About 9 years ago, I was a tour photographer for the rock band 3 Doors Down and I had the chance to attend my first Nascar race (from the infield no less!) As a car guy, it was a great chance to watch all of the action from the front row. Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be getting a call from the National Guard nearly 10 years later to do the official 2014 photoshoot of one of my favorite drivers and his new car, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Articles written by Douglas Sonders
When looking at portraits, we have a tendency to look at the eyes first. We can't help it, it's part of human nature. This is why I personally believe it is extremely important to capture and refine the eyes in your photos to create more engaging portraits. Retoucher Michael Woloszynowicz created an awesome 4 part video series about how to make your eyes look amazing in post production. See the rest of the post below to watch video parts 2 through 4.
Photographer Philipp Rupprecht (his Facebook page) recently did one of the coolest photoshoots I have ever seen of a custom Lamborghini Aventador. Having access to a small German airport, runway, and aircraft certainly doesn't hurt for the overall epicness. Check out the amazing post-production process in the video above and read the post below to learn more.
There is a new photographer on the scene and his name is Teddy Richardson (no relation to any other popular photographers). Some may think he may not be real or this is merely some sort of parody, but I can tell you for certain that he is a full-fledged bear and photographer that is and has been accepting new paying clients.
Curious how to properly shoot a background environment to drop a studio-photographed subject into? I know that is something I honestly struggled with early on. We regularly feature Glyn Dewis on Fstoppers, and recently he put together a quick and easy 2 minute video that gives crucial tips on how to make sure your focus/depth of field and angle of your background is captured correctly so it matches up with your portrait subject.
So you have a priceless Porsche race car to photograph for an ad campaign and you have to make it look like it's driving really fast, but space is tight and you left your stunt driver at home. So how do you get the shot of this car driving fast while parked? This is exactly the challenge car photographer Frederic Schlosser faced for this project. Watch the video and read below to learn how he executed this shoot perfectly.
Recently, I started working with a new steadicam operator for my video productions in the New York City area, Kyle. Aside from his upbeat positive demeanor, I noticed that every piece of equipment seemed to be customized with velcro for maximized efficiency. Little did I know, he had started a youtube series called "The Efficiency Machine" showcasing his different velcro-inspired inventions such as his "Super Desk." See below for more examples of his velcro madness/genius.
They say photography opens doors to new adventures and experiences. Well, for photographer James York, he literally went head to head with a wild Elk in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The story goes as such: while James York was photographing an elk from a distance, the animal decided to do something unusual: it decided to get closer and investigate the human and his camera. As interesting as this sounds, unfortunately the ending of this story is a sad one.
This shoot combines two things that I really love as a photographer: motorsports and incredible shoot locations. This comprehensive behind the scenes video captured by Ron Risman really gives you a great idea of how photographer Gregor Halenda put the campaign together. The resulting images were crisp and clean, showing off the bikes and locale.
I thought this was a cool retrospective video that DigitalRev put together using clips from their old episodes of Cheap Camera Challenge. This piece essentially shows how some veteran shooters keep composed when faced with on-set challenges. Everything from face-planting onto concrete while trying to take a photo to dealing with deadly snakes just inches away
My buddy and talented retoucher and photographer Glyn Dewis has done it again. He's created another awesome post production tutorial for those of you interested in improving your composite skills. He shows easy and effective tools to create dents and damage effects in your images. In this case, he adds battle damage to an otherwise pristine Iron Man character he photographed.
We all know it can be overwhelming when walking into your first paid photo gigs. You want to look like you know what you're doing and you don't want to disappoint your clients. Here's a helpful short video by Jasmine Star sharing key tips about what to keep in mind when walking into your first portrait photoshoot. Click through to see the rest of the post to learn more tips:
Have you ever taken a great portrait, but the subject's skin was distractingly shiny? I think this has been an issue faced by every portrait photographer that doesn't travel with a makeup artist in tow for every shoot. Lee Varis takes you through an extensive detailed process on how to realistically remove oily skin shine on your portrait subject's face. Check out the post below to learn more:
Photographer Eric Doggett is no stranger to Fstoppers. He is a fantastic Austin-based photographer with strong post-production skills a great humorous vision. You may recall his Christmas cards. Recently he was hired to photograph Veronica Mars creator, Rob Thomas, for REAL Magazine. He was tasked with creating a creative and humorous conceptual shoot. Read the post below to learn more and see the awesome final images.
I've blogged about our friend Glyn Dewis before. He's a talented UK-based photographer that also posts lots of free amazing Photoshop tutorials with straightforward tips. Recently he posted a video on how to enhance eyes, which is extremely important in portrait photography, and how to make fake beards using noise and blur tools. The results are impressive!
My buddy and Germany-based Photoshop World instructor Calvin Hollywood has created a site called Photoshop Freaks which gives countless post-production tutorials. Recently he posted a video about how to give your photo that extra textured look and feel in a matter of seconds. It like a slight "high-pass" appearance without all of the messy glowing contrast lines or over-sharpening.
My friend Israel Groveman is a photographer and filmmaker that is always up to something interesting and unique. Recently he helped a buddy promote an online fantasy series by crafting a group of creative portraits that I thought were awesome. This is how Israel made these compelling cinematic portraits, which took a little bit of gear and a lot of ingenuity.
Last year, I decided to pursue a fun portrait series of Luchador fighters from the Chikara Pro Wrestling League, located on the East Coast of the US. I've always been fascinated with this style of fighting and entertainment. These big colorful characters take the ring to pummel each other to the great delight of their dedicated fans. Some may call it "fake" or a performance, but I can tell you first hand that I saw blood drawn during a match on more than one occasion. These fighters are dedicated to their craft and I wanted nothing more than to capture them on camera.
Sean Madden, creative director from the ad agency Brains On Fire, reached out to me earlier this year and asked if given an arsenal of stunt drivers, the newest high performance BMW's, and a closed race course, could I create a 58 foot long composite print for BMW. My answer? "When can I start?" Watch the video and read the post below to learn how the shoot came together.
“Philly is Ugly” is a timelapse photography project by Philadelphia area photographer, Nathaniel Dodson. He took an impressive amount of time to not only create this short film piece, but also to extensively document his behind the scenes process. When he sent this to me, I couldn't help but share this with you. In addition to the video, he provides a lot of info to help you learn everything that goes into creating a proper timelapse from pre-to-post production.