[Contest] Win a Lowepro Bag on Facebook
Last week we announced a contest on our Facebook sponsored by our friends over at Lowepro. It was only supposed to last one week, but we decided that we would show a little New Year's generosity and extend it an additional week. That means you can still enter to win an awesome Lowepro Pro Messenger 160 AW simply by telling us what style of bag is your favorite over at the Fstoppers Facebook page. Just click the contest tab and submit your answer. Enter now by clicking here. All entries must be received by January 3! Good luck!

[BTS Video] How Those Amazing Time-Lapse Videos Were Made From Space
The ISO sensitivity on today's flagship DSLR cameras is pretty amazing. They are so amazing in fact that for the first time, NASA is able to use Nikon D3 cameras to create night time timelapse videos as the earth sleeps. You've probably seen a bunch of these stunning videos here but now we are able to see who is responsible for capturing the raw images from orbit. Mike Massimino takes you behind the scenes with astronaut/photographer Mike Fossum as he talks about his passion for long exposure photography from space. The audio is pretty rough so use headphones if you have trouble hearing.

[Video] A Comprehensive Look at Working with Models

Mark Wallace hits us with a video full of tips and etiquette when it comes to working with models. This video covers a lot of ground so if you have limited experience with shooting models give it a peek. Be sure to watch all the way to the end of the video to catch Mark's "Stand this way and twist this way and move this way and shot shot." Trust me, at 12:47 it will make sense to you. Or it won't. :/

[BTSV] Contest Entry: The Creek (dedication/party geekness)

With less than a week to go, the Fstoppers 2011 Behind the Scenes Contest is quickly drawing to an end. So, we are spending a lot more time looking over and posting user submissions. This latest entry may not have the best final image out there but I really dig the adventurous/road trip vibe. And what really got me was recognizing myself in the final seconds of the video. You know what I'm talking about... being hunched over your laptop, running through your selection process, while the party rages on around you. It's never very hard to spot the photo geek in a crowd. Best of luck Matthew. Last minute reminder: $21,000 worth of gear is nothing to sneeze at so get those contest entries in damn it. tick, ticK TICK!

[Video] Need Tips On How To Light An Interview?  Watch This Video
Well it's Christmas Eve here in the US and many of you are about to have a blast opening up some cool photography gadgets (or I hope so at least). But in the meantime, Eve Hazelton created a really thorough video on how to light an interview or one person scene easily and effectively. Eve is the director of photography for the film Underwater Realm which we've feature a ton on Fstoppers (check out their great BTS videos here). Her work is so helpful that Philip Bloom featured an interesting article on this video over on his blog. Check it out if you prefer an image breakdown of lighting instead of the video format. Hopefully you guys can start using some of these techniques in your own videos especially if you ever submit to our Behind The Scenes Contests down the road.

[BTSV] Contest Entry: Transcend (informative/entertaining)

"The last thing we want to see is another music video." "The last thing we want to see is another music video." "The last thing we want to see is another music video." No matter how many times we say it, we get submission after submission of uninformative videos where people take some footage, drop in some music and send it along. Not the case with Caleb's first ever BTS video where he shows you, in painstakingly long detail, how he got his ethereal final image. He even made me chuckle a bit but lied to me when he said "...the next ten minutes.", cause this vid is 32 minutes long. :) Get those contest entries in kids.

[BTS Video] Contest Entry: a bottle of cold water (product shot)

As more and more jobs pop up for product shooting here in NYC I find myself needing to seriously update my portfolio. Which must be why this latest contest entry from Rui Antunes caught my eye. It's a simple video, that lacks a bit in the way of entertainment value but makes up for it in educational value and a pretty decent final image. Good luck Rui. And remember folks, you only have about a week to get your contest entries in.

[BTS Video] The Best Way To Create Fake Snow For Your Photos
Jay P Morgan is at it again with a new Christmas themed photoshoot. Almost everytime I watch one of Jay's photoshoots I learn a clever way to artificially create something that I wouldn't have thought of before. If you've ever wanted to know how to create realistic fake snow on a set, Jay teaches you a simple and easy way to bring the elements into the studio. Granted bringing in artificial snow into the studio will create a huge mess, but it looks like a lot of fun and can allow you to create a winter atmosphere even in the summer. There are a lot of places to buy artificial snow like Amazon or Superior Studios Specialties so stock up now if you ever want to try this yourself. As always, if you enjoy Jay P Morgan's videos, check out other tips of his in the Fstoppers Archives.

[News] Wedding Photog Sued Over Music: A Cautionary Tale

When Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo’s wedding video went viral on YouTube, wedding photographer Joe Simon found himself getting sued for having used Coldplay's "Fix You" as the background music. To avoid a costly lawsuit Joe was forced to take down the video and to pay a settlement along with an agreement to not talk about the incident. Just something for you all to consider when using music for your next wedding videos or while entering contests such as our Fstoppers 2011 BTSC. Don't get caught with your pants down. As wedding videos increase in style, quality and attention, more and more music producers, artists and composers are taking a more serious stance on their copyrights.

[Pic] Absolut Bus-Shelter Ad With One Folded Piece of Paper
It's pretty amazing what you can create by folding a piece of paper in a million different ways. I'm not talking about Origami - but a carefully orchestrated image of Absolut's limited edition "Absolut Purete" Vodka. Artist Simon Schubert used nothing but light and shadows by making over 1,000 different folds into the paper, each fold capturing a different shadow to illustrate depth and dimension. Click the full post to watch the full behind the scenes making of this ad.

The Wednesday Rundown 12.21.11
Howdy and welcome to the Wednesday Rundown. This week have a couple of BTS video contest entries. As most of you know the deadline is quickly approaching as this year comes to a close. So take a quick break and check out the competition in this weeks rundown. If you have a video that you think we might like to post, please click on "submit content" above.

[BTS Video] Honda Let's Viewers Explore Unknown Territory
Inspired by Google's street view, Honda Civic is launching their 2012 campaign by creating an interactive 360 degree online experience that will let viewers explore unique environments that have never been seen before. This behind the scenes video is just a peek at what is to come and so far it is pretty awesome. They have filmed areas like the previously unexplored Alaskan ice caves and an underwater art museum in Cancun, and the Boneyard at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Watch the preview and making of Honda's upcoming campaign below.

[Pics] "Wonderland": Scenic Insect Photography

Feature Shoot's: Alison Zavos: "Nadav Bagim is a photographer from Ramat-Gan, Israel. His WonderLand images are created by using unique but rather simple artificial lighting and household objects from vegetables to plastic bags. The photos are shot inside a miniature studio with a Canon EOS 60D Camera, and a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and flashes. The insects were found in his apartment and on plants outside his window and were not harmed during shooting." See Nadav's captivating shots the full post.

[Contest] Two Winners & a New Facebook Contest by Lowepro
It's a big day for contests! We have two winners from two contests: our Flickr Group contest and our FS Forum photo contest. Check out the winners by reading the full post. This week we have a contest over at the Fstoppers Facebook page. Enter by December 27 and you could win a Lowepro Pro Messenger 160 AW Just head over to our page, click the "Contests" tab, answer one question, and you're entered to win. Simple, quick, and so rewarding. But remember, you only have ONE WEEK to enter! Head over there directly by clicking here.

[Strange] Chase Jarvis Vs Polaroid Z340:  Will It Blend?
I'm not sure what has gotten into Chase Jarvis lately. First he decided to be a judge for our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest. Next he flies over to Hong Kong to test a new Lego camera. And now I come to find that he's running his own "Will It Blend" campaign with the brand new Polaroid Z340 instant digital camera. Whatever the reason is for his latest antics, I'm glad Chase made this video because I've been wanting a digital AND film Polaroid camera since I picked up a camera. Sure they would be fun during trips and parties but what if you passed one or two of these out at your next wedding for the guests to have fun with? How big of a hit would that be! If Chase has any pull with the folks over at Polaroid, we'd love to see a version with a simple hotshoe on top so we could use bounce light or a pocket wizard with these things. With paper refills at $17, it wouldn't be the cheapest thing you could bring to a wedding but I'm sure your clients would be talking about it for years! What do you guys think?

[BTS Video] Dancing Bears In UK Cereal Commercial
Weetabix Food Company recently produced a new commercial to advertise their Weetabix Chocolate Spoonsize Cereal. The young hiphop dancer in the video is talented, Arizona Snow, and the Teddy Bears - well, they're actually giant life-size costumes. Weetabix brought in professional hiphop dancers to dance inside of the costumes in front of a green screen. The concept behind the commercial is the cereal sparks kids imaginations. Regardless, it's pretty awesome to watch this little girl tear it up. Click the full post to see the behind the scenes footage.

[BTS Video] The Never Ending Fashion Photoshoot
Amy Lynn must really want to win some of the $20,000 in photo gear we are giving away in our Behind the Scenes Contest because the photoshoot idea she came up with is one of the most original ideas we've seen yet! Amy wanted to create a fashion image with a twist. Her plan was to take a bunch of photos of her friends in a circle and stitch them together in a way that would allow the viewer to pan around the scene in full 360 degrees. I wasn't quite sure how the image would turn out when I first started watching her video but the final product is pretty impressive. I've embedded the final image HERE so make sure you check out the full post to see how awesome this turned out. If you have any questions for Amy about how she created this awesome fashion image, leave her a comment below. We wish Amy and everyone else who has entered this contest so far the best of luck!

[BTS Video]  What Do 50 Programmed Moblie Phones Sound Like?
This awesome installation made by James Theophane uses 50 programmed mobile phones, each with their assigned tone. So how'd they get all those phones to play the right tune at the right time? The program on the phone consisted of two parts: one registering with a web service - logging the fact that it was still alive and its current IP address, and two a User Datagram Protocol listener - listening for commands from the controller over the network. The controller was written to read the midi file of the Carol and send the individual notes to individual phones at the right time. Click the full post to see how they synced the phones to play Carol of the Bells.

[Video] An MIT Lab Figures Out How To Shoot 1 Trillion Frames Per Second
Okay this video has been emailed to us a bunch of times, and it has already made the rounds on a bunch of blogs BUT I'm still not sure I understand this story at all. Researchers at MIT have created a "video system" made up of 500 sensors that can capture light movement at 1/1,000,000,000,000th of a second. Now after watching this video and reading the official MIT press release, my mind is pretty much blown. It's clear that this camera is not actually filming a native 1 trillion fps but are they saying that the speed of light is so fast that essentially the shutter speed of the composited frames would in fact be 1 trillion fps when strung together? I know there must be some physics gurus out there that can explain this in simple terms! No matter what is actually going on here, it's still pretty geeky and extremely cool to watch such a complicated setup record some of the fastest images ever created.

[BTS Video] World's Largest Stop Animation Shot On A Nokia N8
Who needs a clunky camera these days when you've got a 12 megapixel camera in your pocket. Shot using a Nokia N8, the guys over at Aardman (producers of Wallace & Gromit) broke the world record when they produced this short animation. The final video is only 1 minute and 31 seconds but it took them 5 days on the beach to shoot all the images. I think it goes without saying that the amount of time and effort it takes to produce a video like this is tremendous. Click the full post to see the final video.

[BTS Video] Next Time You Photograph An Outdoor Building, Try This Technique
We are heading into the final stretch for our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest and someone is about to win a truckload of gear! The latest video that caught my attention was from LA photographer Mike Kelley. Mike has been featured on our site before but in case you missed that post, his portfolio is full of some pretty kick ass commercial images of buildings and outdoor environments. So it was only fitting for his contest entry to showcase how he approaches an outdoor commercial architectural shoot. Mike uses a lot of exposures and some well thought out accent lighting to create a composite image that looks really nice. As much as I love this video, Mike won't win this competition by impressing anyone here at Fstoppers. Instead his video has to make a lasting impression among our celebrity panel of judges. If you have any questions for Mike, leave them in the comments below.

[Contest] And The Winner Of The Fstoppers Christmas Twitter Contest Is...
I am happy to announce that the random winner for our Christmas Twitter contest is Seagram Pearce. After randomly picking his "tweet" I headed over to his website to find that Seagram is a photographer that seems to shoot just about anything and he does it all very well . Seagram's studio is based in Cape Town, South Africa which I hope won't cause us any shipping issues because he is now the proud owner of a brand new iPad 2 and our new DVD Peter Hurley: The Are Behind The Headshot. I'm thrilled that we have had another great photographer win one of our contests. If you happen to be Seagram, send us an email at contactfstoppers@gmail.com and we will figure out how to get you your prizes. Head over to Twitter and tweet him your congratulations