Composite

How National Geographic Photographs A 300 Foot Redwood
Michael Nichols is a photographer for National Geographic who was recently faced with the task of photographing a 300 foot Redwood in Northern California. In order to capture the tree in all of its glory, Michael had to use 3 Canon 1Ds Mark II cameras, several pocket wizards, a cinema dolly system, and dozens of bracketed photos all shot at f2.8. Each full image of the tree took over 1 hour to complete and in order to capture the perfect photograph of the tree Michael and his team photographed the redwood over 18 days. The video below shows a quick recap of the project and the second video in the full post explains in detail how he was able to overcome all the obstacles required in creating this 18 meter tall image.

Freddie Wong Builds His Own Gun Shots
If you are not already subscribed to Freddie Wong's YouTube channel, you should go there right now and watch one of Youtube's most popular animators. Well this week he has created a really simple video called The Freeze Shootout and has provided a quick behind the scenes video on how he did it. Watch the full video here and click on the full post to watch how he created it.

A Chinese New Year In the Desert
We've featured the work of David Nguyen in the past and this time he has taken his whole production to new level. In his most recent photoshoot, Whispers in the Wind, David takes his creative team out to a desert and creates some really inspiring composite beauty images. The theme is sort of a Chinese New Year, and David has included wild elephants, tigers, rabbits, and birds into the final shots. I love it when artists take a concept to the max and really push their own creative aspirations. If you have not checked out David's portfolio, you are really missing out. Now if only we could get some BTS on how he made these composites!

Calle Hoglund: A Photographer Being Creative
The biggest problem with photographers today is that we don't actually get out and shoot enough. It's so easy to watch videos of others being creative or wait until we have that next magical piece of gear before we plan a shoot. What happened to taking pictures and being creative because that is what we love to do? Calle Hoglund did just that. He had an idea one night while his buddies were over and he shot it that night. Luckily for us, he also filmed his progress, enjoy.

On Set With The Cast Of House
If you've ever seen one of those movie or tv show posters then you probably already know that they are usually huge composites of every actor. But that doesn't always mean that the different characters are simply shot against a white background. Check out this fun video featuring the cast of House season 6 as they pose for different promo shots in a studio large enough to fit an old motorhome. Photographer Florian Schneider has an excellent site to browse and even has an image or two from this shoot posted.

Kam Khan Shoots Clothing Fighting In "VS."

Kam Khan Shoots Clothing Fighting In "VS."
Kam Khan is most well known for his incredible self portraits but he decided to mix things up with his newest shoot. In the video below, Khan shows us how he brings clothing to life with some strobes and photoshop work. The video is by no means a big production but the concept is a pretty unique idea. Check out his full blog writeup here.

WOW Cataclysm:  The Making of a Monster
Every now and then we come across a behind the scenes video that falls somewhere between the scope of photo/video production and computer graphics/animation. As creative artists, we need to be able to pull from a library of visual inspiration regardless of its original context. Even though I'm not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, I've always been fascinated by the commercials I see on television or the "movie" posters I see promoting the latest state of the art video games. Check out what Blizzard Entertainment created for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm trailer; it's pretty amazing what can be done not only graphically but also from an advertising point of view. Click the full post to see the final trailer for one of the most mocked popular video games of all time.

Dave Dugdale: How To Do Your Own Green Screen

Dave Dugdale: How To Do Your Own Green Screen
Dave Dugdale has been an Fstoppers reader for a while now but I had not come across his own useful site Learning DSLR Video until yesterday. He left a comment on one of our videos and I clicked on his site to check it out (yes we actually check out our reader's sites). When I saw one of his videos I immediately emailed him and asked if he would teach me how to colorkey footage in Premiere. Now Dave is not a photographer at all but rather an audio engineer, and what is so cool about his videos are that they document his progression into the field of videography. As a professional photographer myself, I feel like I'm in the same boat as Dave and I'm sure a lot of you guys feel that way too. Dave is filming on a Canon T2i and editing on Premiere CS5. If you are just getting into audio or video, stop by LearningDSLRVideo.com and check out some of his work. Hopefully you can use this information for your own BTS videos; I know we are going to do this soon on one of our FS Originals in the near future.

In The Future, Nothing Will Be Real
This video is already a year old but that doesn't mean it's not worth posting again. I was really impressed with the cinematography work and the amazing detail in the composition...and then I realized it was all completely fake! That's right, Alex Roman doesn't create that horrible Transformers CGI; his computer graphic designs are true works of art. Click the full post to see a breakdown on how this was designed as well as Alex's latest creation which features more "organic" material. If you are young and want to retire early, learn how to create this ASAP!

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Batelco Creates One Heck of an Ad
Fstoppers reader Marcin from Poland sent me an email with one of the coolest BTS videos I've seen in a while. If you were like me, you might not have heard of Batelco before. Batelco is a major telecommunications company based out of Bahrain. I've never seen such an elaborate commercial for a telecommunications commercial before, and with a budget of 1 million dollars and a production time frame of over a year it might be a while until someone outshines this ad. I've attached the first trailer here on the front page but be sure to hit the full post for a second trailer and a nice behind the scenes video. If you want even more super in depth BTS footage from this commercial check out the Batelco Facebook Page where they discuss each individual segment in great detail.

Arev Manoukian Creates Nuit Blanche
One of our forum members recently posted this and I am so glad that he did. Arev Manoukian create "Nuit Blanche" about 9 months ago and I am shocked that I had never seen it. This may very well be my favorite short film of all time. View the incredible finished product below and then view the full post to see the BTS.

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.

How Do You Animate A Legend?
This video might be on the fringe of what most photographers and videographers are faced with in their own field but I found it really interesting. The whole idea of modeling a modern Mickey Mouse with the classic animations we have grown up watching reminded me of how important it is to really study the details of your predecessors in order to copy or move past what they have already created. Sometimes I feel like a lot of photographers simply follow the lighting they see on a particular blog and expect to have the same results of well known photographers in their own projects. More often than not, what you wind up finding is your final image is no where near as good as the one you've tried to emulate. You really have to take the time to study your craft to make compelling art, and that's exactly what the animators for the new Mickey video game did. Enjoy!

Stefan Segers Outlines an Ad Campaign
Stefan Segers is a commercial photographer from the Netherlands. Although all of his website is in Dutch, he was nice enough to produce a behind the scenes video in English just for Fstoppers. Stefan explains from start to finish how he created the artistic look for the lastest Pajar campaign. I really love this straightforward behind the scenes video because Stefan's approach is pretty simple but very professional in it's final execution.