Recent Location Articles

Hands Down, This Is The Most Successful Commercial Of 2013

I’m calling it. This commercial for Volvo Trucks that came out today is the best commercial of 2013. What makes it – or other commercial shoots - so successful? Beautiful, simple ideas, a great concept, seamless execution, a bit of good old nostalgia and a pinch of the unexpected all mix beautifully to give us 70 seconds of pure brilliance. With four eight twelve twenty four thirty million views and counting, let's take a look and see why this ad has been so successful.

What Unretouched Photos From Victoria Secret Look Like

Victoria Secret, the company famous for selling underwear, lingerie, and overall sex appeal, is also notable for their amazing models. By the time you see the images from their catalog or campaigns, they are always retouched. Do you ever wonder what the shots look like before retouching? Here are a set of unretouched photos of V.S. Angel, Doutzen Kroes, from a recent shoot.

Photographer Takes You Behind the Scenes of Playboy Fashion Shoots (NSFW)

In his first ever published book Behind The Scenes, photographer Patrick Van Dam creates thoughtful juxtapositions out of snapshots taken behind the scenes on playmate photo-shoots. According to Van Dam's website there are "over 150 photos of unexpected, undirected and natural responses; humor, disillusionment, absurdism and vulnerability in an erotic setting."

The Cinematic Look – How To Make Your Photographs Look Like Films

I recently noticed that a handful of photographers were producing images that had a look as if they were stills captured from films. A couple of the most well known photographers of this genre are based here in New York so I got them together and challenged them to not only come up with a dynamic personal project on the fly incorporating this cinematic look, but to share with us how it is achieved. Read on to find out how it all went down...

Secrets Of The Best Levitation Shots Shared

The first time I saw a levitation shot, I stared at it for 15 minutes in astonishment. I could not conceive how the image was captured; I was captivated by the story it conveyed, it was surreal, magical and awe-inspiring. Conceptualizing the image and executing it can prove to be rather difficult and meticulous. Thankfully, photographers who have mastered the techniques involved in levitating have decided to share their secrets with us.

The Ultimate Guide to Bokeh

Bokehliscious photos. That is the ultimate goal for any photographer no matter the experience level. When "bokeh" is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the lens and the aperture. Although both play vital roles in bokeh, there are a few key elements that play an even more important role in achieving the finest milkyness in a photo. These requisites aren’t often discussed or even seen as necessary.

Tourists Strike Again as Photography Banned in Kyoto, Japan

Disrespectful tourists and the destruction they leave in their inconsiderate wake have struck again as the most famous district in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has banned photography in most areas.

Six Reasons Why Your Light Is Not Right

We’ve all been there, stuck with bad light and fresh out of ideas. I may spend up to an hour pre-lighting before a model or subject steps onto set, I work out the kinks and make sure everything is how it should be. But, despite my best efforts to make it right, every now and then I run out of time and have to wing it. We all have our “go to” lighting scenarios, but when you’re standing in unknown territory, keep the following tips in mind and you just might make it through the storm.

How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1

One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.

Three Photographers Photograph the Same Waitress

A few weeks ago, Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge traveled back down to Puerto Rico to battle Lee and I for the "World's Best Photographer" award. Today, we have the results and the full behind the scenes video of the shoot-off. Brace yourself; things do not go as expected.

9 Most Common Beauty Photography Mistakes

I would like to wrap up my Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series in a quick roundup on the most common mistakes I have been noticing beginner Beauty photographers make.

I will sure talk more about Beauty photography in the future, but I'd like to summarize a few things at this point.

Review: Using the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 in a Lifestyle Shoot

As a working photographer, my gear is obviously very important to me. My most-used lenses, Canon’s 35L and 50L, are both long time favorites and are glued to my camera almost 24/7. For many reasons, I’ve been a fan of Canon’s prime lenses for a number of years, taking both the good, the bad, and the price tag that they each have to offer. When something new like the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 comes up I, like most of us, give it a quick once-over and then head back to the comfort of our expensive name brand gear.

17 Simple Tips To Help You Better Control And Master Natural Light

Most of us love natural light and feel comfortable shooting with it – but how well do you really know how to utilize it effectively and to control it with precision? I just spent the day with Erik Valind, a New York City-based lifestyle photographer in his 'Controling Natural Light' workshop. Here are 17 simple ways to help get great results from better understanding and utliizing natural light.

This Is The Best Timelapse You Will Ever See... This Week

I know that we have shown a lot of timelapses lately but our readers really love them and each month someone seems to raise the bar on quality or creativity. It is now Dominic Boudreault's time in the spotlight with his film "The City Limits". This film has the most amazing cityscapes I have seen to date. Make sure you watch this thing in HD full screen.
Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: On Location Lighting

I am continuing my series of articles about creating stunning Beauty portraits and I would like to talk about on location lighting today. Please note that not only are we talking about advertising Beauty photography, examples of which you may see in the cosmetics section of a department store, or in fashion magazine ads, but we are also talking about simple female Beauty portraits that many of you are probably often hired to photograph for your female clients locally.

How To Shoot In A Big City And Not Get Hassled By The Man

One of the most trying experiences I've had since becoming a photographer has been coming to terms with the fact that there are places in our county where, quite simply, we are not allowed to take photos. Now, I’m not talking about setting up hundred-person movie sets complete with production vans and craft services tables, nor do I mean shooting on private property, sacred land, and/or Area 51-type secret military bases...

ESPN Body Issue 2014 Is Out With Beautifully Executed Photographs of Star Athletes in the Nude

ESPN's Body Issue 2014 is out -- and the results are stunning. Every one of the 59 images in the "Bodies We Want" piece is a beautiful portrait of the pinnacle of the human form. There is no doubt these are professional atheletes with perfect, sculpted bodies. No puffed-up editing, no extraneous fluff. This is the real deal: clean, sharp, and on point. Oh, and did I mention there's a BTS video? No, wait. There are 13 BTS videos featuring the likes of Jamie Anderson, Michael Phelps, Venus Williams and many others.

Swimwear Photoshoot: No Beach Access? No Problem

I'll be honest, when it came to shooting swimwear, I went straight to Pinterest looking for whatever ideas and inspiration I could find. Swimwear is different enough from the other types of shoots that I was typically shooting that I really had no idea where to begin. Granted, my clients weren't clothing line companies, so I wasn't aiming for the more routine, catalog-style shots. Since the people wanting the shots were the models themselves, I wanted to make sure that the end results looked as good as possible and hopefully a bit more stylish.

Anti-Strobism: How I Learned to Give Up My Strobes and Fall In Love With Natural Light

In photography - and in anything else, really - it seems as though when we first discover something new, whether it be a new camera, a new technique, and/or a new system of doing things, it’s fairly natural I think to want to use it all the time. When I first “discovered” photography, I immediately gravitated toward those photographers like Emily Soto, Zach Arias, Joey L, and Syl Arena.

I'm a Wedding Photographer and I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

Over the course of a wedding day, you can shoot in countless locations with varying difficulties. Most of the time, the locations will be places you have never been before. If you ask around online for advice, you will probably be told to scout out your locations days or even weeks in advance. You may be advised to know which location you are going to shoot each image in and that you should build a list so you don't forget. When I first started shooting weddings, I would scout locations and build the shot lists; however, the more I would shoot, the more I would realize that this process was actually making things more difficult for me. That’s why I prefer to go into a wedding day with no idea what I’m doing.

Some of the Best Photos of the Night Sky, and How to Make Your Own

The night sky is an astounding phenomenon that fascinates almost every individual. Stars have been around for thousands of years and yet, humankind is still mesmerized by their beauty. Despite the distance, we have such a strong connection and love for these great unknown entities. Capturing the magnificence of the night sky is highly rewarding and can be an exciting process as well.

Golden Hour, Any Hour: A Photographer's Guide to Faking It

It has happened to all of us. We spend countless hours planning, scheduling, and coordinating for a beautiful golden hour photo shoot only to have our parade rained on by weather or other mishaps out of our control. Perhaps you didn't plan for those mountains in the background that's cutting your shoot 30 minutes shorter than anticipated. Maybe the conditions are perfect when you leave for the shoot, but by the time you get there, clouds are hovering above. Or it could be that your client just can't shoot at the ideal time. No matter what the obstacle, this article is going to show you a super simple trick that will allow you to get that golden hour capture at any hour!

How a Los Angeles Portrait Photographer Sidesteps On-Location Photoshoot Laws

Los Angeles-based photographer Zach Sutton has spent a long time doing on-location photoshoots for his business. These kinds of shoots usually involve the typical off-camera strobes on light stands and maybe an assistant to help mule equipment or adjust lighting for the photographer. However, when Sutton moved to L.A. last July, he quickly learned that this sort of on-location shoot is not allowed in the city without a proper commercial shoot permit — even if it’s ultimately for personal use. His solution for getting by light stand free looks somewhat crazy, but the end results speak for themselves.

An Unforgettable Giant Ring Light and How You Can Make Your Own

The largest ring light I've ever seen consists of 27 bulbs and is four feet in diameter. Six months ago, I built it. With so many questions left unanswered, I put together a short film that explains how I built it, why it was built, and why it's the most amazing light I've ever used to date.

Why is Renowned Playboy Photographer Jarmo Pohjaniemi Using a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L?

While there are obviously no strict rules about what lenses a photographer should buy, my curiosity was piqued recently, when legendary Glamour Photographer Jarmo Pohjaniemi (Playboy, Shoot The Centerfold) announced he was headed to Santorini with a pair of Canon EF 11-24 f/4L USM lenses. I assumed he was going to shoot landscapes (after all, it’s Santorini), but his answers when I asked were far more interesting than that.

Watch This Photographer Turn an Ugly Location Into a Great Photoshoot

If you have a big budget for an editorial shoot or you're lucky enough to live near some beautiful scenery, then finding an ideal location for a portrait or fashion shoot won't be an issue. However, the vast majority of photographers have to work with less than that, so here are some great tips to get creative in ugly environments.

Stanislav Puchkovsky (aka Sean Archer) is a Master of Natural Light Portraits

Merely two years ago, Stanislav picked up his first camera: a Lumix G3 for $600. From that point forward his inspirational journey began. The majority of his mind-blowing work was taken in his attic using friends as models. Now he is known as Sean Archer - a natural light photographer who specializes in female portraits. His work is proof that it’s not about gear. It’s about the photographer; it's about the vision of the artist.

Simple Props + Childlike Wonder = Stunning High Impact Photography Project

Some years back, we featured the beautiful Lego Star Wars world that Finnish illustrator, designer and photographer Vesa Lehtimäki created with simple but ingenious lighting and table top model work. His latest project again features iconic Star Wars models, shot and then composited back into scenes, rendering the spacecraft to epic proportions. Vesa proves again that some solid technical know-how coupled with a vivid imagination delivers fantastic results.

This Solar Time-Lapse Photographed over Five Years Is the Coolest Thing You Will See Today

Since February 2010, NASA has captured more than an image per second for over 1,800 days to string together this amazing time-lapse of our sun. This year marks the five-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). To celebrate, NASA has publicly released this mesmerizing video of the sun's daily dance in sharp definition. This fascinating imagery has been released as public domain and can be downloaded for free in all its glory on NASA's website.

Eight Tips I Wish Someone Told Me Early in My Career

Regret is the worst feeling in the world but as humans, we feel it. There are times we all look back at, kicking ourselves thinking "if only I had known… I would've done it differently." I remember telling myself if I was ever given the opportunity to be heard, I'd collect a list of tips to share with others so they don't have to feel the frustration that often comes along with regret.

Preview ESPN's Body Issue 2012

If you're a sports fan, or even if you just like toned and tan bodies, you're going to want to pick up the next issue of ESPN (hits newsstands Friday). It's filled with some pretty sexy images of the United States' favorite athletes in nothing but their birthday suits.

Photographer Surprises Father With Dream Car For Christmas

This year for Christmas I wanted to surprise my father with his dream car, an original Chevrolet Camaro convertible in hugger orange with white rally stripes. Being that I'm a photographer I decided to photograph the car and give my father a framed print of the car before I revealed that I am actually giving him the car.

Fantastically Funny Photos Of Divers Mid Air

Diving is hard. It takes an incredible amount of skill, training, and timing to pull of a beautiful dive. Those who can complete the amazing feat and win competitions are truly fantastic. Seriously, they rock. I could never do what they do. But on a less serious note, the faces they make while spinning at ridiculous speeds are... well, frankly, hilarious.

How Creating an Outdoor Studio Can Make You a Better Photographer

I, like many photographers out there, don't have a studio, or don't have the money to rent out studio space every time I want to do a shoot. While shooting inside my house or garage is always an option, I found myself wanting to experiment more with ambient and natural light. Although I love shooting in a studio, a completely controlled environment, I learned shooting outside with backdrops was a great experience and taught me a lot about light.

The Battle of Mesa Arch: Landscape Photography Gone Wrong

Twenty feet away from arguably the most spectacular high desert scene lay a pile of photographic detritus. Busted tripod legs, smashed lenses, and camera bodies pulverized beyond recognition, the scene looked more like a badly bungled camera store robbery than a National Park vista.

Accidents Happen – 5 Items That Can Save Your Shoot

I’m always one to preach the importance of prevention and preparation before walking into a photo shoot, but there are some things you just can’t prepare for. The more you shoot the more you come to find that gear will tend to fall apart after a excessive number of uses... and abuses.

Trial By Fire: Switching to Sony For a Commercial Shoot Overnight

Seems like just a short few years ago, Sony DSLR's were the laughing stock, what with their proprietary this and convoluted that. Yet today, going into 2016, Sony has made a huge impact in the photography world with their hyper-techy mirrorless cameras almost out of nowhere. After much consideration (and provocation from Sony) I decided to try out some Sony gear in the most challenging way possible: on a client job. Nope, I had never worked with a Sony before. What could possibly go wrong?

How to Transform Badly Lit Conference Rooms Into Beautiful Backdrops

It's quite common to shoot photo sessions in unimpressive locations; it goes with the territory when shooting on-the-go and outside of a studio. Fortunately, we have options to help us transform boring locations into beautiful backdrops, and it’s easier than you think. Making simple light modifications and quick edits in post can mean the difference between creating average imagery versus creating imagery that impresses your clients.

How to Control Your Portrait Backgrounds With a 70-200mm Telephoto Lens

No matter if you photograph headshots, weddings, portraits, or sports, one of the most important skills you can have as a photographer is picking out interesting yet non-distracting backgrounds. Many photographers prefer shooting with fast prime lenses but in today's short photography tutorial, I'm going to show you why I prefer the power and versatility of a telephoto lens.

The Fstoppers Guide to Traveling Light (Without Sacrifices)

One week from today I’ll be on the other side of the world, shooting a personal project that’s been years in the making. On the one hand, I have to be prepared for all kinds of situations. On the other, I can’t bring a suitcase. What do I bring… what do I leave behind… and can I get away with only one shirt?

5 Lighting Setups For Shooting in Direct Sunlight

Shooting in harsh sunlight is always a challenge. Recently I shot a test while out on a trip in Los Angeles. Due to scheduling we had to start shooting around 4 p.m., so we were dealing with hard sunlight. In this post we will look at five different setups you can use to shoot in and manipulate these less than ideal lighting conditions. In a previous post, I showed how to quickly scrim hard lighting. In this quick tutorial we will look five different ways to light while in the same environment and conditions in order to alter the look of our image.

Four Knots You as Photographer and Filmmaker Must Know

It's an ancient art-form, and it's something you need to know to get your location photography set ready for action. Have you ever needed to put up a scrim while being able to tighten it after the knot's been made? This video is for the photography and film industry

OK Go's Latest Music Video Masterpiece Shows The Power of Drones in Video

OK Go has developed a name for themselves as making some of the most iconic and creative music videos over the last ten years. In their latest music video, released today, OK Go shows off a cleverly scripted video using motorized unicycles, umbrellas, and a single take video mounted on a drone. You need to watch this deliciously clever video with an equally catchy song to back it.

Zack Arias Claims That The DSLR Is Dead As A Result Of The Fuji X100S

We've all heard of renowned portrait photographer Zack Arias - not only is he a great shooter, but he's got a reputation for making some bold claims. Make no mistake that the Fuji X100S is a great little camera. Small, compact, feature-packed and with great image quality, you've probably heard quite a bit about it lately. But just HOW good is it? Zack Arias says that it's so good, in fact, that the DSLR is dead. Check out the video and let us

Surreal 2016 Burning Man Photographs By Victor Habchy

Living in a world full of real problems and being a creative person is a challenge. It’s a big challenge until you step to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for the annual Burning Man festival, where the world turns into the most surreal place you could ever imagine. This happened to photographer Victor Habchy and over 70,000 other people for the largest outdoor festival dedicated to "Da Vinci's Workshop" this year.

Portrait Photography In A Pool

Photographer Nick Saglimbeni recently shot an image of Jhené Aiko for a Humane Society campaign to save the shark population. The goal of the image was to photograph Jhené in the ocean at night (or at least make it look that way). To create this shot, Nick decided to use a pool and strobes to create a similar look.