The last time I talked with Alexis, he was just trying out a technique of shooting two different lighting setups with the press of a button (be sure to check that article out for details on how the SpeedCycler feature of the Pocket Wizard MultiMax works).This time around, he managed to pull off five different looks (three at one time) – nabbing himself six pages and the cover of the World Cup preview issue of Sports Illustrated. His behind the-scenes-video gives a ton of insight into how he pulled this off, but I asked him to go even further than the video or what he already explained at his blog and explain the "whys" of it all.
Articles written by Aaron Brown
Joey Shanks is at it again – this time with an awesome stop-motion homage to the Millennium Falcon portion of the new “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens” teaser trailer. He combines light painting with a practical model of the star ship to create an awesome gravity-defying recreation that’s sure to impress special effects gurus and Star Wars fans alike. Check it out!
Keisuke Iwaya is an amateur Japanese astrophysicist. On July 20th, 2014, he sent a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera into the Earth’s stratosphere from Obihiro, Japan for the first time ever. The video captures a time-lapse view of the amazing voyage into the heavens as well as some behind-the-scenes views of the lift off and finding it after its free fall back down. If you've ever day dreamed of flying around the planet like Superman as a kid, this video will rekindle that fantastic flame from your youth! – check it out!
If you’re interested in getting big budget looks in your low budget indie film, then you should be very familiar with the Shanks FX channel on YouTube. If you’re not, you should get acquainted with it… like now! Joe Schenkenberg aka Joey Shanks is the man with the know-how when it comes to creating Hollywood effects out of simple household items. He teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to bring you quality behind-the-scenes content online and has recently partnered with Red Giant to explain how he created a black hole effect very similar looking to the one in the recent movie Interstellar – all captured in-camera.
A teacher once told me that filmmakers need to fully utilize the frame within their scenes and move the camera in ways that help drive the story forward; otherwise they're just filming a play. That always stuck with me and it's a point I still take note of in movies. Tony Zhou from Every Frame a Painting does a great job of explaining why the camera frame is so important in comedic cinema along with a slew of other techniques that few people other than Edgar Wright are making use of in today's comedies. This is eight minutes of insight you're not going to want to miss!
Chris McKechnie, a cinematographer and editor from Long Beach, California, was recently hired to produce a video for Make-A-Wish America. In it, he documents Chris Gabriel Lavan-Ying: a nine-year-old boy suffering with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome who wished to become a national park ranger. Yosemite National Park partnered up with Make-A-Wish to help fulfill Gabriel’s wish back in June. This is the completed film that Chris created, and below he discussed with me the technical process of how he created this cinematic story along with what he took away from the whole experience – especially as a father.
The team from Modest (a Buford, Georgia-based production company) recently shot a commercial for Glock, featuring the G41 tactical .45 caliber pistol. The commercial itself is a gorgeous-looking short film of a special ops unit swarming a plane out on an airport tarmac. The BTS video above shows how they pulled off an impressive continuous shot passed down a pulley on crane, to car, to golf cart, to ground – all what looks to be shot with a Blackmagic Cinema camera stabilized on a Movi M10 3-axis gimbal. It’s really freaking sweet.
Next up to bat on the Fstoppers TogTools podcast series is our very own Sarah Williams, half of the wedding photographer team at Val & Sarah. Jess and Stephen interview Sarah about the importance of identifying a niche and how she goes about booking the type of people she would want to hang out with, the ins and outs of partnerships and connecting emotionally to her work.
Anthony Duron and Mark Rainwater were one of the first same-sex couples married in Indiana on June 27th, 2014 after a federal judge overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. Unfortunately, a federal appeals court put a hold on the ruling and they have been waiting in a sort of limbo ever since. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to hear the issue of gay marriage from several states, so many couples like Anthony and Mark have been waiting anxiously for vindication over the last three months. I was honored with the opportunity to take portraits of these two gentlemen and I learned a lot about love and life along the way.
Let's face it, smartphone cameras are getting better and better with every release. Mobile photo editing software is getting better too, and with the rise in popularity of Instagram over the last four years, sharing vintage-looking photographs have become quite the trend. Online content studio Rubber Republic produced the #PictureBelfast campaign for Tourism Ireland featuring fashion and lifestyle blogger Donna Ross going head to head with Belfast based photographer Andrew Rankin. Their challenge was to take photographs showing off the best of Belfast – half with a smartphone and half shot on film – where Internet users would try to guess which method for each image was utilized.
Austin Mann recently got hold of the new iPhone 6 Plus after Apple’s Keynote at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. In partnership with The Verge, he set out on an amazing adventure through Iceland with the phone in tow. His reason? He wanted to put the iPhone 6 Plus camera through the test to see how much has improved since the iPhone 5s. His results? From focus pixels, focus control, time-lapse and slo-mo, Apple has made all the right improvements and innovations with their iSight camera. The new features are “enabling iPhone users to better capture and share life” says Mann.
RadioPopper just released their new mid-range set of triggers – the Jr2 system. It’s a complete overhaul of their much successful JrX system with some additional new features like 4 groups, stop-accurate remote power adjustments and 4 memory locations. The transmitter is completely backwards compatible with all previous RadioPopper products and can remotely power all Canon and Nikon flashes as well as Paul C. Buff and Photogenic monolights. Like me, you probably already have an off-camera flash triggering system you’re used to and using regularly… but the Jr2 may very well have you switching triggers!
Christiaan Welzel and his wife Kseniya have trekked across the world adventuring for the majority of the last eight years. They decided to start exploring places that were extremely hard to get to like Antarctica or various ghost towns, but they finally decided on traveling to Ukraine where Kseniya is from. It was in April of last year, days before the 27th anniversary of the nuclear disaster, when months of preparations finally came to fruition and they headed off to Chernobyl.
It's that time! We have the third session in the Fstoppers series over at the TogTools Podcast ready for you all to enjoy - and it's a great one! This week's guest is Staff Writer Adam Ottke. Adam shoots fine art and travel photography, but he also serves as the Art Director for a small creative agency he started called Curate the World. In this week's podcast, Adam discusses his love for gear, how he got started in photography and as a writer for Fstoppers, how to hustle in this industry and why collaboration is important for creating strong artistic ideas.
The team over at Dubai 360 shared with us a rather unique view of the world. In the video above, you'll get to watch a full day's revolution of the Earth directly above the Dubai International Airport. You'll see airplanes fly in and soar off, you'll watch them taxi into their various gates and you'll see it all from a spectacular 4K panoramic "little planet" downward view! The team mentions that Terminal 3 actually serves as an hour hand on an imaginary clock with midnight at the top and midday at the bottom, allowing you to know the time of day each frame was taken!
Kessler Crane recently shared an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at one of filmmaker Joe Simon’s more recent short documentaries – Gerry. The film is about Gerry Beathard, a gunsmith and engraver located in Austin, Texas. The behind-the-scenes look includes a wealth of information that Simon lays out in simple language: everything from pre-production planning, to lighting diagrams, gear used and even the finished film. Regardless of your skill level as a photographer or videographer, you’ll be sure to find inspiration within that can help you better plan your next big project.
Lindsey Villatoro is an event and portrait photographer based in Menifee, California. She’s a wife and a mother of three girls who loves taking photos of babies, children, destination weddings and families – what she considers to be a “photographer of life.” But she also offers another unique photography service: “Forever Loved” sessions. These are portraits that a family wants of their loved ones who have either recently recovered from an illness, are incurably terminal or (in the case of this particular story) have recently died. I reached out to Lindsey to give us a look at one of her most recent clients’ story.
Don’t believe everything you see or read on the internet, guys. Case in point, "We Still Coming." There has recently been a photograph allegedly supported by a text message screen-capture making the rounds online. It alludes to a wedding barbecue being crashed by a group of strangers because the bride-to-be sent out an invitation to the wrong number. Although the final communication shown, “We still coming,” is hilarious when viewed next to a photograph of a white wedding party surrounded by a group of young African-American men in casual attire. The thing is... the whole story is a lie - sort of!
One of our loyal readers, Rogier van Bakel, recently contacted us with an article suggestion that we decided to share with you. Rogier is a wedding photographer based near Bar Harbor, Maine and he has a custom tip on how to gel Profoto B1 or Profoto D1 monolights without the use of any tape, rubber bands, or Velcro. His method allows the lights use of modifiers since they're free of obstruction and keeps them looking good too, as tape and Velcro have a tendency to scratch at surfaces and leave unnecessary residues behind.
Photographer Yvette Meltzer examines the beauty of spinning colors within public laundromat machines in her series of photographs titled “Revolutions.” She spent over two years on the project which she describes at her website as a journey of capturing abstract mandalas that transform into faces and forms - both human and animal-like.