Taking your creativity to the next level can make all the difference between typical photographs and artistic photographs. Orb Outerwear just released their new Fall 2011 fashion designs and they included a fun behind the scenes video to go along with it. So many photographers already have a pretty solid understanding of lighting to produce great photos. What they lack is artistic vision to do something different and unique. Everyone who reads this blog can easily create a small team of set designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and clothing stylists to produce studio quality catalog profiles. Try putting something like this together for your entry into the Behind The Scenes Contest we are running. Unfortunately I could not find out who the photographer was so if you know the talent responsible for these please reply in the comments. Click the full post to see a stop motion video of some of the final images (the snow shoot doesn't appear to have been published yet).
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.
Nobody's face is perfectly symmetrical but it's very difficult for our brains to notice the differences in each side. Jesper Petersson recently worked on a unique project that involved shooting a group of people and then using each side of their face to create two new, perfectly symmetrical faces. It's really shocking to see how different each side of a face can be.
In this weeks episode of The Slanted Lens, Jay P. Morgan shows us how to light and photograph a glass bottle. This video is also about superimposing products into real scenes so that the product looks it's best. Tutorials like this are priceless for anyone who is interested in product photography. Glass can be extremely tricky but Jay makes things super simple for us.
Douglas Sonders has always created some pretty interesting behind the scenes videos of his photo projects. Recently he shot the band Blink 182 for the cover of Alt Press Magazine. The behind the scenes video below doesn't show much mainly because Douglas only had about 30 minutes with the band and had to shoot 3 separate covers with each band member individually as well as 1 complete band photo. The lighting is pretty straight forward though with a few rim lights, a soft over head key light, and a ring flash. Check out the full post to see a detailed video on how Douglas photoshopped the final images for print and how he uses the Nik Software Viveza in his workflow.
Patrick and I were invited to shoot a behind the scenes video with beauty photography Sam Yocum in NYC a few months ago. I've always been struck by the lighting and flawless models, makeup, and retouching that can be seen in high end Beauty work and so I couldn't wait to see a real professional work...Check out the video below to see a little on how Sam works as well as a very detailed tutorial on how he approaches his post production. Click the full post to see a bunch of Sam's beauty images.
I've been saving my money for months so that I can make the switch over to Profoto and take advantage of their new D1 Air Monolights. Not only are these things small and light but they are also completely wireless! You can now control your studio lights (on/off, flash power, modeling light) all from the Profoto Air Remote. You want to know what the best part is? WE ARE GIVING A SET OF THESE LIGHTS AWAY to the winner of our behind the scenes contest. Check out the full post to see 3 videos of these incredible lights in action.
Photographer Scott Bourke gives us a complete overview of how he took a fantastic product shot of a few bottles of beer. Scott uses a single flash and 4 reflectors to create a very professional looking image that any photographer (no matter how little gear they have) is capable of creating. As I have always said, photography is all about good lighting and good lighting does not mean expensive lighting. Let's hope that Scott is going to enter our BTSV contest. Check out the full post for the final image and a BTS diagram.
last week Jay P Morgan showed us exactly what softboxes do to light sources. Each softbox shape can be used to create a unique look and in the video below Jay shows us how he chooses the correct size to light a specific shot. Keep in mind that if you don't have enough money to buy multiple sofboxes, you can change the relative size of a single box by moving it closer or further away from your subject.
Understanding how different sized softboxes work usually requires a bunch of tests or just good ole trial and error. Luckily photographer Jay P Morgan has done all the dirty work for you and shows how different sized Photoflex softboxes create unique spreads and quality of light. I find smaller softboxes are great for location portraits because of their compact size and soft yet edgy light. However you may prefer something larger depending on the specific look you are trying to achieve. If you enjoy Jay's videos, check out some of his older posts we have featured on Fstoppers.
If you have a large studio or perhaps even a small studio space in your home, chances are you have asked the question, "how in the world am I going to build a cyclorama wall?" Last year we shared with you a video on how to make a cyclorama wall done by Sam Robles. Well it seems Sam isn't the only photographer handy with a few carpentry tools. Check out this, ahem, inspiring video by the good people over at EyeHandy which outlines each and every step needed to make a solid and sturdy cyc wall for your studio or in this case dining room. I love one youtuber's comment, "after a while i stopped being aroused and started being amazed!" Happy summer time tool project!
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.
German motion graphics studio Sehsucht recently created a fantastic promo video for o2 Think Big. Unlike most commercials today, these guys decided to do almost everything by hand. Check out the finished product below and then the BTSV in the full post. I bet you will be pretty surprised by what is "real" and what isn't.