I've always wondered what who actually took the amazing images that come with our operating systems to be used as desktop wallpaper. I've never seen a name or heard a story about how they got the shot. Sadly I still don't have the story but we do have a face. Someone just sent me this image of the guy that took the shot that came with every Windows XP machine back in the day. Does anyone know who this is? Let us know in the comments below.
Articles written by Lee Morris
The Fstoppers 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest has been picking up momentum as we near the submission deadline (December 31st). We are giving away over $20,000 in prizes which is pretty exciting on it's own but I'm happy to say that things are about to get even better. We have finalized all of the judges for this competition and these four are some of the best in the industry. Check out the full post to see each of their bios.
A few months back I posted a video created by the team at The Underwater Realm showing how they created waterproof hotlights to be used on their feature film that is currently under production. Their entire movie is planned to take place underwater and the shots will be a combination of real underwater footage and studio work. Anyone who has ever shot anything underwater knows that the deeper you go, the bluer the image becomes. With a little bit of color work you can create a much more pleasing looking image. Fast forward to 4:00 for the goods.
I am shocked that I've never seen this amazing commercial before. I actually overlooked it a few times because I thought it was fake. It wasn't until I saw this BTSV that I found out that this really did happen. The camera had to endure temperatures down to 90 degrees below 0 and a massive fall once the balloon finally popped. Luckily the gear survived with the help of a parachute and they were able to create this amazing commercial. Check out the finished commercial in the full post.
We just received a very interesting contest entry from Viet Q. Mac, a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His buddy from Film Matters contacted him about an upcoming video production involving the 311RS and a couple Red Epics. Viet decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to create something for our BTS Contest. Although this video leaves many questions unanswered it is a beautiful look at a production of this size. To check out all of the contest entries as they come in you can keep an eye on our forum.
I had a hunch but it has now been confirmed that Canon and Vincent Laforet have teamed up to trick the worlds consumers into buying new camera equipment. Apparently to use a camera properly you need to have talent and original ideas but Canon has failed to put either in the box with any of their cameras. Vincent Laforet has been caught using his own personal good ideas in conjunction with Canon cameras to produce a false reality. Until Canon begins to package talent AND creativity with their cameras, I call for a boycott!
"I was looking for new things to photograph and I just thought the bubbles looked beautiful and with a bit of luck I managed to get one mid burst," said Richard Heeks. "One day I was so absorbed in the project I didn't notice a group of builders watching me. I think I must have looked a bit of an idiot, but maybe they thought it was fascinating. Who knows, because I got embarrassed and scuttled back into the house." Click on the full post to see the whole series.
In this Slanted Lens lesson Jay shows you how to create background motion by moving the camera and subject together on something with wheels. This image was shot at a warehouse for one of Jay's clients. Jay was trying to think of something a little different when putting the camera on the fork lift idea came out. Its hard sometimes to come up with something fresh when you're shooting the same location and subject over and over again but Jay created something that the client was really pleased with.
After almost a year of work we have finally finished Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot. We created this to be a double DVD tutorial and we may eventually still make a physical copy but for now we have decided to begin with a digital download. I would like to thank each one of you that supported us by pre-ordering this video and I am so sorry it took so long to produce. Patrick and I filmed and edited this and it was far more complicated than we ever imagined. Creating this video has been the hardest project I have ever worked on but at the same time one of the most rewarding. During the 5 days of filming this video Peter completely opened my eyes to a new way of shooting people. Peter helped me look past the technical side of the camera and the lighting to see the emotion and feeling that each of his clients were producing in each image. When his clients weren't producing compelling images, Peter knew exactly how to coach them into creating that perfect "look." This experience has changed my photography more profoundly than any other experience in my life and I hope that everyone who watches this video will feel the same way. Fstoppers is full of new and free information every single day including the first video we did with Peter over a year ago. This video was created with the professional photographer in mind and it costs $300 for a digital download of the 4 hour video. We know that many of our readers are photography hobbyists and if you don't shoot professionally you may not see the value in this download and that is fine. Please realize that this is a tool and a piece of education that will help (some) professionals take their business to the next level. If you don't see the value in it, please do not buy it and enjoy all of the other free material on our site. If you do decide to buy this video, I would like to thank you so much for supporting this venture and Fstoppers.com. Never in a million years would I have thought we (two wedding photographers from South Carolina) could have created a 4 hour tutorial of this complexity. I know we will never make enough money from DVD sales to make up for the time spent producing it (for some reason we thought it would only take a few weeks to edit) but I hope that this video will impact the photographers who watch it in a huge way.
Nick Fancher is the lifestyle photographer for the website JackThreads.com. JackThreads is constantly receiving large shipments of totally different types of apparel that need to be shot as quickly as possible. Nick takes us through a normal day of shooting that may involve multiple, totally different looking photoshoots. This is a fantastic example of how a poorly filmed video can still become a killer BTSV with some simple voice over information. The bottom line is that Nick uses the absolute smallest amount of gear to come up with fantastic images in an extremely short amount of time. I'm hoping that Nick has something big planned for our Behind The Scenes Contest.
10 years ago shooting on a 4x5 camera was pretty common among professional photographers. Today, many young photographers not only haven't seen a 4x5 camera but they have probably have never even heard of one. In this video Simon Roberts takes us through the steps of using the camera, editing the images, and the printing the final file. How do you guys feel about shooting on film and then processing the images digitally? Does that defeat the whole purpose?
My mother always told me that I was a talented painter and I at one point I believed her. After seeing this video of a guy using Photoshop to digitally paint a photograph of a girl I know she was just trying to be nice. Can anyone tell me if this is fake? It went from looking really bad to really good quite quickly. Whatever you do, make sure you mute this video before you start watching it. Update: Ok I'm pretty sure it's fake.
As photographers, we have the coolest job in the world don't we? There is one thing that is the opposite of cool though. It is the fanny pack wearing photographer. Yes, I know you it might be convenient, but please, just use a normal bag. If you like wearing your gear then I would highly suggest a shoulder bag or a backpack. Anything but a fanny pack.
Von Wong has been featured on our site many times because he is constantly coming up with unique ideas. In this video Von Wong sets out on an unplanned photoshoot with a couple of dancers. Sometimes too much planning can actually limit your creativity. While many of us would have worked on a single shot, Von Wong came away with a group of excellent and completely different images. I asked why this video wasn't a contest entry and Von Wong said "Not epic enough!" I hope this means that an epic entry is on the way.
I think this video has now been submitted to us about 5 times and we have simply been slow to post it. Rip Curl and TimeSlice, partners in the overall development, used 30 GoPro HD video cameras to freeze an infinite number of moments that could be viewed. The major benefit being a better way of catching all the performance surfing the Rip Curl team riders were doing, rather than just a fraction of it.
Our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest ends on December 31st which gives you a little less than 2 months to submit your video. I want to make it very clear that you SHOULD NOT wait until the 31st to submit your video because something will go wrong; it always does. Plus, videos submitted early will be posted to the front of Fstoppers and many that come in at the last minute will not get the same exposure. Stay tuned until the end of this video for a little "surprise" for all of you gear heads out there.
Here is your heart thumping GoPro video of the week. During a routine paragliding expedition in the Indian Himalayans an eagle collides and is caught in the chute lines of the glider. Acting quickly he deploys the reserve chute and lands safely and frees the bird from the lines. This video would be scary from a 3rd person's perspective but it is even more horrifying watching it first person, from a helmet cam.
I'm not sure I believe that 3D is the way of the future but the current technology behind it does fascinate me. Check out the video below in which Peter Jackson takes us behind the scenes of his much anticipated film The Hobbit. In this video Peter and his team explain how they use 2 Red Epics to produce the most realistic type of 3D footage available today. How many of you guys actually own a 3D TV? Maybe we all will one day but at this point, I don't know a single person with one.
Things have been pretty quiet in terms of video submissions for our big 2011 BTS Contest and I know that everyone is planning to have theirs done last minute. Let me give you a little advice, DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As submissions are posted on the forum we will be posting our favorites on Fstoppers. If you submit your video with the masses the very last day, it will not get the attention it deserves. In this submission Dave Gruentzel (who is a still photographer) decided to film a his buddy Cory Albrechtson's new fashion concept. Cory was inspired by a simple fabric print and from that came this whole shoot. Check out the full post to see the final image.