Articles written by Patrick Hall
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.
UPDATE: Rich Tully works directly with Clark Little and just sent us this much better video. Click the full post for the original video posted: One thing I love about running a website like Fstoppers is that I am introduced to all sorts of photography I would never have come across on my own. Such is the case with professional wave photographer Clark Little (you must check out his website). I owe a thanks to my dad who first told me about Clark's work and now we have a video that shows what it is like to be directly in contact with a huge wave crashing over you. If Clark comes across this post, we'd love to see a formal behind the scenes made with interviews and some information about how your approach to 'wave photography' has evolved. Perhaps Fstoppers needs to head out to Hawaii this spring!
Camera and Video equipment can be expensive! Whether you are just getting into digital media or are a seasoned professional, we are all looking for bargains and ways to justify dropping even more coin on photography gear. Everyday our email is full of readers asking about what gear we use/recommend and if there are any deals out there to be had. So we have created an Fstoppers Gear Guide that includes every piece of equipment we use for both photos and video separated into categories. You can also check out the latest Canon rebates (most end Jan 8) and Nikon rebates (most expire Dec 31st) through BHvideo.com which we find to have the best prices online. So check out the Fstoppers Gear Guide and if you want to get some new toys for Christmas, don't miss out on these Holiday rebates through Nikon and Canon.
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial and advertising photographer based out in Los Angeles, California. We have featured his work before and this time Jay is using a three light setup to make some portraits of a jazz player. If you are still uncomfortable with your lighting skills, Jay does a really good job explaining exactly what each light does and why he placed them where he did. Click on the full post for part two of this photoshoot where Jay adds some "special effects" in the form of an air canon firing at his subject.
As a photographer getting into DSLR video, I love it when a reader of ours emails us with a question we can answer or better yet a question we have not thought of before. Well FS reader Christian emailed us about how we sync our DSLR audio with audio we may have recorded in a separate unit (zoom, iphone, computer, etc). Until recently we used to just do it manually by lining up our wavefiles from both sources in Adobe Premiere. But there is a much much easier way now thanks to Plural Eyes by Singular Software. Plural Eyes simply analyzes each waveform and automatically aligns each and every camera angle and audio clip right there in your timeline. It's brilliant software and extremely inexpensive for what it does. Check out this little demo from the 2010 WEVA Expo and click the full post to see a well made tutorial on how to sync your files step by step.
Congratulations to Janis Amolins for winning the November Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest. Click the previous link to see his winning photograph or watch for it on our top rotating banner at the top of the site (first image on your mobile device). As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Janis has chosen "Illusion". This month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also 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 not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the December Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
Have you ever watched a scary movie where the only part of the scene you can see is being lit by a small flash light or candle from five feet away? Well those are the conditions cave photographer Stephen Alvarez regularly works in when he climbs below the earth's surface. Together with his team of assistants, Stephen is able to light his photographs in majestic fashion by strategically placing his lights throughout large caverns. I have really never seen anything like this before, and it makes me appreciate my easy work environments in comparison. Be sure to head over to Stephen's website to check out more cave images as well as his photojournalistic work through National Geographic.