Every couple of years Red Bull hosts one of the coolest photo competitions in the world called the Red Bull Illume. If you aren't familiar with this photo contest, the Illume showcases some of the most unbelievable sports photographs in the world. Many of the photos are landscape in a nature which give them an almost fine art feel but there are plenty of edgy closeup shots to grab your attention as well. The deadline to contribute to this year's Image Quest has been extended by 12 hours to April 1st 12:00 (CET) which I believe to be 6:00 PM Eastern if my brain is working correctly.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
This week we released the longest photography tutorial Fstoppers has ever produced; Joey Wright - Swimwear Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Retouching. Our entire team headed down to the island of Curacao for 10 days to film a variety of photography lessons ranging from how to pose models, how to use scrims, reflectors, strobes, and how to create portfolio worthy images with minimal gear. During this incredible journey the behind the scenes cameras never stopped rolling, and each week we will be releasing a new episode of all our adventures. This is episode 1!
Is Alexa Meade a painter or is she a photographer? Alexa's unique take on both mediums has completely blurred the idea of what is real and what is imagination. Traditional painting attempts to take a two dimensional medium and make it look 3D while photography does the opposite by capturing a 3D space and translating it to a 2D surface. Alexa's work throws both of these ideas into a blender and leaves the viewer wondering what is real and what is simply paint. The results are fascinating!
We have finally made it to the end of our behind-the-scenes series of Elia Locardi's “Photographing the World” tutorial. In episode 18, we continue our travels through New Zealand as we hike out 4 miles to the base of Mount Cook for an interesting astro photography lesson, the team celebrates the end of this trip with a skydiving session in Queenstown, and Lee and I say our final goodbyes to Elia and Naomi Locardi.
Let's face it, you can never have enough memory cards laying around your studio. Today only, Sandisk is having a ridiculous sale on their U3 SDXC Memory Cards. The 128 GB cards are only $44 and their 64 GB cards are only $24. These cards are great for high megapixel cameras, shooting HD video, and can also be used as small hard drives to transfer files from computer to computer. Instead of having a half dozen smaller cards that might potentially get lost in the shuffle, I always encourage photographers to use a single larger memory card and only remove it from their camera once after each shoot. If you haven't upgraded to 64 or 128 GB cards yet, this might be the best sale until the end of summer.
Even though I am not a landscape photographer and I have never attempted any sort of astrophotography, I have always appreciated beautiful photographs of nightscapes. Recently, I borrowed the new Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens and tried to photograph an interesting night scene here in Charleston. Truth be told, it was quite the learning experience. In this video, I will share my first ever approach to shooting the night sky and hopefully give you a few things to think about when tackling this interesting genre of photography.
Neutral density filters seem to be all the rage these days. If you are a landscape photographer, ND filters are a crucial tool for smoothing out rough water and giving your skies a nice blurred effect. For portrait photographers, neutral density filters are great for maintaining wide open apertures in super bright situations while using strobes. Recently, we tested five different brands' filters to see which one produced the sharpest and most accurate color renditions. The results were pretty shocking.
Getting accurate Autofocus must be one of the most frustrating things an event or wedding photographer deals with on a daily basis. How many times have you been in the right place at the right time, taken a photo at the absolute peak of the action, and then found yourself cursing under your breath when you review the image only to find it wasn't in focus? This used to happen to me a lot at weddings, and I still see many of my assistants struggling with autofocus in extremely low light situations. Luckily there is a very simple solution that works everytime.
This story happens much more often than any of us would like to believe. A beautiful model receives a text from a highly respected photographer asking if she would be interested in doing a swimwear shoot at the beach. The model has heard great things about the photographer or maybe has even worked with the photographer before and jumps at the opportunity to shoot with him. The model, back home for the holidays, drives 7 hours across the country for an opportunity of a lifetime only to find out that she has been catfished by a creeper posing as a real photographer.
For the next 10 days, the entire Fstoppers staff is down in Curacao filming our next full length tutorial with swimwear photographer Joey Wright. Recently Facebook just added a new live streaming feature called Livestream which means we can live stream while we film this tutorial. Follow us on Facebook to watch all of our shenanigans and signup for Joey's mailing list for more info about this tutorial.
For the majority of people, the day after Christmas is usually filled with farewells to extended family members, house cleaning, writing thank you cards, and crashing on the couch to watch the final games of the football season. But for many Americans, the day after Christmas offers a unique opportunity: a chance to head out to the firing range and test the new guns and accessories they received from loved ones. This year, I decided to take my camera out to a local rifle range and document the people and guns who showed up the day after Christmas.
Many photography and film students fail to dream big enough during their undergraduate studies. The work they produce seems more like an exercise than a passionate project for their own portfolios. For German film students Daniel Titz & Dorian Lebherz this was definitely not the case. In what might be the most moving commercial of 2015, Daniel and Dorian crafted a touching mock ad for Johnnie Walker that shows just how effective you can make your personal projects if you take them seriously.
The Fstoppers Flash Disc has been out of stock both through Amazon and BH Photo for the last 2 months, but luckily we have received our next large shipment of inventory for the holidays. It's been pretty amazing to see and hear how many photographers are enjoying our portable, pocket sized soft box for off camera flash. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years and if you have any images taken with the Flash Disc, feel free to post them in the comments. Happy Holidays everyone!
The best shopping day of the year is upon us! Unlike the highly stigmatized Black Friday day of chaos, Cyber Monday allows us all to casually browse the best sales from the comfort of our homes. In this post I have gathered some of the best and most useful sales for photographers and videographers as well as some non photography tools that can be a lifesaver. Check back into this post throughout the day (or follow us on Twitter) as the Fstoppers staff will be updating it often.
Everyone wants to look their best when they are in front of the camera. Most people practice in front of a mirror to get their perfect "photo face" nailed down but did you know that your shoulder and arm positioning can actually make you look thin in one photo and fat in another? Headshot photographer Peter Hurley has released his latest photo slimming tip video and it is called "hold your sub."
Back in October I posted a portrait of myself that quickly became the most popular photo on my entire Facebook feed for 2015. The image was never meant to be anything other than a test shot for a few lenses we were reviewing but people kept asking how I created it. In this Fstoppers video, I will show you a common lighting setup every photographer should know and how you too can achieve this simple look with your clients.
Today we are launching a great deal on our Flash Disc light modifiers for those of you living in the European Union. If you add 3 Flash Discs to your Amazon Cart, you will get a special sale price for only 2 (basically buy 2 get 1 free). The Fstoppers Flash Disc is basically a small softbox that folds up and fits into your pocket. It's perfect for photographers on the go who need soft light without the hassle that comes with using a large softbox. As we mentioned before, selling the Flash Disc in Europe has been a huge pain in the butt and once our current inventory is sold out we will not be replenishing any more in the Amazon.co.uk store.
A couple weeks ago, we asked the Fstoppers Community to submit their swimwear images for a special episode of "Critique the Community" with Dixie Dixon. Patrick met up with Dixie and went through 20 images of the submissions to give their thoughts on the quality of each image according to the Fstoppers rating system and how the images could be improved. Check out the image selection below and add your thoughts and ratings to the comments below.
Last month we had the three highest megapixel cameras by Nikon, Sony, and Canon in our office, and we filmed a pretty polarizing review pitting them against each other. Many viewers pointed out an unfair bias in our studio test so we redid the test again using the same lens on all three cameras. We then asked our readers to pick the best looking image from the 3 cameras without telling them which camera took which photo. The results from this test were pretty alarming.
A few weeks ago we offered to critique a handful of headshot photographs from the Fstoppers Community. I was able to sit down with professional headshot photographer Peter Hurley for his advice on how you guys can help improve your own headshot photos. Since there were so many submissions we were only able to get to about 18 images, but don't worry because next week Lee and David will tackle many of the images that did not make this episode of Critique the Community.