Articles written by Wouter du Toit
I recently had the chance to speak to Greg Beadle, one of the official photographers for the World Economic Forum Event in Davos. From the start he made it clear that as an official photographer for the World Economic Forum, it is his job to “promote the annual meeting through photographs that best emulate the positive experiences and results here in Davos.” He said the energy is tangible and throughout the week, world leaders, celebrities, and wealthy elite will come together to discuss and try solve the current issues of the world today. This is what a day as a photographer at Davos is like.
I love manual focus lenses, mostly because of the tactile grip on the lens and the clicks of the aperture that envelops you thinking about its mechanics and what it's doing for you to get the shot you want. I've mostly used an old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens which is similar to an 85mm on my X-T20. It's great for portraits. I've always thought that you'd need some super skill to shoot video with manual lenses until you realize most videographers and filmmakers worth their salt shoot with no focus assistance and they do it manually. In this video, Brandon Li takes us through the manual focus lenses he uses and why.
I love street photography. I love to get to a new place and through exploring and taking photos of what I see is the ultimate pleasure and satisfaction when traveling. Eric Floberg takes us on to the streets to show how he photographs strangers, and gives some tips on how he gets great shots. You don't need to be in a big city to go around shooting. It's actually the small towns and cities that make for interesting characters in spaces many people have seen.
The beauty of being a photographer and using a tool like Photoshop is that you can learn new ways of editing that can speed up your workflow or make it easier to do. I can even take it as far as saying I don't think the creators of Photoshop know every single way of editing a photo, as it depends on the style of you, the photographer, and what you want to portray in your image. Nathaniel Dodson from Tutvid recently released a video showcasing 10 tricks that I didn't know, and I think will be very useful to add to my workflow and skill set when it comes to producing work for a client.
If you're into travel photography and video you've heard of Sam Kolder. You can find tutorial videos about how to get his transitions and how to shoot to make your videos flow like his does. This video breaks it all down and gives an overview of what gear he uses and how he shoots in a certain way to be sure to get the transition from one shot to the next down so he can edit it in the style he's known for.
I won't hold it against you if you've never wondered where babies come from in movies. But, it's good to know the details to understand how it works and ease out the planning should you be commissioned to shoot a lifestyle brand's advertising campaign. The general aim is to keep the babies safe on the day, to let them get the rewards for the work they put in once they turn 18, and to give the production team options and solutions, like booking twins or triplets so you either have more time to shoot the baby scenes as you can literally swap out the infants. This video shows how it works in more detail.
Brandon Li reviews a pre-released demo version of the Moza AirCross Gimbal by walking through the city of Hong Kong. He goes through the paces of covering the technical aspects, but what I am most interested in, and what he's best at, is showcasing his style of shooting and his way of moving through the city and getting the shots he's known for.
Have you ever had to buy presents for a friend or family member that likes photography, or thinks of you as the photographer in the group who will know best what will make their selfies and cat pictures that much better? Here is a quick guide from James Popsys on what to get them if you don't want to spend that much money.
I regularly view vlogs and how-to videos on YouTube. It's a vital resource for any photographer or videographer, and we all know that it's been a compliment to our businesses in the visual arts industries. I've noted that the vloggers don't just monetize their YouTube channels with the ads that are displayed before the video starts. No, they use affiliate links to all the gear they used to make the video in the description below the video on YouTube. What will it mean for us if Amazon starts their own video platform like YouTube?
We’ve noticed the trend. Video is becoming the way most people communicate online these days. How can you as photographer use video as a tool to influence the personal brand you are constantly building, and how can you expand your product offering to clients? There are various types of videos you can focus on to produce, and the aim should be to make videos that you would like to make for a client. Therefore, it needs to be professional, and something clients might actually use as their marketing and advertising materials.
Netflix is using AI to follow viewer habits. The AI then chooses the best image or photograph to present and advertise movies that it thinks you would like. It makes sure the movies put their best foot forward and shows you the best side of it, based on your preferences. If you're an action movie type, it's going to choose photos of the movie that best shows this side of the movie. If you're one for romantic films, it'll show images that portray emotions that you'll experience watching the film.
Adobe has called the new additional Effects menu category "Immersive Video." They've made it easier to apply transitions and to add text or logos that look natural to the viewer. I'm a regular screen viewing type of person, and I can't imagine buying some head gear so I can walk around in a virtual space, but in an industry that moves as fast as the video and photography industry, I think we should know what the latest developments are and how the software we use enable us to edit great videos. Clients are going to start asking for 360-degree videos, and you will either be able to do it or not. This video shows what you'll be able to do in Premiere Pro when editing "Immersive Videos."
When was the last time you stood in a queue or sat on the bus and not taken out your phone to flip down your social feeds, be it Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook? And, if you can't remember or think about a certain time the past year, you need to think about consciously setting up a stage or time of your day where you actually do nothing, and get bored. Why? Because your best ideas come from your mind being free and unfocused, where it can run off to new areas of thought and consciousness and potentially release a new idea or concept for your next shoot or project. This video explains it in more detail. Pay attention to better not pay attention.
I had the feeling they would do it. When I saw Instagram take it from Snap, and then use it for Whatsapp and Facebook too, it became tangible, something you could take and use if you have a platform with creators who make content as a career path. YouTube is giving creators the ability to create "reels," their name for what Instagram calls "stories." It won't appear on top of the app window at first, but they told TechCrunch that if it takes off they'll consider moving it to a more hands-on part of the app.
Casey Neistat's latest vlog is a review of the Rylo 360-degree camera. What makes this different than the 360-degree cameras currently on the market is that it comes with software that makes it easy to pick your shot (in other words, the frame that'll fit your 16:9 or 4:3 frame) and compose your video like that. Rylo is a start up, and although Neistat can distinguish which market it is for, I think it definitely can become something many videographers, especially YouTubers, and travel shooters will use.