Portraits

The Creation Of The 2011 Pirelli Calendar NSFW
Pirelli is constantly pushing the envelope with their sexy Calendars. This year, mega fashion designer/photographer Karl Lagerfeld was in charge of shooting this Greek Goddess themed photoshoot. Karl seems to shoot most of the shots with 1 single bare bulb flash and his images are stunning. Once again this video is NSFW has quite a bit of nudity. To watch the video, please view the full post.

Jay P Morgan Explains A Three Light Setup
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial and advertising photographer based out in Los Angeles, California. We have featured his work before and this time Jay is using a three light setup to make some portraits of a jazz player. If you are still uncomfortable with your lighting skills, Jay does a really good job explaining exactly what each light does and why he placed them where he did. Click on the full post for part two of this photoshoot where Jay adds some "special effects" in the form of an air canon firing at his subject.

Andreas Sjodin:  How To Pull The Most Out Of Your Models
Andreas Sjodin is a commercial and catalog photographer who has basically shot for everyone under the sun. Right after you watch this video you need to head over to his website and check out his amazing portfolio! I've said this so many times I hope you guys aren't sick of hearing me say this: Great and interesting photographs are almost never about technical lighting. I know with my own work, many times the best images are often not the ones that rely on the most innovative lighting but rather focus on something interesting or naturally beautiful. I love what Andreas says while shooting for mega clothing company H&M: "The easiest thing to shoot is someone looking good, what's difficult is to shoot someone looking good and interesting, and inspiring." I really think this approach is what separates the boys from the men, and it should be evident with Andreas's one light setup in this shoot. Enjoy

Peter Hurley Photographs Chaske Spencer of Twilight
Our good friend Peter Hurley has been tearing up Twitter the last few days which can only mean one thing: He's done something pretty exciting! Peter loves to film his own videos on his Flip HD camera while in the middle of his shoots so the footage is always a bit spontaneous. Check out this short clip of Peter as he shoots Twilight megastar Chaske Spencer in his studio and on top of his roof. If you watch closely you may even see the Empire State Building a half a dozen times :) Check out the final images over at Peter's blog http://www.comeontakeyourbestshot.com/ and if you haven't watched our Fstoppers Original on Peter check it out here.

Gregory Heisler Lights a Time Magazine Cover
When I first saw Gregory Heisler, I thought he was a college professor not a professional photographer. I guess in reality he is both since this is one of the most indepth BTS videos I've seen explaining how to construct lighting that doesn't call too much attention to itself. I'm always a big fan of images like this since shooting environmental portraits forces you to not only produce a great portrait but also create something iconic and often time monumental. Gregory does a great job with this portrait of then NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Much props to Profoto for producing some really educational videos.

Marie-Louise Cadosch Shoots Fashion In A Bus
Here is an interesting photoshoot where Marie-Louise Cadosch lights her model inside an old bus. Instead of trying to fit the lights inside, they decide to light through the glass and the results speak for themselves.Check out the final images and more info from this Fashion Breakdown shoot here and more on the toning of these images here.

Melissa Rodwell Shoots Harper's Bazaar Cover
Melissa Rodwell is back with Fashion Photography Blog shooting a Harper's Bazaar Cover. I'll let the video and pictures speak for themselves but I do have to say that I am huge fan of this simple single hard light. Easy setup, great results! Update: Woops, I just realized that Strobist posted yesterday. Just wanted to give David credit as well.

Harper's Bazaar Arabia-Louis Vuitton from Melissa Rodwell on Vimeo.

How To Take Surfing Pictures With Studio Lighting
I've taken small strobes out into the ocean to shoot kiteboarders in the past and it wasn't a huge success. My assistants were getting bashed by waves and the small strobes just aren't powerful enough to really show up in the day. Robert Snow had a much better plan though. He decided to go to a wave pool where the waves always break in the same spot and set up beefy studio lighting on the land.

Wave Pool Shoot from Cavin Brothers on Vimeo.

Maybe You Only Need 1 Light
So many times we photographers think we need to use every single strobe light we own just because they are there in our bag. I've been a victim of it and I'm sure you have too. Instructional photographer Tony Corbell has an old video he made for the folks at Profoto which really showcases the variety of light you can get from just one single light source. There is an old saying that goes the best light is the light you have with you but maybe it should go the best light is sometimes the simplest light.

Jesse Rosten Uses iPad Studio Lighting
Jesse Rosten got his hands on $4500 worth of iPads and decided to do a photoshoot with them. You may be thinking that this is totally pointless and for stills I might have to agree that this is overkill but a single iPad could be used to add softlight to extremely low lit scenes; something a small strobe could never do. An iPad can also change color temperature to match the ambient light around it. I see this being used more for video that stills anyway. Don't believe me? Well you can buy this light panel for $500 and I'll stick to my iPad.

iPad Photoshoot from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Joseph Anthony Baker Photographs Taylor Swift
Some musicians release a new album with a mediocre cd booklet or no booklet at all. But when country star Taylor Swift releases an album she sets out to create photographs that depict her songs in cinematic fashion. Taylor and Nashville musician photographer Joseph Anthony Baker work together to create very stylized sets which are often as tongue-in-cheek as some of the lyrical content in her songs. Shooting these sort of fantasy images requires a lot of art direction and a mastery of set design and elaborate lighting but the results are truly amazing! Click the full post for part 2 of the series (part 3 requires a comcast login) and head over to Taylor's website to see the final images.

Veterans Of The Fighting Lady
My good friend Diana Deaver just sent this video over that she recently helped created and I really love it. 8 of the top photographers in the area got together to shoot portraits of US veterans in Charleston and listen to their incredible stories. I believe Diana shot this video and her stills using the 5D Mark II. This photography exhibit will be open to the public on November 5th. Projects like these are really what make me love living in Charleston, SC.

What Makes A Great Image?
A few editors of National Geographic sat down to talk about a few of their favorite images. What is it that makes an image memorable and interesting? Most everyone said it was something they have never seen before. Some fields of photography don't have to be ground breaking but if you want to take your own images to the next level try to imagine shooting something you have never seen published before. I'm afraid too many photographers get wrapped up in the lighting, gear, location, and very picky details. Before you even pull out your camera, think to yourself, "what have I not seen done before?" Obviously this video applies mainly to naturally occurring events in nature but I think the same principles can be applied to planned shoots. What do you guys think?