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Articles written by Patrick Hall

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.

Capturing Exploding Glass With Silver Acetylide and Flash Photography

Capturing Exploding Glass With Silver Acetylide and Flash Photography
Capturing images of high speed events can be done in many different ways. In this video, flickr member Jon Rutlen went with a more explosive approach. Using a sound capturing device to trigger his camera, Jon shattered a bunch of different glasses in front of his DSLR camera and recorded the unique moment easily, reliably, and ultimately in a pretty safe environment. I remember my organic chemistry classes pretty vividly and Silver Acetylide is nothing to play around with so don't try this at home (I know no one really listens to that warning right?). I think the next step Jon and crew need to take is lighting the glasses in a more pleasing manner with some backlighting and off axis lighting to really give some depth to these explosions. Since we just launched our BTS Contest and everyone is thinking with a bit more creativity, what do you guys suggest Jon does to take this shoot to the next level?

The Fstoppers 2011 Behind the Scenes Contest

The Fstoppers 2011 Behind the Scenes Contest

Giving back to photographers has always been a big part of what makes Fstoppers such a great community. Soon after we launched last year, Lee and I decided it would be fun to see what you, our readers, would come up with. Our first Fstoppers Behind the Scenes Video Contest was a tremendous success with over 90 BTS videos submitted by the FS online community (we even added Sean to our team after seeing his video)! Last year we gave away a Canon 7D as the winning prize but this year is going to blow that out of the water as we have over $20,000 in prizes. Want to find out what you have to do to win all this gear? Click the Full Post for the current 2011 Fstoppers Behind The Scenes Contest!

Details inside.

Get $50 Off Any Canon DSLR And Get A $450 Printer Free?

Get $50 Off Any Canon DSLR And Get A $450 Printer Free?
Whenever a great deal comes along, we try to help out and share them when we hear about them. Today only there is a great deal on Canon DSLRs bundled with the Canon Pixma Pro 9000 MKII printer. Basically if you buy any Canon DSLR camera with the Canon Pro 9000 printer (currently on sale for $350), you get a $400 AMEX Card which means the printer becomes free and the camera is $50 off. Not bad if you are in the market for a camera or just need the free printer. Lee and I both use this printer for the few photo prints we make and it's amazing what it can do with some good paper. I've heard there are not many of these in stock so once they go they are gone. Simply head over to the Printer Page to see both the instant rebate and the mail-in rebate form. Just make sure you have a camera and the printer all on one transaction. Easy as pie :)

Japanese Band Androp Uses 250 Canon Cameras and Flashes For Their Stage Show

Japanese Band Androp Uses 250 Canon Cameras and Flashes For Their Stage Show
So your band is about to go on tour and the obvious question is "what are we going to use for our backdrop?" Most bands would normally use a projector, an LED panel, or just some plain old stage lights. What the Japan based band Androp decided to do was much more interesting. Using 250 Canon cameras equipped with external flashes, the band wired everything together and programmed them with Arduino open source software to display different patterns of light and text. You really have to watch the full video to even grasp how cool this turned out. Check out the behind the scenes video below and jump to the full post for the final video.

Annie Leibovitz Photographs Profoto Founder Conny Dufgran

Annie Leibovitz Photographs Profoto Founder Conny Dufgran
Everyone knows Annie Leibovitz is one of the most, if not THE most, well known photographer in the world. Her images evoke a strong sense of story, drama, and beauty. It's not surprising why so many advertising agencies choose Annie to take their clients' portraits. In this video Annie Leibovitz puts Profoto co-founder Conny Dufgran in front of his own lights for a series of environmental portraits. Like most of Annie's behind the scenes videos, you really have to pay attention to the details because she isn't going to spell it all out for you. The first time I watched this video I noticed how much feathering she does with her medium octaboxes, how she controls fill light with large black cards, and even a little on how she directs her subjects. I also like the magic arm trick she uses to get her softlighter closer to her subject...I might have to steal that one. If you have any tips you have taken from Leibovitz share them in the comments.

The Sexiest Way To Build A Cyclorama Wall For Your Photo Studio

The Sexiest Way To Build A Cyclorama Wall For Your Photo Studio
If you have a large studio or perhaps even a small studio space in your home, chances are you have asked the question, "how in the world am I going to build a cyclorama wall?" Last year we shared with you a video on how to make a cyclorama wall done by Sam Robles. Well it seems Sam isn't the only photographer handy with a few carpentry tools. Check out this, ahem, inspiring video by the good people over at EyeHandy which outlines each and every step needed to make a solid and sturdy cyc wall for your studio or in this case dining room. I love one youtuber's comment, "after a while i stopped being aroused and started being amazed!" Happy summer time tool project!

The Focus Later Camera Shows Up On A Fashion Shoot

The Focus Later Camera Shows Up On A Fashion Shoot
Remember the Lytro Camera that made it's viral rounds a few weeks ago? The camera that lets you focus after you take the photo has finally showed its head. Photographer Eric Chen has apparently been given a prototype of the miracle camera to test and put through the ringer. Shockingly enough, Eric did not use the camera at all for macro or multi-layered compositions that would best suit the Lytro. Instead he went into the streets of New York to shot fashion shots of super model Coco Rocha with little more than a reflector for lighting. I'll have to admit I wasn't too impressed with the image quality from this camera even with Eric giving his best efforts. What do you guys think; is this "focus after you take a photo" technology from Lytro ever going to live up to its promise? Either way, be sure to check out Eric's portfolio and and hit the full post to see the final Lytro images with variable focus points.

Utah Salt Flats: Photographing Capoeira With Natural Light And Strobe

Utah Salt Flats:  Photographing Capoeira With Natural Light And Strobe
Last time we featured a video from Mike Tittel, he was showcasing his edgy lighting look on some female tennis players. This time he has taken his photography team to the salt flats of Utah to photography the Brazilian sport Capoeira. For this shoot, Mike pulls out a few Profoto 7Bs with 2x3' gridded softboxes for many of the shots. However it's his natural lit shots that really grabbed my attention which he lit using the very helpful 4x6 California Sunbounce to fill his subjects. After the video, head over to Mike Tittel's Website to check out more of his work and click on the full post to read how Mike lit these shots in his own words.