EA Sports has been allowing fans to vote for the cover of their newest installment in the college football series NCAA Football 12. For the contest, they filmed four short behind the scenes videos from each player's photoshoot which can all be found in the full post. The photoshoots consist of two primary setups: hall of fame style portraits and on the field action shots. Each portrait was created with a gridded beauty dish and a hard background light while the action shots were lit with a huge octabank, some stripboxes, and a bunch of white v-flats acting as both gobos and reflectors. I'm not sure that the final images are online yet since the contest just wrapped up, but you can see a lot of them on photographer Tim Mantoani's site. My vote goes to Mark Ingram; roll tide roll!
I was going to post a video showing Rafael Nadal's latest Armani underwear shoot but figured Megan Fox might be a little easier on the eyes. Now you are probably thinking that any photoshoot with Megan Fox wearing little to nothing would probably produce strong images from any photographer and you'd be right. But what I found interesting was the way photographers Mert and Marcus used hotlights and large scrims to light the entire set creating a natural light feel. You can see the setup around :35 seconds. Not everyone has access to large HMI lights but it's still an interesting way to shoot and could probably be reproduced firing strobes into white walls in a room. Click the full post to see the final video and you can see the photos here.
I can't remember the first time I saw this video by Gregory Crewdson but I'm glad it came across our desk again. Gregory is more or less a conceptual photographer who uses both sound stages and real locations to create images that make you stop and question what is going on in the shot. His lighting is very similar to what you would see on a big budget movie, and the amount of resources required for these sorts of productions is probably beyond what most photographers would even consider.
I'm a pretty big fan of Hip Hop music and I have seen every one of the pictures in these two videos. What I didn't know was that they were all taken by a single person. Jonathan Mannion is extremely talented but he also seemed to be around in exactly the right time to shoot the faces of this growing genre of music. Check out the full post for the second video.
I created the iPhone Fashion Shoot to attempt to prove this point. 50% of the people who saw it "got" it and the other 50% claimed that it only looked good because I used $10,000 worth of light. Well I've always said "light is light" and all those expensive light modifiers do is make the light source bigger or smaller. Don't believe me? Bert Stephani will take over where I left off shooting with these work lights (the same ones that I used for part of the iPhone shoot) and a shower curtain.
I've seen a lot of videos that attempt to explain why you would use a beauty dish over a softbox but I've always had a hard time understanding the subtleties. Jay P Morgan created a video that not only explains everything in great detail, but he also shows 3 lighting examples with each type of dish configuration. If you have always wondered about the magic of the beauty dish, all your questions will now be answered.
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring "Lord Vader" I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can't remember the full story of the Twi'leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I'll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.
Karl Taylor is an excellent photographer from England who has become a leading teacher in the "how to" photography market. In his latest video he explains a few lighting techniques he uses in the studio while shooting some crazy hair styles. Karl is using a single Elinchrom monolight but is pairing it up with two Canon 580EX flashes. In the video he explains why this setup is ideal for his lighting style and useful for many applications. If you enjoy his teaching, check out his instructional videos on his website as well as some crazy location photos in his port.
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.
The girls over at [Framed] have started a really great web series that profiles photographers and shows them in action behind the scenes. In this video they dive into children photography with Shannon Sewell. I know a lot of photographers have made a side business out of shooting families and children but what Shannon is doing is completely different. Her images are straight up commercial in style and are really amazing to look at. Children can be really really tough to work with which makes me appreciate her ability to connect with and control her subjects. And if you are interested in the Photoshop Actions Shannon uses you can check them out over at Flourish Actions. What do you guys think about her statement at 13:30?
Yuri Arcurs is perhaps the most well known photographer shooting microstock images in the world. His images are clean, inviting, crisp, and natural looking which are all important qualities needed to sell images in bulk. This video by Fototv might be the best video you watch all week because Yuri's tips are not only related to stock photographs but also hold true with almost any photograph requiring a model or human emotion. If you've never signed up to a stock website like Istockphoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock, I'd recommend you at least try to get approved and test the waters for a few months. Nothing in my opinion strengthens your eye and photographic skills more than producing images that can sell in a highly competitive market like the stock agencies.
In the video below Jay P. Morgan shows us the setup for his latest sports image. Using a special body harness, the goalie is able to move in a very realistic way without the potential for injury. As always, Jay does a fantastic job of also breaking down his lighting scheme.
As I'm sitting in the San Diego airport waiting to lose my entire day to layovers and time changes, I finally have some time to catch up on our email account. One video that was submitted to us multiple times was recently featured by our friends over at Strobist and showcases fashion photographer Martin Prihoda. Martin has relocated his business to India where he continues to produce clean and commercial style images for print. In this video he takes us BTS on his December cover for Cosmopolitan India and gives us a great explanation on how hard and soft light can be used as fill to control the transitions in your shadows.
One of our readers just emailed us this great video of landscape photographer Ansel Adam's darkroom. Michael Adams, Ansel's son, gives us a full tour of Ansel's home studio and shows some of his prints as well as much of his equipment. I currently have Adam's Moonrise, Hernandez hanging in my kitchen and it's really fun to see what the untouched negative looked like before all the dodging and burning. What's always amazing to me is that these prints were all done before the days of the computer, and every area that was altered had to be done by hand and with extreme precision. If you don't already own some of Adam's work, head over to the Ansel Adam's store and pick up a book or print.
Fred Conrad is a photographer who has been working for the NY Times for over 34 years. Recently he attended the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show and photographed every single breed of dog at the show. His setup was basically a white backdrop, a ring flash, and a photek softlighter. I've always thought dog shows like this are a bit insane (watch the mockumentary Best in Show for a good laugh), and Fred has captured not only interesting portraits of dogs but also some of the most wild haircuts I've ever seen of dogs. Check out Snoop Dogg the Bedlington Terrier and all the rest over at the interactive online gallery.