As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Jim has chosen "CONFIDENCE". Just like Jim, this month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also a HUGE Photoflex White and Gold Reflector which is great for location and studio uses. The winner will also get to choose a custom camera strap from Riley G Designworks who are making some of the coolest photography straps I've ever seen. As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month's contest so you have to impress Jim not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the April Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
Articles written by Patrick Hall
Every month here at Fstoppers we run a photo contest that is judged by one of our readers. We'd like to congratulate Jim Dillahey for winning the March 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 Jim's work.
Robert Seale is a high end sports portrait photographer who was recently commissioned by Sports Illustrated to photograph Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. His attempt to create something unique and a bit off-kilter involved using a huge 8'x5' piece of Plexiglas that was 1.25 inches thick and 400 pounds. He then set the huge piece of Plexi on a 5 foot tall frame of scaffolding. Using a couple of Profoto Pro-7B strobes and a unique 'below the player' angle, Robert was able to create this photograph for the magazine. The concept and image are fantastic but unfortunately the BTS video is just a timelapse. If you have a hard time imagining what is going on in this video, head over to Rob Galbraith's post for a traditional write up.
There always seems to be two camps when it comes to photography: those who go by feel and those who go by technique. Neither one is necessarily a wrong approach but knowing the technical stuff definitely helps when you are faced with problems or unexpected results. In this video Mark Wallace explains the inverse square law and how it affects light falloff. I'll admit, not having gone to school for photography, it did take me a while to completely grasp this idea when I first started shooting. Once you understand this concept, you should be able to not only light your scenes better but also become more versatile when giving a single light double duty lighting both your subject and the background.
I was going to post a video showing Rafael Nadal's latest Armani underwear shoot but figured Megan Fox might be a little easier on the eyes. Now you are probably thinking that any photoshoot with Megan Fox wearing little to nothing would probably produce strong images from any photographer and you'd be right. But what I found interesting was the way photographers Mert and Marcus used hotlights and large scrims to light the entire set creating a natural light feel. You can see the setup around :35 seconds. Not everyone has access to large HMI lights but it's still an interesting way to shoot and could probably be reproduced firing strobes into white walls in a room. Click the full post to see the final video and you can see the photos here.
If you've ever been hired to photograph an environmental portrait or a lifestyle image, most of the time your client is expecting a very natural looking image. Using too much flash will kill the mood and remove any sense of a natural environment. Matthew Jordan is no stranger around here, and we love his videos because he articulates his intentions well and tells why he does the setups he does. In this short and to the point video, Matthew talks about how he photographed a natural lifestyle portrait of Vanessa Williams with her daughter. Knowing how to pull off an image like this is an important tool to have in your bag of tricks and is a big money maker in the editorial and lifestyle market.
Novak Djokovic is currently ranked alongside the top tennis pros in the world. Only a crazy person would put his life and talent in jeopardy...but that is exactly what Head Tennis Racquets have done for their Untek IG Speed MP racquet commercial. The full commercial is really awesome with mysterious briefcases, seductive women, vintage prop planes, and music straight out of a Tarantino film. As far as I can tell there are no special effects here just lots of conjones by Novak and his tennis trainer.
Brandt Botes is an award winning graphic designer based out of CapeTown, South Africa. Just like photographers and other creative professionals, graphic designers struggle with creative and economic challenges when they venture out on their own and start a new business. Brandt recently started his boutique design shop Studio Botes and decided to take some advice from other creative entrepreneurs who have also dealt with going solo professionally. Many of the little sayings in this video are really clever but most of them are absolutely true. What points stick out the most for those of you who have had success with your own business? I think 5:00 is my personal motto :)
About 10 days ago I received an email asking me to check out a video showcasing a new invisible camera. Initially I thought it was probably some crazy technical exercise but about half way through it became blatantly obvious that the whole video was a complete joke. Instead of reaching for my Haterade, I decided to have some fun with it and share Chris Marquardt's story with you. Was Fstoppers really getting a demo model of the camera? No! Was it going to be on sale "a week from this Friday"? Not quite. However we were right that you would probably be hearing some news about the camera in the beginning of April. Why did Chris create this hoax? According to this release, "We did not do this to mock you. The Invisible Camera is our humble attempt to bring back wonder and amazement." How do you feel about The Invisible Camera? Hoax gone wrong or a fun journey back to your childhood filled with wonder and amazement?
It's almost April which means that two of our photo contests are about to wrap up. The March Photoshop Contest challenges you to create the best tshirt graphic art of Noam's Stolen Scream for a Think Tank Photo Bag as well as a custom shirt featuring your design. For the March Photography Contest you can submit your best interpretation of the theme "COLLABORATION" and win a Photoflex Starlight and a custom banner on the top of Fstoppers.com! The chances of winning either contest are really good because only a few dozen people have entered so far. Click on the links above to submit your entry and as long as you have it posted before 6am Eastern Time then you will be eligible. And remember Noam is judging his contest and February winner Julius will be judging the Photo Contest. Good luck to all!
I have to admit, I really enjoy the bands, artists, photographers and other creative professionals I discover watching Carson Daly's show Last Call. One such artist is Los Angeles based photographer Alex Prager. If I had to describe her work, it would be very editorial in nature with a lot of retro clothing, fashion wigs, and classic Americana references. What I find most inspiring about her work is that she holds nothing back when creating the bright and simple world found in her photographs. Almost every one of her images looks as if it was actually created in 1967 whether it be the hair style, the makeup, the clothing, the cultural references, or even the lighting and film grain. What's even more remarkable is her humble story on how she became a photographer with no formal training at all. If you enjoy this interview from MOMA then click the full post to watch more candid video of Alex talking about her work.
Getty photographer John Moore enjoys living life on the dangerous side of the lens. The Pulitzer Prize winner has traveled the world covering wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Central America. Back in February he was sent out on assignment to cover the uprising in Egypt and wound up staying to report on the military actions of Gaddafi in Libya and revolts in Bahrain. Halfway through his travels, John's cameras were confiscated and he was left to shoot with one of these. The images in this video are intense but are probably the most remarkable photographs I've seen during these political uprisings in the Middle East.
I can't remember the first time I saw this video by Gregory Crewdson but I'm glad it came across our desk again. Gregory is more or less a conceptual photographer who uses both sound stages and real locations to create images that make you stop and question what is going on in the shot. His lighting is very similar to what you would see on a big budget movie, and the amount of resources required for these sorts of productions is probably beyond what most photographers would even consider.
As creative professionals, we always take extra care to notice the details in our work and to make sure that everything we do is as perfect as possible. In the video world, sound engineering and production can actually make a huge difference in the overall success of the visual elements on the screen. If you enjoyed seeing how Oscar winning editors produced the sound of Inception a few months ago, you are going to enjoy listening to Craig Henighan as he explains some of the effects used in the blockbuster hit Black Swan.
We've featured Patryk Kizny a few times here on Fstoppers and his content is always mind blowing. Recently he decided to test a new portable and modular slide rail for the DitoGear PortaSlider. This time lapse video uses 14 one-meter long track units connected to make one single long track. Everything was shot on a few Canon DSLR Cameras and mainly wide angle Samyang 14mm and 8mm lenses. The location, Ogrodzieniec Castle, is one of the largest ruined castles in Poland and Eastern Europe and a pretty remarkable place to film. Check out more about the PortaSlider at http://ditogear.com/featured/porta-slider-prototype/
When Denis Smith found himself faced with a dark depression in his life, he found motivation and purpose through his newly found photography hobby. After moving to South Australia, Denis picked up a camera and began to explore the serendipitous world of night photography. After playing around with long exposures he realized he could bring his own creativity to his images in the form of light painting. Denis's images are really interesting because he mixes strong technical long exposure landscapes with his unique "ball of light" light painting technique. Skip to 5:20 on this video to see how he came up with the idea and check out many examples of his work over at Ball of Light.
It's almost the end of the month which means entries to the March Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest are due! Previous winner Julius picked the theme "COLLABORATION," and as part of his prize, he will be picking the March winner. The winner of this month's contest will also judge and pick the theme for April, get their own rotating banner at the top of Fstoppers for a month, and win a Photoflex Starlite QL constant light for photography and video. Not everyone has been as creative with the theme "collaboration" as I would have hoped but that means it's still anyone's game on who will win. Good luck to all!
Did you know that every time you look at one of those amazing images captured by Hubble cameras you are actually looking at a composite image made up by as many as 1400 still shots? Did you also know that the colors you are seeing in those images are completely faked and added by scientists in order to show off specific details within the scene? This interesting timelapse video released by NASA shows exactly how they create their images by combining thousands of black and white RAW files from 3 Hubble cameras. Let me remind you, just because you see a lot of photoshopping in this video doesn't mean the final images are not real or falsely rendered. The technology needed to produce images this detailed requires combining multiple images and adding colors not normally seen by a human eye or even the most expensive cameras created.
I remember seeing this video a long time ago and really enjoyed it. Maybe we thought it was not educational enough to post it but after watching it again I think it's worth sharing. For those of you who have not already seen this short story, the Dark Side Of The Lens is a poetic journey into mind of surf photographer Mickey Smith. The cinematography is outstanding and the locations are breathtaking. It's this sort of presentation that truly makes me appreciate what we all do as artists.
Have you ever seen those commercials where old footage appears to come back to life with added scenes or impossible revelations are revealed years after the initial filming? The NBA commercials "Where Amazing Happens" feature high school footage of some of their hottest players practicing with another high school player "from the future" who encourages them with accomplishments from their own future professional career. In this video, go behind the scenes with Phoenix Suns player Steve Nash as the crew shows how they used actors, green screen, and special effects to successfully combine old home footage with compelling new footage in these fun basketball commercials. Click the FULL POST to watch the other NBA Videos.
Lately there has been a trend of showing super slow motion videos slowed beyond the native frames per second the original footage was shot on. We love the results of Twixter but nothing can compare to seeing the real thing especially when combined with an extreme sport. The BBC has a great DVD on the South Pacific which features some amazing underwater slomo camera work of waves crashin, and this short surfing clip was the highlight for me. Rudi Diesel shot this on a Typhoon HD4 which at the time could do 500fps at 7 seconds or 1000fps at 3.5 seconds. If you enjoy this segment, check out a longer clip from the documentary in the second clip below.