A few weeks ago, commercial photographer Jay P Morgan showed us how to balance strobe light with ambient light on a large 18 wheeler (which involved closing down a California highway on ramp). In this video Jay is shooting a lifestyle image for Pilot Freight Services which requires him to light a large outdoor areas with studio lighting. The answer to the question in the title could probably be "one light," but using one strobe on a commercial shoot is not only going to produce a less than perfect image, it is also going to look unprofessional from the eyes of the art director. When photographing large advertising campaigns, I've learned that giving your clients that "wow" experience is perhaps even more important that the actual final image so don't underestimate the saying under promise and over deliver. What is great about this photoshoot is that even if you don't shoot large campaigns like this on a daily basis, it should still force you to think why certain lights are needed, and more importantly, ask what you yourself would do if this was your hired job.
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.
Red Bull no doubt has some of the best sports video work I've ever seen. In their latest sports commercial, the energy drink company takes to the skies as they film 2x Women's Motocross Association Champion Ashley Fiolek. Ashley, who has been deaf since birth, has been making a lot of noise on the women's circuit, and she has become an inspiration to fans of the sport world wide. The video features some interesting camera angles with much of the footage coming from cable suspended camera. Everything was filmed in 3D to give the POV shots a bit of kick as Ashley soars through the air. Check out the behind the scenes video below and then click on the full post to watch the final commercial.
I just realized that our Fstoppers Twitter account has tons of unread direct messages (we prefer you email us). One of them was from Douglas Sonders who had a crazy experience with one of the original Ghostbusters Ecto 1 Cadillacs. These caddies have so many lights on them that I can't make any sense of what is going on but it looks pretty cool. Douglas does a good job explaining how he plans on using a few long exposure shots to burn in the ambient light while using spot grids to pop in just the right amount of flash for specific areas of the photo. Does anyone know if the Roscoe Fog Machine in this video is made by the same company that makes Roscoe Speedlight Gels? Either way, nice touch on bringing the smoke machine to the shoot. Check out more details about this shoot over at Douglas Sonders's Blog.
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.
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer based out in Los Angeles. His behind the scenes videos have been a hit with our readers because they always feature some useful lighting or photoshopping technique. In his latest video, Jay shuts down a highway ramp in order to light an 18 wheeler truck against the LA skyline. It's pretty interesting that an image like this is shot in camera and not completely photoshopped but that's what makes Jay P. Morgan a hero around the office. If you enjoy this video be sure to check out some of his other videos here.
Eric Curry is a photographer who specializes in painting with light. Unlike using strobes to exposure your photos, painting with light requires you to use long exposures and constant light sources to effectively "paint" over your subject and capture it on your sensor. The newest image in Eric's American Pride and Passion series is one of the most complex light painting images I've ever seen and the behind the scenes video shows just how much work goes into such a big project. Click the full post to see the final image and be sure to click on Eric's website to see many more examples of his layered light painting photographs.
This video was featured on the Fstoppers Forum and it had me laughing from the beginning. Luckily there is also a behind the scenes video that explains how in the world they created all of this "HD Porn". I would have never thought in a million years you could mix Iron Maiden, the most ridiculous looking poodle, the largest bubble machine I've ever seen, and flashing neon lights to produce an entertaining commercial for Sony high definition products. Then again I'm not paid the big bucks to think this outside the box either. Enjoy the final commercial below and then head over to full post to see how everything was put together.
What could be more fun than drifting a MINI Coupé around Rio, Brasil during Carnival? Director Paulo Martins takes you behind the scenes in the latest MINI commercial from the Another Day, Another Adventure campaign. Instead of filming the commercial during the annual Carnival in February, Paulo recreated the festival months later so he could drive the car directly into the parade. I have to admit I was a bit nervous watching the stunt drivers weave in an out of the city but it does make me envy one of these small cars.. Click the full post to watch the final commercial and head over to the MINI Youtube Channel to watch other commercials in the series from Honk Kong and Iceland.
This week over on the Fstoppers Forum there has been some pretty interesting posts. One that grabbed my attention was made by user Evolize Photog who showed how he photographs luxury cars in motion. In this video Evolize shows how he photoshopped his suction cupped boom arm out of a Lamborghini Gallardo hero shot. This should be great inspiration for our behind the scenes contest we are running the rest of this year. I'm sure a lot of you are like me and have questions about mounting a boom arm, triggering the camera, and positioning the camera for the best angle. These are some of the topics you should consider when making your own BTS video in the future. Do we have any other automotive photographers here on Fstoppers?
Within 24 hours of announcing the Fstoppers 2011 Behind The Scenes Video Contest, we were shocked to already have our first submission. Marc Kuyer from Holland had an idea to have small model cars battling each other like they were straight out of Rock and Roll Racing (super cult classic). Marc does a good job outlining his plans and showing you all the photoshopping that went into this final image. Of course we'd love to see everyone on camera but sometimes with language barriers you may have to stick with subtitles and text. So I guess it's safe to say right now Marc has taken the lead in our contest. If no one else steps up to the plate he will be moving on from small speed lights to a full studio worth of equipment!
Just like the story of Vivian Maiers, every now and then a discovery is made that not only brings a smile to your face but also sends a chill down your spine. Such is the story of the famous 1906 black and white film A Trip Down Market Street. For almost a century, historians have been trying to accurately date the short 13 minute film, and up until recently it was thought to have been shot in Sept 1905. When historian David Kiehn unveiled the truth about the film's date, everyone was shocked to learn that it was filmed in San Francisco just days before the devastating earthquake and sequential fire of 1906. The behind the scenes story on how the origin of the film was created is quite remarkable.
One of the most important things any photographer can do to push their career forward is to take on assignments that are beyond what they feel comfortable shooting. When Todd Rosenberg was approached by Sports Illustrated for a commemorative issue, he was asked to shoot 10 historic cars from the last century of the Indianapolis 500. The only problem was Todd had never photographed an automobile before in his life! Using advice given by car photographer Michael Furman, Todd built a large studio (which included a 10'x30' Chimera softbox) directly inside the auto museum. Check out this great interview conducted by PhotoShelter as Todd discusses how he organized the shoot as well as some business tips on how he got the client in the first place. Also check out all of the images on the Picade Indy 500 page.
Have you ever seen a car ad in a magazine and wondered "how did they do that?" The car itself seems to be glowing and the location is always perfect. I've always known that tons of photoshop is involved by I didn't know if the car was actually shot in that location or if it was shot in the studio and dropped into the scene in post. In the case below, the car was shot on location and lit with a very simple rig (umbrella on a stick). The magic happens in Photoshop afterwards.