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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

How To Trick People Into A Great Pose

How To Trick People Into A Great Pose
No matter if you are photographing people in a wedding, an advertisement campaign, a fierce fashion spread, family portrait, or just a headshot, chances are you are going to need your subjects to show a real human emotion. Throughout my own photography career, I have realized that only about 1% of people can turn on a fake emotion that comes across as genuine in the final photo. The remaining 99% of the population have to experience an expression real time as it happens spontaneously. Jasmine Star is one of the most successful and trend setting wedding photographers on the scene right now and she has created a great video explaining how she strategically fools her clients into "moving into a pose". This technique can work with everyone from normal people to professional models, but where you will really see this sort of coaching succeed is with people who are self conscious and camera shy. Get them to focus on your funny personality or another human interaction around them and let your shutter roll! Do you have any phrases or techniques you have found successful time and time again? Share them in the comments

Summing Up An Entire Day In One Photo

Summing Up An Entire Day In One Photo
Peter Langehahn is a photographer from Germany who approaches most of his images a bit differently than most of us. Instead of photographing a single moment, Peter captures the "collective scene" of an entire event. Standing at just one vanishing point, Peter takes panoramic images throughout each event and combines them in a unique composite image that features the best moments throughout the day. Sometimes these images total over 3000 captures and the edits can take up to 60 - 90 days. I must say I've never seen anything like this but it's definitely a way of branding your own photography into something no one will forget. I'm sure someone out there has done something like this before; what are your thoughts on this technique?

Sitex Computers: The Photoshop Of the 80s

Sitex Computers:  The Photoshop Of the 80s
Every now and then it's fun to go back in time to see how photographers approached photoshoots requiring a large amount of production. Back in 1988 Brian King was on the cutting edge of digital photography with his use of Sitex imaging computers. Well before the advent of Photoshop, Brian was able to piece together multiple images by scanning negatives and turning them into primitive digital media. By today's standards, the final product is pretty comical but this is what the first results of 'digital photography' looked like in the advertising world. I have to say, if a single photograph took this much effort and planning today I would probably have given up on commercial photography a long time ago.

Projecting Your Photographs Back Onto Your Photographs

Projecting Your Photographs Back Onto Your Photographs
This video was recently featured on Strobist but since we've been getting so many emails about it I figured we'd share it with those of you who missed it. David Myrick decided to try something rather strange when the electronic group Glitch Mob strolled into his studio. Basically he shot portraits of the band members on a white seamless background and then projected those images back onto the artists as they wore white clothing. If this sounds confusing just watch the video and it will all make sense. Fresh ideas like David's "projection technique" continues to inspire me in my own work. What do you guys think - anyone tried this technique before?

Art or Pornography? The Life and Work of Sally Mann

Art or Pornography?  The Life and Work of Sally Mann
Sally Mann is an American photographer who has pushed the limits of black and white fine art. Early in her career, Sally captured both real and staged moments of her children's youth that quickly became subject of much controversy. Immediate Family, a collection of images of her children under the age of 10, showcased mainly normal, happy childhood moments. However other images featured her kids unclothed with themes of depression, anxiety, and even death. Obviously Sally's work sparked strong emotions, and the debate about what is exploitation and what is art became synonymous with her name. The acclaimed What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann is an interesting documentary that focuses on Sally's work and how she approaches her craft. Now a praised nature photographer, Sally discusses her contraversal early images as well as many of her current projects including landscapes in the deep south and portraits of her husband as he deals with muscular dystrophy. Check out Sally Mann's bookstore for great reading material from this revolutionary photographer. Click the full post for the full documentary.

Michael Levin: Master Of Black And White Landscapes

Michael Levin:  Master Of Black And White Landscapes
When I first saw this video I was completely blown away. Michael Levin is an outstanding black and white landscape photographer. Recently Michael teamed up with Brad Kremer to produce the most artistic behind the scenes video I've ever seen showing a day in the life of a photographer. I really really wish there was more technical information to this video but unfortunately like most landscape photographers their secrets are hard to pull from them. Brad shot this whole video on a Canon 5D Mark II and the highly praised Dynamic Perception Dolly. Michael is primarily shooting on a Hasselblad body but that shouldn't come as any surprise. Make sure you check out Michael's portfolio -- much of his work features spectacular locations around Japan.

Best Technique for Shooting Interiors: HDR or Flash?

Best Technique for Shooting Interiors:  HDR or Flash?
Have you ever tried to shoot an interior photograph and have it look like the shots in magazines or high end property brochures? If so then you probably know there are two routes to go: HDR or Flash. Photographer Dom Bower recently made a video showing the differences in both techniques and how you can combine them both to create a sort of hybrid image. Keep in mind that Dom is only using one single speedlight directly above the camera. Many of the amazing images you see for high end hotels and expensive properties often have dozens of light sources accenting very specific elements in the image. What techniques have you guys used in your interior photos? If you have examples, feel free to post your images in the comments below and check out Dom's final photos in the full post.

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...

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