Four years ago I purchased my first set of studio strobes in an attempt to learn how to shoot portraits like the ones I saw in my favorite print magazines. Having shot most of my portraits using available light at f/2 and under, I thought this would translate over easily when I switched to shooting with strobes. As I snapped my first frame and realized that even at the lowest power setting on the strobe the image was overexposed, I set out to find a way to be able to accomplish the effect. The answer was high-speed sync.
If you have not heard of Casey Neitstat yet, go check him out and come back when your done, it might take awhile but it will be well worth it. The guy is a serious talent in the film and social media world, with his own unique style and technique to movie making. This short film by Tom Bryan is an outstanding example of what each of us should be doing with our creative work. Bryan has plans to create a short film each month for the next 12 and has started it off with a bang.
This short but awesome behind-the-scenes video from Adrien Veczan shows his setup and technique for capturing a product photo of a bottle of cranberry vodka. Check out the video and then read on to hear a little bit more about his approach and method, which utilizes different lights to paint different parts of the bottle for his final image.
Color management can be one of the most boring topics to learn as a photographer, right up there with topics like digital asset management and accounting. They all have one thing in common, however: they’re important parts of being a photographer. Learning how to manage color doesn’t have to be difficult, however. Consider this your crash course introduction in learning how.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Syrp's awesome, affordable, perfectly executed Genie Mini time-lapse device. However, time-lapse photography and videography barely covers the beginning of what can be done with the New Zealand company's awesome devices. The Slanted Lens' Jay P. Morgan not only shares his entire lighting setup for a classic food shot, but also proposes some clever and welcomed case studies for how to use Syrp's devices to create better shots, not only around stars, but also around close-range subjects.
As a studio owner I am privileged to see many different photographers working in my studio space. I have a chance to observe their individual working styles and to see what results in success. Over the past couple years I have noticed some rather interesting trends. Let me give you some insider tips after observing how some of the top photographers work.
It’s easy to feel that we have great ideas for our images, but that we simply don’t have the budget to execute them to the standard we’re picturing in our minds. You should always try to find ways to be creative on a budget, so here’s how and why you don't have to spend a fortune to produce good results.
Last week, I took a look at personal projects and showed how I created my most recent portrait series. These personal projects are a great way to grow as a photographer and create new work you have a passion for, as you have the opportunity to create images with full control of the visual style. However, they may not always require you to step out of your comfort zone. To expand your repertoire of photographic knowledge and to create a more diverse, yet consistent portfolio, you need to experiment.
I love to shoot tethered whenever I can. It’s the most successful way to create real collaboration on set, and clients are more engaged when they can see what’s happening on a big screen. Depending on the environment and the demands of the production, I’ll choose between a couple of tethering approaches.
Creating a music video for a national act is one of the most intense tasks for a modern day filmmaker. Sure, the tools are more affordable, but declining budgets and insane turnaround times can turn your production into a sprint. Last month, my company, McFarland & Pecci, was tasked with creating two new music videos for the Grammy-nominated metal act, Killswitch Engage. My partner, Ian McFarland, and I drop everything when these guys call.
Now that I'm settled into my new 4200 sq. ft. studio, I have a ton of space. However, that wasn't always the case; in a smaller space, organization was the key to sanity. Tripping over gear and frantically searching for grip equipment is frustrating and doesn't look good in front of clients. I believe if you have an organized workspace that organization will be reflected in your mood while on set, allowing you to stay calm, cool, and collected. In this video, I show you four tips to starting down the path to a more organized studio.