Articles written by Patrick Hall
As most of you know, Lee and I decided to close the voting of the BTS Video Contest because of some fishy voting patterns we saw the day before voting was to end. Collectively, we decided that the best thing to do was to pause the voting until we could investigate the suspicious votes. Unfortunately both Lee and I were out of the country and could not look into the issue until last week. What we found was no one was actually cheating. After talking to the creators of the top 4 most popular videos, we all came to a fair compromise: we would open the contest voting for an additional 4 days and change the poll so voting remained hidden. You can watch the top 10 videos and cast your vote HERE if you have not already done so. All previous votes are still valid and part of this contest. The whole idea behind this contest was to have the Fstoppers readers vote on what video they though was the most instructional and innovative. We clearly said that if we found users creating multiple accounts then their video would be disqualified. What we found was some of our readers are just better and campaigning for votes than others and having your friends vote for you was never against the rules. So again, we think the most fair solution is to allow a few more days for voting. To be eligible to vote, you still have to have 3 posts after being registered for 24 hours. I personally hate that this voting experience wasn't as smooth as we had planned, and we definitely want to get a camera in the hands of the winner. Good luck to everyone and feel free to use facebook, twitter, and even the good ol telephone if you want to drive votes to your video. Thanks again to everyone who participated in our first ever contest and be sure to check out the monthly contests over at www.fstoppersforum.com
The Fstoppers team just got back from Miami and the Bahamas, and while we were there we came across Peter Lik's newest art gallery in Miami Beach. I was first introduced to Peter's amazing landscape photos at his Las Vegas gallery in the Venetian Hotel, and I'm always blown away every time I step into one of his galleries. Peter uses large format panoramic cameras (some film some digital) and then prints them LARGE with his own special printing process. When his prints are displayed under gallery lighting the images pop off the wall unlike anything I've ever seen before. You can even dim the lights to reveal different qualities in the prints. Check out this video of Peter talking about what makes a good landscape photo and click the full post to see how you can see Peter on your television soon!
With a bunch of hurricanes heading our way, I figured it might be fun to show everyone that rainy days do not mean you cannot still pick up your camera. Jim Reed has made a career out of extreme weather photography and has some pretty wild videos to document his craft. Some may call it a craft and others may just call it being out of your mind but either way it puts a smile on my face. Click the full post to watch Jim run straight up into a tornado.
If you have ever watched an action movie or fantasy movie, you have probably heard people taking about how anything can be done with CGI. But how many times have you stopped to consider what was actually real and what was computer graphics? In today's movies, the line between reality and computer animation is more blurred than ever and that's why I enjoyed watching this short film about the movie Underworld Evolution. It's always crazy to me to see how creative camera angles and complex stunt rigging can be combined with computer graphics to produce these shots we are so used to seeing on the big screen.
You may not be one of the 1% of Americans who owns a Visa Black card but that does not mean you cannot enjoy their marketing. This video was sent in by Grant Lankford and features Curt Morgan and his team at Brain Farm as they work on the current ad campaign for the Visa Black Card. Everything about this video is sick from the choppers, the model in black leather, the one of a kind black yacht, and of course the cinematography. This video shows just how much creativity you can have with a simple concept like "back in black".
Rich Legg is a successful stock photographer, and he goes all out in this video as he tries to make the prefect stock photo of a movie theater audience. If you haven't checked out stock photography, I highly encourage you to sign up and test your skills. Nothing proves whether your photography is marketable or not like putting it up on a site like shutterstock or istockphoto. This video is great on how to light large groups and also how to efficiently gather model releases from a large pool of model.
Today we have not one but THREE behind the scenes videos for the latest Victoria's Secret television ad Incredible. The first one shows the scope of the production from the perspective of the models. You can also see how well these new bras fit and why they are so incredible. The second one was edited by FS reader and film maker Adam Boozer who shot a short ad for Verizon showcasing production designer Jeffrey Beecroft. Adam's video is about how Jeffrey uses his cell phone to show art directors different sets, ideas, and locations around the world. Finally, the third is from Ed Razek who is the chief creative officer at Victoria's Secret. There is a little bit to take from all of these and you can watch the final commercial on TV or in the full post.
Tomasz Tomaszewski is a photojournalistic photographer who often shoots for National Geographic Poland. It's quite amazing to see the depth of the images he has taken inside the harsh conditions of coal mines that feature dust, moisture, and poisonous gases. Equipped with just a Nikon D3, a few SB-900s, and a small Softbox, Tomasz has some of the most compelling images of people working on site that I have ever seen. Check out the final images here at http://www.tomasztomaszewski.com/gallery.html
We get a lot of emails from readers pointing us to interesting photoshoots and many times the videos themselves offer very little insight into the mind of the photographer. Unfortunately this video has no such commentary from David Hobby but the good news is he has a complete article outlining how he shot this portrait of cellist Caleb Jones. Watch David as he uses his Orbis Ring Flash and Umbrella to get his signature look. He also does a great job making Caleb feel at home in front of the camera. Props to Erik Couse for using his iPhone 3Gs to capture something creative!
One of our readers sent us this crazy video that must have been shot 40 years ago because I don't recognize any of this technology. Apparently it was really popular back in the day and I think I've even seen some kids carrying these as they left a local Urban Outfitters. If only they could make one of these that uses both Polaroid film and a memory card maybe I could experiment with one. Apparently the creator of this video didn't watch our previous videos on enjoyable audio :(
The guys over at Stillmotion have been a huge source of inspiration to us at Fstoppers. If you haven't checked out their vimeo channel, head over there and be prepared to watch hundreds of well shot wedding videos. They have also released a really informative video on how to use different microphones for your video projects and BTS videos. Once you start getting into filming video, capturing good audio is going to be of up most importance to you. Anyone remember those horrible audio tracks on some of our BTS contest videos? Well now you have no excuse for getting good audio of your own.
Filming in 3D is still relatively new to videographers. So when Jeremy Hart and professional driver David Coulthard decided to film the world fastest 3D film featuring the Mercedes SLS AMG flying down the road, they had to design and test shots that had never been filmed before. The footage is absolutely stunning and will definitely make you want to travel to Ireland and race sports cars up and down the Isle of Man. Click the Full Post to watch a short clip of the final movie (in 2D).
Lee and I decided months ago that it would be exciting to have a contest on Fstoppers to see what our readers can do behind a camera. Over the course of 3 months we received over 80 submissions from YOU, our readers! There is no possible way that we can share all 80+ of these videos on the front of Fstoppers but we believe that everyones work deserves the chance to be seen. We have decided upload every submission in 4 threads so that everyone has the opportunity to easily view these videos. In the next few days Lee and I will choose our favorite videos. These videos will be voted on by the community, and the winner will win a Canon 7D or Nikon D300s. A lot of time has been given for these videos so we hope you guys enjoy watching them as much as we did. Thanks again to everyone for getting up, going out, and creating something interesting!
Fstoppers is a blog mainly geared towards videographers and photographers. However, sound engineering is another field that will soon be of interest to photographers who are jumping into film or video projects. In the case of full length features, many of the images we see on the screen would not have the same impact without the music and sound-effects that accompany them. I love all behind the scenes videos and this one really made me appreciate the guys behind the soundboards. Watch as Richard King and company unveil some of the sounds they used for the movie Inception. Check out Sound Works Collection for more videos on this sort of thing.
Dave, Jono, and Braden are some fun lads from Australia who like to sling around burning metal during their photoshoots. Luckily for our readers they decided to participate in the behind the scenes video contest and show everyone how they too can get this wild effect. Check out this interesting video and feel free to leave comments for the guys below!
Philip Bloom is an amazing British DP, Director, and Film Maker who also works hard to bring us some neat gadget to use out in the field when filming DSLR video. When I saw this timelapse video of Monument Valley out in Utah, I knew this BTS video/audio would appeal to our landscape photographers who are often stuck watching fashion and commercial videos. So in an effort to change it up a bit, go ahead and load both the audio and video tracks (hit play and then pause) and start with the audio track. Philip also outlines a lot of the gear used in this timelapse over at his blog so check that out too. Enjoy Monument Valley commentary by PhilipBloom
As Lee has posted earlier, this week we are going to continue to feature some of our favorite BTS videos from the FS Contest. Austin, TX based photographer Sans Talbot really raised the bar on the contest when he filmed the shooting of his visual concept "Spitfire". This video is great on many levels but what I really love is the effort Sans puts into educating other photographers on how they too can get other creative professionals involved in their photoshoots. Sans also goes into great detail about how he combined multiple images to create one large file for his final rendering. Enjoy.