How China Changed the American Lighting Industry

Why do brands matter to us? When at the grocery store, why do we pick out Heinz instead of Western Family, or Nike instead of Payless? We buy brands because they have earned our trust. Even if we don’t know of a brand, we begin to trust them simply because they have a logo, can afford advertising, and put out a product that seems to work well. For example, think about HTC. A year ago, they pushed for market share in the US because they were a much lesser known brand. In a matter of months they had a massive market share in the smartphone industry. Why? Branding. In the case of HTC, it was not only successful branding, but also a successful product. That is the way it should work.

These Are The Finalists For The Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest
We're so excited to announce the finalists for our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest. Thank you to EVERYONE who participated. The videos this year really blew us away! We were forced to choose our top 12 videos to make it to the finals instead of the the top 10 we had planned. From this stage, they will be sent off to our celebrity judges for the final round who will choose a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner! Good luck!

[News] NASA Releases The Highest Resolution Photo Ever Taken Of Earth!
Every year since 1972 NASA has released a photo of Earth taken from space called "Blue Marble". For this years edition NASA decided to raise the bar a little. They used a new satellite that was launched into orbit on October 28th, 2011. The satellite, named Suomi NPP, captured numerous photos of Earth taken this January 4th for use in a composite photo. Click through to the full post to see the image.

[BTSV] The Wednesday Rundown 1.25.12
Howdy and welcome to the Wednesday Rundown. Another week of videos created for our yearly contest and we keep finding great ideas. David Price does a great job shooting a historical scene. With the help of photoshop and some great ideas he captures this candle light portrait. If you have a video that you think we might like to post, please click on "submit content" above.

[Mindfreak] Staring At This Black And White Sony Ad Will Make You See In Color
I love optical illusions, and this simple trick used in a Sony Cybershot ad was one I had not seen before. Click on the full post to see this image large. Then stare at the color triangle in the middle of the model's nose for 30 seconds. Then stare at a white wall or screen and blink rapidly! You should see the model take her clothes off in near full color! The brain is a strange strange machine indeed!

[FS Spotlight] UFC Photographer Joshua Hedges Pulls No Punches
Few photographers can nonchalantly say, “Yeah, I’ve had blood splashed on my camera.” But for sports photographer Joshua Hedges, 12 year veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it’s just another day in the office. The West Texas native has been become known for his mixed martial arts photography, and his work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, USA Today, Time magazine, The New York Times, and The LA Times. Fstoppers catches up with Hedges to hear about his favorite fight, why shooting the UFC is different from other sports, and staying focused while two guys pummel each other. Check out the full FS Spotlight interview!

[BTSV] Contest: Circus Girls Dangling From High Ceiling
After having their studio space and equipment destroyed from an earthquake, the guys over at the Image Workshop pulled it together to create a pretty cool behind the scenes video. They were asked by alternative Circo-Art performers, "The Damaged Duo" to take their promotional pictures. While they used several different lighting setups, the one thing that remained constant was their use of Broncolor heads and packs which provided fast recycle times. Click the full post to watch the behind the scenes contest entry.

[Video] The Photographers Behind Their Iconic Photos
Photographer Tim Mantoani has been working on a 5-year project called “Behind Photographs”, where he has been capturing the artists that were responsible for some of the iconic images that have shaped our culture. In this video he talks about his process a bit more, and shows the rare 20x24 Polaroid camera he used. Very cool historical piece here, it’s an interesting juxtaposition showing the photo with the photographer.

[Gear] See Inside A "Red Epic" Camera In Remarkable Detail!
Have you ever caught yourself wondering what the inside of your camera looks like? How about the insides of a $35,000 camera? Thanks to the FCC, we can now see the Red Epic's innards in all its glory. I certainly wouldn't have guessed ahead of time that it was mostly RED inside; not the usual green we are all so used to. If this sort of thing piques your interest, make sure to click through to the full post to see more photos!