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Articles written by Patrick Hall

Chase Jarvis Offers Photographers Some Words Of Wisdom

Chase Jarvis Offers Photographers Some Words Of Wisdom
Chase Jarvis has become one of the most inspiring figures for both amateur and professional photographers alike. His successful career as an advertisement photographer has only been eclipsed by his overall entrepreneurship. Recently Chase sat down for an interview with Tamara Lackey to explain his self proclaimed "10 year overnight success". I absolutely love his statement "what makes you hirable is not your technical proficiency, that is assumed...it is your vision: how you see the world." So many photographers focus entirely too much on their lighting and completely overlook creating an image that resonates with their viewer. There is a quote that says something like "a photograph that requires a caption is a failed photograph" but I think a photographer could go further and say "people don't care about what you had to do to create the photo, they just want to be wowed by the final image."

Peter Hurley: Free Seminar At BH Photo Oct 6th

Peter Hurley:  Free Seminar At BH Photo Oct 6th
Many of you know we have been working our asses off producing our first full length Headshot Tutorial with Peter Hurley the most successful headshot photographer in the US. We wrapped up the final production on Monday and threw a fun Fstoppers party to celebrate the end of a very long but rewarding project (thanks for waiting guys). For those of you who are around the NYC area, Peter is doing a free seminar called The Basic Headshot at the BH Photo Store in Manhattan. The event starts at 3pm and Peter would love to answer your questions. After filming Peter work for over 5 days and recently experiencing his magic first hand, I have to say that what Peter brings to the table is useful for more than just headshots. If you make a living from shooting people in front of your camera (or want to make a living doing it) you need to check out Peter's seminar. It's guaranteed to change the way you work with your clients. Update: Watch most of the recorded lecture here (wonder who the guy is at 17:40).

Video Proof That Many War Images Are Staged

Video Proof That Many War Images Are Staged

We have all read how biased different news organizations can be when it comes to the cold hard facts. We've also pretty much come to expect that a photograph tells a story better than anything else. Documentary film maker Ruben Salvadori recently exposed how some of the most epic images from war torn areas of the world are actually staged...and it's pretty surprising. Ruben recognized how photographers can drastically change the mood of a scene just by being present, so he decided to turn the cameras on the photographers themselves and show just how "dangerous" many of events we see on tv and in print really are. Next time you see an image that appears to be in the thick of the action, step back and ask the question "but how many photographers are standing right off camera?" You can read more here about this video project and let us know what you think in the comments below.

8,000 Photos In 80 Days Around The World

8,000 Photos In 80 Days Around The World
This video by Trey Ratcliff is a pretty cool idea. Trey traveled across the world in 80 days and documented his adventures with over 8,000 photographs. I hardly ever travel with a camera when I'm on vacation and even if I did, I'm not sure if I could ever force myself to take so many images in the moment. But then again I probably won't ever have anything this cool. Click the the full post to watch how Trey made this video.

Droid X Travels Across America In 5 Minutes

Droid X Travels Across America In 5 Minutes
Awhile back we featured a popular video by Jeff Calbom in his Walk Across America commercial. Smithje77 recently traveled from Washington to Maine in 7 days. He was creative enough to take photographs every 90 seconds with his Droid X and piece them together in this fun video. The video is no where near as complicated as Jeff's version but it's still fun to see how much the landscape changes across North America. This reminds me of the time my family drove from Alaska to Maryland and down to Alabama back when I was a kid. I'd love to see someone create another video like this but travel through some more extreme terrain like the Rockies or the Arizona desert. Always remember, just because you only have a camera phone doesn't mean you have an excuse not to be creative!

How To Photograph Fighting For ESPN, SI, and the UFC With Ed Mulholland

How To Photograph Fighting For ESPN, SI, and the UFC With Ed Mulholland
Since the start of Fstoppers, I have had a dream list of photographers that I think would make for a great FS Original. At the top of that list has been ESPN and fight photographer Ed Mulholland. Unfortunately getting clearance from HBO and UFC have been tougher than going backstage with Bon Jovi (who would have thought). Fortunately, Grover at Photoshelter recently caught up with Ed to talk boxing, UFC, and what makes a compelling sports photograph. If you don't already know, The Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of the fastest growing sports in the US, and tonight's card is pretty star studded if you want to check it out. While very few photographers are lucky enough to shoot for clients like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, hopefully Ed's insight can inspire you to take better sports photographs regardless of who is in front of your lens.

Sony Experiments With HD In Their Ridiculously Awesome Camera Ad

Sony Experiments With HD In Their Ridiculously Awesome Camera Ad
This video was featured on the Fstoppers Forum and it had me laughing from the beginning. Luckily there is also a behind the scenes video that explains how in the world they created all of this "HD Porn". I would have never thought in a million years you could mix Iron Maiden, the most ridiculous looking poodle, the largest bubble machine I've ever seen, and flashing neon lights to produce an entertaining commercial for Sony high definition products. Then again I'm not paid the big bucks to think this outside the box either. Enjoy the final commercial below and then head over to full post to see how everything was put together.

How To Use Multiple Flashes To Photograph Buildings From Outside

How To Use Multiple Flashes To Photograph Buildings From Outside
Strobist has an interesting article by architectural photographer Mike Kelley. Usually exterior shots of homes and buildings are simply too large to effectively light with speedlights or big power packs. The tried and true method of capturing a great looking exterior shot is to turn all the lights on in the building and wait for the ambient sky light to match the build's artificial light. In the behind the scenes video below, Kelley shares his "selective lighting" technique and how it can be combined with multiple exposures from a small Canon 430EX to produce a sort of hero shot for publication. Click the full post for the final images.

How Bad Do You Want Success?

How Bad Do You Want Success?
Let me warn you, this video has nothing to do with photography directly. Chances are you have probably heard the opening parable before, but when paired up with the training video of an aspiring football player the message is pretty powerful. How bad do you want success and what are you willing to go through to possess it? I think everyday as photographers, we struggle with staying motivated, finding inspiration, working towards our goals, and expanding our skill set. I find this especially true with my own work since I compete with myself which often leads to less motivation than competing directly with someone else. Reaching the point of wanting success more than the desire to breathe is probably unrealistic so let me ask this: how much sleep, time, and short term gratification are you willing to give up in order to achieve long term success?

The Longest Route To Avoiding Photoshop

The Longest Route To Avoiding Photoshop
Part of the appeal of doing something the long way is exactly that: proving you have the guts to reinvent the wheel. When Stephen Doyle was asked to help with the New York Times story What If The Secret To Success Is Failure? he decided to try something that would have been rather easy to produce in post production. Instead of relying on Photoshop, Stephen used forced perspective to physically write out words within different scenes. The final images appear to have words written on top of the images but infact they are embedded into each photograph directly. Click the full post to check out a second video and see a few examples of the final published images.

The Best Time-Lapse You Will Never Be Able To Create

The Best Time-Lapse You Will Never Be Able To Create
It seems every day someone is creating an interesting timelapse that shows something we've never seen before. This one comes from the International Space Station as it orbits around the earth at night. The video was made from using data from the Gateway To Astronaut Photography Of Earth and stitched together with the open software Virtual Dub. It's pretty amazing how much light pollution makes it to each exposure and look carefully for bursts of lightning over the Pacific Ocean. Props to the person who spots the satellite that makes the frame as well!

Sunday In Rio: Behind The Scenes Of A MINI Coupe Commercial

Sunday In Rio:  Behind The Scenes Of A MINI Coupe Commercial
What could be more fun than drifting a MINI Coupé around Rio, Brasil during Carnival? Director Paulo Martins takes you behind the scenes in the latest MINI commercial from the Another Day, Another Adventure campaign. Instead of filming the commercial during the annual Carnival in February, Paulo recreated the festival months later so he could drive the car directly into the parade. I have to admit I was a bit nervous watching the stunt drivers weave in an out of the city but it does make me envy one of these small cars.. Click the full post to watch the final commercial and head over to the MINI Youtube Channel to watch other commercials in the series from Honk Kong and Iceland.

Zacuto Compares ISO Noise And Sharpness Of The Best Cameras On The Market

Zacuto Compares ISO Noise And Sharpness Of The Best Cameras On The Market
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. In this video they goal was to compare the overall noise sensitivity and perceived sharpness of different cameras. You might easily got lost in the technical talk used in these discussions (unless you really study this sort of thing) but nevertheless it's pretty interesting to watch as a photographer or film maker. You can also watch other Zucato Shootout Episodes Here.

For Your Next Photoshoot, Try Building An Interesting Set

For Your Next Photoshoot, Try Building An Interesting Set
Taking your creativity to the next level can make all the difference between typical photographs and artistic photographs. Orb Outerwear just released their new Fall 2011 fashion designs and they included a fun behind the scenes video to go along with it. So many photographers already have a pretty solid understanding of lighting to produce great photos. What they lack is artistic vision to do something different and unique. Everyone who reads this blog can easily create a small team of set designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and clothing stylists to produce studio quality catalog profiles. Try putting something like this together for your entry into the Behind The Scenes Contest we are running. Unfortunately I could not find out who the photographer was so if you know the talent responsible for these please reply in the comments. Click the full post to see a stop motion video of some of the final images (the snow shoot doesn't appear to have been published yet).

A Photographer's Guide To Pricing Your Work And Services

A Photographer's Guide To Pricing Your Work And Services
For many shutterbugs, the dream of making money with photography doesn't extend past being able to pay for new equipment. Photography might just be a hobby if you already have a fulfilling career. But if you are looking to make a business out of being creative the first question that will cross your mind is "how much should I charge?" Knowing how to price your product (and from a tax perspective everything you do IS a product, not a service) does not come without consequence. Pricing yourself too low might gain you a ton of business but will also rob you of any free time. Pricing yourself too high, especially early on, will decrease your workload but might also send you filing an application at Starbucks...again! Mark Wallace has tackled the issue of how much to charge in his latest video, and he gives a lot of great pointers. Lee and I are currently working on a detailed video series on wedding photography where we will outline our ideas on pricing so stay tuned for that as well. Leave any questions or experiences you have in the comments below.

How Sports Illustrated Creates An Edgy Cover Photograph

How Sports Illustrated Creates An Edgy Cover Photograph
I have to thank Tyler Kaufman for turning me onto this next video. Sports photographer Peter Read Miller recently shot some of the top NCAA college football players for the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. There really isn't any super informative information in this video but it's still great to see how the top photographers in the world pull off cover material for magazines like Sports Illustrated. From the video, it appears that these shots are lit with only 3 light sources: One large parabolic reflector as a key, one smaller parabolic reflector as a kicker, and a spot gridded flash head for a rear rim light. If you've ever shot in this style you know that small hard rim/kicker lights can really edge out your subject. If you click the full post and look at the super high res final image you can see how the larger side light makes the highlights broad but still harsh. It's easy to think that a barebulb speedlight to the side of your subject is sufficient for a rim light but adding that one extra modifier can really make a huge difference in your final result.

How To Add Sunlight To Your Overcast Photographs

How To Add Sunlight To Your Overcast Photographs
I'm sure many of you have heard the saying "overcast skies make for amazing photos". While it's true that soft overcast light is usually more flattering on people's faces, it can also make your photos super boring and even gloomy. So what can you do with your bag of tricks to spice up a photo session during cold, rainy, or overcast days? Damien Lovegrove explains how you can use a "dingle" (or more commonly a Cookie) to bring some pseudo-sunlight into your portraits . This clip is from Damien's Speedlight Mastery DVD and he does a great job explaining this super useful technique that can be applied to many of your own shoots at almost zero cost. Next time you see those interesting shadow patterns while thumping through your girlfriend's fashion magazines you can imagine the dingle that created them!

Does Adidas Use Too Many Lights For Their Ad Campaigns?

Does Adidas Use Too Many Lights For Their Ad Campaigns?
A big part of what makes commercial photography so interesting is it often requires photographers to incorporate the latest graphic trends into their work. In other words, in order to cut the mustard in commercial photography, you not only have to be at the top of your game but you also have to produce something eye catching in a market full of interesting media. That's exactly what photographer Gary Land did with his latest Adidas ad featuring soccer superstar Lionel Messi. However, his arsenal of Profoto lights and heavy photoshop has caused a bit of controversy over on the Strobist website where many photographers are claiming the final image is a bit overkill. I personally love the final image and think the direction Gary went is exactly what separates the boys from the men. However, I can appreciate the purists point of view who think great advertising photos should remain true to real life and capture a more realistic vision. Check out this great behind the scenes video of the latest Adidas shoe ad and let us know what you think in the comments. Check out Gary's interesting website as well for more inspiration.

The Worst Assaults On Sports Photographers

The Worst Assaults On Sports Photographers
Being a sports photographer often requires standing in a place of potential danger. However some photojournalists have also found that capturing a sports story off the field or in the locker room can be just as dangerous when a player isn't having a good day. Sports Center has put together 10 of the most outrageous attacks and hits on sports photographers. Not all of these confrontations end as relatively peaceful as Scott Kelby's tackle last year as an NFL photographer.