If you've ever played with an effects lens like the Lens Baby Composer then you are probably aware that you can actually create out of focus areas that have specific shapes by using specially designed apertures. Well Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher took this one step further and actually made his out of focus bokeh spell out words during a recent video shoot. I think there is a lot to be desired with the final video but the concept is pretty genius. Check out this video below to see how Kaleb designed the 'aperture' blades and click on the full post to see the final video.
Articles written by Patrick Hall
A few months ago I got a call from one of country star Jamey Johnson's managers asking me to take some photographs of him while he was passing through South Carolina. Since Jamey was born in my hometown of Enterprise Alabama I was pretty excited to work with the real deal country artist (not a pop country bone in this guy for sure). Long story short our schedules weren't able to work. So I was excited today when I came across a BTS video of his new single Playing the Part which was directed by Matthew McConaughy. Few people ever get to experience what it's like on set of a music video so I thought this tongue in cheek video was a good way for you guys to watch how it all goes down. Click on the full post to watch the entire music video.
Love it or find it overly offensive, rapper M.I.A.'s music video Born Free created a big stir on the internet last year when it was released. I personally thought it was a pretty good video considering what most artists release these days. Regardless of your view of the video, the cinematography is really awesome. In order to shoot the driving scenes, director Romain Gavras used the Ultimate Arm to create amazing jib style shots on the move. Check out this BTS on how the team filmed much of the film's final segment and click the full post to watch Born Free in it's entirety.
If you've ever seen one of those movie or tv show posters then you probably already know that they are usually huge composites of every actor. But that doesn't always mean that the different characters are simply shot against a white background. Check out this fun video featuring the cast of House season 6 as they pose for different promo shots in a studio large enough to fit an old motorhome. Photographer Florian Schneider has an excellent site to browse and even has an image or two from this shoot posted.
Jeff Johnson is a very talented lifestyle and advertising photographer based out of California. He is probably best known for his adventurous images as the staff photographer for Patagonia. He has also worked with Best Buy, Macy's, Target, and General Mills. So when he sits down with Marc Silber to talk about how he produces great travel photos you better take notes. I hope all you outdoor and nature photographers enjoy this video.
Scott Schuman runs a really popular fashion blog called The Sartorialist, and the whole idea is that he takes timeless looking images of fashionable people in cities around the world. A few days ago we ran a viral story on Vivian Maier who may have been the greatest unknown street photographer of her era. I thought this short documentary on Scott might be interesting to those of you who enjoy taking spontaneous images on your own city streets. It's easy to get wrapped up in gear and fancy lighting with 'modern' photography but ultimately it's your subjects that really makes an image. What better way is there to test your own craft than to take just a camera and lens and hit the streets?
Congratulations to Jay Malone for winning the December Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest. Click the previous link to see his winning photograph and watch for his banner at the top of the site to see more of Jay's portrait work. As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Jay has chosen "Power". This month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also a Photoflex Octodome Extra Small Kit which is our goto soft light for location shooting. As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month's contest so you have to impress Jay not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the January Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
Fstoppers reader Tyler Kaufman sent me this interesting video that shows a little glimpse of what it is like to shoot NBA basketball. Professional photographer Layne Murdoch has been shooting sports for over 30 years and has created some really spectacular images as the New Orlean's Hornets main photographer. Part of what has made his images so successful has been the use of Pocket Wizard triggers for remote camera operation. He can actually cover both sides of the court at the same time while only being physically positioned in one spot throughout the entire game. Professional Basketball is one of the few sports that allows studio strobe use during the games and Layne shows you a little on how having built in house lighting can freeze action for sharp motion shots.
Last month we tested out our first ever Photoshop Contest, and it was a great success. So many readers participated that Think Tank has offered up prizes for at least 6 months of photoshop contests. This is your January challenge. This month we challenge you to edit this basketball image from the Pocket Wizard TT5 Test Shoot. If you've watched the video then you know that fellow Fstoppers reader Jaymes Poudrier did a pretty fantastic job of editing my shots but I want to see what you can do. Feel free to manipulate this photograph any way you see fit, and on Jan 15th I will pick a winner. The reward is going to be a new Think Tank Disguise 70 Pro camera bag which is really great for quick on the go shooters. One word to the wise; there are no rules for this contest but I'm a fan of mainstream and marketable photographs. Anyone can participate but if you are outside of North America you will have to pay for any shipping or handling that Think Tank might encounter. Post all your images over at the January 2011 Photoshop Contest Forum and good luck!
Photographer Dave Hamilton sent us a fun video he made a few weeks ago and I thought the photos were really interesting. It also reminded me of the time Lee and I shot in a similar hotel room :) So after telling Dave that our readers would really enjoy hearing more about his lighting and the setup, he created a second video outlining the entire day. Shooting in elaborate spaces that you aren't completely familiar with can be daunting and to execute a photo well you need to know how to maximize your light. It would be a shame to have a $6000 or $15,000 a night room and not utilize the space itself! Check out this video of the actual shoot and check out Dave's detailed video in the full post.
One of our reader's emailed me this fun concept photoshoot by photographer Levy Moroshan and I thought I'd share it with everyone this new year's weekend. The styling for this is pretty straightforward: fashion evening gowns with retro style airplanes. Most of the images are lit with just two Photek Softlighters and both the out of camera shots are shown along with the final photoshop edits. Too bad we didn't get to hear from Levy himself in this video as I'm sure judging by his portfolio he has a lot of useful tips to share.
The holiday season is almost behind us and if you've spent any time watching college football tv then you've probably seen the new holiday Victoria's Secret commercials. The creative team at VS always makes some of the most high intensity commercials year in and year out. This year they have at least three different themes and one of the directors is even Michael Bay (creator of the greatest movie of all time Transformers 2). Of course VS can't give away all their secrets so don't expect to be shooting Adriana Lima on a white horse anytime soon! Hopefully you can at least pass these videos off as educational should your gf or wife question this content :) Two more videos in the full post.
There are so many photographer's who I don't know by name but recognize their work once it pops up. One such name many of you may not be instantly familiar with is cultural photographer Glen Friedman who is most famous for his photographs of early skateboarding pioneers Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Duane Peters, and rebellious hip hop artists like Ice-T, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Run D.M.C. In this video Glenn talks about his work and in the second video he talks about what it was like growing up during one of the creative hot beds of American and World culture. If you are in the San Francisco in the next few days, check out his gallery showing at 941 Geary Gallery before it wraps up the end of the month. Oh and the first words out of this video are "Fuck You All" just as a warning :)
Over the holidays we have been getting a lot of requests for a list of cameras and items that we use on both our photoshoots as well as our video shoots. We made a guide a few weeks ago but we felt it did not really explain why we prefer one product over another so we have completely redesigned it. Now when you visit the Fstoppers Gear Guide you can not only see cameras, flashes, lenses, and accessories that we use but you can also read a little insight on why we have included each item in our own personal camera bags. This guide will be updated as we find new and useful products and can always be viewed on the top of the sidebar.
I know many of our readers do not like being told how to shoot their images and many more even hate watching promotional videos for companies trying to sell them on a new way adjust their workflow. That being true, this video of photographer Seth Resnick explaining the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport made me stop and think, "are photographers who shoot RAW this obsessed with perfect color?" Maybe I just take for granted being happy with my tones and color enough to actually burn them in permanently by shooting JPEG. Most of the advertising photographers I see these days (and even many within the wedding scene) are taking very liberal approaches to color which I think is great. Obviously not everyone agrees with me, and many more still take the traditional approach to getting every detail perfect and clean. What do you guys think of Seth's approach and do any personal use this product? Nothing drives me more crazy personally than color space and color calibration and I've heard this actually works. Maybe I'm missing out?
We are almost done with 2010 which means you are running out of time to participate in our monthly forum photo contest. What better way to test out those new Christmas cameras than to submit an entry and take a chance at winning a new photo toy we actually use here at Fstoppers. As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme, and November contest winner Janis Amolins has chosen "Illusion". This month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above as well as a Photoflex LightReach Kit which is perfect for lighting your location photos (no assistant needed either). As always, our contests are judged by the winner of the previous month's contest so you have to impress Janis and not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the December Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and even got a few new toys to play around with. Lee and I are currently both back home with our families as many of you are yourself. So instead of going all out with a really in-depth video I figured I'd share something a little less serious that you may find amusing. The new season of Jersey Shore is coming out in Jan and MTv just released a new BTS video to promote it. My question to you is "If you had to photograph the entire cast of Jersey Shore, what would you do?" Jersey Shore - MTV Shows
One trend you will find happening in the advertising world is the merging of video and photography in a way that creates something no one has seen before. When it came time to start creating the next ad for Toshiba's new laptops and 3D TVs the team decided to create something completely original. Check out this video of how they created this painstakingly difficult video which involves using stop motion to capture complex Origami shapes "unfold" all while being shot in 3D.
It's Christmas time around the world which means many people are going to be photographing holiday lights and dark scenic shots. In order to capture the overall ambient light when the sun has set you are going to need to slow your shutter speed to allow more light to hit your sensor. For many photographers this is a basic skill to know but many of you may have just gotten (or are getting) a new camera and this technique is really helpful. Check out this video from AdoramaTv as Mark Wallace shows you how to drag your shutter for some interesting light blurs.
After starting off as a graphic designer, Jeremy Cowart stepped onto the photography scene with a sink or swim mentality. I love the series Chase Jarvis is doing over at Creative Live with real photographers, and this one with Jeremy is top notch. Chase definitely subscribes to our mentality of sharing knowledge freely, and I think you can learn a lot from this video whether you are a professional photographer or just someone who enjoys it as a hobby. I almost did not post this because the audio at the beginning is really rough on the speakers so be forewarned. Also while you are watching this video, head over to Jeremy's website to see a wide variety of images within his portfolio.