Despite having grown up around photography all my life (thanks, dad) and then starting my own commercial portrait business in 2009, there is one small little thing I'd never done before, silly as it sounds. I have never, ever shot in snow. Born in the Caribbean in 1975, then briefly living in Miami before settling down in Houston in 1979, I have truly never experienced real snow. But all that changed for me recently in Salt Lake City and Albuquerque - in January.
I admit it freely: I didn't used to pay attention or care about portrait lighting patterns. In fact, when a photographer would mention them around me, I would cover my ears and say "La la la la la" as loudly as possible while hurriedly trying to leave the room. There was a time where dismissing the standards was my usual, as was my tendency, but eventually I realized I was missing out on fundamentals that I could easily have built on and expanded rather than ignored. Just starting out? Don't make my mistakes.
Big movies mean big budgets, which usually mean big visual effects. The Moving Picture Company (better known as MPC) recently released another one of those mesmerizing VFX breakdown videos for their most recent feature film, “The Martian.” The breakdown reveals some aspects of the film and of Matt Damon's performance that were both challenging and impressive, like the fact that the helmets worn in the film didn't feature physical windscreens. Those were added later with matching reflections to the scenery.
If you work in portrait photography, be it commercial fashion or high school seniors or anything in between, at some point you will be on set with makeup artists (MUA) and hair stylists, if you aren't already. A good makeup artist can make or break your sessions, and a bad one can simply ruin everything. And since no amount of retouching can totally undo subpar makeup, hair, and styling, Staci and I decided to sit down with pro makeup artist Sarah Stafford in The Backyard to shed some light on the relationship between MUAs and photographers.
Every photographer has come to a point where he thought he did not have the right gear, enough budget, the team, or just the perfect idea to make a project come to life. There are those that then let an idea go and others, like Anthony Kurtz, that keep their ideas in mind until all the elements come together.
Jay P. Morgan with The Slanted Lens has released a new video that demonstrates how he and his team were able to precisely capture the exact moment they wanted, using the laser mode on the MIOPS trigger system. Morgan breaks down the tricks for getting just the right shot, without having to rapid-fire a bunch of extra, useless images.
Watch as Josh Connolly tests out the slow motion explosion he bought off Amazon Prime (ya, you heard me) and then learn how to create your very own. OK, they won't actually teach you how to blow things up, but they will entertain you while walking you through the process they used to create a slow-motion explosion effect. So, even though you may go to Film Riot to learn filmmaking techniques and how to create kick-ass visual effects, you'll go back for the sketches.
It’s safe to say that this camera doesn’t suck, and in the hands of someone like Tim Kemple, who’s at the top of their game, the results are pretty incredible. I got the chance to chat with Tim about his thoughts on using the new Phase One XF 100MP camera, including what happened when he flew it on a drone over a waterfall.
World-renowned photographer and visual engineer Benjamin Von Wong has done it again. His breathtaking, inspiring photography has taken yet another step and this time for a great cause. According to Von Wong, this is the hardest shoot he has ever pulled off, and one he hopes has the biggest impact.
This short film is a great piece of satire, aimed at some of the stereotypical characters and views found on an indie film set. Couple that with a concept that is ridiculous, yet believable enough to be true, and you've got gold. This humorous short takes you behind the scenes of a film shot using only the Toyota Prius backup camera.
Reporters Without Borders has released a wonderful video that demonstrates the importance of having impartial and unbiased coverage of war and conflicts. In the video they juxtapose images and video footage which popular media presents, with that of independent photojournalists, for a stark contrast that effectively displays the different messages both are trying to get across.
Working as a behind-the-scenes or “stills” photographer is an entirely different experience to most usual photography jobs. As photographers we naturally tend to take charge of the creative direction, and are used to getting our own way. Working BTS requires you to work within different dynamics, not least of which involves being surrounded by other creatives, each with their own opinions and ideas. Here are some of the best and worst things you can expect whilst shooting behind-the-scenes.
Make no mistake, Shoot The Centerfold is the most exclusive and well respected glamour and model photography seminar on the planet. And as it turns out, this year I've been invited to see everything that goes on at STC, both up front and behind the curtain, in what will be an exclusive insider view on this most revered of photo events. Oh, and I might be a little bit excited about it.
The next time you're having a rough day thinking about how all your photography is looking the same, the competition is stiff, and bookings are down, remember that there are photographers out there taking pictures exclusively of the male anatomy and translating those into $10,000 limited edition prints.