Platon has photographed many of the world's most powerful leaders and biggest celebrities and often shoots covers for magazines such as Wired, Esquire, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and New York Times Magazine. Most recently, he captured comedian and TV show personality Stephen Colbert for the cover of Time, which you can see in the video posted above. His style of shooting proves that you can take some of the most legendary portraits of our most powerful people with nothing but a light or two and a real connection between subject and photographer. In fact, I learned that from him directly when he came to teach a couple of classes to some of us lucky photo majors back at Rochester Institute of Technology over 10 years ago. It was those classes that changed my view on portrait photography forever.
Articles written by Douglas Sonders
So if you have been watching social media this week, then you most likely heard about British photographer David Yarrow who made headlines after a tiger allegedly got "loose" during a photo shoot that was taking place in the well-known Packard Plant in Detroit. As a photographer, I am in Michigan a lot for various still and video projects throughout the year and have a lot of creative industry friends in the region. After reading the initial news reports, I decided to do a little digging of my own and went to the source to find out what REALLY happened.
If you hadn't heard of it before, the Stand Out! Photographic Forums is a huge photography industry event (taking place in New York City, Toronto, and Los Angeles) loaded with affordable workshops taught by some of the biggest and most successful names in the industry. You can learn directly from legends like Mark Seliger, Pratik Naik, and Michael Muller. Phase One was even nice enough to ask me to come and teach classes on digital teching and shoot pre-production. You should read below to learn more about all of the classes and offerings.
Here at Fstoppers, we all know Canon makes some pretty cool cameras, but you may have forgotten they also make really nice photo and document printers. Canon realized that, in this digital age of Facbeook, Instagram, RFID devices, and Apple Pay on your iPhone, many of us have dramatically decreased or stopped printing things out. You know, things like photographs, tickets, business documents, and maps. Thus, in response, they started the "Never Again" campaign and made this hilarious series of videos to promote their PIXMA printers. Read below to watch them all.
I knew when I saw this image up in the photo section of our Fstoppers website, I had to inquire about how it was created. It is clearly a thoughtful re-imagining of the iconic painting "Liberty Leading The People", but I had no idea how much effort Anthony Kurtz went into creating this photo. Little did I know that it took three weeks of preparation, two days of set building, one day of photographing, and 50+ hours of retouching and it was all done on a shoe string budget with borrowed props and location. What he created with very little money and a lot of brilliant strategy and vision is inspiring. Read below to learn how Anthony did it.
Yes, you've read that correctly. Nokia, the former maker of my favorite cell phone in which I could play "Snake" during high school math class, has entered the hot new virtual reality camera market. A lot of the camera details are scarce, such as pricing and when it will ship to the consumer market, but there are some key functions I am very intrigued by. As Fstopper's resident virtual reality filmmaker, I am hesitantly optimistic. Read below to learn why.
Last year I wrote an exclusive article talking about RED's plans to attack the photography camera market by adding a still photo mode to the RED SCARLET and EPIC cameras. That day has come with their latest firmware update release. Some of you still photographers may be saying, "So what?" Well, 16.5 stops of dynamic range at nearly 20 megapixels is what. Do I have your attention now?
I always love a good well-planned time-lapse as I'm sure most of us do. Although, photographer and California police officer Jeff Boyce has taken it to the next level with "Edge of Stability." Earlier this year, he followed forecasts from the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and literally drove into some of the most dramatic storms occurring in over a dozen states to capture these very dramatic and beautiful time-lapses made from over 70,000 photos. Boyce was generous enough to share his story and his process with us below.
Last week I received a message from my buddy and talented photographer Ben Von Wong. We all know him for his incredible photos that mix practical effects as well as precisely-applied post production visuals. His recent photoshoot entitled "MAKING OF: BALLANTINE’S PRESENTS VON WONG’S UNDERWATER RIVER" is no exception. To make this all happen, Benjamin created a portrait shoot with a set his crew built aboveground and installed 30 meters underwater just feet above toxic hydrogen sulfide. Learn more about his shoot below.
No, the new GoPro Hero 4 Session doesn't have greater resolution or frame rate capabilities than the pre-existing Hero 4 black's 4K resolution and high frame rate...in fact, it's actually limited to 1920 x 1440 at 30 frames per second, or 1920 x 1080 at 60 frames a second. So what's the big deal with this camera then? It apparently makes up for those performance numbers in general functionality improvements, size, and greatly improved battery life. I also think it may be designed to be used in the latest virtual reality camera rigs. Read below to learn more.
The other week, I wrote that I was excited about Phase One's newest gear announcements for a multitude of reasons. Well, thanks to my friends at Digital Transitions and Phase One, I was lucky enough to do a photoshoot with the BRAND NEW Phase One XF body, the updated IQ350 50 megapixel CMOS medium format back, and their newest 35mm leaf shutter lens. As an owner of their previous generation 645DF+ body and IQ140 back, I was incredibly impressed by the notable technology advancements in their newest gear. Read below to see why.
A well-known member of our photo community passed away this weekend. Photographer Wyatt Neumann died after suffering a brain aneurysm which caused him to lose control of the motorcycle he was driving and causing him to crash. As Stephen Lucier put it, Wyatt was known to many as a "photographer, friend, bad boy, husband, dad, man" as well as a mentor to numerous others.
As a traveling commercial photographer and filmmaker who flies over 100k miles a year, I NEVER let my camera bodies and lenses leave my side. Well, soon, filmmakers like myself may be in big trouble. The reason? The International Air Transport Association (IATA), unveiled a new size guideline this week for domestic US flights that proposed a 21% size reduction in max carry-on size allowed. So my prized and PACKED Think Tank Airport Security camera bag may soon be 21% too big to carry onto a flight. Freaked out? Me too. Read below to learn more.
This week, Phase One announced a brand-new camera platform, the Phase One XF, and three new IQ3 digital backs. Every photo media outlet in the world has the press release and various levels of speculation and information, all focused on those two main announcements. Here’s the thing: it was only one of a half dozen announcements Phase One made, and some of the best announcements are getting obscured by the announcement of their body and backs. Read on to see some of the other exciting stuff they have coming out this week.
Summer movie season is here, and so are the movies with the biggest budgets trying to up the wow factor against their cinematic competition. "San Andreas" is the latest disaster flick to showcase some of the best effects Hollywood has to offer right now. Sploid/Gizmodo did a few behind-the-scenes videos on how effectively shooting movies (in this case "San Andreas") with huge sets and practical effects can make even the best CGI look more realistic.
Last year I had an exciting opportunity to shoot what I am told is the first combined Jaguar and Land Rover USA ad campaign now that they are both under new combined ownership. The goal of the campaign was to create content that would appeal to the users of both car markers and promote brand loyalty. It was as if we were to say: "If you have a Land Rover, you need a sporty Jaguar for the ultimate garage!" (and vise versa). This campaign came together very quickly and the client had specific production requirements. Learn how I did it below and feel free to ask any question about the process in the comments section.
As a huge movie car buff and lover of the original "Mad Max" films, it goes without saying that I am more than excited for the release of the latest iteration of the series. I'm going to assume statistically that you are too because it is rating incredibly well among most of the movie reviewers. One of their biggest compliments toward the film? The stunning energetic visuals, and I would agree. What's even more stunning? Most of the stunts were done with practical effects! Check out 18 minutes of pure stunt-making glory.
Well it has been a rollercoaster for the team over at Photoflex, makers of some of my favorite studio lighting accessories. First, they pulled what many thought was an April fools joke by announcing that they were closing their doors as of late March 31st. Then, they sent out a press release stating they had to close their business due to "health issues" as well as the increasingly competitive market (cough cough cheap knock-off photo accessories flooding the market). Well, it looks like they have some life left in them after all and I couldn't be happier for their team.
As photographers starting out, we quickly learn that shoots do not always go as planned. This fact seems to remain the constant even as we proceed through our careers, but we know we have to make the most out of what we are given or we risk not getting the job done! One such example happened to veteran car photographer William Stern when he was hired to shoot a new Corvette, but his strobes were dead on arrival. Learn how he overcame the obstacles and created some pretty sexy car shots.
Some of you thought that my post last week about photography accessories brand Photoflex suddenly closing its doors without warning after 30 years of business was a possible April Fools' joke. I wouldn't blame you since it seemed to be annouced late in the day prior to April 1st and they seemed to be a fully-functioning business right up until the final moments. I did email Photoflex to inquire about more information and they did just send back the following press release: