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When In Doubt, Bury Your Models Alive

When In Doubt, Bury Your Models Alive
There have been a few conversations over at the Fstoppers Forum lately about how to composite two images together in a way that looks consistent. Aaron Nace has a history of producing interesting composite style images; recently he tackled the conceptual idea of "Going Home". Although I'm a bit disappointed neither Aaron or Avery gave any insight on what they were wanting to accomplish in this video, the way the two approached such a tough logistical concept is really clever. Sure there is a LOT of photoshop required in a final image like this but what's really important to take note of is how Aaron went out and shot as much of the concept in camera with consistent lighting so everything would work together when he started piecing the two images together. Since it's May 21st I figured this was an appropriate subject matter to tackle :)

Using Variable Neutral Density Filters In Bright Sunlight

Using Variable Neutral Density Filters In Bright Sunlight
Gary from F8 Photography and Mikey from Lightenupandshoot have crossed paths while traveling through Hong Kong. Lee and I ran into Mikey out at WPPI in Las Vegas a few months ago where he told us of some up coming adventures he had planned for Southeast Asia. These guys are really laid back and excited to break out into a photoshoot at any given time. In this video they take a ferry over to a local island to capture a few images of some friends they made in Hong Kong. Around 2:30, Gary talks about using a Variable Neutral Density Filter to almost completely destroy the ambient light while still shooting wide open at f1.2 and maxing out his shutter sync speed at 1/250. I've never attempted this technique, but it has been made famous by many photographers including Joey L. Does anyone have an opinion about these variable neutral density filters or use this technique in their own work? If so feel free to post an image in the comments below.

Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot DVD Pre-Order Begins Now

Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot DVD Pre-Order Begins Now
A few months ago Patrick and I flew up to NYC and filmed our first ever full length DVD (dual DVD actually) with Peter Hurley. The DVD is still being edited but we can finally see an end in sight. Initially we didn't plan on having a pre-order but when Peter Hurley decided to start teaching workshops, we decided to create a special pre-order deal. When the dual DVD is released, it will cost $300. If you purchase it before October 1st, 2011, we will give you a $300 credit towards any of Peter's workshops (and this can be used at any time) so you are actually getting the DVD for free. Peter is also going to personally sign all of the pre-ordered DVDs. Patrick and I are working as fast as we can to edit this DVD while managing Fstoppers.com and also shooting a wedding every weekend. Things are busy but we hope to have this DVD released sometime this summer. Head over to Hurley's website to sign up for "The Headshot Intensive," his new 2 day workshop. There are currently 4 slots left for his first workshop on May 21-22.

How To Light Large Groups Of People Evenly

How To Light Large Groups Of People Evenly
It's Spring time which means a lot of photographers are back to shooting outside and probably photographing group portraits. As a wedding photographer myself, I'm constantly having to light groups between 2 and 20 both quickly and effectively. In the latest video by Adorama Tv, Mark Wallace talks about how to light large groups evenly in a studio with Profoto lights. His explanation is really detailed, and if you apply this knowledge you can easily adapt this technique outside with something like a Photex Softlighter and some speedlights for even lighting on location.

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens traces the arc of Annie's photographic life, her aspirations to artistry and the trajectory of her career. The film depicts the various phases that shaped her life including childhood, the tumultuous sixties, her transition from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair magazine and later her most significant personal relationships including motherhood. Check out the full post for the rest of the documentary.

Behind The Scenes With Fashion Photographer Mario Testino

Behind The Scenes With Fashion Photographer Mario Testino
Most guys are drawn to fashion photography for the over the top concepts and beautiful women. The issue is that most of these men will never truly gain an interest for fashion and sadly, shooting a pretty girl isn't really "fashion photography" at all. Mario Testino is to many, the top fashion photographer in the world. Testino rarely allows cameras to roll while he shoots but in these three videos we can get a glimpse of what a true fashion photographer is. Check out the full post for the other two videos.

Robots Have Taken Over The Desert

Robots Have Taken Over The Desert
Douglas Sonders has been one of the most featured photographers on Fstoppers because he not only has great photoshoots but he also makes great BTS videos. Recently he headed out to Nelson, Nevada (a requirement of any photographer traveling to Vegas) to shoot a few promotional posters for The Showbots' Droidz. In the video, Douglas uses a few White Lighting Strobes with 7" reflectors and does some desaturated edits with Nik Software's Color Efex Pro. Click on the thumbnail image to view the final images.

Full Tutorial On Mastering Studio Light

Full Tutorial On Mastering Studio Light
We have featured many of Mark Wallace's excellent tutorials with Adorama TV, and it is apparent from the comments that everyone appreciates his simple and thorough explanations. Recently Mark released a full length DVD that covers a wide range of topics for all levels of photographers. There must be over 15 different lighting setups, and he covers everything from portraits, headshots, fashion, and glamour to camera gear, light modifiers, and the properties of light. We always feature quality videos for free on Fstoppers, but we also realize a lot of work can go into these extensive DVD tutorials. If you've enjoyed the tutorials Mark has given for free, take some time to check out his Studio Lighting Essentials DVD. If you prefer a more hands on approach, Mark has several Studio Lighting 101 classes which we hope to check out ourselves next time we are in Phoenix, AZ.

Photographing The Power Of Music

Photographing The Power Of Music
A few months ago we featured a popular video called Wisdom shot by Andrew Zuckerman. If you have not been exposed to Andrew's work, he is known for shooting all sorts of subjects against a white background. In his latest project Music, Andrew sets out to capture the essence of a variety of musicians as he asks them questions about their craft. Most of the lighting in these portraits is pretty straight up and clean but what makes this collection so interesting is Zuckerman's idea of striping alway all the auxiliary settings and environments usually associated with rockstars and popular figures. His portraits allow you to see his subjects raw and unedited. These series definitely have me thinking of pushing my own photography and creating larger scale projects like Music and Wisdom.

Helmut Newton: Portrait Of A Fashion Icon (NSFW)

Helmut Newton: Portrait Of A Fashion Icon (NSFW)
Recently over at the forum, a conversation came up about shooting nudes and glamour style images. One of our readers recommended a short documentary on famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton. We've all seen Helmut's images but if you were like me you might not have known the man behind the images. This 5 part documentary, filmed by June Netwon, shows Helmut working through his shoots with such famous models as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer as well as the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. It always amazes me how images I would consider 'snapshots' can become iconic images in the fashion world. Fashion photography today often involves studio lighting and extensive photoshop, but as this documentary shows, Helmut was able to cut through the heart of his subjects with nothing more than a film camera often times in auto exposure. Check out more about Helmut over at the Helmut bookstore.

Fashion Photographer Sets His Eye On Food

Fashion Photographer Sets His Eye On Food
If you have ever wanted to frustrate yourself as a photographer, try shooting food and actually make it look appetizing. Edward Gowans, a photographer based out of Portland Oregon, has made a living shooting food for almost 20 years. Edward learned there was a big market in the northwest looking for stylized culinary images. Using the lighting knowledge he gained from shooting fashion models, Edward began creating stylized culinary images for his clients. As you can see in this video, some of his setups are pretty extensive and sometimes take full days to design. With food, the light often needs to be scrimmed, flagged, and reflected perfectly to showcase both the textures and colors of a well plated dish. Check out more of Ed's work in his portfolio here.

How To Shoot A Super Hero Action Shot

How To Shoot A Super Hero Action Shot
I know a couple of Fstoppers that go by the names of Tiffany and Gianna that are going to love this one... Jay P. Morgan is back again with a really unique concept. In this video Jay explains how he created a super hero concept from nothing and then shows us every minuscule detail that goes into making that image come to life. As always, Jay does an incredible job of packing his video with priceless information that every photographer can use, even if you don't ever plan to shoot Wonder Woman.

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