Every photographer needs a few things in their bag of tricks. An easy trick is to add some smoke to your images for effect. You can always create photo smoke on a budget if you want to MacGyver it but there is another solution - two solutions in fact. Click the full post to watch a video on how easily smoke can be created with two liquids.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
It's always good humor when someone makes a career path diagram outlining possible jobs within a particular field. If you aren't sure about whether your skills are best utilized as a Director, Studio Head, Screenwriter, Producer, or Film Critic then this is a great starting point. Hopefully someone makes one of these based on art buying and photography publishing. Without cheating, which path do you naturally fall into?
I love optical illusions, and this simple trick used in a Sony Cybershot ad was one I had not seen before. Click on the full post to see this image large. Then stare at the color triangle in the middle of the model's nose for 30 seconds. Then stare at a white wall or screen and blink rapidly! You should see the model take her clothes off in near full color! The brain is a strange strange machine indeed!
If you thought Jasper James's City Silhouettes were crazy wait until you see Ira Fox's Puddle Portraits. Using the natural reflections caused by rain puddles, Ira has captured the world in an interesting yet pyschodelic way. The results are one of a kind, and it just goes to show how thinking outside the box can pay off in a big way! [Full Post]
A few days ago we showed you what it's like to be a Sport Illustrated Editor. The NFL Conference Championship games are about kick off in a few hours so it seems fitting to bring you San Francisco 49ers team photographer Michael Zagaris as he talks about capturing the two key plays of the '9ers Division Championship game. Enjoy!
Trey Ratcliff is a very successful photographer who also runs a very popular blog Stuck in Customs. In a recent lecture for Google, Trey explains what makes the internet so exciting for creative professionals, and how you too can put your own internet stimulus out there for others to enjoy. It's interesting watching this watching this... [full post]
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!
With just over a week since it's announcement, Nikon's flagship D4 DSLR is already causing a stir in the most unlikely of places. The camera will feature a slot for the new XQD memory card which moves data much faster than current SD or CF cards. But can the card become the next media standard? Both Lexar and Sandisk, the later of which helped design the format, have said that they will not produce the XQD cards anytime soon. So what do you think? Click the full post to leave your comments and participate our poll.
If you are a sports fan, you are going to love this interview. Grover over at Photoshelter recently interviewed Sports Illustrated Director of Photography Steve Fine. Steve's job is to pick out the absolute best "super selects" from a handful of sports photographers and publish those photos in record time (sometimes within hours). I recently met Steve and what I found interesting about his job is not only the insane amount of work that goes into finding the absolute cream of the crop photos but also how important Steve's eye has to be to tell the story of each game in only a handful of frames. With SI, their photo team winds up with dozens if not hundreds of great images but only a very select few can be published to represent the final theme of the game. The following interview is pretty long but definitely worth checking out, especially if you are interested in knowing how sports photography or wired images are used to create the magazines we see on newsstands daily. Enjoy!
The BBC has produced some of my favorite shows of all time. Their newest program called Earthflight captures amazing HD video from the skies as they put you literally on the wings of wild birds. I really can't imagine how they got these shots of eagles stalking unsuspecting flamingos but it's definitely not filmed on a Gopro Hero. Click the full post to check out the amazing view in full HD glory!
I just wrapped up a future Fstoppers video here in New Orleans, Louisiana, and I'd love to grab a drink with anyone in the area. The meetup starts at 8pm Tonight Tuesday the 10th at Bar Tonique located at 820 North Rampart St. It's located just on the edge of the French Quarter so we can escape all the hoopla that comes with Bourbon Street. Hopefully I'll see you there.
Have you ever wondered just how many photographs are taken each day? Maybe you've wondered where the most photos are taken throughout the world. Well the GPS data tracking company Triposo has released a timelapse video that shows exactly where most of the world's photographs are taken. With the help from sites like Flickr, Dmoz, TouristEye, Open Street Maps, and dozens others, Triposo was able to plot popular areas for photography using GPS data embedded into the photographs themselves. Not only did they capture the location of the photos but also the day it was taken. Click the full post to see still shots of the most popular days people are using their cameras.
Peter Hurley is pretty well known among the Fstoppers crowd but after the release of his highly anticipated DVD, The Art Behind The Headshot, Peter has become an inspiration to hundreds of photographers around the world. If you've purchased his 4 hour training session on how to take the perfect headshot then you know just how powerful his teaching techniques can be for your career. But what you might not know is Peter has created an interactive community on Facebook for those of you who want even more instruction! If you've already purchased The Art Behind The Headshot, you need to join The Artists Behind The Headshot Facebook Group. Not only can you post your own photos and have Peter critique them directly but you can also talk business with other photographers who have purchased Peter's digital tutorial or attended his Headshot Intensive. I just got off a private conference call with Peter and his guest speaker Delane Rouse (who photographed over 800 lawyers in 2011!) It was really amazing to have over 25 photographers logged on and sharing business tips on exactly how they are making money in their local communities. These extra help sessions are only available to those who are members of the private Facebook group so join now! The information shared tonight was worth it's weight in gold, and it's inspiring to hear how people are turning their photo hobbies into full blown careers!
If you've watched an american football game, you've seen those cool shots from high up in the air. They come from a camera called the Skycam which was actually invented by the same people who designed the Steadicam used in movie productions. It's basically a remote camera controlled by four computer driven suspension cables. But what happens when everything goes wrong and the camera comes crashing to the ground? Well that's exactly what happened during the 2011 Insight College Bowl Game featuring Iowa and Oklahoma. Luckily the camera missed landing on any of the players but it sure did come close. Check out the full post to see a behind the scenes video on how the Skycam works.
This video is a couple years old now but it's the first time I've seen it. One part Geico caveman, two parts Macgyver, Bryan Peterson shows how easy it can be to create a simple yet eye catching stock photo. Using nothing more than a Nikkor 200mm Macro Lens, some sparkling water, a glass, a lemon, and some old Christmas wrapping paper, Bryan shows you how easy a product shot can be if you just focus on the composition and some easy reflector lighting. What shocked me even more than this DIY photoshoot next to an interstate setup was the realization that someone gave me his super popular book Understanding Exposure as a gift years ago and it's here on my bookshelf. His tips make photography look so easy, even a caveman can do it!
One of the biggest rewards of our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest is we finally get to meet our readers and see what they enjoy shooting. Meet Kevin Kozicki; he is a great fashion photographer based out of sunny Los Angeles. In his contest entry, Kevin wanted to use poinsettia leaves in some sort of beauty themed image while not going in the typical Christmas/Holiday route. The images Kevin produced are outstanding and his lighting is perfect for this type of project. I do wish Kevin would have explained his lighting a bit more but it's also nice to hear photographers talk about the overall production ideas because they are equally as important and often overlooked. If you have any questions for Kevin, leave them in the comments below and click the full post to see a few of the final images.
Unless you shoot fast moving objects with flash on a regular basis, you might not be aware that a strobes "flash duration" has a huge affect on an image's total sharpness. Flash duration is simply the time at which your flash is emitting light. Technical gurus will break it down into T.1 and T.5 times but for simplicity the longer the flash duration, the more your strobe light acts as a constant light for extremely fast moving objects (great article here). Recently Broncolor did a test between their Broncolor Scoro power pack and the Profoto Pro 8 Air to see which one had a faster duration. As biased as it might appear, I think it's fair to say that the Scoro does produce a sharper image especially since you can digital select the flash duration on the power packs themselves. The Broncolor packs do cost about 20% more than the Profoto packs so unless you are shooting extremely fast moving objects then you probably won't ever notice the difference. I think it could be interesting to throw something much cheaper into the mix like an Alien Bee but my suspicion is it might fail the color accuracy part of this test.
If you are like me, then you might have jumped straight into studio lighting without paying much attention to manipulating natural light. If that is the case, now is a great time to play around with reflectors outside especially since the sun is lower on the horizon this time of year. Jay P Morgan heads to the ultimate graveyard with the lovely Liz Hernandez to show just how effective reflectors can be in place of strobes. Jay is using a few of the Photoflex 5 in 1 Reflectors in various sizes to manipulate not only the size of the reflected light but also the color. Unlike when using strobes, when using a reflector you really need to pay attention to where the sun is shining so you can maximize the amount of fill light bouncing back into your subject (backlighting your subject is a good starting point). The other major selling point of using a reflector over a strobe not mentioned in this video is your ability to shoot wide open at 1.4 or 2.8 for shallow depth of field. Unless you are using something like the Pocket Wizard Flex System, strobing outside is usually going to force you into the > f8 category which destroys the wide open aperture look. Hope this helps those who haven't used reflectors as much and good luck shooting!
Have you ever wondered what happens to your checked luggage after you check into your flight and leave it to be loaded on the conveyor belt? Well this video will show you just what happens to your prized belongings when they enter the hands of the airlines and the TSA. Six cameras were mounted in what looks like a pelican case so every angle could be documented. Obviously all of the bag handlers were aware they were being filmed (so who knows how authentic this 'experiment' actually is) but it's still pretty interesting to see how your bag gets from the Delta Terminal to your final luggage terminal in another city. Am I the only one who thinks if I did this the TSA inspectors would have turned my cameras off or changed their position? They never seem to leave my carry on lenses alone yet these video cameras go untouched. Nevertheless, thumps up to Delta for a creative advertising campaign.
Well it's the end of the year again which means those of you who run a photography business are probably thinking about tax write offs. We have been getting a few emails about this topic so we put together a little list of some expenses you might want to take care of before the end of 2011. Now many of our readers might not yet support themselves with photography, and that is okay; but at some point down the road you will want to consider how to spend your income so you can maximize the growth of your business. If any of our full time photographer friends have any other suggestions or resources, please leave them in the comments so everyone can benefit from your experience.