If you’ve ever struggled to put together a video demo reel, or you’re planning to make one in the future, this post is for you. Below, I’ll share some tips that will help you be more efficient in your process to prepare for editing hours of your footage down to a montage of a couple of minutes.
Articles written by Mike Wilkinson
Everyone has to start somewhere, and for people seeking entry into the world of video production, or even studio photography, doing work as a production assistant is a great way to get your feet wet. I've hired lots of assistants, and before that I worked as one myself. I still do for some producers! Here are my tips on what to NOT do if you'd like to keep getting hired and make your way up the chain.
In the latest behind the scenes video from F-Stop Gear's Life In Focus series, the importance of the relationship between the photographer and subject is explored. Shooter Daniel Rönnbäck is on assignment to capture athlete Martin Soderstrom, and in this video they both share thoughts on working together successfully.
Calumet Photographic is offering $200 off of a purchase of $1,000 or more on any in-stock items. Canon, Nikon, Sony, and some other brands are unfortunately excluded, but there are plenty of other items available if you're looking for something other than a lens or camera body. Tripods, camera bags, lights, and even Sigma lenses are included in this deal. Some good examples of deals include
If you have been to any sort of performance in the last few years, I think you'll recognize some of the people in this commercial. Crowds who take pictures with their smart phones, holding them up to reveal a sea of illuminated rectangles, often distracting an artist or blocking the views of others. This commercial takes this issue to an unreal level, but it's actually not that far off.
While on a kayaking trip in the Great Lakes, I stopped just after sunset to shoot some images on the beach. The sky was still bright and very saturated, while the sandy ground was losing light and getting dark in my exposures. My kit was small, and I had no graduated ND filter, but I came up with something that worked well in a pinch.
The always entertaining Kai from DigitalRev TV takes to the streets, armed with 3 different models of Canon 50mm lenses: The 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2L. Using phrases like "sphincter twitching" and "buying meth", he colorfully illustrates his points about choosing the right lens based on your budget and compares the look and feel of each model.
In the latest video from the "Life In Focus" series presented by F-Stop Gear, professional snowboarder turned photographer Jeff Curtes is interviewed about his beginnings in the world of photography, and he explains what he thinks is the key to his success. The video goes on to show Jeff hanging out of a car to shoot road bikers from mere feet away, while moving at a very fast speed.
Where we’re going, we don’t have roads. The North Face sent photographer Celin Serbo on assignment to an area near Canyonlands National Park to capture stills of Alex Honnold, Daniel Woods, and Matt Segal establishing new climbs in a place called Labyrinth Canyon. In this post, Celin reveals the challenges of shooting a 10 day expedition, and shares his amazing images.
Sometimes the greatest tool for creating unique movement is your own body. Using human-powered camera moves, an aggressive color grade, and high-speed cameras, the final video in the full post is definitely worth a watch. In this behind the scenes video, Sebastian Linda explains how his vision came together using a high speed camera to create a fascinating 'dream world' of skateboarding.
As a commercial photographer for brands like Patagonia, Marmot, and Garmin, Lars Schneider has spent years in the outdoors producing fantastic images for his clients. Being on the road might be a burden for some, especially when it impacts the time they can spend with family. This photographer has included his family though, and has taken to the road across the US in a 1971 Volkswagen.
Every time I go to state parks along the lakeshore, I always see a few people with DSLR cameras walking around taking shots. Anytime there's an interesting bird nearby, it often becomes the subject of their attention. These colorful creatures are as majestic as they are quick though, and don't usually tolerate humans being too close to them. In this video tutorial from Tony Northrup, he shares many tips to get up close to birds in the field or even your own backyard.
Camp 4 Collective is an adventure film production group with clients like RedBull, The North Face, and National Geographic, so they are often found at the edge of the world, camera equipment in tow. Recently, some of the Camp 4 team traveled to Alaska to shoot some aerial footage. In this video, Anson Fogel explains the Cineflex helicopter camera system, and in the full post he and Tim Kemple answer my questions about its controls, production costs, and what it's like to play in helicopters.
Lowepro’s new DryZone bags come in two different models, a 40-Liter backpack (40L) and a 20-Liter duffel (20L). Lowepro has been making bags for years, and these are a new entry into their DryZone series. These new bags have an IPX6 waterproof rating, which means they can take a significant amount of water blasted onto them and keep your kit dry. Think rappelling through a waterfall or taking on some white water rapids in a small boat. This review will focus solely on my experiences with the 20L and how well it performed.
Last month I posted an article about your gear being possibly ruined if you were to take it to a Color Run event. After reading that along with comments on the Lensrentals blog where rented lenses were being returned in disrepair, one of the event’s official photographers spoke up, wanting to share his practices for keeping your kit safe.
Preston Kanak has released another highly informative video, this one on the subject of capturing successful day to night timelapses. In this long video, he covers different methods for achieving good results, such as bulb ramping, aperture priority, or blending it in post. Each of these methods is a bit different, and Preston shares many tips along way while showing plenty of examples.
In this short behind the scenes video, photographer Philip Lee Harvey takes to the sky, as well as the earth, for shooting images of Angel Falls in Venezuela. This expedition hits home with Philip, as he looks to follow the same path that an aviator named Jimmie Angel took when he became the first american to discover the area in 1933. With this backstory towing the line, Philip's shoot becomes that much more interesting of an adventure.
"You need to pack up your stuff, move to the mountains, and LIVE IT." Scott Serfas says this bluntly when asked how someone else can get a job like his. In this new behind the scenes video from the Life In Focus series, Scott talks about how he worked himself into a position as a top action sports shooter, while we get to see him work in a more urban setting for a snowboarding action shot.
This is a topic that many paid video and photo shooters tend to feel very strongly about, and I’ve tried to analyze my experiences for some rational thoughts on the matter. If you want your voice heard, leave your opinion in the comments, but first read about how one particular band actually offered pro and hobby photographers press access to shoot images of their performance. For a fee of $150.
In this interview, I speak with Russ Turner, a photographer who is relatively new to shooting fantasy portraiture, but has already received awards and praise for the quality of his work. Russ talks about working with costumed models, how he incorporates Photoshop, and shares some of the places where an aspiring shooter can get started doing photography in this genre.