One of the most important things any photographer can do to push their career forward is to take on assignments that are beyond what they feel comfortable shooting. When Todd Rosenberg was approached by Sports Illustrated for a commemorative issue, he was asked to shoot 10 historic cars from the last century of the Indianapolis 500. The only problem was Todd had never photographed an automobile before in his life! Using advice given by car photographer Michael Furman, Todd built a large studio (which included a 10'x30' Chimera softbox) directly inside the auto museum. Check out this great interview conducted by PhotoShelter as Todd discusses how he organized the shoot as well as some business tips on how he got the client in the first place. Also check out all of the images on the Picade Indy 500 page.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
If you went to see a movie over the weekend, chances are you went to see the new Michael Bay movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon. You may not be a big fan of Michael Bay and his over use of (and often reused) CGI effects, but you have to admit the creative artists responsible for carrying out Mr. Bay's vision are pretty remarkable. SoundWorks has profiled the incredible work sound designers Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl went through to create the soundtrack required to make the visual effects on the screen believable. For the photographer or videographer just getting into video, you will soon realize how important the audio element is in maintaining a high production value in your films. If you enjoyed our post on The Sound of Inception then you are sure to enjoy this one as well.
Happy 4th of July weekend if you are living in the United States. Jeremiah Warren just sent me a pretty remarkable and quite psychedelic video he made using a camera I have never heard of before now. Jeremiah mounted the tiny HD Micro Car Key Camera from ebay to different fireworks for a rather unique perspective. I have to admit this is really cool and I wish I had thought of it first. Click on the full post to see how the camera was mounted as well as a tear down video of the camera used so you can get a better idea of how these were mounted on large bottlerockets.
Maybe I'm behind the times but when I came across this video sponsored by Red Bull Illume, I had no idea what I was about to watch. Photographer Dan Vojtěch teaches you how you too can make a moving lenticular image while he photographs professional wakeboarder Sasha Christian. The software he uses is the 3D Masterkit by Triaxes if you want to try to create one of these yourself. It's definitely a cool effect especially when you can get different shots of your subject in the exact same pose.
Our good friends over at Pocket Wizard have had a great year with the release of the new Nikon MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 wireless radio triggers as well as the new AC3 controllers which allow you to control groups of flashes directly from the top of your camera. This video of Neil Van Niekerk shows how he is able to use the new AC3 controllers along with some relatively small softboxes to produce quick and easy studio style shots on location. I'm a huge fan of the Photoflex Octodome softboxes that I use on most of my shoots but these small Lastolite softboxes have an interesting look that you can't always get with larger softboxes. I guess it's the soft directional lighting that adds a bit of moodiness into Neil's images that I like. If you have had a chance to experiment with different sized softboxes on location, which ones do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.
A few weeks ago we sent out message on our twitter account about a ridiculously good deal on a pro Canon Printer and a lot of our readers missed out by the time they read it here on the site. So here is your early warning: BHvideo has a great deal on 8 and 16 gig SD/Compact Flash memory cards. The best deal in my opinion is the 16 GB Extreme Compact Flash Card and the 16 GB Extreme SD Card but if you are in need of something a bit different, click the full post to see the other deals going on. Oh and no rebate required! Just add 2 cards to your cart and the updated price will show up.
Everyone loves a good timelapse video, and Benjamin Sichert has a great one here. Ben filmed this at the NA Otto & Cie factory in Germany which was the first plant to produce 4 stroke combustion engines back in the 1870s. As you can clearly see in the video, this was entirely filmed on a Canon 5D Mark II (video sequences), a Nikon D90 (photo sequences), and the automated Pocket Slider. I love how Ben added a behind the scenes element by including a few camera shots of the setup and motion. It always amazes me what these motorized dollies can do...might have to pick one up soon.
It's summer time which means you probably are looking to get out of the house and find some adventure. For photographer Jerry Monkman that often means taking his DSLR cameras out with him on the water. In this short video, Jerry gives some great tips on how you can keep your camera safe from water while still keeping it within reach. Using the camera system made by Cotton Carrier, Jerry is able to keep his camera snug against him and out of the way. If you prefer to get a little more wet and wild, you can always opt for our personal favorite underwater housing by Iwa-Marine. I'm not going to give away the ending of this video but I'm sure you will find it as scary as I did watching Jerry casually rowing along during this video. Any of you guys doing nature photography that requires this sort of thing?
For some reason people still like to send us videos of photographers using the worst possible camera the iphone for their photoshoots. It's been proven time and time again that you actually can produce some really great images with the most simple of cameras. As a wedding photographer myself, I'll admit, I was a bit shocked at just how good some of these images look in this video. Of course there is no super shallow depth of field, tight reaction shots, or reception strobe images but this still put a smile on my face. And I will even go as far as saying that this presentation even looks better than some wedding photographers' work I've come across during my own career. From the looks of it the bride and groom still had a traditional photographer on hand too so I'm sure the event was well covered. What do you guys think: are you confident enough in your photography skills to pull something like this off?
With Apple's Final Cut Pro X just starting to hit the streets, stories about how unusable the video editing software has become are popping up everywhere. Recently even Conan O'brien took a stab at the software editing program when his production team created this funny skit showing some of the new features found in FCPX. Here at Fstoppers we still use PCs and Adobe Premiere but I can imagine how frustrated I would be if Adobe changed many of the UI we have come to love and master. That being said I've heard Final Cut Pro X has some great features; maybe all these negative reviews are just coming from editors not willing to update. What do you guys think? Will you be purchasing the next version of Final Cut Pro?
If there was a single iconic photograph that emerged over the last few weeks it was definitely the "Vancouver Riot Kiss". If you missed the story, riots broke out in Vancouver, BC after the local Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins 3-4. Photojournalist Richard Lam was there that night in Vancouver and photographed a couple who appeared to be kissing in the midst of the riots. The couple in the photo, Alexandra Thomas and Scott Jones, were actually hurt and only appeared to be making out when the photo was taken. Today new video footage from the riots has surfaced, and you can clearly see how the whole thing unfolded. Obviously the big question being asked is "were Thomas and Jones part of the protests or just innocent bystanders?" You can read more about this story at the Vancouver Sun, and click the thumbnail image to see the full res photo.
class="alignleftToday all the buzz in the photo world is coming from an unusual tech company called Lytro. A new camera called the Lytro Light Field Camera uses a groundbreaking new sensor design that allows more light to be recorded than normal sensor technologies. This in turns actually allows you to choose your focus point after you have taken the photo (click on the photo to the left). As of right now no major camera companies have picked up this technology for their own cameras, but worry not as Lytro is working on creating a small point and shoot camera that will feature this "focus later" sensor soon. Check out the full post for more examples of the images as well as some commentary from the Wall Street Journal. Do you guys think this is a good idea or a practical application of selective focusing?
A few years ago, photographer Ze Frank started an online photo concept called Young Me, Now Me where he took current versions of old photographs. The trend was huge on websites like Myspace and Facebook and was sure to put a smile on your face. Well Argentinian photographer Irina Werning has taken this concept even further by creating images that replicate the scene exactly from the location to the wardrobe and even down to the lighting. Irina's series called Back To The Future is a awesome example of pushing your work into the mainstream by thinking outside the box and creating something everyone will remember (and can partake in themselves). Click on the full post for a few examples of her work.
Now that we are in the thick of the major league baseball season, you are probably going to see a lot more images from the league's best photographers appearing on issues of Sports Illustrated and ESPN. One such photographer is Michael Ivins who is the official photographer for the Boston Red Sox. Check out this little behind the scenes video from the Boston University Today on how Michael captures athletes and creates interesting portraits quickly and on the fly.
Okay this video has no real educational value at all but I really enjoyed it. Larry Chen and Joe Ayala, two drifting photographers and videographers for Tandem of Die, recently were stuck overnight at the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport. Instead of trying to sleep on the fluorescent soaked vinyl benches, they decided to create a fun video of them playing around the empty airport while security was apparently asleep. Using a few Gopros, their Canon 5D Mark II DLSRs, and some really clever camera angles, Justin and Joe have made a video that is sure to go viral. Already there is a lot of debate going on about the lack of security in Dallas causing the DFW Airport having to issue the statement found in the full post. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, but I'm pretty sure things are soon going to change. Hopefully as photographers and videographer, you can appreciate the cinematography and clever camera angles. UPDATE: Full article from the guys themselves Link Inside!
No matter if you are photographing people in a wedding, an advertisement campaign, a fierce fashion spread, family portrait, or just a headshot, chances are you are going to need your subjects to show a real human emotion. Throughout my own photography career, I have realized that only about 1% of people can turn on a fake emotion that comes across as genuine in the final photo. The remaining 99% of the population have to experience an expression real time as it happens spontaneously. Jasmine Star is one of the most successful and trend setting wedding photographers on the scene right now and she has created a great video explaining how she strategically fools her clients into "moving into a pose". This technique can work with everyone from normal people to professional models, but where you will really see this sort of coaching succeed is with people who are self conscious and camera shy. Get them to focus on your funny personality or another human interaction around them and let your shutter roll! Do you have any phrases or techniques you have found successful time and time again? Share them in the comments
Peter Langehahn is a photographer from Germany who approaches most of his images a bit differently than most of us. Instead of photographing a single moment, Peter captures the "collective scene" of an entire event. Standing at just one vanishing point, Peter takes panoramic images throughout each event and combines them in a unique composite image that features the best moments throughout the day. Sometimes these images total over 3000 captures and the edits can take up to 60 - 90 days. I must say I've never seen anything like this but it's definitely a way of branding your own photography into something no one will forget. I'm sure someone out there has done something like this before; what are your thoughts on this technique?
Every now and then it's fun to go back in time to see how photographers approached photoshoots requiring a large amount of production. Back in 1988 Brian King was on the cutting edge of digital photography with his use of Sitex imaging computers. Well before the advent of Photoshop, Brian was able to piece together multiple images by scanning negatives and turning them into primitive digital media. By today's standards, the final product is pretty comical but this is what the first results of 'digital photography' looked like in the advertising world. I have to say, if a single photograph took this much effort and planning today I would probably have given up on commercial photography a long time ago.
This video was recently featured on Strobist but since we've been getting so many emails about it I figured we'd share it with those of you who missed it. David Myrick decided to try something rather strange when the electronic group Glitch Mob strolled into his studio. Basically he shot portraits of the band members on a white seamless background and then projected those images back onto the artists as they wore white clothing. If this sounds confusing just watch the video and it will all make sense. Fresh ideas like David's "projection technique" continues to inspire me in my own work. What do you guys think - anyone tried this technique before?
Sally Mann is an American photographer who has pushed the limits of black and white fine art. Early in her career, Sally captured both real and staged moments of her children's youth that quickly became subject of much controversy. Immediate Family, a collection of images of her children under the age of 10, showcased mainly normal, happy childhood moments. However other images featured her kids unclothed with themes of depression, anxiety, and even death. Obviously Sally's work sparked strong emotions, and the debate about what is exploitation and what is art became synonymous with her name. The acclaimed What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann is an interesting documentary that focuses on Sally's work and how she approaches her craft. Now a praised nature photographer, Sally discusses her contraversal early images as well as many of her current projects including landscapes in the deep south and portraits of her husband as he deals with muscular dystrophy. Check out Sally Mann's bookstore for great reading material from this revolutionary photographer. Click the full post for the full documentary.