behind the scenes video from the Boston University Today on how Michael captures athletes and creates interesting portraits quickly and on the fly.