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.
The video below is a short excerpt from the DVD "Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens". Annie is commissioned to shoot for the movie "Marie Antoinette". I found it really interesting how incredibly quick her shoots are. Before the subject ever shows up the concept and lighting has already been figured out. After a few clicks, the shoot is over.
Jay P. Morgan is at it again with his super informative, large production, BTSVs. Check out the video below where Jay shows us how to make a rain machine for a photo or video shoot. I never thought I would ever make one of these but after seeing this video it actually doesn't seem that hard.
Philippe Kerlo is a really creative beauty and fine art photographer based out of Paris France. Some people are dubbing his work as "extreme glamour" which might be a fitting title. I was recently turned onto his work by one of our readers when they sent us this video of him shooting beauty portraits through plexiglass covered with paint, acrylic, wax, and other colored materials. The results are really stunning and the idea is so simple I thought I had to share it with everyone. Be sure to check out Philippe's portfolio because his work has a lot of interesting angles like the photos shown in the full post.
Back in the Spring of 2009, Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs teamed up with music mogul Madonna produce their new ad campaign. This video is primarily from the point of view of Marc but that shouldn't prevent you from seeing how photographer Steven Meisel executed the overall shoot. I've always been a big fan of Steven's work, and after you watch this video you can browse through most of his extensive portfolio here. After clicking through 127 pages of amazing photo after amazing photo you will probably feel both inspired and completely worthless as a photographer! Click on the full post to view the photographs from this shoot.
One of our readers just sent this over to us and it is a really entertaining watch. Ed Zipco got his hands on about 500k lady bugs and shot a range of images with them crawling all over a group of models. That many beetles would freak me out but for some reason lady bugs seem clean and pretty to me. This video did change my opinion of them though.
We've featured the work of David Nguyen in the past and this time he has taken his whole production to new level. In his most recent photoshoot, Whispers in the Wind, David takes his creative team out to a desert and creates some really inspiring composite beauty images. The theme is sort of a Chinese New Year, and David has included wild elephants, tigers, rabbits, and birds into the final shots. I love it when artists take a concept to the max and really push their own creative aspirations. If you have not checked out David's portfolio, you are really missing out. Now if only we could get some BTS on how he made these composites!
Kevin Reed is a fantastic fashion photographer based out in LA and also NYC. He also has an excellent blog called Exposing Fashion where he has posted lots of tips, BTS, and bits of inspiration. Each year Kevin creates a new image to include in his holiday newsletter and this year he even filmed a fast behind the scenes video outlining the entire shoot. The lighting is pretty straightforward but it's always interesting to see how much work goes into the details. Usually it's these details that help separate the typical fashion or beauty images from the really great ones. Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.