There are many tips online. Five step listicles of composition, post-processing, editing, getting the model to smile more, and to capture a story in the best way possible. You can be friendlier to clients, communicate your vision to the team, client or model, use on or off camera flash, and setup your camera in a better way to enable easier ways to capture the shot. You can learn about better workflows and how to increase your productivity in post too. All these tools are available on Fstoppers.com for you to learn and use in your everyday photography career and life.
Articles written by Wouter du Toit
I shot and edited a narrative film in the last month. It was a first for me. I had this scene in my mind of a person burying a suitcase or bag in the woods, like it’s something he or she wanted to hide or get away from. I had a second idea about a guy walking down a long passage way and knocking on a door with no one opening for him. I decided these two contrasting visual ideas will be my story.
Takashi Aizu is based in Japan and makes mouthwatering time-lapses of his baking. He sets up his iPhone 6s, and documents the process and reaction of the specific dough to become breads, croissants, or baguettes. We often take the beauty of the croissant we get at Starbucks for granted, but here we can actually see how much knowledge, patience, and effort goes into baking and what the process looks like when you get it fresh and hot out of the oven. It’s a simple process concept, but he has over 25,000 followers on Instagram, and his baking is obviously rated as very good in Japan.
Imagine editing your film and getting to the phase where the production sound needs to be added or perfected. This can be a fun part of editing and getting things together, but it can also be a very time consuming part of the process. If you didn’t have a recording of the live sound, you need to run through the various samples you have available in your library, or get them online, and see which sound works best. If you have the budget, you can add a Foley artist to your team to physically produce the sounds for your video. These sounds must then be edited in for the various sounds you need, be it the footsteps down the alley or the gunshots fired by the assassin that form part of your story. What if this can all be done automatically?
Adobe has launched their latest update to Lightroom and Photoshop in the 2015.1 update. In the Adobe Camera Raw module and Lightroom, they have developed a new feature that is something photographers in the travel, architecture, and cityscape photography industry will really find useful. It can actually change some of your old previously unusable images into great images.
When you get to a new place you haven’t been to before, or, even if you have been there in the past, you often see something new. It’s what travel does, it lets you see new things in new ways you haven’t seen before. So when you’re walking down the street with phone in hand but you've left the camera at your hotel or apartment and you see something you’d like to shoot, how do you save the location so you can get back to it again?
A gimbal is an important piece of technology that makes for some smooth video. It's the device that stabilizes the camera so you can get that cinematic look in your shot. It removes the vibration and shake. The gimbal's motors keep the camera level as the camera operator moves it. Drones use them, the DJI Ronin is basically a large gimbal, and the DJI Osmo is the latest handheld gimbal that DJI brought to market.
If you’re interested in drone photography and video, I’ve compiled a list of people and sites you need to go to for inspiration, tips, tutorials, and insight. Aerial photography has changed with the drone. When you put costs aside, the other advantages of flying a drone vs a helicopter are that it can get closer to the subject, it doesn't create the ripples in water as much, it doesn’t cause a wind force blowing out the leaves of trees and plants, and it can make for some great shots through mountain gorges that helicopters simply can’t fit through.
Apple has just uploaded ads which will most likely also be broadcast nationally. They consists of videos that were shot using iPhones. To use the tool to make the videos that advertises the tool is a great way to convey a message. It all enhances and forms part of their ecosystem that is the Apple brand. I believe it's well-executed, especially due to the fact that the videos were created by the users, making the products friendler to others.
I’m going to be traveling soon. I’m going to Paris for a project documenting the city, its people and exploring its intangible nuances that emit emotion. Travel photography. I enjoy traveling, and I love photography. Can we put these two together? Yes. There is no other reason but the enjoyment of moving though the city that's got me excited.
I attended the Canon Roadshow, held once a year, where Canon gets to show off their latest gear. We got to have lunch with the Canon people, and we also had great keynote speakers who told their story and presented their work and how they do what they do. One of the speakers, Laura McCullagh, shoots live music events. She's shot acts like Die Antwoord and Mumford and Sons, to name a few. We were fortunate to get some pointers from her on how to get great shots.
One of the most commercially viable careers as a photographer can be fashion or beauty photography. In fashion photography, you are mostly shooting people, and you have details like clothes, makeup, and mood that you can capture in creative ways. You can create fantasies, capture a personality, and really build a name if your images are unique, and you will get people asking for you if you’re able to portray a certain feeling or mood. How to get started is often most aspirational photographers’ stumbling block. I can tell you that it is the ones who "show up and shoot" who build the careers and names for themselves from it. So, how do you do it?
Just the other day I was thinking about the great footage and images I have that might do well in a stock library. I just didn't know where to go and which site was best. so I closed the folder and let it go. But, here at Fstoppers we get the best news first. Perfect timing for sure. We got a heads-up from Dissolve that they are launching a rights-managed stock library with 50,000 images on June 1st. They also want to open it up to individual photographers to contribute and form part of their premium stock offering.
I was recently commissioned to photograph fields of Rooibos Tea (a healthy tea with no caffeine and great antioxidants found in South Africa) so the farmer could document his potential yield. He also wanted details, as in what side of the tea field to start planting so he could plan the sowing schedule for the next five years. The idea is to not sow on the same soil, so new rows of tea plants need to be formed in five years. Tea likes fresh, new soil.
The DJI OSMO is a great tool for stabilizing your footage in a cinematic way. It is sure to increase your video’s production value. It can shoot 4K at 30fps, and you can even increase the frame rate to slow it down quite considerably. You can also shoot time-lapses or intervals, and if you move through an area while doing so, you will get the a very smooth, esthetically pleasing footage.
Shooting or being involved in a fashion or beauty shoot is a lot of fun. It’s a day where creative personalities, the photographer, stylist, hair and makeup and assistants as well as the client's creative team get together to produce a story, a body of work that they want to show the world. Everyone is focussed on bringing their best ideas to the party.
I fell into a canal in Venice with the ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive Bag on my back. I was walking too close to the edge while looking at the bridges and architecture, and how the water brushes up against them, when I stepped on a moss-covered section of the canal ledge. I slipped, hit my bum on the ledge, and gently slid into the canal. There was no splash, and my head didn't go below water, but the ledge was so slippery that I couldn’t get out by myself. I was floating in the canal for what was the longest 30 seconds of my life.