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.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
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 :)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
We have featured a lot of Dave Hill's unbelievable photoshoots here on Fstoppers. So when I saw his Adventure Series posted over at Strobist I thought it was an older video. Oh how I was wrong....way wrong! In his latest video, Dave Hill places his composite images into an After Effects type environment and lets you see every layer and all it's photoshopped glory. The video outlines all 11 images so it's a bit long but you will probably still find yourself watching all of them in wonder. This video was also a great reminder that Dave is to work making behind the scenes videos so you will probably see a lot more of him in the near future. What do you guys think? What is your favorite image from this series?
Markus Klinko is a famous celebrity fashion photographer that you've probably seen on Bravo's Double Exposure television show or the countless high end fashion magazines featuring his covers and spreads. Together with his photographic partner Indrani, the duo have produced some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the last 15-20 years. What you might not know about Markus is that he shoots on a collection of Mamiya RZ and DM cameras and digital backs and uses Leaf and Capture One by Phase One software. What makes his Mamiya cameras so unique though is his custom made ivory mammoth tusk pistol grip which combines the prehistoric era with the modern era all in one camera. For a more serious look at Markus's camera, hit the full post for video number two.
This video was emailed to us and I when I watched it I thought "wow I've never seen anything like this before!" We've all seen rainbows and you've probably had your fair share of experiences taking images of them. What's so interesting about this video is it showcases the elusive "moonbow" formed as moonlight passes through the mist created by waterfalls. Yosemite National Park is known for it's amazing rock formations, waterfalls, and forests but few people know how beautiful it can look after the sun has set.
This time last year Lee and I were profiling concert photographer David Bergman as he was shooting a series of Bon Jovi concerts in their New Jersey hometown. A lot has happened since then with David, and he is now currently traveling the world and seeing some pretty amazing venues. Mark Wallace recently caught up with the rockstar photographer and asked him some specific questions about both his photography and his concert website TourPhotographer.com. If you follow David on facebook, be prepared to be blown away and extremely jealous of his news feed - he's always up to something interesting.
Laptop makers Lenovo have released a new series of laptops that they claim can startup in less than 10 seconds. The new ThinkPad T420s and IdeaPad Y570 are using a new technology called Rapidboot which they claim makes their computers boot up faster than any other computer on the market. Lenovo teamed up with the ad agency McKinney to prove just how fast their Windows 7 computers can start. The idea was to throw a laptop out of a plane at 12,500 feet and see if it could trigger the parachute after loading Windows. Check out the behind the scenes video below and then head over to the full post to watch the final commercial. I'd love to see Apple run a marketing campaign like this!
Just like the story of Vivian Maiers, every now and then a discovery is made that not only brings a smile to your face but also sends a chill down your spine. Such is the story of the famous 1906 black and white film A Trip Down Market Street. For almost a century, historians have been trying to accurately date the short 13 minute film, and up until recently it was thought to have been shot in Sept 1905. When historian David Kiehn unveiled the truth about the film's date, everyone was shocked to learn that it was filmed in San Francisco just days before the devastating earthquake and sequential fire of 1906. The behind the scenes story on how the origin of the film was created is quite remarkable.
This video has come across my desk several times the last few days but I never really bothered to click play until Ben Andino shared it on my facebook page. Not only did I have to hit pause and rewind it a half dozen times or so but I found myself laughing out loud during some of the segments. Every photographer will recognize products like the Gary Fong Lightsphere, Gorillapod, Lastolite Hilite, Canon Lens Mug, Strobe Snoot, and countless other photography staples. I can't imagine how long this Rube Goldberg setup took to build and get working 100% but I know I'm still not sure how several of the segments worked (like Mario and the instant print). My favorite part was definitely the TSA scanner. What part did you guys find the most entertaining? Check out the full post for the Behind The Scenes of how this was made.
A while back we posted a popular video series by Philip Bloom called New To DSLR Video? Here Are 8 Videos To Help. In one of the videos, Philip talks about how when shooting on Canon DSLRs (and presumably all DSLR cameras), certain ISO values actually may produce more noise than ISO values 1/3 and 2/3 stops HIGHER! Of course this made everyone a bit uneasy and sparked some interesting discussion. Well Andrew Schär made a video that demonstrates how ISO settings at multiples of 160 are actually better than the normal ones we use at intervals of 100. The question that immediately comes to my mind now is does this hold true for still shots as well or does it only show up when processing video? What do you guys think?
The guys over at Stillmotion video have come up with a rather interesting way to film point of view video. Instead of mounting something small like a GoPro to a helmet, Stillmotion decided to use a Canon T2i. The camera was upside down directly in front of several football players' eyes as they trained in the 2011 NFL combine. Everything was made from common parts you can find at Home Depot or Lowes and the results are pretty interesting. After you watch the behind the scenes video below, head on over to the NFL Network to check out the final promo piece.
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.
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.