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.
Articles written by Douglas Sonders
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:
After 30 years in business, the popular photography and video lighting accessory company Photoflex has suddenly and without warning closed its doors. To this day, I still use and enjoy my Photoflex extra large softboxes, and I am shocked by the news considering they were just at Photokina earlier in March. Read below to learn more.
This year has already been filled with some compelling DSLR camera releases and announcements and the new Nikon D5500 is no exception. For the a quarter of the price of the Canon D5 Mark 3 that I purchased a couple of years ago, you can have more resolution, full HD video function with a wide-array of frame rates, comparable ISO range, and even its own built-in WIFI transmitter to send images to your favorite mobile device on set. Pretty impressive with what Nikon has been doing with its pro-sumer camera bodies these days. Check out Digital Rev's full review.
In this age of an increasingly competitive photography market, we shooters need to utilize every tool possible to make us stand out in the pack. My buddy Matthew Jones has gone back to basics with his printed pocket portfolio. He has found that in a world of modern digital portfolios, these printed books allow prospective clients to not only have something that they can take home and remember his work by, but it even easily fits in their pockets! Jones shares his thoughts on the benefits of having a pocket portfolio below.
Even if you're new to this site, I'm pretty confident you've seen some sort of article about this unique photo series in which Michael Paul Smith builds intricate models and photographs them to recreate scenes from his imaginary childhood. Even I marveled at the fact that these were photographs of 1/24 scale models and not real scenes from history. Soon, Smith will be releasing a book called "Elgin Park" in which he explains his creative process and his life. If it is anything like the video above I will absolutely read it.
About a year ago, I took new portraits of my production company's crew for our company biographies. One of my video camera operators, Mike Nelson, decided to Photoshop the portrait of one of my producers Shawn Lucas. It started with dropping his face into one comedic situation, and well, it just started spiraling out of control after that. Now, the dozens of photos are trending on the front page of Reddit. Learn how the retouched series came to be and see all of the images below.
In many modern cultures, we view white teeth as a sign of health, virility, and attractiveness. A large reason as to why there are a million toothbrush, toothpaste, and teeth whitening products on the shelf today. So what do you do when your overworked, over-caffeinated, and/or over-smoking portrait subject has teeth stained yellow? Our buddy Glyn Dewis shows you a quick way to whiten those teeth effectively and realistically.
I will start this article off by saying that I am not a pet photographer. I am a portrait photographer that typically captures humans for magazines and ads. However, a couple years ago I started a pit bull charity (Not A Bully) and it unexpectedly led me to some jobs photographing rescue animals. If you're reading this, you already know that capturing animal portraits is a unique challenge in itself. I've done some of the difficult leg work for you and put together a list of tips to hopefully make your next in-studio pet portrait session much easier.
If you were a kid of the 1980s like me and loved Nintendo, you absolutely remember the Power Glove. In fact, I think that was one of the only scenes I remember from the movie "The Wizard" starring Fred Savage of "The Wonder Years" was the debut of this badass piece of 80s tech. Fast forward to 2015. The animator of the Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken" has modified his Power Glove to control his stop-motion workflow. Woah, dude.
When I was new to portrait lighting, I used to blast everything with light with reckless abandon. Although, as I grew as a photographer, I learned that the ability to control the spread of light on a multi-strobe shoot allowed you to not only create something with a more sophisticated appearance, but tell a better story. One of the most affordable ways to accomplish this is with the use of grids. The Slanted Lens put together a great video tutorial on understanding grids. Read below to learn more.
Being a dog lover and person that runs a dog charity on the side, I am always curious as to what my rescue Pit Bull / Boxer Emma does when I leave the house. I always imagine that she just sleeps in my bed, but my family tells me she cries and stares at the door when I leave town. After seeing this first video, I've decided I will be strapping a camera to her to see what she does. Read below to see how you can too!
We've posted about commercial photographer Eric Doggett on here before. You may recall his popular post about how he put together his family's Back to the Future Christmas card. He goes out of his way to create some of the most creative holiday cards I've ever seen. Eric uses a creative arsenal including set-building, 3D modeling, Photoshop, photography, and graphic design to create unique one-off pieces for his clients. Read below to learn how he used ALL of these tools to create a fantastic Star Wars Christmas card.
This is my full-frame Canon 5D Mark II with vertical dual battery grip. It may be worn down to the metal on the edges, but this baby still shoots beautiful 21 megapixel RAW files and 1080p video. It's ridden tanks and supercars and hung out of helicopters and photographed some pretty famous folks for some album and magazine covers. Now, I have decided to give it away to the best cause. Below, you can either learn how to apply or learn how you may help others!
First of all, if you watched the lead video above, you have learned that Matthew Jones is possibly a crazy person. Car photography is absolutely a challenge, but rollerblading down the road at full speed to capture driving action is just bonkers. When I heard Matthew talk about doing this and when I saw the high quality of his images, I knew I had to feature him on Fstoppers. Obviously this technique is not for everyone, but Matthew has absolutely captured my attention with his story. Read below to read why he has chosen to do this and see samples of his great photography,
This is a really unique article for me to post. I was talking with my friends at New York City based Phase One dealer, Digital Transitions, and they were interested in sharing the story of how industry's leading RAW processing and tethering software, Capture One, evolved into what it is today. It is very interesting to learn how a company learns from its products weaknesses and grows to make something that really shines. Read below to learn more:
Many of us know what it feels like to have or want to do a strobed on-location portrait without the benefit of an assistant. In fact, many of the portraits that I believe to be my best were done without an assistant and only with one strobe. It's all about good strategy and proper planning gear/creative-wise. This video by the Slanted Lens does an excellent job preparing you on how to do this kind of shoot effectively. Read below to learn more.