Fstoppers Original Articles

Fstoppers Exclusive: How Marek Glaser Made the Insane BMW M5 Bullet Commercial

What does it take to turn a blue BMW M5 into a bullet? A little of this, and a little of that, but mostly it takes a team of talented individuals with a dream and the know-how. With a limitless imagination, impeccable understanding of light and meticulous attention to detail, photographer/director Marek Glaser and Big Block digital productions took the imaginary and made it reality.

Get A Grip: Travel With Your Grip On The Cheap

As a photographer that does a lot of non-profit work internationally, I have always been on the look out for traveling with my gear in the safest yet most affordable way. Typically, my cameras, lenses and lighting equipment (strobes and powerpacks) travel with me as carry-ons in two Pelican 1514 cases. As for my grip gear, well, I was mostly limited to what I could throw into my checked bag with my clothes, which typically would be one Manfrotto Magic Arm, a Photek Softlighter and a small softbox or

Fstoppers Exclusive Look at Art Streiber and Paramount's 100th Anniversary Masterpiece

Days of preparation, hundreds of people, and 57 Profoto strobes culminated in just five minutes and forty-two seconds of fast-paced shooting. In photographer Art Streiber’s own words, “it was pretty huge, and a little out of control.” I’ll say. In an Fstoppers exclusive, we go behind the scenes of one of the largest and most sensitive group photo shoots ever undertaken with 116 of Hollywood’s greatest stars on one stage at one time to celebrate Paramount Studio’s 100th anniversary.

[Review] Lightroom 4 Tutorials DVD Guide by SLR Lounge

It’s rare these days to find a product that is so well rounded that it can appeal to an entire market of users. Especially in photography, it is not uncommon to find products that claim to be designed “for beginning to advanced users” but suffer greatly from the attempt to spread out over such a vast range. SLR Lounge's Lightroom DVD is advertised to be an A-Z Lightroom mastery experience, so does it live up to it's claim?

[Interview] SLR Lounge Sits Down With Superstar Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy Cowart is a photographer after my own heart. He started out in one of my favorite cities Nashville, TN, befriend a bunch of rockstars, shot their album covers, moved into celebrity portraiture, and continues to give back with projects like Help Portrait. Our good friend Pye Jirsa with SLR Lounge recently sat down with the nomadic photographer and picked his brain a little about creativity, post production, a new LifeFinder Tour, and a new iPhone App. If you get worn out listening

[Fstoppers Original] What Is Lens Diffraction And When Does Diffraction Happen?

If you are like me then you might not always get caught up in some of the super technical aspects of photography. One aspect of photography I recently investigated was the loss of sharpness caused by Diffraction. Last night while playing with the new Nikon D800 camera I examined lens diffraction and how diffraction can seriously affect the sharpness of your photography.

[FStoppers Original] BTS Video With Surreal Portrait Photographer Rob Woodcox

I’ve always been amazed by artists who have the ability to take a vision of something that doesn’t actually exist, and then produce a surreal image of it in fine detail. One such artist is photographer Rob Woodcox, and this past winter I got the chance to capture some behind the scenes footage of a shoot he was working on, and also interview him about the project and his production processes. In the video, you’ll see the final image, and hear Rob provide some insight on the post-processing of his photos. Hit the jump for some more samples of his work!

[Update] The Stolen Scream - One Year Later

Its been a year since "The Stolen Scream" video was published here on Fstoppers- and what a crazy year it was since then. In this post I will update you on some of what happened with this story. The video was viewed over 330,000 times, and the story itself was featured in many big news outlets (Gizmodo, Time, American Photo Mag, MSNBC and others), and became a case study in many colleges around the world. Its even on Wiki now.

[FS Original] Shooting The Lamborghini Aventador With Blair Bunting

Fstoppers.com has featured some great behind the scenes videos over the years and showcased amazingly talented professional photographers in our Fstoppers Originals series. Recently Patrick and I were invited to Scottsdale, Arizona to expose the secrets of commercial photographer Blair Bunting. When Blair invited us down to Loft 19 Studios, his idea was to shoot something big, expensive, and one of a kind.

[Fstoppers Original] Behind The Scenes With Sports Illustrated
Have you ever wondered what it takes to take the best sports images in the world? You know, those photos that become posters and magazine covers? Well recently we caught up with four of the photographers from Sports Illustrated during the biggest game in college football and asked them what makes a great sports image. Click the full post to read about our experience and hear from the masters themselves.

[Opinion] The Best Free & Pay Music Websites For Video Editors
Great music can take a video edit to the next level, but music that doesn’t fit, or is cheesy stock-quality can make even the most awesome video seem like something your uncle put together after a few beers. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite places to get FREE music for low/no-budget video projects, as well as some pay sites. Check out the list in the full post.

[Free Video] Preview The Art Behind The Headshot With Peter Hurley

The response Peter Hurley's downloadable tutorial The Art Behind The Headshot has been receiving over the last few months has been unbelievable. Peter's technique has changed the way so many photographers approach working with models, and it's apparent by his facebook group that photographers of all skill levels are taking the best headshots in their portfolios. So we have decided to release one free lesson from the DVD for those of you who might still be on the fence. Peter's knowledge is expensive sure, but it's guaranteed to change the way you shoot headshots for the rest of your career. We believe in this so much that if you don't think your headshots are any better after watching 4 hours of Peter's instructions we will give you your money back guaranteed!

[Contest Entry] Projecting Shapes Of Light On A Model NSFW
The Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest is now closed and we are going through every single video 1 by 1 to choose our favorites that will make it to the next round. In the next round our panel of celebrity judges will narrow the lot down to the top 3 winners. At this point we still have not seen every video but if you would like to look through them yourself, you can see them all here on our forum. I just ran across this really interesting video by Loren Byerstein and Syx Langemann that involved shooting a nude model with a projected pattern. Not only do they show you how they did it but they have actually released the software to make your own patterns easily. If you want to give something like this a try on your own, you can download the software here.

[Video] Fstoppers Original:  The Tree Spirit Project, Nudes In Nature

A week ago today, a friend of mine introduced me to environmental art photographer Jack Gescheidt. Minutes after talking with Jack about his Tree Spirit Project I knew I had to share his work with the Fstoppers community. Jack's photographs are unlike anything I've ever seen; yet even while they appear rather innocent, they still somehow strike up a bit of controversy. In a nutshell, the Tree Spirit Project is as much about bringing attention to ecological injustice as much as it is about evoking an almost spiritual experience for Jack and those posing in the photographs (yes he has posed in his own images). By allowing both groups and individuals to pose naked on and around trees that are involved in political and ecological debate, Jack has not only found a way to create amazing art but also unite communities together who value their natural surroundings. Recently Jack was in Charleston, South Carolina where he caused a huge media frenzy as he posed more than a dozen people naked around the Angel Oak (claimed to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi). Check out Jack Gescheidt's story below and click the full post to see a few images of his work. NOTE: while Jack's work doesn't always contain full frontal nudity, it still might be Not Safe For Work. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did and click here for many more photos of Jack's amazing work.

Fstoppers Original: Peter Hurley's The Art Behind The Headshot Is Live
After almost a year of work we have finally finished Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot. We created this to be a double DVD tutorial and we may eventually still make a physical copy but for now we have decided to begin with a digital download. I would like to thank each one of you that supported us by pre-ordering this video and I am so sorry it took so long to produce. Patrick and I filmed and edited this and it was far more complicated than we ever imagined. Creating this video has been the hardest project I have ever worked on but at the same time one of the most rewarding. During the 5 days of filming this video Peter completely opened my eyes to a new way of shooting people. Peter helped me look past the technical side of the camera and the lighting to see the emotion and feeling that each of his clients were producing in each image. When his clients weren't producing compelling images, Peter knew exactly how to coach them into creating that perfect "look." This experience has changed my photography more profoundly than any other experience in my life and I hope that everyone who watches this video will feel the same way. Fstoppers is full of new and free information every single day including the first video we did with Peter over a year ago. This video was created with the professional photographer in mind and it costs $300 for a digital download of the 4 hour video. We know that many of our readers are photography hobbyists and if you don't shoot professionally you may not see the value in this download and that is fine. Please realize that this is a tool and a piece of education that will help (some) professionals take their business to the next level. If you don't see the value in it, please do not buy it and enjoy all of the other free material on our site. If you do decide to buy this video, I would like to thank you so much for supporting this venture and Fstoppers.com. Never in a million years would I have thought we (two wedding photographers from South Carolina) could have created a 4 hour tutorial of this complexity. I know we will never make enough money from DVD sales to make up for the time spent producing it (for some reason we thought it would only take a few weeks to edit) but I hope that this video will impact the photographers who watch it in a huge way.

A Moving Moment, A Different Type Of Wedding Video
As many of you know I (Lee Morris) am a professional wedding photographer. I was never a big fan of wedding videos until I saw the work that StillMotion was putting out. Even if you hate weddings you can appreciate what they do simply from an artistic standpoint. Even though I loved their work, I actually found it discouraging because I knew I could never do their style of video as well as they could so I never tried to film a wedding. I had the idea for over a year of shooting a wedding video similar to how I shoot stills. If I could slow down the video enough I could deal with basically a moving image, something that I felt a lot more comfortable with. It finally worked out that Patrick Hall had a wedding on a day that I was free and 3 days before the wedding I ran the idea by the bride and then called my buddy Mike to see if he wanted to help me film it. Check out the finished product below and the walk-through in the full post.

Use An iPhone To Record High Quality Audio For Your Videos
As a photographer with a new DSLR, you might be trying your hand at video production. Most people completely overlook audio and they shouldn't. If a video sounds cheap then in most people's minds, it is cheap. If you don't have enough money to afford fancy lav mics, don't worry, you can record clean audio with a number of devices that you may already own. In the video below I will show you how we did it for the first year we filmed videos for Fstoppers with a simple (and free) iPhone app. If you don't have a smart phone then you can buy one of these for $16.

Fstoppers Is Giving Away An Apple Macbook Air Through Twitter!
Well the title pretty much says it all and you only have 3 day left to enter! Fstoppers is excited to announce a new twitter contest where you can win one of the brand new Apple Macbook Air 11.6" Notebooks. Click Here for details on how you can enter the Fstoppers twitter contest and win this macbook. Also make sure you enter before the end of October 12th since we are announcing the winner the following day.

How To Tether Your Camera To An Ipad Without Jailbreaking
Last year I released a video explaining how to wirelessly tether your camera to an iPad by jailbreaking the iPad. Since then Eye-Fi has released a firmware update that makes wireless tethering possible without the need for jailbreaking. Now, not only is the whole process much easier to set up, it is also much cheaper because you no longer have to pay for the more expensive Pro Eye-Fi card, you can make this work with the cheaper Connect X2 card.

Shoot, Print, And Frame A Massive Peter Lik Style Photograph On A Budget

If you have seen Peter Lik's work in person then you understand that it's impossible to put into words the look and quality of his prints. Peter's photography (and his post production) is fantastic, but what really makes his work stand out is his printing and presentation. If his images were printed on standard photo paper at a standard size, his work would not have the same "wow" factor.

FS Original: How To Shoot And Retouch Beauty Photography
Patrick and I were invited to shoot a behind the scenes video with beauty photography Sam Yocum in NYC a few months ago. I've always been struck by the lighting and flawless models, makeup, and retouching that can be seen in high end Beauty work and so I couldn't wait to see a real professional work...Check out the video below to see a little on how Sam works as well as a very detailed tutorial on how he approaches his post production. Click the full post to see a bunch of Sam's beauty images.

Fstoppers Original: The Stolen Scream

What if you took a set of images that became so popular that it was used hundreds of times all around the world by hundreds of artists, businesses, websites, and publications? As photographers, it's what we all dream about but what if you were never paid for your work? What if you weren't even given credit? What if your images were stolen for years and you never had any idea? If there was ever a video to share, this is it. This is Noam Galai's story.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/20718237

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5lEMIf7_FM...

Using the Healing Brush and Patch Tool: An Fstoppers Post Production Tutorial by Sean Armenta
Hello Fstoppers! My name is Sean Armenta, and this is my little spot on Fstoppers called The Post Production Tutorial. If you enjoy these videos, feel free to subscribe to my new Fstoppers PPT Youtube Channel for the latest updates. This time around, we will talk about how I use the healing brush and patch tool in Photoshop. They are definitely staples of any retouching job and while they are pretty straightforward to use, I would like to share a couple of tweaks I discovered to make them work even better.

Pen Tool Basics: An Fstoppers Post Production Tutorial by Sean Armenta
Hello Fstoppers! My name is Sean Armenta, and this is my little spot on Fstoppers called The Post Production Tutorial. If you enjoy these videos, feel free to subscribe to my new Fstoppers PPT Youtube Channel for the latest updates. This time around, we will talk about how to use the Photoshop Pen Tool. Granted, it's not as flashy and exciting as other aspects of retouching, but the Pen Tool is definitely something everyone should learn. To be honest, the Pen Tool is something I use quite often, especially when a client requests a color change on an object or background, or even when retouching hair. Stay tuned for more videos coming up soon and feel free to leave me any comments below with questions on this video or about suggestions for future videos.

Fstoppers Original:  The Wakeboard Studio Shoot
One of my favorite things about Charleston, SC is being close to the ocean. I love being in and around the water, and although I'm not very good at it, I do enjoy wakeboarding. Charleston has become a pretty big hub for sports like kiteboarding and wakeboarding over the last few years, and this city is not short on talented athletes. I took an interest in wakeboard photography a couple years ago, and I always enjoyed shooting images from extreme angles. Although I've gotten some cool images, I never felt like I really had much control over my images with just daylight. I've tried to bring strobes outside to create something "different" but even those shots have been done a million times. I decided I wanted a way to shoot a rider flying through the air with interesting, studio quality lighting and this is what I came up with....click the full post for the full story. https://vimeo.com/19633416

Fstoppers Original: The Studio Wakeboard Shoot from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Enhancing The Eyes: An Fstoppers Post Production Tutorial By Sean Armenta
My name is Sean Armenta and I am a professional fashion photographer based in Southern California. You may have seen a few of my videos posted on Fstoppers in the past but this will be the first video in a series called Fstoppers PPT (post production tutorials) that I will be producing exclusively for Fstoppers. If you have a Youtube account you may want to subscribe to the new FstoppersPPT channel. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and I believe the eyes are one of the most important parts of a portrait. In this tutorial, I will share with you the techniques I use to retouch eyes and eyelashes.

Fstoppers Nikon Pocket Wizard FlexTT5, MiniTT1, And AC3 Review
Patrick and I have been in contact with LPA Design (the company that makes Pocket Wizards) for a few months now and we were excited to hear that they would be sending us a few beta units of the unreleased Nikon FlexTT5, MiniTT1, and AC3 units. Our website is not about reviewing gear but we did want to push these units. I called up Sigma and asked for a loaner 800mm 5.6 lens and Patrick planned a shoot that involved every SB-800 and SB-80DX that we own. Check out the video below, and then view the full post to read detailed info about the shoots and check out the high res images. If you enjoy this content, follow us on Twitter to stay updated when our next video is released.

How To Directly Tether Your Camera To An iPad By Lee Morris
Are you a photographer and an iPad owner? If so, you are really going to love this. Are you a photographer who swore you would never buy an iPad because it's just an over-sized iPod Touch? Well you are about to change your mind. We have recently figured out that with nothing more than a jailbroken iPad and an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card, you can wirelessly tether the two without the need for a separate network. This "hack" is so useful that we have decided to give away a free iPad randomly to one of our twitter followers. Please read the full post to learn more.

How To Directly Tether Your Camera To An iPad By Lee Morris from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Fstoppers Original:  David Bergman Photographs Bon Jovi
After two months of editing and waiting for David Bergman to get off tour, I am proud to unveil a behind the scenes video on Tour Photography featuring rock icons Bon Jovi at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Many of you may know David Bergman from his Sports Illustrated photos or his gigapan image of Obama's inauguration, but David's primary focus these days is shooting live events through his company TourPhotographer.com . David discusses his previous work, reviews his equipment, and takes you on an all access preview of what it is like shooting for one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world! Click the full post to read more about our unbelievable experience filming this as well as a full list of all of David's recommended gear.

Fstoppers Original: David Bergman Photographs Bon Jovi from FStoppers on Vimeo.