When I was just eight years old I would flip through the pages of National Geographic and imagine being a photographer in Africa. I was captivated by the faces and places that seemed worlds apart from my typical Middle American hometown. Fast forward years later, and I'm living the dream as a travel photographer working throughout Africa and Europe. If you've ever wanted to travel the world with your camera, here's my advice to help you get started and thrive in professional travel photography.
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When a large event like the MTV Music Awards plans out their production, photography is at the top of the priority list. Because when all is said and done, the only thing that remains is what is on the back of the camera. Getty Images and MTV Europe have been partners for many years. Having a long lasting relationship allows the two teams to grow as a unit.
Assisting for a photographer or videographer can be a rewarding experience filled with knowledge and new perspectives. An assistant often receives an insider's view into how a photographer runs a production, and gains networking opportunities that may not have been accessible before. However, being an effective assistant requires more than holding light stands or reflectors. Great attention to detail and a humble can-do attitude can ensure your return to set, and solidify your reputation as a reliable assistant. While every photographer varies, we will review some of my tips for proper etiquette for assistants, from a photographer's perspective.
Long before "El Cap" became the easier way to pronounce Apple's upcoming operating system, it was the affectionately shortened moniker of Yosemite's most famous and respected rock climbing peak: El Capitan. Today, Google launches a project that takes Street View vertical, as each image was taken as a climber ascended the peak.
If you're like me, photography is not just about weddings and portraits. I love getting outdoors with my camera and exploring the mountains and forests around my hometown of Seattle, Washington. Anything from a day hike to a multi-night backpacking trip is always an opportunity to photograph my adventures and share these beautiful landscapes with others.
In Spring 2015, two photographers traveled to the rugged mountains of Iceland to collaborate with a pair of elite costume artists (cosplayers) to shoot some of fiction's most iconic characters in an unforgettable location. With only a piddly $180 in the “candy budget,” the team set out to plan 24 shoots over the course of 8 days.
Yesterday was World Oceans Day (it's okay if you missed it; you can make up for it today) and to celebrate, Google released an amazing new feature powered by its popular Street View technology: Street View Oceans. Working with a number of scientists and researchers, Google mapped well over 50 unique experiences around the world with GPS data to give the public access to the amazing life under the sea as well as to help track its growth and/or recession for scientific study.
Being an adept problem solver is a key skill found in most successful photographers, and with complex photo shoots, the likelihood of something not going according to plan gets pretty high. On a recent project, Ben Von Wong had everything lined up, only to have things change and be forced to cancel the shoot, or make something else happen in a very short time.
In the growing wake of low-budget, special effect action minis whose audience has become larger and larger on YouTube, Sam and Niko's "Real GTA" steps the game up once more with a perfect assimilation of the popular "Grand Theft Auto" video game into real, Los Angeles life. Complete with sound effects recreated as similarly as possible within the actual game, the same Los Angeles street scenes, and smashing special effects (like the famous wads of cash exploding out of recently killed bystanders), "Real GTA" reminds us both how ridiculous and subsequently fun it is.
Dreaming big is never a bad thing for a photographer. The more imaginative your ideas, the easier it is to stand out amongst your peers. Yet there is often a very real, and very high price tag associated with grand productions. Producing personal projects that you’re passionate about is vital for many photographers in the fashion industry. However, it can be frustrating to lack the funds necessary to bring your vision to life for more ambitious projects. Fortunately, there are many options available to photographers to help them bring that production to life, without breaking the bank in the process.
Last spring, I got a dream call from one of the photo editors at Sports Illustrated to photograph the legendary Dan Gable, a wrestler from Iowa, and one of the most winning athletes of all time. From winning gold in Munich during the 1972 Olympics, to having coached other U.S. teams to gold after, this guy oozes excellence and passion in everything he does. I’m not one to be intimidated by people because of their status in life, but people who work as hard as he does definitely stand out to me.
If you have ever been in a remote enough place and looked up at the night sky, you know how magical the universe can be with countless stars dotting a black canvas overhead. Many photographers capture the night sky with their camera resulting in spectacular images. But it’s one thing to step out into your backyard and point your camera up, and a completely different adventure to hike out to a remote location and capture the cosmos with the wilderness as your backdrop.
New technology from the University of Washington allows for millions of photos taken by different people over the duration of years and years to be sorted through, selected, and pieced together to create jaw-dropping time-lapse videos. Using photos from public databases, they were able to watch the progression and/or degradation of growing city skylines, receding glaciers, monuments, and more. Check out the video to see their amazing work!
There is a romanticized dream of what it is like to be a destination wedding photographer. Outside of that idea lies a reality of what it actually entails. It is hard and exhausting work to photograph weddings full-time, let alone fly internationally on a weekly basis to cover them while also hosting workshops across the planet. But what is it that actually drives some of us to quite literally go the extra mile? There is a narrative behind the work you are about to see as well as the individual who has completely redefined the meaning of destination wedding photography.
Documentary photographers, fashion photographers, businessmen, housewives, househusbands, you, the world – everyone should know the name and works of Sebastião Salgado. His work has moved millions of social workers, doctors, politicians, economists, and photographers alike. His work moves humans because it is human. This might mark the second or third film review on Fstoppers, but it’s rare and extremely fortunate that we should have the ability to engulf the pleasures of what can easily be called the most soul-entrancing art documentary in the world that is “Salt of the Earth.”
Gnarly Bay, the guys who brought you “Rambo Day,” are back with a compelling story aptly titled “The Important Places." The story follows lifestyle and adventure photographer Forest Woodward who sets out to reunite with his father and a sense of youth after unearthing a poem. I will not give away more, as the story needs to be watched to be truly understood and appreciated.
If you aren’t familiar with the work of Dave Lehl, it’s about time that you change that. Dave is not only one of the top photographers in the snowboard industry, but he consistently creates work that transcends genres and has landed him gigs shooting for a list of clients that includes the likes of Red Bull, Nike, and Lamborghini. He has been published in nearly every major snowboard magazine including the covers of Pleasure Mag and Transworld Japan’s photo annuals.
This couple took wedding photography to a whole new level when they got their wedding shots taken. They used a series of drones in order to capture their big day. The shots that they created are undoubtedly original and stand out from the crowd... for now. With the release of the new DJI Phantom 3 that we recently covered, drones could be here to stay, but are we at a stage now where we can outsource our photography to machines?
The natural beauty contained within Enrique Pacheco’s latest time-lapse video “Reflections from Uyuni” is striking and remarkable. During South America’s rainy season, Pacheco journeyed through the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, down to the Bolivian desert capturing surreal landscapes of these flooded lands. Fstoppers is happy to share the Spanish cinematographer’s insight as to what the experience was like shooting in such surreal locations.
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.
Vincent Laforet's latest AIR series blankets the City of Angels with a farewell series of shots before the project will head to Europe for the first time starting mid-May. As Laforet continues shifting cities (from the previously covered New York City, Las Vegas, and San Francisco projects), his aesthetic slowly changes in response to the varying challenges and differences between shooting each city. Fstoppers caught up with Laforet to discuss the ever-present surprises in shooting AIR and its transformation as it grows into a larger project supported by G-Technology and pre-orders for Laforet's "AIR" book.
Michigan-based photographer Vincent Brady spent five weeks in Iceland living out the back of a rental car to capture the ethereal footage found in his latest 360-degree time-lapse project “Aurora Panoramas Acoustic Borealis.” The video depicts Iceland in its full fantastic glory, with brightly colored auroras floating above fairytale landscapes. Set to an original mellow acoustic tune by long-time friend Brandon McCoy, this video makes for the perfect 4-minute weekend getaway.
Ever used a drone? If you have, you've almost certainly had that "oh sh*t" moment as your expensive, and admittedly, super awesome toy narrowly escaped a crash that would inevitably end its life. Well, Ryan Chatfield knows that feeling exactly. He was on a beach capturing a beautiful Western Australian sunset when his drone's batteries begin to die. Watch this video to see him race across the beach to save it before it plummets into the rocks and waves below!
Polish cinematographer Maciej Tomków’s “Treasures of Zakynthos” is a beautiful, award-winning time-lapse that highlights the titled Greek island. Going far beyond only filming for the final project, Tomków also took the time and care to create incredibly well-done behind-the-scenes videos that give a true sense of what production is like shooting epic time-lapses. If you’re passionate about photography or videography, you’re going to love these "Behind the Time-lapse" creations.
When you’re first starting out as a professional photographer, nothing seems quite as sexy as getting your first traveling gig. Initially, it's a status symbol — an illustrious validation of your success. Eventually though, that quick hop to New York or jaunt to Cozumel becomes less revered. In fact, for many photographers these trips can be downright nerve-wracking. The reason for this is simple: Gear. Don’t be mistaken, there is still the appeal of being the confident traveling photographer reading some Tom Robbins in the terminal with your feet resting on your roller bag while waiting...
If you haven’t seen the stars in the sky in some time, you’re not alone. Thanks to the ever growing amount of light pollution in populated cities’ celestial domes, the heavens above us are becoming harder and harder to see. The Skyglow project aims to, forgive the pun, shed light on the subject. Filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic shot this short film throughout Los Angeles – imagining the majestic universe just above.
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.
When a fashion photographer travels between both coasts of the U.S., shoots assignments in the Caribbean islands, and spans the continents of Europe and Asia for work, it’s safe to say he’s “made it.” Living through those experiences when the stakes are so high prepares you for anything – and that’s experience from which we are all lucky to learn.
Photography isn't always the safest pursuit, especially when you delve into the world of documentary and travel photography. Shooting out in the field can be unpredictable, from the weather and terrain, to the wildlife and the local people. The more you push the extremes of your photography, oftentimes, the more risk you'll take — to both your gear, and yourself.
Markus Andersen is back at it again on the streets of Sydney, Australia… but this time he has teamed up with fellow street photographer Elif Suyabatmaz of Istanbul, Turkey. The pair of photographers has just wrapped up a three year long project titled Mirrored where they responded to one another’s images by presenting a similar viewpoint from their respective nations. The final collection echoes the differences and similarities within the Australian and Turkish cultures through the mirrored interpretations each photographer presents.
Warm smiles and serene sun flares seem to be landing on the shoulders of portraits all over the internet nowadays. Complimented with beautiful bokeh from a shallow depth of field, the allure of a sun-kissed image image is easy to see. What happens when mother nature doesn't seem to be on your side? In this article, I am going to show you how to master "faking" sun flare.
The one and only Pepper Yandell, based in Dallas, Texas, could be called the rising star of automotive photography for some time now, and for good reason. Yandell produces some of the most striking and commercially viable automobile images I've ever seen, so recently when BMW handed him the keys to a factory fresh 2 Series and told him to get lost for 24 solid hours, it was pretty clear that this rising star had ascended to a new level.
Last week I traveled to Utah to shoot the athlete that landed the first ever double backflip on a downhill bike. Upon arriving at the Red Bull Rampage site, my mind was blown witnessing the extraordinary things these athletes are capable of. This trip has taught me more than any other sports photoshoot I have ever done.
Recently announced at the head of WPPI a couple weeks ago, was the Profoto B2 strobe system. The unit, small in comparison of its competitors, was arguably the most exciting product announcement this year at the popular photography convention. However, the burning question everyone has been asking is… is 250Ws enough for on location work like Profoto suggests?
We've had one hell of a cold, long winter this year here in North America. On top of that, I live in Houston, Texas, so this business of freezing rain in March can go die in a fire already. I enjoyed shooting moody styles outside during this extended drabness in recent months, if I'm honest. However, sunny days are coming and I couldn't happier it because summer means outdoor swimwear projects begin, which is one of my favorite styles to shoot. However, having been so bleak for so long this winter, have you gotten yourself prepped for this most popular of fashion and glamour photography seasons?
In November of last year, Coty Tarr traveled to Lake Placid in Upstate New York to document the US Bobsled team as they practiced and prepared for upcoming competitions. Coty, as per usual, has not only photographed these incredible athletes and the work that goes into this level of training, but he's done so gorgeously.
Aaron Eveland's Hawaiian Sunsets - Based on 'The Endless Summer' - Will Have You Booking an Immediate Flight to Hawaii
Aaron Eveland, the videographer of the wedding duo in Hawaii known as Makai Creative, set out to recreate the classic look of The Endless Summer movie poster – gigantic sunsets behind surfers on the beach – and that he did with the help of a Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens, a 2x Extender, and a lot of trial and error. It’s all worth it as you can see in his short film, Sunchasers.
The latest time-lapse by astrophotographer Brian Spencer shows us the beauty within our galaxy by highlighting the bright stars paired with the beautiful nature found in New Mexico. Using a collection of sliders, cameras, and patience, Spencer was able to capture this beautiful time-lapse highlighting both the beautiful night sky of New Mexico, and the world we view it from.
Have you ever wished there was a function in Photoshop that would just erase all the unwanted objects at the touch of a button? That dream very well may now be a reality as Aaron Nace of Phlearn shows us in this tutorial.
Navid Baraty’s Success in Progress: From Electrical Engineering to Photographing for the World’s Largest Company
Perhaps the benchmark of “making it” in this business is to earn an assignment that would cause all but those with the strongest moral character to push both ethical and legal boundaries if an opportunity to supplant the rightful hire were to present itself. Bicoastal photographer Navid Baraty is one such photographer that might draw out said envy from his peers with the most recent addition to his client list.
Go behind the scenes with London-based photographer Jason Bell as he shoots the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch for Vanity Fair. Walking us through the detailed setup, including gear from Phase One, you can see all that goes into such a high-end editorial piece. From concept to completion, it's refreshing to see that not one hand was wasted in creating this magnificent series.
Photographer, director, and writer Tyler Shields is known for his world class, oft avant garde, work. We've covered many of his previous over-the-top projects here on Fstoppers, including feeding a $100,000 purse to a crocodile, his Mouthful exhibit, and blowing up his Rolls Royce Silver Shadow — all in the name of art. Shields is at it again with his fine art series Sirens which blends the genres of landscape and nude in a beautifully surrealist way. In this video, Tyler takes you behind the scenes in a look at the creation of some of the Sirens images.
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.
If you're planning on attending Lin and Jirsa's Ultimate Wedding Workshop 101 down in the Bahamas you will want to act fast. With only 6 seats left in this class, Pye and Justin will be covering proper exposure and how to shoot in manual, how to pose your couples, how to modify natural light, on and off camera flash, and much more. If you have seen the wedding work of Lin and Jirsa Weddings then you know Pye, Justin, and the rest of their team are at the pinnacle of the wedding genre. Their 101 workshop takes place May 13th through May 14th.
Rob Whitworth builds upon his previous experience from his innovative Barcelona "flow motion" time-lapse with this new production covering the business oasis, Dubai. In his latest piece, Whitworth makes it apparent that he has perfected his craft to create the most fascinating time-lapse we've seen so far. We asked him to comment on his process. And while we got some behind-the-scenes footage and images, Whitworth simply told us, "It's always fun to keep people guessing." So by all means, let's guess.
Learning to find the perfect light is something that takes time and experience. But what do you do when the perfect light isn't there? Shooting in hard sunlight isn't always the most flattering or ideal situation. Don't settle for less than ideal results, bad light doesn't have to mean bad images. In this tutorial you'll learn how to defeat hard light by scrimming and lighting to completely reset your lighting conditions and take control of your shoot.
That's 10K – as in your 4K monitor, but not really...because it's 10K. Yes, photographer Joe Capra created a stunning 10K time-lapse with a PhaseOne IQ180 that shoots images with a resolution of 10,328 x 7,760 pixels. While this video is clearly put together in a proof-of-concept style, the clips still astound. We can't expect anyone to be able to view this at a real 10K resolution (the video is edited to 1080p and zooms in to show the full resolution), but the least you can do is view it in HD in full screen, at which point it becomes a gratifying kind of dizzying.
Vincent Laforet Adds Las Vegas to His New High-Altitude Series Along with Lofty Goals for Social Interaction
While on location for Red Bull's King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa, digital art photographer Lars Daniel Terkeleson caught up with professional rider Nick Jacobsen for an incredible photo session. In a unique approach to using speedlites in sports photography, he was able to capture action in rare form against the breathtaking South African sunset.