Recent Sports Articles

The Dark Side Of The Lens

I remember seeing this video a long time ago and really enjoyed it. Maybe we thought it was not educational enough to post it but after watching it again I think it's worth sharing. For those of you who have not already seen this short story, the Dark Side Of The Lens is a poetic journey into mind of surf photographer Mickey Smith. The cinematography is outstanding and the locations are breathtaking. It's this sort of presentation that truly makes me appreciate what we all do as artists.
Surfing Video Goes Super Slow Motion

Lately there has been a trend of showing super slow motion videos slowed beyond the native frames per second the original footage was shot on. We love the results of Twixter but nothing can compare to seeing the real thing especially when combined with an extreme sport. The BBC has a great DVD on the South Pacific which features some amazing underwater slomo camera work of waves crashin, and this short surfing clip was the highlight for me. Rudi Diesel shot this on a Typhoon HD4 which at the time could do 500fps at 7 seconds or 1000fps at 3.5 seconds. If you enjoy this segment, check out a longer clip from the documentary in the second clip below.
Brian Smith Talks About Making Your Own Photo Breaks

I can't tell you how many photographers I encounter think being successful has to do with being at the right place at the right time. Sure a bit of luck on your side always helps, but if you are looking to quit your day job to become a professional photographer, increase your photography income over last year's earnings, or catapult your career as one of the industry leaders then you need to work hard and work smart. The guys over at Photoshelter sat down with professional photographer Brian Smith to talk about what it takes to push your career to the next level. You simply can't wait for your big break, you need to create them.
Red Bull's Illume Photo Exhibit Is Itself Art

Yesterday I got an email from one of the Red Bull brand managers inviting me out to 2010 Illume Photo Exhibit here in Charleston, South Carolina. Illume is a traveling exhibit where dozens of images from the world's best action and extreme sports photographers are displayed on huge 6'x6' backlit panels. I have to say it was one of the most interesting photo displays I have ever seen, and the winning photos are nothing short of spectacular. The next stop on the tour is Miami, Florida but you can check out the images and future tour dates at Red Bull Illume Online. Also, check out this BTS video we posted last year of one of the winning images.
Portfolio Advice From A Getty Professional

Harry How is a sports photographer without any prior photography training. With hard work, determination, and a pressing urge to create images that hold up against his peers' photographs, Harry now has a career shooting for Getty Images. In this video Harry explains in detail what it takes to make the transition from hobbyist to full time professional and outlines his gear and little tips throughout his own transition into a sports photographer. If you enjoy this type of candid interview, be sure to hit the full post to watch part 2 and part 3 of this video series.
How To Suspend Your Model From Wires In The Studio

In the video below Jay P. Morgan shows us the setup for his latest sports image. Using a special body harness, the goalie is able to move in a very realistic way without the potential for injury. As always, Jay does a fantastic job of also breaking down his lighting scheme.
The Underwater Snowboard Shoot

This is such a crazy idea and as I was watching the video I kept thinking about ways why this wasn't going to work. Well I was wrong. Scott Serfas had an incredible concept and he created an incredible image from it. More info and the final image can be seen here.
Behind The Scenes Of A Stylized Tennis Portrait

Mike Tittel takes us behind the scenes of his most recent photoshoot at Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club. This video is beautifully filmed and edited and I'm sure you will take away some great concepts and lighting ideas.
EA Sports:  FIFA 2010, Fans, And A Lot Of Paint

Earlier in the week I posted a video featuring commercial photographer Monte Isom photographing comedian Colin Kane. We'll it turns out Monte has been filming great behind the scenes videos of his photoshoots all along. In this video Monte shows you not only how he created the fun ad campaign for the EA Sports FIFA 2010 video game but also how he secured the job in the first place! It's really great to see photographers like Monte having a good time on their shoots and also showing exactly how they took a concept, pitched some images, and ultimately won the bidding war to secure a high end project. If only every photographer would be so open with sharing their success stories we might have more videos like this. Monte gives some exclusive insight on the shoot and the final image on the packaging in the full post.

Monte Isom EA Sports FIFA World Cup 2010 behind the scenes advertising photo shoot from monte isom on Vimeo.

Face Painting... For An Advertising Campaign

Jay P. Morgan just sent his newest video over to me and it is once again top quality. Jay was commissioned to create a professional looking image from a drawn composite and he takes us through each step of the process. The entire project is really amazing but my jaw is still dropped after seeing his lighting setup.
Super Bowl XLV:  How To Photograph Football Sports Illustrated Style

Our friend Tyler Kaufman from New Orleans is a young sports photographer who had the opportunity to go and photograph Super Bowl XLV. Understandably, he was so busy shooting that he didn't have time to create a proper behind the scenes video on what it must be like shooting one of the largest sporting event in the world. Luckily for us, Max Morse was able to make a video showcasing many of the Sport Illustrated photographers in attendance. During our own interview with David Bergman, an SI photographer also in attendance of the big game, I learned that sports photographers do not simply show up and try to frantically track each player and each play for the perfect shot. Instead they are stationed in strategic spots which allows each photographer to cover their section of the field and specific players....assuming the play does come in their direction. I've always thought shooting sports at this level must be extremely difficult, and that might be why I have such respect for great sports images. Click on the full post to see a video on Tyler's experience in Dallas!

Sports Illustrated Photography at Super Bowl XLV from Max Morse on Vimeo.

Fstoppers Original:  The Wakeboard Studio Shoot

One of my favorite things about Charleston, SC is being close to the ocean. I love being in and around the water, and although I'm not very good at it, I do enjoy wakeboarding. Charleston has become a pretty big hub for sports like kiteboarding and wakeboarding over the last few years, and this city is not short on talented athletes. I took an interest in wakeboard photography a couple years ago, and I always enjoyed shooting images from extreme angles. Although I've gotten some cool images, I never felt like I really had much control over my images with just daylight. I've tried to bring strobes outside to create something "different" but even those shots have been done a million times. I decided I wanted a way to shoot a rider flying through the air with interesting, studio quality lighting and this is what I came up with....click the full post for the full story. https://vimeo.com/19633416

Fstoppers Original: The Studio Wakeboard Shoot from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Profoto Takes On Ray Allen And A Trampoline

Profoto has really done everyone a great service in having photographer Matthew Jordan Smith explain some of his personal favorite images in his portfolio. In this particular image, Matthew decided to photograph NBA superstar Ray Allen in his own backyard while jumping on a trampoline. Equipped with just a single Profoto D1 Air and a magnum reflector for hard light, Matt was able to take a rather limited lighting setup and create a highly stylized image. I think it just goes to show that thinking outside the box and not limiting your shoot to any prior conception can be more important in making a great image than simply focusing on your initial plans.
Shooting Courtside In the NBA With Layne Murdoch

Fstoppers reader Tyler Kaufman sent me this interesting video that shows a little glimpse of what it is like to shoot NBA basketball. Professional photographer Layne Murdoch has been shooting sports for over 30 years and has created some really spectacular images as the New Orlean's Hornets main photographer. Part of what has made his images so successful has been the use of Pocket Wizard triggers for remote camera operation. He can actually cover both sides of the court at the same time while only being physically positioned in one spot throughout the entire game. Professional Basketball is one of the few sports that allows studio strobe use during the games and Layne shows you a little on how having built in house lighting can freeze action for sharp motion shots.
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 :)
How A $300 Camera Could Change The Movie Industry

What if you could shoot 1080p video for just $300 with a camera that was waterproof, basically indestructible, and so small and light it could be mounted anywhere? What if that camera could also shoot 60fps for amazing slow motion? This camera is the GoPro HD and we own 2 of them. Watch this video and then check out the previous post. I'm not saying that the GoPro is better than a pro film camera, but it does bring up an interesting debate. Which style of video do you like more and why?

GoPro HD HERO camera: The Ski Move from GoPro on Vimeo.

A Small Taste Of What It Takes To Film A Ski Movie

In February, Patrick and I flew to Colorado to film Dave Lehl shooting snowboarders. It was an eye opening experience but it was still relatively easy for us because we were simply documenting the event. Warren Miller has a different task; he is in charge of shooting full length ski videos on film and they have to look perfect. This video will give you a very small glimpse of what that really means.

Warren Miller Films shoots at Heavenly - January 2010 from Deep Roots Media - Dane Henry on Vimeo.

Chris OConnell Strobes Above His Camera's Sync Speed

Our cameras sync at a maximum of 200-250th of a second but in this video Chris OConnell strobes at 1/500th of a second with his Broncolors. How does he do it? Well the new Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5s are the secret. Instead of trying to explain it all here, watch the video below and then head over to the full post for a second video with more details. <
Dave Black:  Shooting Motorcross with 8 Speedlights

Dave Black is a professional photographer who shoots some of the most stylized sports images I have ever seen. In this BTS video, Dave is pairing up 8 SB900 flashes with two Radio Popper PX triggers on two Lightware Foursquare brackets. Why does he use such a crazy setup when shooting motorcross? Often times with fast action sports you need to shoot with quick shutter speeds beyond the 1/250th of a second flash sync limit. The only way to do this is to use the FP high speed Sync mode Nikon (and Canon) flashes offer when hardwired to your camera. Luckily Radio Popper (and Pocket Wizard for Canon) have created wireless radio iTTL/eTTL syncing which gives you the ability to us High Speed Sync with your flashes off camera over long distances. This setup is about as complex as you can possibly get (and expensive) but Dave has made a great video showing off the setup. Unfortunately he does little to explain WHY this setup is necessary. Head over to his Lightware Foursquare / Radio Popper Post to read more about how it all comes together and be sure to check out Dave's portfolio as well. <
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.

How To Take A Punch To The Face

Kelly Kline is a commercial and editorial photographer based out of NYC and Atlanta who has a fantastic portfolio full of top professional atheletes. In this behind the scenes video she has teamed up with MMA fighter Matthew Polly for his new book Tapped Out. This shoot is definitely a commercial for the Profoto Pro-8a Air Packs but also shows what is possible when you push not only your gear but your creativity to the limits. <
Gopro's Make Me Want To Get Extreme!

The newest promo video for the incredible GoPro HD camera has me wanting to get out of the house and do something exciting! We are big supports of what Gopro is doing and can't speak highly enough of these little cameras. If you enjoy adding a unique perspective to your own videos or want a small time lapse camera, you can't go wrong with these...well unless you destroy them :) <
How They Broadcast MLB Into Your Home

Tom Guilmette is a professional camera operator for broadcast sports and definitely one of our favorite guys to feature here on Fstoppers (search his name for some other posts on him). So with all the excitement that Major League Baseball brings this time of year I thought it would be appropriate to give you a backstage peek at how guys like Tom work to bring the game into your home. For whatever reason, Tom has yet to allow embedding of my favorite video he has ever created so after you get done watching this sort video, head over to his blog to watch a much longer video with this sort of content.

Fenway HD Camera - Sony HDC-910 - Canon 75x from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.

Mirage Boardshorts' Bullet Time Ad

FS reader Luke Avery just sent this video over to us and it's a great one. Check out all the work that goes into creating this 1 minute ad. View the full post to see the finished product. <
Skateboards + Fire = LAKAIROMANIA

I just stumbled upon this amazing skateboard video moments ago. As I was watching it I thought, "man I wish I could put this on FS but I'm sure there isn't any BTS". I was pleasantly surprised to find that the second half of the video is all BTS footage. Enjoy!

"LAKAIROMANIA" from Marc Ritzema on Vimeo.

Chase Jarvis Shoots Womens PGA (A While Ago)

What does a guy have to do to find a high quality, informative BTSV around here? Apparently I have to start looking at videos that were released years ago. Here is a quick BTS Chase made over 2 years ago. We haven't ever posted it but if you have seen it, don't get mad at us; good BTSVs are hard to come by these days. ><
Tom Guilmette Shows How Sports Are Done

We were first introduced to Tom Guilmette's work last week when he showed us how to shoot slow motion video at 718 fps. This next video is even better! Tom takes us behind the scenes of a Big East college basketball game. Cox Sports shows us everything that goes into producing a sports program at the event and piping it to your television at home. After watching the last 3 minutes or so of real time action, I think I would have a nervous breakdown if I had to work on something like this day in and day out. Tom has more information on his blog; hope you guys enjoy! <
Aerial Photography By Mark Watson

Mark Watson is an 'extreme sports photographer' and in this video he has teamed up with Red Bull hanglider Jon Durand to produce some amazing photos as well as video. The idea was to mount a D300s camera to his hang glider to shoot both video and still shots while he sails through the Morning Glory cloud. The results are absolutely stunning! I hope Nikon includes the remote video hack described in this video in their next series of cameras. UPDATE: Mark shares more info about this shoot in the FULL POST!

Mark Watson takes on the Red Bull Glorious Days Project - Nikon D300S from My Nikon Life on Vimeo.

Dave Hamilton Makes It Reign

I was just about to throw up a new post and I got this video in an email and decided to change things up. Check out Dave's fantastic BTS video and then head over to his website here.

Dave Hamilton Photography - behind the scenes from tashunka b on Vimeo.

Pete Barrett Shoots A New Balance Ad (Update)

Here is a quick timelapse of one of Pete's latests commercial gigs. It is a bit difficult to see what he is exactly doing in terms of lighting but I am simply impressed by the complexity of this shoot. Look how many people are on the set! After you watch this video head over to his website and be prepared to be blown away. Check the full post to read a message from the photographer.

Behind the scenes on the New Balance photo shoot. from Pete Barrett on Vimeo.

Graeme Murray shoots Kenny Belaey jumping over dinosaurs

Graeme Murray just sent us this interesting video of Red Bull Athlete Kenny Belaey jumping his bike through some interesting backgrounds. Check out his photos in this behind the scenes video

Kenny Belaey Photoshoot from Graeme Murray on Vimeo.

Ray Demski Shoots Cliff Diving For Red Bull

Ray Demski, Marcel Lämmerhirt, and Chris Stadler were all commissioned by Red Bull to shoot their cliff diving event in Hamburg. Shooting the event was no easy task but luckily for us Ray Demski was kind enough to share how they did it. <
Dylan Coulter Makes Cyclocross Look Messy

Dylan Coulter is the only guy I know who needs a special effects team when shooting top US Cyclocross athletes for the fashion spread of Men's Journal Magazine. Check out this amazing behind the scenes video of his shoot and click on the link to read about how he shot it.

Men's Journal Magazine May 2010 Cyclocross Fashion Shoot from Dylan Coulter on Vimeo.

Fstoppers Original:  Dave Lehl, Snowboard Photographer

Dave Lehl is one of the best snowboard photographers in North America. Luckily we are good friends and were allowed to tag along during one of his photoshoots in the back country of Vail, Colorado. In Dave's own words, what you are about to watch is "pretty typical"...Click the post for another video of Dave talking about his career. <
Patrick Lawler Inspires Me twice In 1 Week

A few days ago I posted Patrick's video of his friends jumping on a trampoline in the desert... I just ran across his skim boarding video on vimeo and I am once again smiling while I watch his work. You want to know how he did it? Simple; he put a GoPro HD Hero on a monopod and threw it around in the ocean. Love it!

GoPro HD - Skimboarding In A Storm! from Patrick Lawler on Vimeo.

Dominique Daher Talks About Shooting Wind Surfing

Dom Daher is an extreme sport photographer. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have to shoot commercial photos while avoiding crashing waves and aggressive surfers then this video should wet your appetite. <
Lars Franzen Shoots A Fight

Lars Franzen shows us how to take amazing pictures outside with only small battery powered strobes. If you want to see more of Lars' amazing photography check out his site at: www.larsfranzen.com ><
Rock Climbing Photographer Simon Carter Scares Us To Death

I hope you are not scared of heights! Watch extreme rock climbing photographer Simon Carter as he discusses how he positions himself in open space hundreds of feet above the ground and still manages to get jaw dropping images. Click the post to view the second video.

NIKON - SIMON CARTER - EXTREME PHOTOGRAPHY from Extreme Photo on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes:  2010 Olympic POWERade Commercial

This little piece of awesomeness comes from a behind the scenes video for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games sponsor POWERade. Canadian NHL hockey player Jerome Iginla takes the ice in a promotional video for POWERade's new 2010 Olympic bottle campaign.
Kevin Winzeler Soccer Shoot

Kevin Winzeler is an incredible commercial photographer. Check out this video below of him shooting for Adidas and then head over to his website, www.kevinwinzeler.com, to check out his full port. My jaw literally was dropped as I was scrolling through his pics.