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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

Would You Photograph Ugly People?

Would You Photograph Ugly People?
Senior portrait photographer Jennifer McKendrick has been making quite a name for herself over the last few days. The Pennsylvania photographer recently refused to photograph a few of her clients because she caught them bullying other students on Facebook. Jennifer wrote on her website that she will not photograph any ugly people by saying "If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside!" An overwhelming amount of support for Jennifer's actions have been filling up the blogs and social media outlets so it made me think, would you cancel a photo session with someone who was "ugly on the inside"? I have to agree with the comment made at 2:40 in the video below....do people actually spend a great deal of time screening their clients on facebook?

Demon Cam: The Most Complicated Iphone App Video Ever

Demon Cam:  The Most Complicated Iphone App Video Ever
If you are a fan of iphone photo apps, huge CGI production movies, and sexy girls fighting with mystical powers then you will probably love this behind the scenes video. The Demon Cam is an iphone app that allows you to turn your face into a demon zombie. In order to promote the release of the Demon Cam, the guys over at Video Copilot created an unbelievably complex promo video that showcases how the application works. The behind the scenes video has a lot of CGI and chromakey trickery but it also has a bunch of clever ideas any photographer could use in their own productions. After reading the reviews of this app and seeing the amount of work that went into the opening video, I'm kind of curious to see what a Patrick Hall demon would look like. Click the full post to see how everything came together in the final video and head over to the app store to pick up the $.99 iphone cam.

Photographer or Terrorist? Photographers' Rights Under Fire Again

Photographer or Terrorist?  Photographers' Rights Under Fire Again
It should not be shocking to hear another story about a police officer wrongly accusing a photographer of breaking the law. These stories have become pretty common place lately. However, recently police in Long Beach California have been reprimanding individuals who have been caught photographing locations with no apparent aesthetic value. Back in June, Long Beach Post contributor Sander Roscoe Wolff was detained after photographing a refinery on North Long Beach. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell has publicly stated that his officers have the responsibility to detain photographers who are not engaging in "regular tourist behavior". This story is an unfortunate consequence of the post homeland security world we live in and probably will not be the last infringement on individuals' rights. To read more about this story, head over to the original article on the Long Beach Post.

New HTML Photography Websites Worth Checking Out

New HTML Photography Websites Worth Checking Out
If you have followed Fstoppers for any amount of time, you know we are big advocates of photographers having great looking websites. Most photographers love the look of a flash site but more and more companies are starting to offer both flash and HTML versions of their sites. Creative Motion Design has been hard at work creating flashy looking websites that are coded in HTML so your potential clients can check out your work while browsing on their mobile devices and tablet computers. This week CMD released their first fully customizable HTML websites Rosie and Ethan with more designs coming out throughout the rest of 2011. I love the look of Ethan, and the prices on these sites are reasonable especially since CMD's customer service is leagues above many other website design companies. As soon as Lee and I have some free time, we are planning on converting our sites so they load up easier for potential clients.

How To Light An Interview On A Budget

How To Light An Interview On A Budget
If you are planning a behind the scenes video for our 2011 photo contest, you probably also need to setup an interesting interview segment to explain the details of your photoshoot. Most photographers spend a lot of money on their flash equipment but often don't have much in the way of constant lights. The guys over at SLRlounge have come up with a great BTS video on how you can create an interesting interview set on a budget. In this video, Pye Jirsa used basic work lights mixed with natural ambient light. In our contest video we either shot completely natural light or mixed in some of these inexpensive LED lights to make it a little more interesting. Taking a little bit of time to make your interview footage look good always goes a long way and is often just as fun designing as the actual photoshoot itself.

Extreme Photography Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Extreme Photography Is Not For The Faint Of Heart
A few weeks ago Reese Moore interviewed Jimmy Chin for her column the Fstoppers Spotlight. Her Fstoppers interview revealed a lot about what makes Mr. Chin put himself in harms way as he climbs, rappels, and base jumps from assignment to assignment. In this behind the scenes video, Jimmy talks about the changing culture taking place within the sport of extreme rock climbing. He and his fellow climbers explore Yosemite National Park as he captures images for National Geographic. I dabble in climbing and think base jumping would be a huge thrill but I'm not sure I would ever have the guts to even hang with Jimmy for one day if this is his typical photoshoot. Check out 2:40 for some interesting off camera lighting while climbing!

On Assignment from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

Wedding Photography: How Jasmine Star Photographs Preparation Shots

Wedding Photography:  How Jasmine Star Photographs Preparation Shots
It's no secret that Lee and I started our photography careers as wedding photographers. Regardless of what anyone says, photographing weddings is an excellent way to sharpen your photography skills since there are so many different types of shots you can plan throughout the day (and make a great living doing it). Usually when you first arrive at a wedding, the first photos your client will probably want you to capture are detail and candid getting ready shots. Superstar wedding photographer Jasmine Star recently released a great video outlining how she approaches these must have shots. If you are a guy then it's probably great advice hearing this from a female perspective so you know what's important to capture. And if Jasmine is reading, what's up with stealing our backgound?

This Page Not Found Gets Quite Ugly

This Page Not Found Gets Quite Ugly
One of the unfortunate problems with running a website is you are inevitably going to send traffic to a misdirected URL or even worse a page that flat out doesn't exist. You are probably used to seeing pages that look something like this. Well the guys over at Nosh.me came up with a funny little way to track down their own 404 pages and fix the issue or flat out take them down. Check out the final video below and hit the full post to see some BTS on how the guys conceptualized the scenes. If you really enjoy this sort of thing then you will find some really helpful tips about color grading, after effects, and detailed production notes over at the 404 process page. Who knew it was so violent behind each of our websites?

Nosh: 404 from Firespotter Labs on Vimeo.

The History Of Video Games In A Single Take

The History Of Video Games In A Single Take
Being a child of 80s and having lived through all of the video game consoles, I really got a kick out of this evolution of games video. Figuring out a clever way to film a scene can be daunting at the least but building an entire video around a single frame can be even tougher. Joe Penna aka MysteryGuitarMan and his friends came together to produce a collaborative video showcasing different video games through the years. It's creativity like this that we are looking for in your own BTS videos. Click the full post to see the final video.

Photoshop Tips For Moving Car Photography

Photoshop Tips For Moving Car Photography
This week over on the Fstoppers Forum there has been some pretty interesting posts. One that grabbed my attention was made by user Evolize Photog who showed how he photographs luxury cars in motion. In this video Evolize shows how he photoshopped his suction cupped boom arm out of a Lamborghini Gallardo hero shot. This should be great inspiration for our behind the scenes contest we are running the rest of this year. I'm sure a lot of you are like me and have questions about mounting a boom arm, triggering the camera, and positioning the camera for the best angle. These are some of the topics you should consider when making your own BTS video in the future. Do we have any other automotive photographers here on Fstoppers?

Zacuto Camera Shootout: Which Cameras Perform The Best At Video

Zacuto Camera Shootout:  Which Cameras Perform The Best At Video
Have you ever wondered how DSLR cameras match up when compared to film and high end HD video cameras? Last year, Zacuto brought together some of the biggest names in the movie industry to see how well the first round of video capable DSLRs compared to the industry's standard film and HD video cameras in The Great Camera Shoot Out of 2010. This year they have started another series which compares some of the top cameras including 35mm Kodak 5213/5219, Arri Alexa, Red One M-X, Phantom Flex, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, Canon 1D Mark IV, and Nikon D7000 (where is the D3s?), and a bunch of other professional video cameras. The Great Camera Shootout is a must watch if you are a gearhead or simply enjoy seeing how well the current crop of DSLR cameras are at video. It's pretty amazing to see the consumer Nikon D7000 holds its own against such a competitive group; I can only imagine what the next crop of Nikon cameras is going to do! Check out the trailer below and hit the full post for the first episode that outlines exactly what sort of tests Zacuto is going to run.

Working As A Steadicam Operator Might Be The Toughest Job On Television

Working As A Steadicam Operator Might Be The Toughest Job On Television
Working and operating a Steadicam is tough work. The most ridiculously awesome steadicam shot ever probably proved that without a shadow of a doubt, but we have even more proof! The following video follows steadicam superhero Niclas Närwall as he captures shot after shot on the set of Let's Dance. If you've ever been on a set with one of these guys you know how much stress goes into their whole bodies over the course of a full day (buying them beers afterwards is a given). At least Karsten Jacobsen had a Segway to help give his legs a break! Some of these shots are pretty remarkable and some might go a bit overboard with the floating camera effect. What do you guys think; what is your favorite shot?

How Different Sized Softboxes Work Best For Your Portraits

How Different Sized Softboxes Work Best For Your Portraits
Understanding how different sized softboxes work usually requires a bunch of tests or just good ole trial and error. Luckily photographer Jay P Morgan has done all the dirty work for you and shows how different sized Photoflex softboxes create unique spreads and quality of light. I find smaller softboxes are great for location portraits because of their compact size and soft yet edgy light. However you may prefer something larger depending on the specific look you are trying to achieve. If you enjoy Jay's videos, check out some of his older posts we have featured on Fstoppers.

Super Telephoto Video With RED's New Canon Lens Mount

Super Telephoto Video With RED's New Canon Lens Mount
There is no doubt that the RED's Epic video camera produces some of the most crisp and surreal footage you are likely to see at a reasonably "budget" price point. Up until now, the only lenses you could use with the Epic had to have the PL lens mount found on cine lenses. Recently, photographer turned videographer Vincent Laforet was able to demo the new Canon lens adapter which allows the RED cameras to use most of the EOS mountable lenses. In the video below, Vincent shows what the RED/Canon combo can do out in the field. One particularly interesting combo is the Canon 600mm f/4 L lens mounted with the 2x Canon Teleconverter. Some estimates give this combo a 35mm equivalent of 3400mm with the crop factor but I think it's actually a bit less than that (the RED should have around a 1.2x crop factor depending on the file output). Either way, the footage is pretty amazing and super exciting if you dream of using RED gear down the road with your existing Canon lenses. Any idea how he shot the video in low light? Looks like the lens would be at least at f8 which is almost unusable in anything but bright light.

One Degree from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

The World's Largest Stop Motion Animation: Shot On A Cell Phone

The World's Largest Stop Motion Animation: Shot On A Cell Phone
Now I'm not exactly sure what the "largest stop motion animation" actually means but there is no doubt this video is pretty spectacular. You may remember Aardman Productions from our post on the world's smallest stop motion video which is equally as mind blowing. This time they decided to use the beach as their canvas and film the entire animation on a Nokia N8 cell phone.. It's pretty amazing to think how much work went into changing each frame on a set this large especially with tourists and tides. Check out the video below and then jump to the full post to watch how they created this clever cell phone commercial.

An Fstoppers Contest Update: Battle On The Racetrack

An Fstoppers Contest Update: Battle On The Racetrack
Within 24 hours of announcing the Fstoppers 2011 Behind The Scenes Video Contest, we were shocked to already have our first submission. Marc Kuyer from Holland had an idea to have small model cars battling each other like they were straight out of Rock and Roll Racing (super cult classic). Marc does a good job outlining his plans and showing you all the photoshopping that went into this final image. Of course we'd love to see everyone on camera but sometimes with language barriers you may have to stick with subtitles and text. So I guess it's safe to say right now Marc has taken the lead in our contest. If no one else steps up to the plate he will be moving on from small speed lights to a full studio worth of equipment!

How The Most Expensive Camera Body Cap Is Created

How The Most Expensive Camera Body Cap Is Created
A while back we featured a story on a new camera body cap that was designed to protect your DSLR while traveling through the most extreme of circumstances. The LockCircle created a lot of controversy from our readers over both the price and also the size of the cap itself. Well we now have a reason why this body cap is so expensive and know exactly how it works with this amazingly well crafted behind the scenes video. You may scoff at the overall idea of this product but you will no doubt be impressed with the manufacturing process. I usually leave lenses on my cameras even when traveling but I can see the advantage of something like this for extreme condition photographers who shoot in sandy, snowy, or dusty environments where a loose body cap could cause serious problems during a photo session.

Another Creative Way To Document A Vacation

Another Creative Way To Document A Vacation
For most people, their first attraction to a camera probably occurred during a vacation or a traveling trip. If you've ever had to sit through someone else's photo album of a trip, you know how excruciating and boring it can become. Well Rick Mereki and his friends Tim and Andrew decided to make a fun video documentary that proved to be anything but boring and mundane. This one minute clip shows what a little creativity can do to make a trip spanning over 40 days, 11 countries, and 38,000 miles as exciting for us as it was for them. We've featured other creative vacation videos in the past, and our goal is always to keep you guys inspired to do something interesting during every opportunity. Let's just hope Mr. Lee Morris is taking this to heart while in Italy :)

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

GoPro Mounts Dangerously Close To The Ground

GoPro Mounts Dangerously Close To The Ground
This video has been making its rounds today through the blogosphere and for good reason. Photographer Josh Maready thought it might be interesting to view New York City from the eyes of his skateboard's back wheels by mounting a GoPro video camera dangerously close to the ground. The result is pretty interesting and extremely creative. However we cannot say no camera was harmed in the making of this video; Josh destroyed the first camera and practically vibrated the second one to death. Read more about Josh's simple video project over on his blog. It should be interesting to see what sort of GoPro projects we see in the near future as they make great tools for exciting behind the scenes contest entries!

A Technical Explanation On How Film And Digital Films Differ

A Technical Explanation On How Film And Digital Films Differ
One of our trusted Fstoppers readers sent us this video, and I found it really interesting. Digital cinema specialist Rob Hummel recently gave a lecture at Cine Gear Expo 2011. In his lecture he described exactly what is going on when both film and digital mediums capture light to form an image. The graphics in his presentation help explain why old fashion film can still produce more aesthetically pleasing images than digital. He also describes a little known secret about how gamma rays present at high altitudes can actually destroy camera sensor's pixels. I've personally flown with a bunch of cameras dozens of times with no pixel problems but maybe my cameras are able to mask the destroyed pixels through software? Either way, the exciting news I took from this video is that digital sensors still have a lot of potential gains that can make our images even better in years to come.

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