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.
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.
RETV, a new video based website started by Resource Magazine recently filmed a quick interview with Albert Watson. During the interview Watson talks about his humble beginnings and walks us through a few of his famous shoots. Watson claims that many photographers get into the field simply because they enjoy the technical aspects of the gear. He also says that these are the same people the continue to ask him the same "stupid question" when he shows his work; "What camera was this shot on?"
Yes, it has been done to death but everyone loves to see it so we will keep posting it. Digital Rev TV has been doing a series called the "Cheap Camera Challenge" and so far they have created 3 videos with 3 different photographers shooting on 3 different cheap cameras. Check out the full post to see all 3 videos.
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.
We have featured many of Mark Wallace's excellent tutorials with Adorama TV, and it is apparent from the comments that everyone appreciates his simple and thorough explanations. Recently Mark released a full length DVD that covers a wide range of topics for all levels of photographers. There must be over 15 different lighting setups, and he covers everything from portraits, headshots, fashion, and glamour to camera gear, light modifiers, and the properties of light. We always feature quality videos for free on Fstoppers, but we also realize a lot of work can go into these extensive DVD tutorials. If you've enjoyed the tutorials Mark has given for free, take some time to check out his Studio Lighting Essentials DVD. If you prefer a more hands on approach, Mark has several Studio Lighting 101 classes which we hope to check out ourselves next time we are in Phoenix, AZ.
A few months ago we featured a popular video called Wisdom shot by Andrew Zuckerman. If you have not been exposed to Andrew's work, he is known for shooting all sorts of subjects against a white background. In his latest project Music, Andrew sets out to capture the essence of a variety of musicians as he asks them questions about their craft. Most of the lighting in these portraits is pretty straight up and clean but what makes this collection so interesting is Zuckerman's idea of striping alway all the auxiliary settings and environments usually associated with rockstars and popular figures. His portraits allow you to see his subjects raw and unedited. These series definitely have me thinking of pushing my own photography and creating larger scale projects like Music and Wisdom.
Sometimes it's a pain to bring a client to your studio, or maybe you don't even own a studio. In these situations you must figure out a way to bring the studio to the client. Diana Deaver shows us a quick glimpse of her last shoot that involved bringing a paper background and a single large parabolic reflector into a clothing store.
Yuri Arcurs is probably the most successful stock photographer on the planet. The last time we featured him on Fstoppers he was explaining a lot of his lighting setups for great stock images as well as how to get great reactions out of your models so the images sell. Now he has a new ridiculously expensive studio filled to the top with profoto gear, and he is giving us a first person tour of the place. I can't imagine how anyone could need this amount of gear but at the rate he turns images out it is all probably well justified. Does anyone know how to use the lowering metal mount he has for his lights? It seems like making adjustments would be difficult when they are suspended that high above you.
Director Paul Clements produced a pretty amazing commercial for Cat Footwear. By using a single high frame rate video camera and a large array of DSLRs he produced something that I am having trouble describing with words. You'll just have to watch it for yourself. Check out the BTS below and the finished product in the full post.
If you have ever wanted to frustrate yourself as a photographer, try shooting food and actually make it look appetizing. Edward Gowans, a photographer based out of Portland Oregon, has made a living shooting food for almost 20 years. Edward learned there was a big market in the northwest looking for stylized culinary images. Using the lighting knowledge he gained from shooting fashion models, Edward began creating stylized culinary images for his clients. As you can see in this video, some of his setups are pretty extensive and sometimes take full days to design. With food, the light often needs to be scrimmed, flagged, and reflected perfectly to showcase both the textures and colors of a well plated dish. Check out more of Ed's work in his portfolio here.
I know a couple of Fstoppers that go by the names of Tiffany and Gianna that are going to love this one... Jay P. Morgan is back again with a really unique concept. In this video Jay explains how he created a super hero concept from nothing and then shows us every minuscule detail that goes into making that image come to life. As always, Jay does an incredible job of packing his video with priceless information that every photographer can use, even if you don't ever plan to shoot Wonder Woman.