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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

How NASA Photoshopped A Galaxy

How NASA Photoshopped A Galaxy
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.

The Dark Side Of The Lens

The Dark Side Of The Lens
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.

The NBA Films Commercials From The Past

The NBA Films Commercials From The Past
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.

Surfing Video Goes Super Slow Motion

Surfing Video Goes Super Slow Motion
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.

Brian Smith Talks About Making Your Own Photo Breaks

Brian Smith Talks About Making Your Own Photo Breaks
I can't tell you how many photographers I encounter think being successful has to do with being at the right place at the right time. Sure a bit of luck on your side always helps, but if you are looking to quit your day job to become a professional photographer, increase your photography income over last year's earnings, or catapult your career as one of the industry leaders then you need to work hard and work smart. The guys over at Photoshelter sat down with professional photographer Brian Smith to talk about what it takes to push your career to the next level. You simply can't wait for your big break, you need to create them.

The Aurora Borealis As You've Never Seen It

The Aurora Borealis As You've Never Seen It
When I tell people that I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, everyone always asks me what it's like to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). I always try to explain how it looks by relating it to a laser show or smoke streams but I've never found a way to describe it to someone who hasn't seen it for themselves. Two days ago Terje Sorgjerd created the best visual representation of the Aurora Borealis I have ever seen from Pas National Park near the Russian border. Using a timelapse dolly from Dynamic Perceptions, a Canon 5D Mark II, and a few wide angle lenses, Terje was able to take long exposure iamges and size them down to create an 4K video masterpiece. Check out the Geophysical Institute if you live near the North Pole and want to monitor the activity of the Aurora.

A Photoshoot For The Star Wars Fans

A Photoshoot For The Star Wars Fans
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring "Lord Vader" I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can't remember the full story of the Twi'leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I'll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.

The Invisible Camera: Your Mind Will Be Blown

The Invisible Camera: Your Mind Will Be Blown
Chris Marquardt has developed a really mind blowing new camera called The Invisible Camera. Using ground breaking technology developed by the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Chris has designed a camera that can properly expose an image even when the film is exposed to ambient light. The special film uses a technique called "directional desensitization" which prevents the emulsion from capturing light; the only light registered is from the very small projection created by the tiny pin hole. What's even more mind blowing is this technique might allow for images to be captured at ISO 1/500th or 15 stops lower than ISO 100! Chris estimates that this increase in resolution would be equivalent to about 3,000 5D Mark II cameras which I can't even imagine. Hopefully some of our more technical readers can explain this to me since I have a feeling it's going on sale a week from this Friday and The Invisible Camera has offered a demo model to Fstoppers.

Ralph Lauren's Runway Event Goes 4D

Ralph Lauren's Runway Event Goes 4D
The other day I came across a popular video on Vimeo right now that featured an amazing new projection technique hitting large buildings across the world. The art is called 3D Projection Mapping and the effect is really cool. By creating 3D graphic models and merging it with video and stills shot on green screen, these artists are able to project dynamic sequences onto buildings in a way that makes them come to life. Everyone from Samsung, Adidas, and Toyota have used 3D projection mapping for advertising, and the results are spectacular. Ralph Lauren recently created a 3D Projection Map sequence for their 10 years of digital innovation runway show in NYC and they filmed a great behind the scenes video. Click the full post to see the final video and several other amazing videos.

Karl Taylor's Tips On Photographing Funky Hair

Karl Taylor's Tips On Photographing Funky Hair
Karl Taylor is an excellent photographer from England who has become a leading teacher in the "how to" photography market. In his latest video he explains a few lighting techniques he uses in the studio while shooting some crazy hair styles. Karl is using a single Elinchrom monolight but is pairing it up with two Canon 580EX flashes. In the video he explains why this setup is ideal for his lighting style and useful for many applications. If you enjoy his teaching, check out his instructional videos on his website as well as some crazy location photos in his port.

Red Bull's Illume Photo Exhibit Is Itself Art

Red Bull's Illume Photo Exhibit Is Itself Art
Yesterday I got an email from one of the Red Bull brand managers inviting me out to 2010 Illume Photo Exhibit here in Charleston, South Carolina. Illume is a traveling exhibit where dozens of images from the world's best action and extreme sports photographers are displayed on huge 6'x6' backlit panels. I have to say it was one of the most interesting photo displays I have ever seen, and the winning photos are nothing short of spectacular. The next stop on the tour is Miami, Florida but you can check out the images and future tour dates at Red Bull Illume Online. Also, check out this BTS video we posted last year of one of the winning images.

Bara Prasilova Is More An Artist Than A Fashion Photographer

Bara Prasilova Is More An Artist Than A Fashion Photographer
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.

A Green Screen Lesson With Freddie Wong

A Green Screen Lesson With Freddie Wong
If you've followed Fstoppers for any length of time then you know we are huge fans of Freddie Wong and his crazy hilarious Youtube Channel. What's so great about Freddie's work is that it's not big budget at all and he mixes his great sense of humor with relatively simple After Effects to create one of the most watched channels on the internet. Last Call With Carson Daily premiered this video, Gun Size Matters, back in the Fall and I just now came across this behind the scenes video showing how they filmed it with green screen. Click the full post to watch the final short video of Freddie's dream date with Shenae Grimes come to a not so happy end :)

Shannon Sewell's Family Photos Aren't JCPenney Pictures

Shannon Sewell's Family Photos Aren't JCPenney Pictures
The girls over at [Framed] have started a really great web series that profiles photographers and shows them in action behind the scenes. In this video they dive into children photography with Shannon Sewell. I know a lot of photographers have made a side business out of shooting families and children but what Shannon is doing is completely different. Her images are straight up commercial in style and are really amazing to look at. Children can be really really tough to work with which makes me appreciate her ability to connect with and control her subjects. And if you are interested in the Photoshop Actions Shannon uses you can check them out over at Flourish Actions. What do you guys think about her statement at 13:30?

How To Get The Most Out Of Micro Stock Photography

How To Get The Most Out Of Micro Stock Photography
Yuri Arcurs is perhaps the most well known photographer shooting microstock images in the world. His images are clean, inviting, crisp, and natural looking which are all important qualities needed to sell images in bulk. This video by Fototv might be the best video you watch all week because Yuri's tips are not only related to stock photographs but also hold true with almost any photograph requiring a model or human emotion. If you've never signed up to a stock website like Istockphoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock, I'd recommend you at least try to get approved and test the waters for a few months. Nothing in my opinion strengthens your eye and photographic skills more than producing images that can sell in a highly competitive market like the stock agencies.

Mark Peterman: A Conversation With An Editorial Photographer

Mark Peterman: A Conversation With An Editorial Photographer
In this video from AdoramaTv, Mark Wallace sits down with Mark Peterman to discuss camera gear, location scouting, lighting, and overall creative drive. Mark Peterman is an editorial and commercial photographer from Arizona who has a portfolio that is a bit tough to describe. What really draws me to Mark's work is his really simple and clean lighting, often natural, along with his use of very muted and subdued colors. I'm sure Mark's background in graphic design also plays a part in his simple and clean style.

How To Take Pilot Portraits With F18 Fighter Jets

How To Take Pilot Portraits With F18 Fighter Jets
Over the last year, Douglas Sonders has created some excellent behind the scenes videos showing off many of his photo shoots. In this video he takes us onto the tarmac at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California where Douglas creates some excellent portraits. I wish there was a little more explanation of how he approached some of these images but fortunately there is some written material over on the Douglas Sonders Blog. My initial question is how in the world did he get clearance for this considering the US military is often pretty strict with photography.

F18 Fighter Jet Pilot Portrait Photoshoot - Douglas Sonders Photography from Douglas Sonders on Vimeo.

How To Shoot Studio Bridals On Location

How To Shoot Studio Bridals On Location
A few weeks ago Lee and I went out to Las Vegas to club it up check out WPPI which is the largest wedding convention in the US. While out there we were able to meet quite a few of our readers, check out the new gear at the Photoflex booth, and play with a lot of new photo related toys. One of the photographers we met was Michael Corsentino who teamed up with Photoflex in this behind the scenes video on outdoor bridals. Michael is using the new Photoflex Triton Flash along with an octabank and a stripbox to create some studio style portraits outside.

Behind the Scenes: Unique Bridal Portraits w/ Michael Corsentino and Photoflex from Photoflex on Vimeo.

10 Lighting Setups For Video And Photos

10 Lighting Setups For Video And Photos
If you were a film student and your professor gave you an assignment requiring you to show a series of different lighting setups, what would you do? John Note and his fellow classmates created a pretty funny video tutorial that shows 10 different lighting setups that you could use in both your films and your still images. If you are a photographer you might not be completely familiar with the power references but you can probably imagine the different ratios if you had to convert them to strobes or speedlights. I have often found in my own photography that simply changing the lighting setup to one which I might normally overlook can really change the story telling element of your photos. Has anyone else tried to reproduce morning light or midnight lighting before?

Ten Lighting Setups from John Note on Vimeo.

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