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Articles written by Wouter du Toit

Google's AI Photographs and Edits Like a Pro

Google's AI Photographs and Edits Like a Pro

Google has trained their AI to go out using their street-view feature and snap images it calculated to work best for the task at hand. The calculation is based on multiple professional photographer styles, composition, and postproduction, and it's able to narrow down what "shot" would make the best photograph. It can then selectively enhance the image in certain areas that it wants the viewer to pay attention to.

Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

This video is a double-whammy. It's trying to uncover where ideas come from, and the conceptual and artistic execution of the video is so well done and it provides a kind of answer for the rhetorical question of where ideas come from. I've had creative block. You want to put the next portfolio piece together, but you don't know what to do exactly. You first need to come up with an idea, and then you have to nurture it to be something new but something that still contains your style and way of shooting.

How to Choose a Frame Rate Based on Your Subject

How to Choose a Frame Rate Based on Your Subject

I’ve shot a lot of video. I’ve never been professionally trained, and I get most of the knowledge and how-tos from guys like Brandon Li who share crucial information with regards to shooting, editing, and making great videos. This video shares the importance of choosing the right frame rate for your project. It’s detailed, and if you’re starting out in video, this will give you peace of mind when you tell a client you want to shoot something for them.

Tips for Better Street Photography

Tips for Better Street Photography

It applies to life as well, but if you want to get out there and take some great images, don't be a d*#k. Eduardo Pavez Goye takes us through how he gets his street photography shots on film. It's a great challenge these days, the streets are filled to the brim in the cities, which is great for taking multiple shots, but it's not as easy when shooting film. You want to get it without someone moving in front of your shot to block and spoil your composition. I found his tips to be great. It's practical, and completely doable.

Store Your Light Stands Using Bungee Cords

Store Your Light Stands Using Bungee Cords

I use a bike in Paris, and I use bungee cords to tie things down when I need to, but this video shows a way to use it in studio which I think is so simple, yet so brilliant. Studio space can seem large and vacant at first, but after a couple of weeks things start piling up and if you and your team don't clean up and maintain it, can become a place you dread going to. Light stands are one of the items we use mostly in a studio, and we have more than two at any given time.

How To Start a Video Project in Premiere Pro

How To Start a Video Project in Premiere Pro

We all have an idea of how a non-linear editor works. You drag the files into the timeline, and move them around to create the interesting video you are intending to produce. But, if you're like me, setting up the project and to make sure no files go missing or aren't imported correctly can be a problem, especially if no one ever showed you how to do this. So I've put together a short way I do it, and then I've included a video to show how you can do it for a short film and how to sync audio. It's a video production starting kit.

How to Use J-Cuts to Enhance Your Video Transitions

How to Use J-Cuts to Enhance Your Video Transitions

J-Cuts can be described as having the sound enter the scene before the scene appears visually, or it can be used to play out a scene where the audio is used after the shot has ended. They're used in TV and movies, and they're a professional element that sets you and your style apart from those who just cut scenes together. This enables you to get a nice flow in your video, and it all blends and layers to make it more interesting and give your work more power.

Why We Keep Watching the Worst Movies Ever Made

Why We Keep Watching the Worst Movies Ever Made

We've all done it. We've rewatched movies that we knew were bad. I watched the 1995 classic "Waterworld" with Kevin Costner two weeks ago. Maybe we do it to reflect on our past or to get in touch with ourselves again to some degree. This video analyzes bad films and why we keep watching the worst movies. Its main argument is that these bad films actually have some intellectual merit. The video focuses on "The Room," which came out in 2003. It's a movie with bad acting, a low budget, and terrible accents and dialogue.

The Artist Series Season 2 Coming Up

The Artist Series Season 2 Coming Up

The trailer has me excited. Passionate artists opening up and taking the time to share their work with us. Five photographers, Keith Carter, Graciela Iturbide, David Brookover, Lourdes Grobet, and Pedro Meyer are interviewed, and the amazing part about it is that the whole series was funded by the photographic community. Ted Forbes is theman behind The Art Of Photography YouTube channel, and this video is shared by him. I'm not sure what role he played in it, but I believe it will be significant, as it's one of the good channels to watch for us photographers.

Casey Neistat Hides an Ad Behind His Vlog

Casey Neistat Hides an Ad Behind His Vlog

One of the latest vlogs from Casey Neistat was a little different to the others. If you are like me, you have subscribed to his channel, and have noticed that his approach and energy towards it has changed quite significantly since he took his break. But now it’s become a marketing platform, and his vlogs are just marketing brands and products. This vlog especially, with a teenage fantasy that he’s always wanted to experience during summertime as concept, and him pursuing it. At the end of the video the sponsorship messaging, which is obviously great from the brand’s perspective, but not so much for the viewer. We watch vlogs because of its candid, honest nature. With this vlog, it’s not true anymore.

Adobe Lightroom Now Has an Instagram Account

Adobe Lightroom Now Has an Instagram Account

You might say they are late to the pack, and it's quite ironic. One of the largest photography communities in the world and Adobe Lightroom, the software many photographers use to make the photos look the way they do. I'm glad they are doing it, but why now? I mean, Fstoppers has over 325,000 followers on Instagram. It's because of the love of photography and the community that we form part of. And I am not sure I can say the same thing for Adobe Lightroom starting up their profile now. Instagram just became a very viable marketing platform too, so it makes sense for brands to come into the fray, especially brands who make products for the photographic market.

Neill Blomkamp's New Short 'Rakka'

Neill Blomkamp's New Short 'Rakka'

Neill Blomkamp directed "District 9" and "Chappie" and now he's released a short film of a dystopian future where aliens have taken over earth and the humans have to fight with whatever they can to survive and before it's too late. It's done in the style you kan expect from Blomkamp, in a way I believe only he can do, and it's got all the action, suspense, and gross details of brain implantation and alien creatures that he's become known for.

The Smartsuit Pro Adds Characters in Real Time for Motion Capture

The Smartsuit Pro Adds Characters in Real Time for Motion Capture

Our blockbuster action films have become so advanced with regards to the 3D and special effects that I'll go watch a movie just to watch it, and forgiving the lame dialog or bad acting just as long as the movie pushes the barriers to what I've experienced. Now Rokoko has made a suit that someone can wear that can generate a character of any kind to embed into a realistic computer generated space in real time. It removes the cameras and the time it takes to add in these characters in post production, and it happens in real time, so it's a massive saving for the production houses. It leads to new possibilities with regards to character movement and creating something that looks indistinguishable from reality.

Making Something Cool When Your Environment Is Boring

Making Something Cool When Your Environment Is Boring

Have you ever felt that certain photographers and film makers just get the great shots because they get to go to some super locations? Or because they get commissioned by the top brands to have all the best lighting and equipment? A guy called Brandon Li had almost the same experience. He travels to some amazing locations, but decided to make a short film taking place in his hotel room. He sets himself a challenge to make something interesting from a boring space or location to push his creativity and think about ways to make it in to something more appealing.

Apple Uses Carl Sagan's Narration in Their New Earth Video Campaign

Apple Uses Carl Sagan's Narration in Their New Earth Video Campaign

You can't go wrong with the narration of Carl Sagan or Alan Watts when it comes to making a video and showing scenes of the great places such mountain ranges, lakes, beaches, and landscapes we have on this planet. Apple took it upon themselves to use this narration in their latest ad campaign. I am impressed with the quality of the footage. The color, the slow motion shots, and to a degree the dynamic range which handled the situations very well.

How to Shoot With a Song as Inspiration

How to Shoot With a Song as Inspiration

The one thing we as photographers and videographers do is tell stories. That's the main reason we do it. Whether it's a story of fantasy or a shot documenting a moment in the real world, it's done to make the viewer tell themselves the story they see in the picture. In this video, Mango Street break down how they tell their stories. Instead of focusing on the moments as they organically happen, like shooting a wedding, they took a conceptual idea that inspired them and directed a shoot to execute their interpretation thereof. They used song lyrics as a concept and took it from there. I must say, inspiration can be found anywhere, but this was a very well executed idea that will certainly play part in my next shoot.

Six Tricks to Shoot Better Video With Your Mobile Phone

Six Tricks to Shoot Better Video With Your Mobile Phone

This video displays basic tips for a person looking to start vlogging or capturing video to showcase their skills. It's aimed at beginners, although there are some great tips for the avid shooter too. How to create a dolly-like effect using only your body, and how long a shot should last to make it something the viewer can actually focus on and absorb is included. It's practical and the video is only two minutes long.

Take a Bite: 10 Tricks Advertisers Use to Make Food Look Irresistible

Take a Bite: 10 Tricks Advertisers Use to Make Food Look Irresistible

We all know the pictures on the packaging of food you buy usually is a lie. It's not how it's going to look when you open it, and it's not going to taste as good as your imagination was telling you it would based on the photo of the package. But it surely works to get people interested and buying one product over the other. How do they do it? This video shares 10 tricks food advertisers use when shooting the images to be used in advertising and packaging. A picture of a piece of bread being broken open, hot and steaming out of the oven, sure looks delicious. Did you know wet cotton wool will steam longer than bread would? Yes, me neither.