This past month, we tasked you Fstoppers with entering your best self portrait for a chance to win a brand new Westcott Apollo Orb. Self portraits are understandably hard to judge, but I based my considerations on three aspects: 1) Well lit; 2) Concept well executed; 3) The photo tells me something about the photographer. There were many quality entries and I really enjoyed going through them. Thank you everyone who entered, as it proves what a solid group of photographers we have here. Check the full post to see the winner and the runners up.
Articles written by Lee Morris
There are a ton of car photographers out there but very few of them are this good. Lee Howell just sent me his newest portfolio shoot that involved shooting a new Audi R8 GT in a soon to be opened tunnel. Lee got his hands on one of the craziest car rigs I have ever seen and walks us through the basics of his production. With a little bit of post work, the images become world class shots. Head over to Lee's website to get more info and pictures.
Just a few weeks ago Canon announced the new C300 video camera to join the professional video world. Many people were confused because the specs didn't seem that much better than the 5DM2 but the price was way higher ($20k). In the video below Jonathan Yi does a great job of showing many of the benefits of the C300. If I had a little bit more money I would be tempted to buy one of these myself.
The final day to submit your behind the scenes video for our contest is December 31st. With 30 days left, the videos are starting to pour in and they are getting better and better. I've never had any interested in infrared photography until I saw Mark Fore's contest entry. In the video below Mark shows us how he converted his digital rebel into an infrared camera for $6. He then takes pictures lighting his subjects with the Xbox Kinect. To learn how to turn your camera into an IR system, check out this website.
I've taken quite a few stock images in my life and it's always been funny to me what sells and what doesn't. Usually the most popular images don't really make much sense in real life. One of our readers just sent me this group of hilarious stock images with dialog boxes. Check out the full post to see them all.
All day today we have been posting photo related deals on our Twitter and Facebook account. Here are a list of the top deals that are still currently available but will probably die after midnight tonight. Top Deal: Canon Rebel T3i + 18-55mm usually $799 on sale today only for $650 here. Canon G12 usually $499.99 on sale today for $379.95 here. Adobe Lightroom usually $299 currently on sale for $149.99 here. Capture One software normally $399.99 on sale today for 50% off with code BL2011 here.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have all of the tools we need to create the projects that we envision. It's easy to just think "if I only had that new camera I could finally take the type of pictures I want to." or "If I could just afford the new Red Scarlet I could finally produce that video concept I've been thinking about." I can tell you from experience that you have access to everything you need right now. Stop thinking so much and take the cell phone out of your pocket and do it.
Timelapse videos have become extremely popular over the last couple years and it seems like everyone is doing them. This particular angle is a bit difficult for the average photographer to capture. "Producing time-lapse video onboard the International Space Station while orbiting 250 miles above the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour helps people follow along on our missions, not as spectators, but as fellow crewmembers." -- Ron Garan, NASA Astronaut, Expedition 27 & 28
It's that time of the year again when all of our favorite photo gear goes on sale. We plan to post sales all day long on our Facebook and Twitter page but for the best deals like the one below, we will post them on Fstoppers. Online sales sometimes only last a few minutes so we will be pulling posts down once the deal is no longer available. Currently the Nikon P7000 is 50% off at Amazon.
So as you have now seen, Nikon Rumors just received the first images of the soon to be released Nikon D800. As I studied the pictures I noticed that the command dial on the top was sitting a bit more sideways than it does on the D700. As I looked closer I noticed that Nikon seemed to have shaved down the left side of the camera a bit. You'll notice the buttons on the left side no longer have as much room. Do you guys see any other big differences?
Our friends over at Nikon Rumors just got their hands on images and specs of the new D800. This camera was supposed to come out weeks ago but was put on hold due to the flooding in Thailand. Once again they are saying this thing is going to be 36mp and shoot 1080p video. I am most excited to hear that it is going to have 60FPS video, even if it is only at 720. Head over to NR to read all of the other details.
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.
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.