Our good friends over at Pocket Wizard have had a great year with the release of the new Nikon MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 wireless radio triggers as well as the new AC3 controllers which allow you to control groups of flashes directly from the top of your camera. This video of Neil Van Niekerk shows how he is able to use the new AC3 controllers along with some relatively small softboxes to produce quick and easy studio style shots on location. I'm a huge fan of the Photoflex Octodome softboxes that I use on most of my shoots but these small Lastolite softboxes have an interesting look that you can't always get with larger softboxes. I guess it's the soft directional lighting that adds a bit of moodiness into Neil's images that I like. If you have had a chance to experiment with different sized softboxes on location, which ones do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.
This video was recently featured on Strobist but since we've been getting so many emails about it I figured we'd share it with those of you who missed it. David Myrick decided to try something rather strange when the electronic group Glitch Mob strolled into his studio. Basically he shot portraits of the band members on a white seamless background and then projected those images back onto the artists as they wore white clothing. If this sounds confusing just watch the video and it will all make sense. Fresh ideas like David's "projection technique" continues to inspire me in my own work. What do you guys think - anyone tried this technique before?
Have you ever seen a car ad in a magazine and wondered "how did they do that?" The car itself seems to be glowing and the location is always perfect. I've always known that tons of photoshop is involved by I didn't know if the car was actually shot in that location or if it was shot in the studio and dropped into the scene in post. In the case below, the car was shot on location and lit with a very simple rig (umbrella on a stick). The magic happens in Photoshop afterwards.
Have you ever tried to shoot an interior photograph and have it look like the shots in magazines or high end property brochures? If so then you probably know there are two routes to go: HDR or Flash. Photographer Dom Bower recently made a video showing the differences in both techniques and how you can combine them both to create a sort of hybrid image. Keep in mind that Dom is only using one single speedlight directly above the camera. Many of the amazing images you see for high end hotels and expensive properties often have dozens of light sources accenting very specific elements in the image. What techniques have you guys used in your interior photos? If you have examples, feel free to post your images in the comments below and check out Dom's final photos in the full post.
Shawn Smith is a photographer from Melbourne Australia. His company Blinq sent us this very informative BTS video outlining how they recently shot editorial portraits for two Ironman triathletes Luke Bell and Matt White. What caught me most about this video was how Shawn gave so much detail and insight into each photograph he was setting up. They were using top of the line gear like Profoto 7B packs and beauty dishes, but all of these shots could have easily been produced with less expensive gear and small speedlight modifiers for the photographer working with a budget. If you want to see how Sean and crew approach shooting triathletes underwater and in their natural element, check out the exciting video we featured back in December.
Travis Tank needed to shoot a portrait of a bicyclist riding down the road. The average person would probably shoot this with natural light but Travis wanted to light his subject with a large, off camera light source. For this to happen Travis mounted Profoto lights to a vehicle. The video seems to have been shot on a cell phone but this video is still very informative.
Over the weekend, one of our readers sent us this amazing behind the scenes video for the bicycle saddle manufacturer Brooks England. The basic concept for the photoshoot was a couple saving a fox from a bunch of hunting hounds while out in the British countryside. Photographer Frank Herholdt and his team had to balance two models, a tamed fox, four hounds, forest smoke, well placed studio strobes, and the natural elements to pull of this classic looking image. This is such a great example of taking your photography to the next level by pushing your concept and focusing on production value rather than just lighting a simple subject correctly. If any of our readers have any opinions on one of these saddles specifically, let us know on our Twitter because I'm in need of a new bike seat myself!
There have been a few conversations over at the Fstoppers Forum lately about how to composite two images together in a way that looks consistent. Aaron Nace has a history of producing interesting composite style images; recently he tackled the conceptual idea of "Going Home". Although I'm a bit disappointed neither Aaron or Avery gave any insight on what they were wanting to accomplish in this video, the way the two approached such a tough logistical concept is really clever. Sure there is a LOT of photoshop required in a final image like this but what's really important to take note of is how Aaron went out and shot as much of the concept in camera with consistent lighting so everything would work together when he started piecing the two images together. Since it's May 21st I figured this was an appropriate subject matter to tackle :)
Gary from F8 Photography and Mikey from Lightenupandshoot have crossed paths while traveling through Hong Kong. Lee and I ran into Mikey out at WPPI in Las Vegas a few months ago where he told us of some up coming adventures he had planned for Southeast Asia. These guys are really laid back and excited to break out into a photoshoot at any given time. In this video they take a ferry over to a local island to capture a few images of some friends they made in Hong Kong. Around 2:30, Gary talks about using a Variable Neutral Density Filter to almost completely destroy the ambient light while still shooting wide open at f1.2 and maxing out his shutter sync speed at 1/250. I've never attempted this technique, but it has been made famous by many photographers including Joey L. Does anyone have an opinion about these variable neutral density filters or use this technique in their own work? If so feel free to post an image in the comments below.
A few months ago Patrick and I flew up to NYC and filmed our first ever full length DVD (dual DVD actually) with Peter Hurley. The DVD is still being edited but we can finally see an end in sight. Initially we didn't plan on having a pre-order but when Peter Hurley decided to start teaching workshops, we decided to create a special pre-order deal. When the dual DVD is released, it will cost $300. If you purchase it before October 1st, 2011, we will give you a $300 credit towards any of Peter's workshops (and this can be used at any time) so you are actually getting the DVD for free. Peter is also going to personally sign all of the pre-ordered DVDs. Patrick and I are working as fast as we can to edit this DVD while managing Fstoppers.com and also shooting a wedding every weekend. Things are busy but we hope to have this DVD released sometime this summer. Head over to Hurley's website to sign up for "The Headshot Intensive," his new 2 day workshop. There are currently 4 slots left for his first workshop on May 21-22.
It's Spring time which means a lot of photographers are back to shooting outside and probably photographing group portraits. As a wedding photographer myself, I'm constantly having to light groups between 2 and 20 both quickly and effectively. In the latest video by Adorama Tv, Mark Wallace talks about how to light large groups evenly in a studio with Profoto lights. His explanation is really detailed, and if you apply this knowledge you can easily adapt this technique outside with something like a Photex Softlighter and some speedlights for even lighting on location.
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.
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens traces the arc of Annie's photographic life, her aspirations to artistry and the trajectory of her career. The film depicts the various phases that shaped her life including childhood, the tumultuous sixties, her transition from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair magazine and later her most significant personal relationships including motherhood. Check out the full post for the rest of the documentary.