Articles written by Patrick Hall
Fstoppers reader Tyler Kaufman sent me this interesting video that shows a little glimpse of what it is like to shoot NBA basketball. Professional photographer Layne Murdoch has been shooting sports for over 30 years and has created some really spectacular images as the New Orlean's Hornets main photographer. Part of what has made his images so successful has been the use of Pocket Wizard triggers for remote camera operation. He can actually cover both sides of the court at the same time while only being physically positioned in one spot throughout the entire game. Professional Basketball is one of the few sports that allows studio strobe use during the games and Layne shows you a little on how having built in house lighting can freeze action for sharp motion shots.
Last month we tested out our first ever Photoshop Contest, and it was a great success. So many readers participated that Think Tank has offered up prizes for at least 6 months of photoshop contests. This is your January challenge. This month we challenge you to edit this basketball image from the Pocket Wizard TT5 Test Shoot. If you've watched the video then you know that fellow Fstoppers reader Jaymes Poudrier did a pretty fantastic job of editing my shots but I want to see what you can do. Feel free to manipulate this photograph any way you see fit, and on Jan 15th I will pick a winner. The reward is going to be a new Think Tank Disguise 70 Pro camera bag which is really great for quick on the go shooters. One word to the wise; there are no rules for this contest but I'm a fan of mainstream and marketable photographs. Anyone can participate but if you are outside of North America you will have to pay for any shipping or handling that Think Tank might encounter. Post all your images over at the January 2011 Photoshop Contest Forum and good luck!
Photographer Dave Hamilton sent us a fun video he made a few weeks ago and I thought the photos were really interesting. It also reminded me of the time Lee and I shot in a similar hotel room :) So after telling Dave that our readers would really enjoy hearing more about his lighting and the setup, he created a second video outlining the entire day. Shooting in elaborate spaces that you aren't completely familiar with can be daunting and to execute a photo well you need to know how to maximize your light. It would be a shame to have a $6000 or $15,000 a night room and not utilize the space itself! Check out this video of the actual shoot and check out Dave's detailed video in the full post.
One of our reader's emailed me this fun concept photoshoot by photographer Levy Moroshan and I thought I'd share it with everyone this new year's weekend. The styling for this is pretty straightforward: fashion evening gowns with retro style airplanes. Most of the images are lit with just two Photek Softlighters and both the out of camera shots are shown along with the final photoshop edits. Too bad we didn't get to hear from Levy himself in this video as I'm sure judging by his portfolio he has a lot of useful tips to share.
The holiday season is almost behind us and if you've spent any time watching college football tv then you've probably seen the new holiday Victoria's Secret commercials. The creative team at VS always makes some of the most high intensity commercials year in and year out. This year they have at least three different themes and one of the directors is even Michael Bay (creator of the greatest movie of all time Transformers 2). Of course VS can't give away all their secrets so don't expect to be shooting Adriana Lima on a white horse anytime soon! Hopefully you can at least pass these videos off as educational should your gf or wife question this content :) Two more videos in the full post.
There are so many photographer's who I don't know by name but recognize their work once it pops up. One such name many of you may not be instantly familiar with is cultural photographer Glen Friedman who is most famous for his photographs of early skateboarding pioneers Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Duane Peters, and rebellious hip hop artists like Ice-T, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Run D.M.C. In this video Glenn talks about his work and in the second video he talks about what it was like growing up during one of the creative hot beds of American and World culture. If you are in the San Francisco in the next few days, check out his gallery showing at 941 Geary Gallery before it wraps up the end of the month. Oh and the first words out of this video are "Fuck You All" just as a warning :)
Over the holidays we have been getting a lot of requests for a list of cameras and items that we use on both our photoshoots as well as our video shoots. We made a guide a few weeks ago but we felt it did not really explain why we prefer one product over another so we have completely redesigned it. Now when you visit the Fstoppers Gear Guide you can not only see cameras, flashes, lenses, and accessories that we use but you can also read a little insight on why we have included each item in our own personal camera bags. This guide will be updated as we find new and useful products and can always be viewed on the top of the sidebar.
I know many of our readers do not like being told how to shoot their images and many more even hate watching promotional videos for companies trying to sell them on a new way adjust their workflow. That being true, this video of photographer Seth Resnick explaining the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport made me stop and think, "are photographers who shoot RAW this obsessed with perfect color?" Maybe I just take for granted being happy with my tones and color enough to actually burn them in permanently by shooting JPEG. Most of the advertising photographers I see these days (and even many within the wedding scene) are taking very liberal approaches to color which I think is great. Obviously not everyone agrees with me, and many more still take the traditional approach to getting every detail perfect and clean. What do you guys think of Seth's approach and do any personal use this product? Nothing drives me more crazy personally than color space and color calibration and I've heard this actually works. Maybe I'm missing out?
We are almost done with 2010 which means you are running out of time to participate in our monthly forum photo contest. What better way to test out those new Christmas cameras than to submit an entry and take a chance at winning a new photo toy we actually use here at Fstoppers. As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme, and November contest winner Janis Amolins has chosen "Illusion". This month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above as well as a Photoflex LightReach Kit which is perfect for lighting your location photos (no assistant needed either). As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month's contest so you have to impress Janis and not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the December Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and even got a few new toys to play around with. Lee and I are currently both back home with our families as many of you are yourself. So instead of going all out with a really in-depth video I figured I'd share something a little less serious that you may find amusing. The new season of Jersey Shore is coming out in Jan and MTv just released a new BTS video to promote it. My question to you is "If you had to photograph the entire cast of Jersey Shore, what would you do?" Jersey Shore - MTV Shows
One trend you will find happening in the advertising world is the merging of video and photography in a way that creates something no one has seen before. When it came time to start creating the next ad for Toshiba's new laptops and 3D TVs the team decided to create something completely original. Check out this video of how they created this painstakingly difficult video which involves using stop motion to capture complex Origami shapes "unfold" all while being shot in 3D.
It's Christmas time around the world which means many people are going to be photographing holiday lights and dark scenic shots. In order to capture the overall ambient light when the sun has set you are going to need to slow your shutter speed to allow more light to hit your sensor. For many photographers this is a basic skill to know but many of you may have just gotten (or are getting) a new camera and this technique is really helpful. Check out this video from AdoramaTv as Mark Wallace shows you how to drag your shutter for some interesting light blurs.
After starting off as a graphic designer, Jeremy Cowart stepped onto the photography scene with a sink or swim mentality. I love the series Chase Jarvis is doing over at Creative Live with real photographers, and this one with Jeremy is top notch. Chase definitely subscribes to our mentality of sharing knowledge freely, and I think you can learn a lot from this video whether you are a professional photographer or just someone who enjoys it as a hobby. I almost did not post this because the audio at the beginning is really rough on the speakers so be forewarned. Also while you are watching this video, head over to Jeremy's website to see a wide variety of images within his portfolio.
Bruce Dale is a veteran commercial and advertising photographer who has also taken some amazing nature and photo journalistic images over the years too. He's worked for National Geographic as well as the White House and companies like Nikon, Southwest Airlines, Caterpillar, and Acura. Finding success in so many fields of photography is not an easy task and that's why I love this career recap video that shows over 30 years of BAD photos. It moves pretty quick, but Bruce does take some time to explain a few of his most memorable images. I always enjoy watching videos from true professionals like Bruce since they really have 'been there, done that' which is not always true of the younger breed of photographers we have today. I hope you enjoy this weekend video and be sure to check out Bruce Dale's website too.
So we did a little experiment and tried our first ever photoshop contest....and the results were interesting to say the least. I think the holiday parties might have come early for some of our readers! If you have not checked out the images submitted you can check them out here on the forum. I really wanted to pick one of the crazy ones that made me and Lee laugh as the winner but I have to give credit where credit is due. So hit the Full post to see who won the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 35 camera bag and let us know in the comments if you guys enjoyed this contest. Also check out our monthly photo contest running on the forum here (December theme is "Illusion").
One of the most famous of all of the national geographic photojournalists is probably Joe McNally. Joe has shot everyone and everything working for Life, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and countless other highly rated publications. But perhaps his most manic photoshoot of all was a Nat Geo piece for their story The Power of Light. When you step back and think about it, the most obvious photograph for a story on light would be to take a wide angle shot of the guy who changes the light bulb on top of the Empire State Building...yeah most definitely! I never knew there was a video showcasing how this image was created so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Oh and if you haven't picked up Joe's very detailed books about lighting, head over to his Amazon Store and pick up The Moment It Clicks or The Hot Shoe Diaries.
Do you guys remember that show The Shot that was on VH1 maybe 3 years ago? If you do then you probably remember 1st runner up Dean Zulich. Dean has released a great behind the scenes video that outlines everything involved with two of his shot setups. The results are great, and I think this video has something for both the beginner photographer and the experienced photographer. It's nice to hear Dean admit that sometimes you have to shoot on set with the realization that some work will have to be done in post production later. Great photography isn't always about doing it all in camera or all in post but rather knowing your original vision and making it happen...after all that's the only thing clients care about!
While many Canon and Nikon users are bickering about whether DSLR cameras should even have HD video capabilities, the company RED is completely changing the game between both photography and motion video. If you have even been slightly interested in video then you have probably heard about their famous RED One camera (District 9, The Social Network) that shot in 4k resolution. Well very soon they are releasing a new camera called the RED Epic which will shoot 60% more resolution at 5K (up to 28K!) as well as being able to pull large 12 megapixel images directly out of video. There is no doubt the bridge between still cameras and video cameras is quickly narrowing, and innovators like RED are definitely at the forefront. Check out this video where Ted Schilowitz takes questions from fans in Vietnam where the RED One is already the primary video camera of choice.
Every single time NASA launches a shuttle into space they film it from every possible angle. The purpose is mainly to give engineers documentation for later analysis but also to make sure everything is going as planned during the event itself. Video Producer Matt Melis along with researchers at the Glenn Research Center have put together this lengthy video outlining exactly what happens as a shuttle launches into space. It's pretty interesting to hear about the lenses and cameras they use on every launch as well as seeing the slow motion footage captured. Enjoy this video because on June 28th, 2011 we may see the final NASA shuttle launch as funding is cut from the space program. Video #2 is posted in the full post.