I've seen a lot of videos that attempt to explain why you would use a beauty dish over a softbox but I've always had a hard time understanding the subtleties. Jay P Morgan created a video that not only explains everything in great detail, but he also shows 3 lighting examples with each type of dish configuration. If you have always wondered about the magic of the beauty dish, all your questions will now be answered.
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring "Lord Vader" I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can't remember the full story of the Twi'leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I'll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.
Karl Taylor is an excellent photographer from England who has become a leading teacher in the "how to" photography market. In his latest video he explains a few lighting techniques he uses in the studio while shooting some crazy hair styles. Karl is using a single Elinchrom monolight but is pairing it up with two Canon 580EX flashes. In the video he explains why this setup is ideal for his lighting style and useful for many applications. If you enjoy his teaching, check out his instructional videos on his website as well as some crazy location photos in his port.
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.
The girls over at [Framed] have started a really great web series that profiles photographers and shows them in action behind the scenes. In this video they dive into children photography with Shannon Sewell. I know a lot of photographers have made a side business out of shooting families and children but what Shannon is doing is completely different. Her images are straight up commercial in style and are really amazing to look at. Children can be really really tough to work with which makes me appreciate her ability to connect with and control her subjects. And if you are interested in the Photoshop Actions Shannon uses you can check them out over at Flourish Actions. What do you guys think about her statement at 13:30?
Yuri Arcurs is perhaps the most well known photographer shooting microstock images in the world. His images are clean, inviting, crisp, and natural looking which are all important qualities needed to sell images in bulk. This video by Fototv might be the best video you watch all week because Yuri's tips are not only related to stock photographs but also hold true with almost any photograph requiring a model or human emotion. If you've never signed up to a stock website like Istockphoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock, I'd recommend you at least try to get approved and test the waters for a few months. Nothing in my opinion strengthens your eye and photographic skills more than producing images that can sell in a highly competitive market like the stock agencies.
In the video below Jay P. Morgan shows us the setup for his latest sports image. Using a special body harness, the goalie is able to move in a very realistic way without the potential for injury. As always, Jay does a fantastic job of also breaking down his lighting scheme.
As I'm sitting in the San Diego airport waiting to lose my entire day to layovers and time changes, I finally have some time to catch up on our email account. One video that was submitted to us multiple times was recently featured by our friends over at Strobist and showcases fashion photographer Martin Prihoda. Martin has relocated his business to India where he continues to produce clean and commercial style images for print. In this video he takes us BTS on his December cover for Cosmopolitan India and gives us a great explanation on how hard and soft light can be used as fill to control the transitions in your shadows.
One of our readers just emailed us this great video of landscape photographer Ansel Adam's darkroom. Michael Adams, Ansel's son, gives us a full tour of Ansel's home studio and shows some of his prints as well as much of his equipment. I currently have Adam's Moonrise, Hernandez hanging in my kitchen and it's really fun to see what the untouched negative looked like before all the dodging and burning. What's always amazing to me is that these prints were all done before the days of the computer, and every area that was altered had to be done by hand and with extreme precision. If you don't already own some of Adam's work, head over to the Ansel Adam's store and pick up a book or print.
Fred Conrad is a photographer who has been working for the NY Times for over 34 years. Recently he attended the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show and photographed every single breed of dog at the show. His setup was basically a white backdrop, a ring flash, and a photek softlighter. I've always thought dog shows like this are a bit insane (watch the mockumentary Best in Show for a good laugh), and Fred has captured not only interesting portraits of dogs but also some of the most wild haircuts I've ever seen of dogs. Check out Snoop Dogg the Bedlington Terrier and all the rest over at the interactive online gallery.
Earlier in the week I posted a video featuring commercial photographer Monte Isom photographing comedian Colin Kane. We'll it turns out Monte has been filming great behind the scenes videos of his photoshoots all along. In this video Monte shows you not only how he created the fun ad campaign for the EA Sports FIFA 2010 video game but also how he secured the job in the first place! It's really great to see photographers like Monte having a good time on their shoots and also showing exactly how they took a concept, pitched some images, and ultimately won the bidding war to secure a high end project. If only every photographer would be so open with sharing their success stories we might have more videos like this. Monte gives some exclusive insight on the shoot and the final image on the packaging in the full post.
Jay P. Morgan just sent his newest video over to me and it is once again top quality. Jay was commissioned to create a professional looking image from a drawn composite and he takes us through each step of the process. The entire project is really amazing but my jaw is still dropped after seeing his lighting setup.
CLICK FULL POST IF YOU CANNOT WATCH THIS VIDEO! If you watched my video on how to photograph wakeboarding then you know I'm a big advocate of throwing water at your subjects during a photoshoot! So needless to say I was excited when this behind the scenes video surfaced showing how photographer Art Streiber shot the hero shots for the television show Hawaii Five-O. The whole lighting setup is pretty straightforward: one beauty dish and a bunch of back lights for the water splashes. To create the wave splash look Art fired high pressure water at each of the cast members with a 4,000 gallon water truck. Click on the full post to check out some of the final images as well as a few behind the scenes stills from the production.
Celebrity photographer Brian Smith has a great video online that describes his workflow when shooting burlesque dancers in Las Vegas. The video is an advertisement piece for X-Rite Color Checker calibration tool but Brian gives some really good advice on how he took his career from working at a newspaper to now shooting celebrity portraits. In this video, Brian is mainly shooting with just a Profoto Ringflash and a Sony A900, and the results look great. Anyone know how in the world he is using pocket wizards on top of the Sony? I thought Sony DSLRs used to have some funky hotshoe jack? //-->
Rob Moody, a good friend of ours at Fstoppers, has been working on an interesting video project with Heartsapart.org. Heartsapart has made it their mission to capture military soldiers and their families before they are separated through deployment. Photographers from all over the Southeast have come together to help this in this cause, and Rob has done a great job bringing this story to the public. I can really appreciate this because I grew up in a military family, and I know how important a photograph can be for those who are stationed overseas for extended periods of time. Check out this great video as past Fstoppers spotlight photographer Brownie Harris takes you in his studio to photograph several families.