Articles written by Patrick Hall
One of the most famous of all of the national geographic photojournalists is probably Joe McNally. Joe has shot everyone and everything working for Life, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and countless other highly rated publications. But perhaps his most manic photoshoot of all was a Nat Geo piece for their story The Power of Light. When you step back and think about it, the most obvious photograph for a story on light would be to take a wide angle shot of the guy who changes the light bulb on top of the Empire State Building...yeah most definitely! I never knew there was a video showcasing how this image was created so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Oh and if you haven't picked up Joe's very detailed books about lighting, head over to his Amazon Store and pick up The Moment It Clicks or The Hot Shoe Diaries.
Do you guys remember that show The Shot that was on VH1 maybe 3 years ago? If you do then you probably remember 1st runner up Dean Zulich. Dean has released a great behind the scenes video that outlines everything involved with two of his shot setups. The results are great, and I think this video has something for both the beginner photographer and the experienced photographer. It's nice to hear Dean admit that sometimes you have to shoot on set with the realization that some work will have to be done in post production later. Great photography isn't always about doing it all in camera or all in post but rather knowing your original vision and making it happen...after all that's the only thing clients care about!
While many Canon and Nikon users are bickering about whether DSLR cameras should even have HD video capabilities, the company RED is completely changing the game between both photography and motion video. If you have even been slightly interested in video then you have probably heard about their famous RED One camera (District 9, The Social Network) that shot in 4k resolution. Well very soon they are releasing a new camera called the RED Epic which will shoot 60% more resolution at 5K (up to 28K!) as well as being able to pull large 12 megapixel images directly out of video. There is no doubt the bridge between still cameras and video cameras is quickly narrowing, and innovators like RED are definitely at the forefront. Check out this video where Ted Schilowitz takes questions from fans in Vietnam where the RED One is already the primary video camera of choice.
Every single time NASA launches a shuttle into space they film it from every possible angle. The purpose is mainly to give engineers documentation for later analysis but also to make sure everything is going as planned during the event itself. Video Producer Matt Melis along with researchers at the Glenn Research Center have put together this lengthy video outlining exactly what happens as a shuttle launches into space. It's pretty interesting to hear about the lenses and cameras they use on every launch as well as seeing the slow motion footage captured. Enjoy this video because on June 28th, 2011 we may see the final NASA shuttle launch as funding is cut from the space program. Video #2 is posted in the full post.
UPDATE: Rich Tully works directly with Clark Little and just sent us this much better video. Click the full post for the original video posted: One thing I love about running a website like Fstoppers is that I am introduced to all sorts of photography I would never have come across on my own. Such is the case with professional wave photographer Clark Little (you must check out his website). I owe a thanks to my dad who first told me about Clark's work and now we have a video that shows what it is like to be directly in contact with a huge wave crashing over you. If Clark comes across this post, we'd love to see a formal behind the scenes made with interviews and some information about how your approach to 'wave photography' has evolved. Perhaps Fstoppers needs to head out to Hawaii this spring!
Camera and Video equipment can be expensive! Whether you are just getting into digital media or are a seasoned professional, we are all looking for bargains and ways to justify dropping even more coin on photography gear. Everyday our email is full of readers asking about what gear we use/recommend and if there are any deals out there to be had. So we have created an Fstoppers Gear Guide that includes every piece of equipment we use for both photos and video separated into categories. You can also check out the latest Canon rebates (most end Jan 8) and Nikon rebates (most expire Dec 31st) through BHvideo.com which we find to have the best prices online. So check out the Fstoppers Gear Guide and if you want to get some new toys for Christmas, don't miss out on these Holiday rebates through Nikon and Canon.
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial and advertising photographer based out in Los Angeles, California. We have featured his work before and this time Jay is using a three light setup to make some portraits of a jazz player. If you are still uncomfortable with your lighting skills, Jay does a really good job explaining exactly what each light does and why he placed them where he did. Click on the full post for part two of this photoshoot where Jay adds some "special effects" in the form of an air canon firing at his subject.
As a photographer getting into DSLR video, I love it when a reader of ours emails us with a question we can answer or better yet a question we have not thought of before. Well FS reader Christian emailed us about how we sync our DSLR audio with audio we may have recorded in a separate unit (zoom, iphone, computer, etc). Until recently we used to just do it manually by lining up our wavefiles from both sources in Adobe Premiere. But there is a much much easier way now thanks to Plural Eyes by Singular Software. Plural Eyes simply analyzes each waveform and automatically aligns each and every camera angle and audio clip right there in your timeline. It's brilliant software and extremely inexpensive for what it does. Check out this little demo from the 2010 WEVA Expo and click the full post to see a well made tutorial on how to sync your files step by step.
Congratulations to Janis Amolins for winning the November Fstoppers Forum Photo Contest. Click the previous link to see his winning photograph or watch for it on our top rotating banner at the top of the site (first image on your mobile device). As we do every month, the winner of the contest gets to pick the next theme and Janis has chosen "Illusion". This month's winner will also win a custom image and website link on the Fstoppers rotating banner above and also 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 not anyone on the Fstoppers Staff. Have fun submitting to the December Fstoppers Forum Contest and good luck to everyone!
Have you ever watched a scary movie where the only part of the scene you can see is being lit by a small flash light or candle from five feet away? Well those are the conditions cave photographer Stephen Alvarez regularly works in when he climbs below the earth's surface. Together with his team of assistants, Stephen is able to light his photographs in majestic fashion by strategically placing his lights throughout large caverns. I have really never seen anything like this before, and it makes me appreciate my easy work environments in comparison. Be sure to head over to Stephen's website to check out more cave images as well as his photojournalistic work through National Geographic.
It is December 1st which means you only have 15 days left to win the Apple iPad we are giving away through our Twitter Account. If you haven't heard about this or have been living under a rock, click the video below to find out how you can win and also be sure to check out Lee Morris's post on how to use an Eye-Fi card to wirelessly tether your DSLR camera to the iPad.
Over the holiday we received a few emails about a video we shot where we used a ringflash as the key light (SB-800 Flash Mod). Obviously you can't shoot video with the ringflash look unless you have an expensive flash with a modeling light. But what if you want to shoot stills and get that hard yet even lighting that is common in macro and fashion photographs? Well if you already own an on-camera speedlight then you can use a product called the Rayflash to produce ringflash style images on a budget. I actually own one of these and use it every now and then, and what I really like about it is that I can use it on location where I would otherwise have to have a huge battery pack. If this sort of thing interests you, check out this video that was clearly made for ExpoImaging explaining the product. Any other Fstoppers readers using this product or something similar?
Fstoppers Forum member DPC shared this teaser video about a new BTS series PBS is doing on US Presidental photographer Pete Souza. It's pretty interesting to hear the issues Pete faces day in and day out shooting one of the most well known figures in the world. If you are able to tune into PBS, you can check the schedule for The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office. Click on the full post to watch a very lengthy interview with Pete about the issues he faces as a photojournalist working for the US Commander In Cheif and be sure to check out the offical White House Flickr Page for a ton of Pete's images.
Andreas Sjodin is a commercial and catalog photographer who has basically shot for everyone under the sun. Right after you watch this video you need to head over to his website and check out his amazing portfolio! I've said this so many times I hope you guys aren't sick of hearing me say this: Great and interesting photographs are almost never about technical lighting. I know with my own work, many times the best images are often not the ones that rely on the most innovative lighting but rather focus on something interesting or naturally beautiful. I love what Andreas says while shooting for mega clothing company H&M: "The easiest thing to shoot is someone looking good, what's difficult is to shoot someone looking good and interesting, and inspiring." I really think this approach is what separates the boys from the men, and it should be evident with Andreas's one light setup in this shoot. Enjoy
Every now and then we come across a behind the scenes video that falls somewhere between the scope of photo/video production and computer graphics/animation. As creative artists, we need to be able to pull from a library of visual inspiration regardless of its original context. Even though I'm not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, I've always been fascinated by the commercials I see on television or the "movie" posters I see promoting the latest state of the art video games. Check out what Blizzard Entertainment created for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm trailer; it's pretty amazing what can be done not only graphically but also from an advertising point of view. Click the full post to see the final trailer for one of the most mocked popular video games of all time.
Our good friend Peter Hurley has been tearing up Twitter the last few days which can only mean one thing: He's done something pretty exciting! Peter loves to film his own videos on his Flip HD camera while in the middle of his shoots so the footage is always a bit spontaneous. Check out this short clip of Peter as he shoots Twilight megastar Chaske Spencer in his studio and on top of his roof. If you watch closely you may even see the Empire State Building a half a dozen times :) Check out the final images over at Peter's blog http://www.comeontakeyourbestshot.com/ and if you haven't watched our Fstoppers Original on Peter check it out here.
If you are laying on your couch reading this after a Thanksgiving binge, then there probably isn't much hope for you. But if you didn't over due the calories (or aren't in America) then you still have 5 days to participate in our Monthly Fstoppers Forum Contest! This month's theme is "Emotion" and I still think the winning image is up for grabs. The winner of this month's contest is going to win a Photoflex Multidisc Kit which is a great tool for when you need extra light and don't have a strobe with you. We use these all the time with video, and it is crucial to have the reflector holder when you don't have an extra set of hands on set. If you win, you will also get your image and website at the top of our site for a month. So head over to the Forum Contest Thread and post your best "Emotion" photo.
I was just informed that there is a behind the scenes video on how the Doritos 360 Degree video was created. If you found that last post as interesting as I did, you will appreciate watching how they filmed it. What's going to be tough about shooting 360 video is that everything has to be done in one take. If you are as poor good as I am in front of the camera then it probably won't be a problem :)
It's pretty hard for someone to come into the film and video industry and make a huge splash but that's exactly what the Dutch company Yellowbird has done. They are using a camera very similar to what Google uses on its Streetview cars to produce not only 360 degree photographs but for the first time 360 degree interactive video! Youtube has already jumped on board with this new technology so be prepared to see videos in the future with several storylines, multiple characters, and previously unseen coverage of live events and documentaries. These sort of things really get me excited...and Hollywood thought 3D cinema was going to be all the rage :) Click the full post to see what it is like to view a large music festival in 360 degrees!