I can't tell you how many photographers I encounter think being successful has to do with being at the right place at the right time. Sure a bit of luck on your side always helps, but if you are looking to quit your day job to become a professional photographer, increase your photography income over last year's earnings, or catapult your career as one of the industry leaders then you need to work hard and work smart. The guys over at Photoshelter sat down with professional photographer Brian Smith to talk about what it takes to push your career to the next level. You simply can't wait for your big break, you need to create them.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
When I tell people that I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, everyone always asks me what it's like to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). I always try to explain how it looks by relating it to a laser show or smoke streams but I've never found a way to describe it to someone who hasn't seen it for themselves. Two days ago Terje Sorgjerd created the best visual representation of the Aurora Borealis I have ever seen from Pas National Park near the Russian border. Using a timelapse dolly from Dynamic Perceptions, a Canon 5D Mark II, and a few wide angle lenses, Terje was able to take long exposure iamges and size them down to create an 4K video masterpiece. Check out the Geophysical Institute if you live near the North Pole and want to monitor the activity of the Aurora.
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring "Lord Vader" I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can't remember the full story of the Twi'leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I'll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.
Chris Marquardt has developed a really mind blowing new camera called The Invisible Camera. Using ground breaking technology developed by the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Chris has designed a camera that can properly expose an image even when the film is exposed to ambient light. The special film uses a technique called "directional desensitization" which prevents the emulsion from capturing light; the only light registered is from the very small projection created by the tiny pin hole. What's even more mind blowing is this technique might allow for images to be captured at ISO 1/500th or 15 stops lower than ISO 100! Chris estimates that this increase in resolution would be equivalent to about 3,000 5D Mark II cameras which I can't even imagine. Hopefully some of our more technical readers can explain this to me since I have a feeling it's going on sale a week from this Friday and The Invisible Camera has offered a demo model to Fstoppers.
The other day I came across a popular video on Vimeo right now that featured an amazing new projection technique hitting large buildings across the world. The art is called 3D Projection Mapping and the effect is really cool. By creating 3D graphic models and merging it with video and stills shot on green screen, these artists are able to project dynamic sequences onto buildings in a way that makes them come to life. Everyone from Samsung, Adidas, and Toyota have used 3D projection mapping for advertising, and the results are spectacular. Ralph Lauren recently created a 3D Projection Map sequence for their 10 years of digital innovation runway show in NYC and they filmed a great behind the scenes video. Click the full post to see the final video and several other amazing videos.
Karl Taylor is an excellent photographer from England who has become a leading teacher in the "how to" photography market. In his latest video he explains a few lighting techniques he uses in the studio while shooting some crazy hair styles. Karl is using a single Elinchrom monolight but is pairing it up with two Canon 580EX flashes. In the video he explains why this setup is ideal for his lighting style and useful for many applications. If you enjoy his teaching, check out his instructional videos on his website as well as some crazy location photos in his port.
Yesterday I got an email from one of the Red Bull brand managers inviting me out to 2010 Illume Photo Exhibit here in Charleston, South Carolina. Illume is a traveling exhibit where dozens of images from the world's best action and extreme sports photographers are displayed on huge 6'x6' backlit panels. I have to say it was one of the most interesting photo displays I have ever seen, and the winning photos are nothing short of spectacular. The next stop on the tour is Miami, Florida but you can check out the images and future tour dates at Red Bull Illume Online. Also, check out this BTS video we posted last year of one of the winning images.
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.
If you've followed Fstoppers for any length of time then you know we are huge fans of Freddie Wong and his crazy hilarious Youtube Channel. What's so great about Freddie's work is that it's not big budget at all and he mixes his great sense of humor with relatively simple After Effects to create one of the most watched channels on the internet. Last Call With Carson Daily premiered this video, Gun Size Matters, back in the Fall and I just now came across this behind the scenes video showing how they filmed it with green screen. Click the full post to watch the final short video of Freddie's dream date with Shenae Grimes come to a not so happy end :)
The girls over at [Framed] have started a really great web series that profiles photographers and shows them in action behind the scenes. In this video they dive into children photography with Shannon Sewell. I know a lot of photographers have made a side business out of shooting families and children but what Shannon is doing is completely different. Her images are straight up commercial in style and are really amazing to look at. Children can be really really tough to work with which makes me appreciate her ability to connect with and control her subjects. And if you are interested in the Photoshop Actions Shannon uses you can check them out over at Flourish Actions. What do you guys think about her statement at 13:30?
Yuri Arcurs is perhaps the most well known photographer shooting microstock images in the world. His images are clean, inviting, crisp, and natural looking which are all important qualities needed to sell images in bulk. This video by Fototv might be the best video you watch all week because Yuri's tips are not only related to stock photographs but also hold true with almost any photograph requiring a model or human emotion. If you've never signed up to a stock website like Istockphoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock, I'd recommend you at least try to get approved and test the waters for a few months. Nothing in my opinion strengthens your eye and photographic skills more than producing images that can sell in a highly competitive market like the stock agencies.
In this video from AdoramaTv, Mark Wallace sits down with Mark Peterman to discuss camera gear, location scouting, lighting, and overall creative drive. Mark Peterman is an editorial and commercial photographer from Arizona who has a portfolio that is a bit tough to describe. What really draws me to Mark's work is his really simple and clean lighting, often natural, along with his use of very muted and subdued colors. I'm sure Mark's background in graphic design also plays a part in his simple and clean style.
Over the last year, Douglas Sonders has created some excellent behind the scenes videos showing off many of his photo shoots. In this video he takes us onto the tarmac at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California where Douglas creates some excellent portraits. I wish there was a little more explanation of how he approached some of these images but fortunately there is some written material over on the Douglas Sonders Blog. My initial question is how in the world did he get clearance for this considering the US military is often pretty strict with photography.
A few weeks ago Lee and I went out to Las Vegas to club it up check out WPPI which is the largest wedding convention in the US. While out there we were able to meet quite a few of our readers, check out the new gear at the Photoflex booth, and play with a lot of new photo related toys. One of the photographers we met was Michael Corsentino who teamed up with Photoflex in this behind the scenes video on outdoor bridals. Michael is using the new Photoflex Triton Flash along with an octabank and a stripbox to create some studio style portraits outside.
If you were a film student and your professor gave you an assignment requiring you to show a series of different lighting setups, what would you do? John Note and his fellow classmates created a pretty funny video tutorial that shows 10 different lighting setups that you could use in both your films and your still images. If you are a photographer you might not be completely familiar with the power references but you can probably imagine the different ratios if you had to convert them to strobes or speedlights. I have often found in my own photography that simply changing the lighting setup to one which I might normally overlook can really change the story telling element of your photos. Has anyone else tried to reproduce morning light or midnight lighting before?
By now you are probably aware of the massive 8.9 earthquake that shook Japan and caused a devastating tsunami. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and those affected by this horrible disaster. If you would like to help in the recovery or in a charitable way, check out a few of the links below. This earthquake was the 5th largest earthquake recorded in modern time and the potential for loss of life is very high. Connect with missing persons with Google's Person Finder Support the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund Donate to the Red Cross
Harry How is a sports photographer without any prior photography training. With hard work, determination, and a pressing urge to create images that hold up against his peers' photographs, Harry now has a career shooting for Getty Images. In this video Harry explains in detail what it takes to make the transition from hobbyist to full time professional and outlines his gear and little tips throughout his own transition into a sports photographer. If you enjoy this type of candid interview, be sure to hit the full post to watch part 2 and part 3 of this video series.
Fstoppers was created in part to help show the faces of the photographers behind the lens and also to give insight on how they approach their photography. But have you ever wondered who the people are behind some of tools and software we use day in an day out? Well Adobe recently released this video featuring many of the names behind their industry standard software Photoshop CS5 as they explained some of the difficulties they faced in the newest update. I've always wondered why it often takes longer for the mac version to appear on store shelves than it does the PC version and now I know why. via PetaPixel
One of my favorite directors is Robert Rodriquez, and I was about to post another great BTS video showcasing his directing skills when I came across this video. Most of this short Nike commercial is shot on green screen but that doesn't mean that you as a photographer can't take away something from this big production. I love Robert's ability to tell a story with wild twists and turns all while sprinkling his films with exciting characters and effects that still bring out the teenager in us all. Click the full post to watch the final Nike Black Mamba short film.
While browsing Creative Motion Design's blog I came across an eye catching ad for Sony's Bravia series of HDTVs. The complete video directed by Superfad had elements of slow motion, CGI effects, graphic design, animation, and photography. Luckily the good people over Hype Communications put together a make of video on how Superfad and the entire creative team was able to piece together this amazing Sony marketing ad. Below is the behind the scenes video; click on the full post to watch the final product.