Portraits

Detailed Lighting Setup For An Amazing Western Shoot
Jay P. Morgan seems to be releasing one great BTSV after another. I have enjoyed them all but I must admit that this one is by far my favorite. At his last workshop, Jay used a 5D Mark II and 4 studio strobes to professionally light his western themed set. If you don't have all of the studio gear yet, keep in mind that it is possible to light scenes like these with much smaller and cheaper speedlights as well (like the SB-900 or 580EX), just keep in mind that they will not be as powerful as a studio system.

Platon's Photoshoot in Burma:  First Lady of Freedom
Portrait photographer Platon is best known for his stylized wide angle photographs of political figures such as Bill Clinton, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, and countless other iconic leaders throughout the world. His images have graced the covers of Time, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Esquire to name a few. For Platon, putting himself in a position to capture portraits of some of the most unapproachable and impenetrable political rulers has not only been stressful but also extremely dangerous. Such was the case when he set out to Burma, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, to photograph opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi. In the video below Platon recaps his experience being chased by Burmese secret police in his effort to create the cover image of the January 2011 issue of Time.

Ella Manor Is The Lady Gaga Of Photography
Ella Manor is a fashion photographer based out of New York City who approaches her photography in a rather unorthodox manner. Much of her work combines beautiful models and extravagant clothing with dreamy camera effects and often times double exposures. Her hybrid style lends itself to the unpredictable nature of Lensbaby lenses so much so that she has been labeled a "Photo Guru" by the lens company themselves. This video showcases her latest photo essay Power House and explains how she approaches her photography from both a technical aspect and also a visionary aspect. I can't say I've ever seen anything quite like this before but judging from the images on her website I think I like what I see.

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.

Alex Soth Still Uses An 8x10 Camera
Alex Soth is an American photographer based out of Minnesota. He recently setup a big exhibition at the Minneapolis Walker Art Center which showcased his work done on a large 8x10 camera. Most of his work is done by photographing strangers in unique environments. This short profile video explains his outlook on photography and makes one think "how in the world do you walk around with such a large camera"?

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.

Jeff Johnson Takes Some Amazing Travel Photos
Jeff Johnson is a very talented lifestyle and advertising photographer based out of California. He is probably best known for his adventurous images as the staff photographer for Patagonia. He has also worked with Best Buy, Macy's, Target, and General Mills. So when he sits down with Marc Silber to talk about how he produces great travel photos you better take notes. I hope all you outdoor and nature photographers enjoy this video.

The Sartorialist:  Documentary on Street Photography
Scott Schuman runs a really popular fashion blog called The Sartorialist, and the whole idea is that he takes timeless looking images of fashionable people in cities around the world. A few days ago we ran a viral story on Vivian Maier who may have been the greatest unknown street photographer of her era. I thought this short documentary on Scott might be interesting to those of you who enjoy taking spontaneous images on your own city streets. It's easy to get wrapped up in gear and fancy lighting with 'modern' photography but ultimately it's your subjects that really makes an image. What better way is there to test your own craft than to take just a camera and lens and hit the streets?

What To Photograph In A $6000 A Night Vancouver Hotel Room
Photographer Dave Hamilton sent us a fun video he made a few weeks ago and I thought the photos were really interesting. It also reminded me of the time Lee and I shot in a similar hotel room :) So after telling Dave that our readers would really enjoy hearing more about his lighting and the setup, he created a second video outlining the entire day. Shooting in elaborate spaces that you aren't completely familiar with can be daunting and to execute a photo well you need to know how to maximize your light. It would be a shame to have a $6000 or $15,000 a night room and not utilize the space itself! Check out this video of the actual shoot and check out Dave's detailed video in the full post.

Dave Hamilton Photography Vancouver View Fashion Editorial from dave hamilton photography on Vimeo.

How To Shoot Models On A Tarmac
One of our reader's emailed me this fun concept photoshoot by photographer Levy Moroshan and I thought I'd share it with everyone this new year's weekend. The styling for this is pretty straightforward: fashion evening gowns with retro style airplanes. Most of the images are lit with just two Photek Softlighters and both the out of camera shots are shown along with the final photoshop edits. Too bad we didn't get to hear from Levy himself in this video as I'm sure judging by his portfolio he has a lot of useful tips to share.

Glen Friedman: 80s Skateboarding and Hiphop Photographer
There are so many photographer's who I don't know by name but recognize their work once it pops up. One such name many of you may not be instantly familiar with is cultural photographer Glen Friedman who is most famous for his photographs of early skateboarding pioneers Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Duane Peters, and rebellious hip hop artists like Ice-T, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Run D.M.C. In this video Glenn talks about his work and in the second video he talks about what it was like growing up during one of the creative hot beds of American and World culture. If you are in the San Francisco in the next few days, check out his gallery showing at 941 Geary Gallery before it wraps up the end of the month. Oh and the first words out of this video are "Fuck You All" just as a warning :)

Fstoppers Nikon Pocket Wizard FlexTT5, MiniTT1, And AC3 Review
Patrick and I have been in contact with LPA Design (the company that makes Pocket Wizards) for a few months now and we were excited to hear that they would be sending us a few beta units of the unreleased Nikon FlexTT5, MiniTT1, and AC3 units. Our website is not about reviewing gear but we did want to push these units. I called up Sigma and asked for a loaner 800mm 5.6 lens and Patrick planned a shoot that involved every SB-800 and SB-80DX that we own. Check out the video below, and then view the full post to read detailed info about the shoots and check out the high res images. If you enjoy this content, follow us on Twitter to stay updated when our next video is released.