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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

Chicago Meetup Sat June 4th: Sweetwater Tavern and Grille

Chicago Meetup Sat June 4th: Sweetwater Tavern and Grille
As many of you know, Lee and I are currently hanging out in Chicago working on a future Fstoppers video. Whenever we travel, we like to meet as many photographers as possible and share some stories over a few beers (or wings if you are underage). We've gotten a lot of suggestions and called a ton of places. It looks like the meetup is going to be Saturday, June 4th at the SweetWater Tavern and Grille downtown at 225 N. Michigan Avenue. We are going to show up at 9PM and they serve food all night so feel free to grab some grub as well. We'd love to hang out so we hope we can meet a lot of our Chicago readers. See you guys on Saturday...and we will let you know what we were shooting :)

A Beginners Guide To Sky Photography

A Beginners Guide To Sky Photography
Ben Canales is one of those photographers who enjoys taking photographs in total darkness. He also enjoys shooting when the skies are the clearest and the stars are the brightest which also happens to be when it's freezing outside. At some point you have probably seen these amazing night images and maybe you have even tried your hand at a few. Well Ben has a made a rather simple but exhaustive tutorial on how you too can capture the earth and the skies at night. Some of his tips like the 600 rule and how to easily setup a nice composition in near darkness are really insightful and almost makes me want to try my hand at a few long exposure shots next winter. Check out his other star tutorials, and hopefully this post helped you forget about the blazing summer heatwave going around!

How To Calibrate Your Monitor With ColorMunki

How To Calibrate Your Monitor With ColorMunki
Every now and then I toy around with the idea of calibrating my monitor. I know how important color is for a photographer, but as a Jpeg shooter I've always felt that if I can capture an image to my liking in camera then I should be good to go. In the past I have tried a few products to calibrate my monitors and the results have never been very pleasing to my eye. After a few hours of letting my eyes adjust, menu bars and icons I've seen for years start having a pink or yellow tone that I simply can't get used to viewing. Well today I decided to test the calibration waters again on my laptop (since it's not used as much as my main workstation). Many of our Twitter followers recommended the ColorMunki by X-Rite which lead me to the following video on their system. It all seems pretty straightforward on video but I want to see what you guys think. Have you had a good experience with calibrating your monitor and feel confident people on normal laptops are seeing your work in the best possible representation?

A Call To Fstoppers Readers From Chicago

A Call To Fstoppers Readers From Chicago
Do we have any readers from Chicago? Would you be interested in helping Lee and I out on the next Fstoppers Original video? We will be shooting all day on Thursday June 2nd all over the streets of Chicago for a really exciting BTS video I can't talk about publicly yet and we could use some help. If you feel comfortable shooting video and have a Canon 7D or 60D we would love to have you help us as we run around the city. We only need one assistant so send us an email and let us know how you can help. Not able to help out? No worries; we'd love to grab a beer with any readers wanting to hang out for a bit over the weekend. If you are a Chicago native and know a good watering hole, leave your suggestion in the comments and we can set something up for Friday or Saturday night. The New York meet ups have been a blast so we are excited to see what the Windy City has to offer!

How A Good Behind The Scenes Video Should Be Made

How A Good Behind The Scenes Video Should Be Made
Shawn Smith is a photographer from Melbourne Australia. His company Blinq sent us this very informative BTS video outlining how they recently shot editorial portraits for two Ironman triathletes Luke Bell and Matt White. What caught me most about this video was how Shawn gave so much detail and insight into each photograph he was setting up. They were using top of the line gear like Profoto 7B packs and beauty dishes, but all of these shots could have easily been produced with less expensive gear and small speedlight modifiers for the photographer working with a budget. If you want to see how Sean and crew approach shooting triathletes underwater and in their natural element, check out the exciting video we featured back in December.

Monte Isom Uses Nikon D3s For Stop Motion Video In NYC

Monte Isom Uses Nikon D3s For Stop Motion Video In NYC
Monte Isom had one of the most populars videos on Fstoppers back in February. Well he is back with a fun stop motion video for NYC comedian Colin Kane. Monte filmed this entire video on the Nikon D3s with just a few Litepanel 1x1 bicolor constant lights. The final video was made with 14,000 still images to create the final 90 second promo. Below is the final video but you can check out the BTS video in the Full Post as well as read Monte's own words on how he approached this shoot.

Kickstarter Iphone Camera Captures Your World In 360 Degrees

Kickstarter Iphone Camera Captures Your World In 360 Degrees
Kickstarter is a fun website that allows inventors to demo their prototypes in an effort to raise funding for an actual product. The company Kogeto creates 360 degree pano devices, and recently they tackled making a fun accessory for the greatest fashion photography camera: the iPhone. David Sosnow demos how the Kogeto Dot will work if put into production as well as how their own mapping software combines the footage into a explorable 360 video not unlike the Yellowbird Camera we featured last year. I know many of you will say this sort of thing is pretty gimmicky but I think there is a ton of potential for this sort of videography in events, weddings, action sports, etc. Check out this 360 video of Muse playing last year. I can only imagine what people would do having this technology in their phone.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Father Of Modern Photo Journalism

Henri Cartier-Bresson:  The Father Of Modern Photo Journalism
Many photographers first pick up a camera and head out to the streets to capture people in their own city. Well before there are studio lights to consider, models to coach, wardrobes and makeup to style, or locations to scout, there is only a photographer and the streets. Henri Cartier-Bresson is perhaps the earliest and most well known street photographer. Born in France in 1908, Henri created "surreal" images that would later become known as a photojournalistic approach to photography. His most well known publication, The Decisive Moment, features historic images from both the East and the West during his coverage of Gandhi's funeral, the end of the Chinese Civil War, and the liberation of Indonesia from the Dutch. In this short documentary, Henri describes his ideas on portraits and photojournalism and how he thinks subjects are best approached. I love the psychology of photography presented in this video; what do you guys think?

One Foxy Advertising Campaign

One Foxy Advertising Campaign
Over the weekend, one of our readers sent us this amazing behind the scenes video for the bicycle saddle manufacturer Brooks England. The basic concept for the photoshoot was a couple saving a fox from a bunch of hunting hounds while out in the British countryside. Photographer Frank Herholdt and his team had to balance two models, a tamed fox, four hounds, forest smoke, well placed studio strobes, and the natural elements to pull of this classic looking image. This is such a great example of taking your photography to the next level by pushing your concept and focusing on production value rather than just lighting a simple subject correctly. If any of our readers have any opinions on one of these saddles specifically, let us know on our Twitter because I'm in need of a new bike seat myself!

When In Doubt, Bury Your Models Alive

When In Doubt, Bury Your Models Alive
There have been a few conversations over at the Fstoppers Forum lately about how to composite two images together in a way that looks consistent. Aaron Nace has a history of producing interesting composite style images; recently he tackled the conceptual idea of "Going Home". Although I'm a bit disappointed neither Aaron or Avery gave any insight on what they were wanting to accomplish in this video, the way the two approached such a tough logistical concept is really clever. Sure there is a LOT of photoshop required in a final image like this but what's really important to take note of is how Aaron went out and shot as much of the concept in camera with consistent lighting so everything would work together when he started piecing the two images together. Since it's May 21st I figured this was an appropriate subject matter to tackle :)

How Your Photography Can Help Change The World

How Your Photography Can Help Change The World
I'm always a bit cynical when people tell me they want to become a photographer so their images can change the world. Living in a post modern society where we are bombarded with images, it is easy to think we have become so desensitized to visuals that nothing can move us into action. Well after watching the latest video from [FRAMED] featuring the work of humanitarian photographer Benjamin Edwards, I have been quickly reminded that photography really can change the way we view the outside world and therefore change the how we interact with it. Benjamin's story and images are an inspiration, and through Emote360 and World Relief Benjamin has been able to inspire others around him to help those less fortunate and in need. What do you guys think; does photography inspire you to change the world?

Manfrotto Is Making One Crazy Looking Tripod Head

Manfrotto Is Making One Crazy Looking Tripod Head
When deciding to buy tripods, ball heads, lightstands, and umbrella brackets, I quickly learned that it's worth it's weight in gold to buy the best there is out there, and the best is usually made by Manfrotto. So I was a little curious when I heard they were releasing a new tripod head that allows smooth pivoting found in a video fluid head with the quick versatility found in photo ball head. Drew Gardner got his hands on the new Manfrotto MH055 Photo-Movie tripod head, and I must say this thing looks like it was made by aliens or something. It should be interesting to see the reviews on this once it comes out in June. Nothing is more annoying than having to carry around two different tripod heads for stills and photos so maybe this could be our answer. Check out the video below for a demonstration on why photo heads can't be used for video and vice versa.

Scarlett Johansson Behind The Scenes With Mango

Scarlett Johansson Behind The Scenes With Mango

For the last three years or so, Scarlett Johansson has been the face behind the acclaimed Spanish clothing company Mango. In their latest Spring/Summer 2011 campaign, set in the Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills, photographer superstar Mario Sorrenti builds his images exclusively with natural light and reflectors. It's hard to imagine a wet haired Johansson ever not looking incredible, so it should not come as a surprise that Mario and company produced...

360 Degree Camera Drives The World's Most Dangerous Road

360 Degree Camera Drives The World's Most Dangerous Road
Last year we showed you some of the first footage of a new 360 camera made by Yellowbird. Well now Mitsubishi is using that technology in their campaign Test Drive The World's Most Dangerous Road. The Yungas Road is found in South America connecting the Bolivian cities of La Paz and Coroico. Apparently this path, which is only wide enough for one car in places, is responsible for 300 average deaths a year. Below is a little teaser on how they made the campaign for the 2011 Outlander and Outlander Sport. Click the link above to view the 360 degree footage throughout the entire 40 kilometer test drive and the full post for a truly horrifying first person experience on the death path.

Real Action Sequences Only Need One Take

Real Action Sequences Only Need One Take
Another week has passed which means Freddie Wong has posted yet another great action video. This guy is a machine when it comes to producing interesting action videos consistently which is probably why he has one of the most viewed channels on youtube. In his newest action sequence, Freddie is determined to capture 50 seconds of mind blowing violence in one single take. You can watch the entire video in the full post. Below is a little behind the scenes on how Freddie and his staff created One Shot ft. Eliza Dushku. The beauty with Freddie's production is that literally anyone can make these videos if they just use their creativity and keep the production high despite the gear they own.

Using Variable Neutral Density Filters In Bright Sunlight

Using Variable Neutral Density Filters In Bright Sunlight
Gary from F8 Photography and Mikey from Lightenupandshoot have crossed paths while traveling through Hong Kong. Lee and I ran into Mikey out at WPPI in Las Vegas a few months ago where he told us of some up coming adventures he had planned for Southeast Asia. These guys are really laid back and excited to break out into a photoshoot at any given time. In this video they take a ferry over to a local island to capture a few images of some friends they made in Hong Kong. Around 2:30, Gary talks about using a Variable Neutral Density Filter to almost completely destroy the ambient light while still shooting wide open at f1.2 and maxing out his shutter sync speed at 1/250. I've never attempted this technique, but it has been made famous by many photographers including Joey L. Does anyone have an opinion about these variable neutral density filters or use this technique in their own work? If so feel free to post an image in the comments below.

Koto Bolofo: The Art Of Good Photography Is Spontaneousness

Koto Bolofo: The Art Of Good Photography Is Spontaneousness
Fellow Fstoppers reader Alex Masters sent me an interesting video featuring fashion photographer Koto Bolofo. In this behind the scenes video for German Vogue, Koto is collaborating with fashion stylist Christiane Arp to create images that have both a circus influence and also an early photography feel. It's refreshing to hear Koto talk about how a shoot of this nature comes together, and how having an initial guideline can lay the groundwork for improvisation and spontaneity. I think the final photos capture the mood everyone was going for on this shoot and model Elena Sudakova helped bring the circus performer element with her crazy flexibility.

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.

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