For the majority of my life, I was a soldier in the United States Army. As a part of military life, I learned how valuable it was to be prepared for all the things that could go wrong. Many soldiers will build a bug-out bag, also known as a go-bag. A bug-out bag is essentially a bag full of items one might need when in a pinch. Now as a photographer, my bug-out bag is full of all the little items I often am asked if I have or things that can make any shoot go easier. These things have often meant the difference between success and failure on a shoot. Here is the list of stuff I put in my bag.
When doing a documentary-style video production, an interview or series of interviews is often at the heart of the content. Uncontrollable lighting, background noise, and the size of the space you have to work in all play a significant role in capturing a quality testimonial, so location scouting to check on these is an important facet of our production process. In this short video, Joshua Pardon and I explore two rooms at a location and discuss what we look for when making a decision on where to set up for a shoot.
The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.
As work slows down for me in the off season, I wonder where I can go to create something new. For me, traveling is an awesome thing, and being able to explore our world is really amazing. After watching some of these aerial videos on Vimeo, I am really interested in flying across the country with all my gear and creating the most memorable trip I have ever had. Even though this may not happen soon, there are plenty of places that are within driving distance that I myself can go explore. I am going to make these trips a more common thing not only for the sake of creating new content, but for the sake of seeing more of the beauty in nature.
This article is a twist on the more common behind the scenes post. Instead of writing about the thought process of the shot in retrospect, I am starting this article several days before the full moon, to showcase my process and mindset when planning for a once in a lifetime shot of the Supermoon.
Alex Bartsch has done the incredible. Through a lot of research and after climbing over fences and onto roofs, he sought out 42 locations where reggae artists had photos taken for their album artwork. He even got into the living room of former Trojan label owner Marcel Rodd in Hampstead to take a photo in front of the fireplace. His work documents an era of London's reggae scene between 1967 and 1987.
Bartsch's series looks like it took a lot of hard work. Either the artists, label owners, or photographers had to be tracked down to get the information about where the shots...
A photo series to me was always just another project in school; whether it was for my digital photography class or film photography class, there was always something that had to be done in a series. Being done with school and not having any projects assigned eliminated the need to think about creating a series of work, but now I realize that a series of photos can be a pretty cool personal project. So one year out of college, I challenged myself to start working on a personal aerial series. This time there was no project that needed to be done, no deadline, no rules, I was free to do whatever I wanted to do. The only hard part was actually doing it, but I do believe that this is something that can help any photographer out.
For anyone who appreciates the use of flash, there comes a point in photography work when you want more power than a standard speedlite can offer. Many strobe options provide more power, but require you to be tied up to power outlets. Few strobes offer a simple portable lighting option. Many would contend the Profoto B1 is currently the best self contained portable strobe on the market. That may be changing with Impact's newly released strobe, the Venture TTL 600.
Photographing skylines and cityscapes takes a lot of technical ability, both in knowing what gear to bring and how to capture a variety of lighting conditions. Many photographers have made careers out of perfecting this genre, taking it even further by mixing in astrophotography, light painting, and even motion. Whether you're looking to explore your own backyard or get more out of traveling, shooting skylines can open your eyes to new possibilities no matter what type of photography you shoot.
Travel photographers seem to be going crazy for far-flung locations on Instagram. If you follow a bunch of them, you are bound to come across stunning photographs of some amazing places they’ve been making images of. It seems like everyone has caught the Scandinavian bug, seeing so many photographers flocking to Iceland or the Faroe Islands to capture those breathtaking landscapes. In this article, I will list the most popular locations for travel photographers on Instagram, but also include a few places you may not have considered.
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.
A photograph that does not tell a story, is a lifeless picture – it’s a failure to capture the viewer and therefore, his heart. One single photograph can inspire a person if a photographer knows how to tell a good story. Because photographer Paul Choy wanted to find out the truth for himself behind media headlines, and because he wanted to tell the individual stories of each refugee, he set out for the refugees’ camps in Calais and Greece with his camera. The result is the ‘Faceless, Forgotten’ – a photo essay and a documentary about the struggles of refugees.
David Guttenfelder shot for the Associated Press for 20 years, based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, and Tokyo, but it wasn't until he helped open the AP's North Korean bureau in 2011 that he became truly famous. His Instagram account has nearly a million followers and is filled with stunning iPhone photos from around the world. He was one of the first photographers to publish images shot on his phone, which caused a bit of a stir at the time.