I've been saving my money for months so that I can make the switch over to Profoto and take advantage of their new D1 Air Monolights. Not only are these things small and light but they are also completely wireless! You can now control your studio lights (on/off, flash power, modeling light) all from the Profoto Air Remote. You want to know what the best part is? WE ARE GIVING A SET OF THESE LIGHTS AWAY to the winner of our behind the scenes contest. Check out the full post to see 3 videos of these incredible lights in action.
Photographer Scott Bourke gives us a complete overview of how he took a fantastic product shot of a few bottles of beer. Scott uses a single flash and 4 reflectors to create a very professional looking image that any photographer (no matter how little gear they have) is capable of creating. As I have always said, photography is all about good lighting and good lighting does not mean expensive lighting. Let's hope that Scott is going to enter our BTSV contest. Check out the full post for the final image and a BTS diagram.
last week Jay P Morgan showed us exactly what softboxes do to light sources. Each softbox shape can be used to create a unique look and in the video below Jay shows us how he chooses the correct size to light a specific shot. Keep in mind that if you don't have enough money to buy multiple sofboxes, you can change the relative size of a single box by moving it closer or further away from your subject.
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.
If you have a large studio or perhaps even a small studio space in your home, chances are you have asked the question, "how in the world am I going to build a cyclorama wall?" Last year we shared with you a video on how to make a cyclorama wall done by Sam Robles. Well it seems Sam isn't the only photographer handy with a few carpentry tools. Check out this, ahem, inspiring video by the good people over at EyeHandy which outlines each and every step needed to make a solid and sturdy cyc wall for your studio or in this case dining room. I love one youtuber's comment, "after a while i stopped being aroused and started being amazed!" Happy summer time tool project!
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.
German motion graphics studio Sehsucht recently created a fantastic promo video for o2 Think Big. Unlike most commercials today, these guys decided to do almost everything by hand. Check out the finished product below and then the BTSV in the full post. I bet you will be pretty surprised by what is "real" and what isn't.
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.
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?
Everyone claims that they know how to shoot subjects on pure white but many of them still struggle with the background light washing out their subject. In the video below, Olivia Speranza shows us how she created the look for a video but the same techniques apply to flash as well. The key is to light the background as evenly as possible and expose it so that it is just barely pure white. If your background is a few stops past pure white, the light will begin to eat into your subject.
Fellow Fstoppers reader Alex Masters sent me an interesting video featuring fashion photographer Koto Bolofo. In this behind the scenes video for German Vogue, Koto is collaborating with fashion stylist Christiane Arp to create images that have both a circus influence and also an early photography feel. It's refreshing to hear Koto talk about how a shoot of this nature comes together, and how having an initial guideline can lay the groundwork for improvisation and spontaneity. I think the final photos capture the mood everyone was going for on this shoot and model Elena Sudakova helped bring the circus performer element with her crazy flexibility.