Understanding how different sized softboxes work usually requires a bunch of tests or just good ole trial and error. Luckily photographer Jay P Morgan has done all the dirty work for you and shows how different sized Photoflex softboxes create unique spreads and quality of light. I find smaller softboxes are great for location portraits because of their compact size and soft yet edgy light. However you may prefer something larger depending on the specific look you are trying to achieve. If you enjoy Jay's videos, check out some of his older posts we have featured on Fstoppers.
So your band is about to go on tour and the obvious question is "what are we going to use for our backdrop?" Most bands would normally use a projector, an LED panel, or just some plain old stage lights. What the Japan based band Androp decided to do was much more interesting. Using 250 Canon cameras equipped with external flashes, the band wired everything together and programmed them with Arduino open source software to display different patterns of light and text. You really have to watch the full video to even grasp how cool this turned out. Check out the behind the scenes video below and jump to the full post for the final video.
Everyone knows Annie Leibovitz is one of the most, if not THE most, well known photographer in the world. Her images evoke a strong sense of story, drama, and beauty. It's not surprising why so many advertising agencies choose Annie to take their clients' portraits. In this video Annie Leibovitz puts Profoto co-founder Conny Dufgran in front of his own lights for a series of environmental portraits. Like most of Annie's behind the scenes videos, you really have to pay attention to the details because she isn't going to spell it all out for you. The first time I watched this video I noticed how much feathering she does with her medium octaboxes, how she controls fill light with large black cards, and even a little on how she directs her subjects. I also like the magic arm trick she uses to get her softlighter closer to her subject...I might have to steal that one. If you have any tips you have taken from Leibovitz share them in the comments.
Last time we featured a video from Mike Tittel, he was showcasing his edgy lighting look on some female tennis players. This time he has taken his photography team to the salt flats of Utah to photography the Brazilian sport Capoeira. For this shoot, Mike pulls out a few Profoto 7Bs with 2x3' gridded softboxes for many of the shots. However it's his natural lit shots that really grabbed my attention which he lit using the very helpful 4x6 California Sunbounce to fill his subjects. After the video, head over to Mike Tittel's Website to check out more of his work and click on the full post to read how Mike lit these shots in his own words.
We have featured a lot of Dave Hill's unbelievable photoshoots here on Fstoppers. So when I saw his Adventure Series posted over at Strobist I thought it was an older video. Oh how I was wrong....way wrong! In his latest video, Dave Hill places his composite images into an After Effects type environment and lets you see every layer and all it's photoshopped glory. The video outlines all 11 images so it's a bit long but you will probably still find yourself watching all of them in wonder. This video was also a great reminder that Dave is to work making behind the scenes videos so you will probably see a lot more of him in the near future. What do you guys think? What is your favorite image from this series?
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.
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.
Photographer Ryan Doco Connors recently found one of his images being printed on a t-shirt without his consent. Sugar Factory, the company selling the shirt, claimed that since the image was changed 40% (I have no clue where that number comes from) it was no longer considered his photo. Instead of suing, Ryan fought back with a few new photos and lucky for us, he shares all of the lighting details. This is exactly how The Stolen Scream story started... Hopefully this isn't the beginning of something much bigger for Ryan.
Von Wong, a photographer who has been featured on Fstoppers many times already, has created yet another great BTSV. In this edition Von Wong uses a long exposure and some sparklers to create some really killer images. We have all probably taken long exposures of sparklers but with a little creativity, you can create a real portfolio piece with anything.
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.