One of the joys of running a site like Fstoppers as a full time photographer is learning all the little tricks that helps make a high traffic site run smoothly. We recently ran a poll to see how often our readers were visiting our site, and we were shocked to learn how many of you are staying updated through our RSS feed. We were also shocked by the amount of emails we received from readers who were having problems with their feed. Long story short, we updated the RSS feed a few times and 90% of our readers are subscribed to our initial feed which is bogging down our server, a few are subscribed to a feed that is not sending out every post, and if you recently found Fstoppers you are probably subscribed to the current feed we just launched 10 days ago. So in an effort to standardize everything and help relieve stress on our server we'd appreciate it if you could follow the Updated Fstoppers RSS Feed located on the top of the site. If you have to type in the link into your reader it is http://feeds.feedburner.com/fstoppersfeed
Articles written by Patrick Hall
As a commercial wedding photographer, I know very little about how to take compelling underwater images. Luckily underwater photographer Brian Skerry and National Geographic have shared this short BTS video on what it's like diving with fish and swimming over coral reefs. I think it's interesting how simple but necessary the lighting setup is for this field of photography; most of us "land photographer" probably take for granted the complex lighting setups we can easily construct. Most of us also don't bring "backup gear" to our shoots because we expect our gear to break! Hopefully we will see more videos like this from other underwater photographers.
In an age where digital has all but put film in the grave, commercial and wedding photographer Harrison Hurwitz has continued to build his business around the organic medium. As a young photographer knowing only digital imaging, I always find it interesting and enlightening to hear from the older pros who may have started with film or actually prefer still shooting film. The argument Harrison makes about film already being color corrected resonates well with me since I'm a jpeg shooter and prefer the color/tones my camera burns into the files vs digitally manipulating it. I can only imagine how much more expensive it is to shoot film and pay for the processing/scanning compared to the digital alternative; that aspect I do not miss. Are any of our readers also film shooters who have a perspective on this and if so we'd love to hear from you below.
So many times we photographers think we need to use every single strobe light we own just because they are there in our bag. I've been a victim of it and I'm sure you have too. Instructional photographer Tony Corbell has an old video he made for the folks at Profoto which really showcases the variety of light you can get from just one single light source. There is an old saying that goes the best light is the light you have with you but maybe it should go the best light is sometimes the simplest light.
Camera and Video equipment is expensive! Whether you are just getting into digital media or are a seasoned professional, we are all looking for bargains and ways to justify dropping even more coin on photography gear. Everyday our email is full of readers asking about what gear we use/recommend and if there are any deals out there to be had. So we have created an Fstoppers Gear Guide that includes every piece of equipment we use for both photos and video separated into categories. You can also check out the latest Canon rebates (most end Jan 8) and Nikon rebates (expires Nov 20) through BHvideo.com which we find to have the best prices online. So check out the Fstoppers Gear Guide and if you want to get some new toys for Christmas, don't miss out on these Holiday rebates through Nikon and Canon.
Adam Boozer is an amazingly talented videographer right here in Charleston, SC. His company Jewell and Ginnie has been making a big splash with very cinematic video here in the low country and throughout the southeast. Last night Adam emailed us a BTS video he created on how he sets up his camera for these incredible aerial shots. Besides having the access to a Robinson R44 Helicopter, the actual setup isn't that complicated: A Canon 5D MKII, a Zucato Follow Focus, a Marshall Monitor, and the piece that stabilizes it all together, the Tyler Mini Gyro. I've posted the highlight reel here so click the full post to see the BTS video on how Adam is getting these shots!
Some musicians release a new album with a mediocre cd booklet or no booklet at all. But when country star Taylor Swift releases an album she sets out to create photographs that depict her songs in cinematic fashion. Taylor and Nashville musician photographer Joseph Anthony Baker work together to create very stylized sets which are often as tongue-in-cheek as some of the lyrical content in her songs. Shooting these sort of fantasy images requires a lot of art direction and a mastery of set design and elaborate lighting but the results are truly amazing! Click the full post for part 2 of the series (part 3 requires a comcast login) and head over to Taylor's website to see the final images.
If you live in the United States then there was a good chance you just skipped watching TV last night because of all the crazy election coverage. Even though I personally don't care to watch nonstop election coverage, I do have a huge appreciation for the amount of production that goes into bringing such a massive event into the homes of Americans. If television production is of interest to you, check out this behind the scenes video of Shepard Smith as he gives you a short tour of the control room and stage setup for the 2010 midterm election coverage at Fox News.
Congratulations to Justin Trapp for winning the Sports Themed October Fstoppers Forum Contest! Each month we host a photo contest over at FstoppersForum.com where the winner gets their photography on the top banner of Fstoppers.com as well as a nice piece of lighting equipment from the good folks at Photoflex. This month Photoflex is giving away an OctoDome: Extra Small Basic Kit. If you win you will also get to pick the theme for the next month's contest as well as choose the winner. This month Justin will be our guest judge. So if you think you have what it takes to compete, head over to the Contest and post your best EMOTION themed photo.
A few editors of National Geographic sat down to talk about a few of their favorite images. What is it that makes an image memorable and interesting? Most everyone said it was something they have never seen before. Some fields of photography don't have to be ground breaking but if you want to take your own images to the next level try to imagine shooting something you have never seen published before. I'm afraid too many photographers get wrapped up in the lighting, gear, location, and very picky details. Before you even pull out your camera, think to yourself, "what have I not seen done before?" Obviously this video applies mainly to naturally occurring events in nature but I think the same principles can be applied to planned shoots. What do you guys think?
Like many of you, the most telephoto I typically shoot is 200mm. If you are David Bergman then you probably shoot at 600mm. But what if that still isn't enough? Well you need to buy the Canon 1200mm lens duh! And if this lens does not get you close enough to the action then you probably need to read the full post to view your last option.
Kelly Kline is a commercial and editorial photographer based out of NYC and Atlanta who has a fantastic portfolio full of top professional atheletes. In this behind the scenes video she has teamed up with MMA fighter Matthew Polly for his new book Tapped Out. This shoot is definitely a commercial for the Profoto Pro-8a Air Packs but also shows what is possible when you push not only your gear but your creativity to the limits.
Beauty Confessional is a fashion based blog out of the UK but that doesn't mean that their tough motion photos shouldn't be appreciated world wide! I love what photographer Piers Vernon Kell has done with these images and the editing reminds me of something you'd see in a Hitchcock or Woody Allen opener. If you are looking to add a twist to your own photography or simply advertise your own creativity in a new fashion take notes from this video!
This video might be on the fringe of what most photographers and videographers are faced with in their own field but I found it really interesting. The whole idea of modeling a modern Mickey Mouse with the classic animations we have grown up watching reminded me of how important it is to really study the details of your predecessors in order to copy or move past what they have already created. Sometimes I feel like a lot of photographers simply follow the lighting they see on a particular blog and expect to have the same results of well known photographers in their own projects. More often than not, what you wind up finding is your final image is no where near as good as the one you've tried to emulate. You really have to take the time to study your craft to make compelling art, and that's exactly what the animators for the new Mickey video game did. Enjoy!
If you have ever been in front of the camera you know how difficult it can be to remember your thoughts and speak them as naturally as you do in normal conversation. But what you may not know is most news personalities you see on television are actually cheating! Check out this behind the scenes video on how newscasters use autocues to present the news both clearly and accurately. I may have to invest in one of these for my own camera appearances!
Some of you may not remember this but as a very young kid with HBO in the house, I remember always being amazed watching this intro. Now I think movies on HBO just start with the parental ratings and nothing more. So next time you are thinking of making a cool intro for your business in after effects, remember how much harder it actually could be! As always, click the full post to view the original trailer.
The newest promo video for the incredible GoPro HD camera has me wanting to get out of the house and do something exciting! We are big supports of what Gopro is doing and can't speak highly enough of these little cameras. If you enjoy adding a unique perspective to your own videos or want a small time lapse camera, you can't go wrong with these...well unless you destroy them :)
This music video created by Oren Lavie was a huge viral sensation back in Jan of 2009. I never knew there was a behind the scenes video showing the production of this clever project until fstopper reader Topshot posted this in the fstoppersforum. What's great about these videos is not so much the photography but the overall creativity with just one camera angle. Click the full post to watch the original video.
Stefan Segers is a commercial photographer from the Netherlands. Although all of his website is in Dutch, he was nice enough to produce a behind the scenes video in English just for Fstoppers. Stefan explains from start to finish how he created the artistic look for the lastest Pajar campaign. I really love this straightforward behind the scenes video because Stefan's approach is pretty simple but very professional in it's final execution.
Kim Krejca is a professional food and prop stylist. Combining her background in art direction and culinary arts, Kim now works with photographers to create the perfect images you see on menus and in maganzines. Most of what you see in terms of food photography is cleverly engineered and often times flat out fake. Kim and food photographer Rick Gayle take you behind the camera to discover some of the tools they use during their stylings. If you enjoy this video, be sure to head over to Adorama's learning center to watch more videos.