Recently LeBron James was photographed for GQ Magazine. The video below is really just a promotion for that magazine but if you keep a sharp eye, there is some really good information to be learned. The lighting for most of the shots appears to be pretty simple; a single light above the camera. The size of the light changes from shot to shot from a huge parabolic reflector to a simple bare bulb held by an assistant.
The guys over at Stillmotion video have come up with a rather interesting way to film point of view video. Instead of mounting something small like a GoPro to a helmet, Stillmotion decided to use a Canon T2i. The camera was upside down directly in front of several football players' eyes as they trained in the 2011 NFL combine. Everything was made from common parts you can find at Home Depot or Lowes and the results are pretty interesting. After you watch the behind the scenes video below, head on over to the NFL Network to check out the final promo piece.
One of the most important things any photographer can do to push their career forward is to take on assignments that are beyond what they feel comfortable shooting. When Todd Rosenberg was approached by Sports Illustrated for a commemorative issue, he was asked to shoot 10 historic cars from the last century of the Indianapolis 500. The only problem was Todd had never photographed an automobile before in his life! Using advice given by car photographer Michael Furman, Todd built a large studio (which included a 10'x30' Chimera softbox) directly inside the auto museum. Check out this great interview conducted by PhotoShelter as Todd discusses how he organized the shoot as well as some business tips on how he got the client in the first place. Also check out all of the images on the Picade Indy 500 page.
Now that we are in the thick of the major league baseball season, you are probably going to see a lot more images from the league's best photographers appearing on issues of Sports Illustrated and ESPN. One such photographer is Michael Ivins who is the official photographer for the Boston Red Sox. Check out this little behind the scenes video from the Boston University Today on how Michael captures athletes and creates interesting portraits quickly and on the fly.
Peter Langehahn is a photographer from Germany who approaches most of his images a bit differently than most of us. Instead of photographing a single moment, Peter captures the "collective scene" of an entire event. Standing at just one vanishing point, Peter takes panoramic images throughout each event and combines them in a unique composite image that features the best moments throughout the day. Sometimes these images total over 3000 captures and the edits can take up to 60 - 90 days. I must say I've never seen anything like this but it's definitely a way of branding your own photography into something no one will forget. I'm sure someone out there has done something like this before; what are your thoughts on this technique?
I just ran across an incredible ad by Nike called "Nike Chosen." The concept was to grab the best surfers, snowboarders, skaters, motocross, and BMX riders and film them doing their thing at night. The BTS footage (that can be found in the full post) is not as informative as I would like but if you pay attention to the details, there is a lot to be learned. The lighting, especially for the surfing session, is really amazing and although you may not ever do a shoot of this size, the same techniques could be used for your still photography at night.
This video gives a quick look at Jay P. Morgan's latest advertising campaign for Pedia-Sure. The video isn't quite as informative as Jay's average BTSV but there is still a lot to learn from it. I was really impressed by the size of the campaign and then range of images that were taken.
Many photographers claim that they will never shoot a wedding because there is too much pressure. If you miss some of the key moments, you will never get another chance. I agree with this to an extent but at least weddings have hundreds of "moments" over the course of a day. If I miss a couple, it's usually not a big deal. A first descent is another story though. In the video below, Lucas Gilman shows us all of the work that goes into capturing just 5-10 seconds. When it comes to something like this, there is absolutely no room for error.
Most skydiving videos are extremely high energy. This video, produced by BettyWantsIn.com, has a totally different vibe though. Instead of the heart pounding "plummeting to your death" feeling, this video creates a calm almost floating sensation by taking advantage of the 60fps that the GoPro can shoot. I thought it was creative so I figured I would share it.
You may remember a post that we did months back of Lakai shooting a video with skateboarder jumping over huge flames... Well I believe this video is actually older but I like it more. This time the shoe company used explosives to ramp up the excitment and I love it! Usually we post the BTS on the front page but the finished product is so cool I'd rather you watch it first; then you can hit the full post to see all of the "mistakes" that actually made it into the finished product.
Speedhunters.com is an online blog dedicated to the international auto and racing community. They have have a pretty amazing staff of photographers over there. After watching this behind the scenes video they have me wanting to out to the speedway. I love Jonathan's quote, "You can be artistic as a photographer, but...all that is, is really just trying to take a different shot which is risky because it can go all wrong." I know we have all felt that way before yet we keep trying to push the envelope. Check out more work by Jonathan Moore, Linhberge, and Mike Garrett, and head over the SpeedHunters if you enjoy auto photography; Linhberge's stuff is sick!
EA Sports has been allowing fans to vote for the cover of their newest installment in the college football series NCAA Football 12. For the contest, they filmed four short behind the scenes videos from each player's photoshoot which can all be found in the full post. The photoshoots consist of two primary setups: hall of fame style portraits and on the field action shots. Each portrait was created with a gridded beauty dish and a hard background light while the action shots were lit with a huge octabank, some stripboxes, and a bunch of white v-flats acting as both gobos and reflectors. I'm not sure that the final images are online yet since the contest just wrapped up, but you can see a lot of them on photographer Tim Mantoani's site. My vote goes to Mark Ingram; roll tide roll!
Skateboard and snowboard companies have really been pushing their advertising budgets to the limits over the past decade. In the video below we can see exactly what goes into creating amazing 10 second clips of individual skateboard tricks in super slo mo. The concept is simple but actually making it happen is another story.
Robert Seale is a high end sports portrait photographer who was recently commissioned by Sports Illustrated to photograph Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. His attempt to create something unique and a bit off-kilter involved using a huge 8'x5' piece of Plexiglas that was 1.25 inches thick and 400 pounds. He then set the huge piece of Plexi on a 5 foot tall frame of scaffolding. Using a couple of Profoto Pro-7B strobes and a unique 'below the player' angle, Robert was able to create this photograph for the magazine. The concept and image are fantastic but unfortunately the BTS video is just a timelapse. If you have a hard time imagining what is going on in this video, head over to Rob Galbraith's post for a traditional write up.
Allstate created a pretty clever advertising campaign for motorcycle insurance that showed super slow motion motorcycle wrecks without their riders. Their tag line is "Bikes never crash alone." I think this ad makes a really strong statement without being gory. Check out the BTS below and the finished product in the full post.