If you haven’t seen the stars in the sky in some time, you’re not alone. Thanks to the ever growing amount of light pollution in populated cities’ celestial domes, the heavens above us are becoming harder and harder to see. The Skyglow project aims to, forgive the pun, shed light on the subject. Filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic shot this short film throughout Los Angeles – imagining the majestic universe just above.
Articles written by Aaron Brown
Civil Engineer, Thomas Berge, is a hobbyist filmmaker from just outside of Stavanger, Norway. He has carefully edited together a ridiculously gorgeous combination of timelapses and hyperlapses of the west coast over the last three years that will have you calling your travel agent to book a flight out his way. It’s a five minute feast for your eyes that you don’t want to miss.
Matt Mangham, the director of photography over at fortyonetwenty – a San Diego production company – has recently created a personal photography series titled Analog where he finds and tells stories that explore the current state of film photography. Episode one of the series follows Southern California lifestyle photographer Brooks Sterling as he heads out to a surf shoot with his trusty Nikonos underwater camera.
Markus Andersen is back at it again on the streets of Sydney, Australia… but this time he has teamed up with fellow street photographer Elif Suyabatmaz of Istanbul, Turkey. The pair of photographers has just wrapped up a three year long project titled Mirrored where they responded to one another’s images by presenting a similar viewpoint from their respective nations. The final collection echoes the differences and similarities within the Australian and Turkish cultures through the mirrored interpretations each photographer presents.
Patrice Michellon is a freelance photographer from Paris, France who refers to himself as a passionate pixel breeder. He gave up on clunky DSLR cameras and heavy lenses after health issues and back surgeries back in 2013 / 2014, but he found new desire within Fujifilm’s new x-series of mirrorless cameras. He specifically fell in love with the new x100T which became the main concept for the X100 Collective: one camera and a fixed lens. That's it.
I’m a fan of Detroit. I love its history, its people, and the current fight within the city to bring it back to its former glory. There’s a movement going on in Detroit that’s often left out of the typical conversation. There’s an art scene. There’s music. There’s life. Chris Miele captured one specific part of Detroit that has become convenient to forget about in a time now popular for abandoned building urbexing. He’s an outdoor photographer who focused on the good still left in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Shying away from the usual "rubble porn", Miele showcases the awesome structures within a city's futuristic past.
Alexis Cuarezma is back again sharing the "hows" and "whys" behind one of his latest shoots: fitness portraits of IFBB bikini professional Ashley Pfaff. He has graciously included a very in-depth video where he explains how he set out to accomplish these shots, and he also provided his mood board, gear list, and lighting diagrams along with extensive commentary on the "whys" and "hows" of it all. You absolutely don't want to miss any of what he has to say! Start with the video and then dive in below!
Aaron Eveland, the videographer of the wedding duo in Hawaii known as Makai Creative, set out to recreate the classic look of The Endless Summer movie poster – gigantic sunsets behind surfers on the beach – and that he did with the help of a Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens, a 2x Extender, and a lot of trial and error. It’s all worth it as you can see in his short film, Sunchasers.
Sigga Ella is a photographer from Reykjavík, Iceland whose recent photo series looks to shed light on the ethical questions of where we are headed as a society with today’s ability to choose who is born based on prenatal testing for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. She chose twenty-one people from ages 9 months to 60 years, both male and female, to show that they are more than a 21st chromosome anomaly – they’re people.
Whether you’re brand new to photography, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in-between, learning and re-learning the ins and outs of your craft is an essential part of the continuing education that comes along with being a photographer. If you’re a professional who makes a living on taking photos, then this is even more vital. Here are the most influential authors of the past 10 years who have helped me to understand everything from light itself through setting up my own office / studio.
Willow Creek is what Sven Dreesbach calls a “proof of concept and workflow” for an eventual surf film he’d like to make – but, as it stands, it’s a short film that achieves a lot in its own right. Shot with an iPhone 5s and color-graded using Davinci Resolve, Dreesbach produced a very moving piece of cinema that has an erie but mystical vibe to it - thanks in part to the Ry X track Shortline accompanying the film. Sven was gracious enough to talk with Fstoppers a bit about the hows and whys behind crafting this stunning short film.
Married photographer team Ronn and Marketa Murray recently shot some test footage of what it’s like to chase the Northern Lights up in the Murphy Dome area near their home in Fairbanks, Alaska with a newly acquired Atomos Shogun 4K external recorder... and the video is just gorgeous looking!
The last time I talked with Alexis, he was just trying out a technique of shooting two different lighting setups with the press of a button (be sure to check that article out for details on how the SpeedCycler feature of the Pocket Wizard MultiMax works).This time around, he managed to pull off five different looks (three at one time) – nabbing himself six pages and the cover of the World Cup preview issue of Sports Illustrated. His behind the-scenes-video gives a ton of insight into how he pulled this off, but I asked him to go even further than the video or what he already explained at his blog and explain the "whys" of it all.
Joey Shanks is at it again – this time with an awesome stop-motion homage to the Millennium Falcon portion of the new “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens” teaser trailer. He combines light painting with a practical model of the star ship to create an awesome gravity-defying recreation that’s sure to impress special effects gurus and Star Wars fans alike. Check it out!
Keisuke Iwaya is an amateur Japanese astrophysicist. On July 20th, 2014, he sent a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera into the Earth’s stratosphere from Obihiro, Japan for the first time ever. The video captures a time-lapse view of the amazing voyage into the heavens as well as some behind-the-scenes views of the lift off and finding it after its free fall back down. If you've ever day dreamed of flying around the planet like Superman as a kid, this video will rekindle that fantastic flame from your youth! – check it out!
If you’re interested in getting big budget looks in your low budget indie film, then you should be very familiar with the Shanks FX channel on YouTube. If you’re not, you should get acquainted with it… like now! Joe Schenkenberg aka Joey Shanks is the man with the know-how when it comes to creating Hollywood effects out of simple household items. He teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to bring you quality behind-the-scenes content online and has recently partnered with Red Giant to explain how he created a black hole effect very similar looking to the one in the recent movie Interstellar – all captured in-camera.
A teacher once told me that filmmakers need to fully utilize the frame within their scenes and move the camera in ways that help drive the story forward; otherwise they're just filming a play. That always stuck with me and it's a point I still take note of in movies. Tony Zhou from Every Frame a Painting does a great job of explaining why the camera frame is so important in comedic cinema along with a slew of other techniques that few people other than Edgar Wright are making use of in today's comedies. This is eight minutes of insight you're not going to want to miss!
Chris McKechnie, a cinematographer and editor from Long Beach, California, was recently hired to produce a video for Make-A-Wish America. In it, he documents Chris Gabriel Lavan-Ying: a nine-year-old boy suffering with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome who wished to become a national park ranger. Yosemite National Park partnered up with Make-A-Wish to help fulfill Gabriel’s wish back in June. This is the completed film that Chris created, and below he discussed with me the technical process of how he created this cinematic story along with what he took away from the whole experience – especially as a father.
The team from Modest (a Buford, Georgia-based production company) recently shot a commercial for Glock, featuring the G41 tactical .45 caliber pistol. The commercial itself is a gorgeous-looking short film of a special ops unit swarming a plane out on an airport tarmac. The BTS video above shows how they pulled off an impressive continuous shot passed down a pulley on crane, to car, to golf cart, to ground – all what looks to be shot with a Blackmagic Cinema camera stabilized on a Movi M10 3-axis gimbal. It’s really freaking sweet.