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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

The Virtual Camera Simulator

The Virtual Camera Simulator
Our email has been flooded the last couple of days with this neat little flash program. At some point in your photographic journey, you've probably wondered how different shutter speeds and focal lengths affect your images. The guys over at Camera Sim have built an interactive flash simulator that lets you choose your ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Focal Length, and even the lighting to expose for the perfect shot. I have to admit, I spent a good 5 minutes playing with all the settings and seeing how everything would turn out. I'm a little suspicious of the image created at 1 foot away @ 18mm but it's probably not an exact science. Imagine how much easier it would have been to learn what all these function do to your images if you had this back in the archaic era film era!

How To Light Large Groups Of People Evenly

How To Light Large Groups Of People Evenly
It's Spring time which means a lot of photographers are back to shooting outside and probably photographing group portraits. As a wedding photographer myself, I'm constantly having to light groups between 2 and 20 both quickly and effectively. In the latest video by Adorama Tv, Mark Wallace talks about how to light large groups evenly in a studio with Profoto lights. His explanation is really detailed, and if you apply this knowledge you can easily adapt this technique outside with something like a Photex Softlighter and some speedlights for even lighting on location.

Jonathan Mannion Talks Hip Hop Photography

Jonathan Mannion Talks Hip Hop Photography
We have featured the work of Jonathan Mannion previously on Fstoppers but he has so many great videos that I figured we'd share his work again. Mannion has shot everyone in the rap scene including Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jay Z, DMX, and Ice Cube. Often borrowing from his mentor Richard Avedon, Jonathan's work can be edgy and provocative but also clean and iconic. In this video Jonathan showcases a lot of his work featured in the Milk Gallery exhibition he did last year. It's pretty interesting to hear Jonathan talk about trying to remain creative with his work while at the same time knowing the specific image the record labels want for their musicians' brand.

How To Use And Build Your Own Ring Flash

How To Use And Build Your Own Ring Flash
Lighting with a ring flash is a common technique among fashion and beauty photographers, yet it is often one of the most misunderstood and abused lighting setups among novice photographers. Simply using a single on axis light is hardly ever appealing but when coupled with other lights the ringflash look can become very flashy and dynamic. You often see this sort of light in music videos, glamour photos like Playboy, and of course high fashion shoots. In this video Tom Antos not only shows you an easy ring flash lighting setup he used for a music video but he also shows you how you can make your own constant light version for video productions. These same techniques can easily be adapted for still photos, and if your model is not moving much you can actually use the constant light version for stills as well.

May Photo Contest: Prizes From Photoflex and Black Rapid

May Photo Contest: Prizes From Photoflex and Black Rapid
Every month here at Fstoppers we run a photo contest that is judged by one of our readers. We'd like to congratulate Adam Sund for winning the April Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest. Click the previous link to see his winning photograph and watch for his banner at the top of the site to see more of Adam's work.

As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Adam has chosen "Underneath". Just like Adam, this month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also a large Photoflex 42" Multidisc Reflector which is great for location and studio uses. The winner will also receive a Black Rapid Sport Strap. As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month's contest so you have to impress Adam not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the May Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!

Behind The Scenes On The Making Of The Hobbit

Behind The Scenes On The Making Of The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien's books are some of the most cherished stories in modern literature. You would have to have been living under a rock to miss the movie adaptation of The Lord of The Rings which have grossed more than 2.9 Billion dollars in revenue . Director Peter Jackson helped propel the trilogy to a whole new audience after creating three of the most successful movies of all time, and now he is busy at work with the classic Tolkien story The Hobbit. This behind the scenes videos features Peter showing you a lot of the preproduction for the film including many of the props, sets, actors, and costumes.

This Is One Way To Book More Jobs

This Is One Way To Book More Jobs
Every photographer I know is wanting to book more jobs. No matter if your niche is wedding, food, commercial, advertising, or sports, chances are you would love for your business to make a lasting impression on someone looking to hire you for your services. Casey Templeton wanted to beef up his commercial and adverting work so he decided to produce a promo package that would not get lost on an agency's desk. The video below shows the promo package he made in 2010 and mailed out to 300 of his favorite agencies and art buyers. You might be thinking that this package is pretty extravagant and expensive to send to that many agencies, but being memorable among a crowd of creative professionals can easily pay off if you land only a few jobs from such a campaign. Hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did.

Some Weddings Require Helicopters And Snow Skis

Some Weddings Require Helicopters And Snow Skis
This video is a bit unusual to say the least. When Anita Nowacka was asked to photograph a wedding on top of a remote part of Telluride, she grabbed her gear, suited up, and jumped into a helicopter. Shooting any wedding can be tough work but I can only imagine the issues Anita faced working in such extreme weather. This video is mostly a promotional video for Black Rapid's camera straps but it's still a fun video to watch especially if you enjoy shooting destination weddings. Check out the final photos over on Anita's Blog; I really love the shot of the musicians on skis as the bride makes her decent to the ceremony.

ROCKSTAR PHOTOGRAPHERS - Anita Nowacka from Mad Pants Productions on Vimeo.

How To Choose The Right Lens For The Shot

How To Choose The Right Lens For The Shot
If you are a budding photographer, you are probably a lot like I was when I first picked up a camera: somewhat naive about lenses. Knowing when to use a wide angle lens verses a telephoto lens is both a creative decision as well as a logistical one. Readers often ask which lenses to buy over at the Fstoppers Forum, and recently Mark Wallace shed a lot of light on the topic in his latest Adorama TV episode: Choosing The Right Lens. Not only does Mark talk about the practicalities of using one type of lens over another but he also demonstrates exactly how perspective, distortion, and compression look at different focal lengths. Knowing the tools of your trade is extremely important so if you haven't tackled this topic yet we hope this will be useful. We have also outlined a few of our favorite photo and video lenses on our Lens Guide.

A Portrait Of Jesus With Photography and Pastels

A Portrait Of Jesus With Photography and Pastels
This video is a little different than anything we've posted before but I figured it would be enjoyed by those of you who are celebrating Easter. Jeremy Cowart is one of the hottest American photographers right now and his portfolio is absolutely sick! But in this video he is creating a rather unique portrait of Jesus using pastels, photoshop, stock images, and random elements from snap shots. The amount of effort that went into this portrait is quite remarkable, and almost every texture is so subtle you would never know half of what went into making this image just by looking at it. It's pretty exciting to see such a well respected photographer pushing his own craft in a way that is so different than what he does on a daily basis. Click the full post to watch a second video of Jeremy making a portrait of Tom Yorke in this style.

Vintage Lights For A Vintage Shoot

Vintage Lights For A Vintage Shoot
R. J. Kern and Amanda Tipton are both photographers from Denver Colorado. Together they setup a vintage "Mad Men" style photoshoot at the Cruise Room within the Oxford Hotel. They give a lot of useful information about how to achieve a true throw back look by using Fresnel Hot Lights, vintage clothing, and a classic 1950's style location. By shooting with hot lights, RJ and Amanda are both able to shoot at the same time without having to worry about recycle rates or light contamination as they work on sets in close proximity to each other. You can check out Amanda's images HERE and RJ's image HERE. I think both sessions turned out great but if you have a preference for one style over another, let us know in the comments.

Inspired by Light: Behind the Scenes of a Vintage Shoot from R. J. Kern on Vimeo.

Could This Be The Youngest Paparazzo Ever?

Could This Be The Youngest Paparazzo Ever?
Back in September, HBO Films released an interesting documentary about living life within the paparazzi. Teenage Paparazzo was created by Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame and features the story of Austin Visschedyk. The interesting thing about this documentary is that Austin is perhaps the youngest paparazzo ever at only 14 years of age. The film not only focuses on the dark underworld we all have seen of celebrity photojournalism but also how the young Austin is driven by fame as he himself becomes known by celebrities and the media. Interviews by Matt Damon, Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg give a behind the scenes view on this strange and often perverse world that is the paparazzi. It's rare for a movie to get a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so if you missed the movie in theaters you can check out Teenage Paparazzo on DVD.

Gigapixel Timelapse Videos Are Remarkable

Gigapixel Timelapse Videos Are Remarkable
When you first heard of GigaPan, it was probably from David Bergman's famous inauguration photograph. Years after David captured the first gigapixel images of crowds of people, scientists are now creating all sorts of images using the GigaPan technology. One new project recently announced is Time Machine. Essentially a video player with 100 megapixel frames, the Time Machine allows us to explore nature in both time and space with unbelievable amounts of information. Anyone can create these videos using any of the GigaPan Epic Mounts and upload them to the GigaPan website. It's pretty amazing what photos are now able to capture and reveal with super high resolution and timelapse. Check out more of these videos over at the Time Machine website.

Film Yourself Parachuting Away From An Avalanche

Film Yourself Parachuting Away From An Avalanche
I'm convinced GoPro and Redbull have the best extreme advertising on the planet. In this latest extreme skiing video, Matthias Giraud and Stefan Laude use two GoPro's each to document their parachute escape from an avalanche in the French Alps. If you don't already have a GoPro Hero, you need to get one. If you already have one, then we all need to start filming more near death moments by living life on the edge! Click the Full Post for a cliff jump skier equipped with at least 5 GoPros in a single run.

How SNL Filmed Their Opening Title Sequence

How SNL Filmed Their Opening Title Sequence
Saturday Night Live has become an American institution spawning the careers of some of the most famous actors and comedians of all time. Alex Buono has been the director of photography for SNL now for over 10 years. Back in 2009 the directors wanted to film the opening sequence throughout New York City instead of the typical single location. In this video, Alex recalls how he was able to use the Canon 5D Mark II to film sequences that would have otherwise required the crew to close down streets in the city and bring in large lighting rigs. It's pretty amazing how ground breaking DSLR video has been especially since there are so many photographers still resisting the feature. Click the Full Post for an extended interview with Alex about shooting for SNL, and you can watch the final SNL intro here.

The Milky Way Unlike You've Ever Seen It

The Milky Way Unlike You've Ever Seen It
Terje Sorgjerd has become one of the most popular timelapse photographers lately. His video sequence The Aurora has become a favorite here on Fstoppers, and his latest video, The Mountain, has already gotten over 3.5 million views in it's first week. In order to capture the mountains of El Teide and the skies, Terje used an automated dolly created by Dynamic Perception. Using his Canon cameras, Terje was able to capture not only the Milky Way galaxy but also an amazing sandstorm brushing off the Sahara Desert. If you are a fan of these videos, join the TSO Photography facebook page for more of Terje's work.

A Million Tshirts And One Photo Studio

A Million Tshirts And One Photo Studio
Full time photographers aren't the only ones with working studios these days. Why would you outsource your photography if you need new images on a weekly basis? Tshirt company Threadless recently showed the guys over at Photoshelter how they use photography in their own business. What's unique about the products shots on the Threadless website is that they aren't the typical white studio shots or stock images of models wearing generic shirts. Instead, many of the shirts are actually photographed at the in-house studio or on location around the office. It's pretty amazing to see how photography is being used in businesses like Threadless considering so many other sites have stuck with the traditional boring photos. After the video, check out some of their most popular shirts here.

Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Gear Carried Through A Waterfall

Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Gear Carried Through A Waterfall
If you ever need to carry your gear through a storm or even a waterfall, the Lowepro DZ 200 waterproof backpack is your ticket. But that's not what this post is really about...no way! Craig Pulsifer is a videographer and photographer based out of British Columbia (that's Canada for you across the sea). Instead of waiting for clients to come to him, Craig decided to start making his own commercial videos for products he personally uses like the Lowepro bag. While covering a story in the Philippines, Craig decided to hire a few local assistants to help him film video and audio clips for an exciting extreme style commercial he wanted in his port. The results might actually be better than the normal videos created by Lowepro themselves! By pushing his own creative talent and keeping the production level high, Craig has produced a compelling advertisement for his own personal show reel that will certainly help land him bigger jobs down the road. I still don't think I'll lend him any of my gear for his next adventure through the jungle!

Napoleon's Royal Romance

Napoleon's Royal Romance
A few month ago wedding photographer Jeremiah Guelzo of Stone Blue Productions emailed us a really exciting editorial shoot he did inspired by a mansion once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte. Like many videos we receive, Jeremiah didn't include enough juicy behind the scenes tips and info to earn a place on the front of Fstoppers. However, we were thrilled when Shaking Hands Productions added a nice intro to his video explaining how he pulled off this love themed shoot between Napoleon and Josephine. This production was quite extensive requiring months of planning and over two full days of designing and shooting. You can click through the links over at Hill City Bride to see the final images as well as read more info on how they did this on their video page.

Robots Have Taken Over The Desert

Robots Have Taken Over The Desert
Douglas Sonders has been one of the most featured photographers on Fstoppers because he not only has great photoshoots but he also makes great BTS videos. Recently he headed out to Nelson, Nevada (a requirement of any photographer traveling to Vegas) to shoot a few promotional posters for The Showbots' Droidz. In the video, Douglas uses a few White Lighting Strobes with 7" reflectors and does some desaturated edits with Nik Software's Color Efex Pro. Click on the thumbnail image to view the final images.

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