Are you a fashion or beauty photographer looking to get your work out into the world? Well PDN (Photo District News) is at it again with their annual fashion and beauty contest. The Look is a contest, open to anyone, that aims to showcase the most talented fashion and beauty images from around the world. Entries are now open and running until June 8th, 2017.
Articles written by Spencer Lookabaugh
Fstoppers is at it again with another amazing tutorial. This time, Clay Cook is bringing his talent as an advertising and editorial photographer to the table. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Cook has worked for a variety of local, national, and international clients. However, his work all maintains a common visual style regardless of the end publication, whether it be printed in The Voice of Louisville or used globally by ESPN. Fashion and Editorial Portrait Photography brings you Cook’s start to finish workflow, including his process of working with a retoucher, to show you how you can create similar, amazing images using these techniques.
There’s no phrase I dislike more in the photo world than "I’m a natural light photographer." Believe me, I love natural light more than anything. It’s simple and easy to work with, and you don’t need to worry about bringing a ton of gear with you. But very rarely will just unmodified natural light work. It’s the unfortunate truth of photography (unless you’re a landscape photographer, you lucky bastards). Most photographers will use a flash to do what natural light can’t. Sadly, many don’t use it to great effect. If you want your portraits, or any image with mixed lighting to look better, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re on location.
Like many photographers during the digital revolution, the idea of being able to capture high-quality video with my stills camera has always been enticing. Filmmaking is a different way to tell a story entirely, because of the addition of context. While a still photograph can certainly be moving, influential, and captivating, a motion picture allows for the beginning, middle, and end of a story to be shown in a constant visual style.
I started my journey in photography back in 2011. Since then, there are only a handful of photographers that I have really paid attention to in terms of actively keeping up with their work. One of those photographers is Commercial Photographer Dave Hill. His work has taken a more drastic turn in just a few years than any photographer that I’ve followed. That’s one of many reasons that I reached out to Hill to chat about his work and photography.
While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.
This is more or less the camera that started film photography for me. Since developing an appreciation for Joey L’s work, I wanted to shoot medium format. The focus falloff and rendering was just so surreal compared to full-frame and crop-sensor cameras that I had been shooting with. Unfortunately, the cost of entry was a little steep for a digital back. After doing some research I stumbled upon film 645 cameras. And so it began.
Many of you are familiar with Ted Forbes and his popular YouTube channel, "The Art of Photography." Personally, I’ve always appreciated his candid nature and helpful attitude towards anyone and everyone on their photographic journeys. From his videos covering various film cameras to the philosophy of certain photographic pioneers, he has produced some incredibly helpful, honest content. Furthering that, his newest video tackles the idea of creating photographs or a body of work that has lasting importance.
I’ll admit that I’m in a creative rut. And like any photographer that feels frustrated, there’s only one thing to do: go in a different direction. For well over a year I’ve been shooting hardly anything besides studio portraits. While I love that genre and the work that I’ve created in that time, I feel like my work has hit a wall creatively. After watching several photographers and filmmakers doing these a-photo-a-day projects, I decided to give it a go in 2017.
The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.
I have had the blessing and curse of having too many photos to edit in the past few months. I've had plenty of opportunities to improve my work with the high frequency of shoots, but it's caused me to feel buried. During a typical shoot, I'll take between 250-400 photos. With each light setup, I'll take a few shots to ensure it's just how I want it, then I'll start directing my model. I strive for 3-4 solid shots per setup, one of which will end up being the final image. Both myself and my hard drives are feeling the pressure. In order to make sure that everyone gets their photos in a reasonable timeframe, I've adopted a new workflow for my editing.
Some of you might not consider what you do as art, but as a photographer, you're an artist. A lot of small pieces and parts come together to make your images what they are, and that process of deciding everything from the model, to the clothing, the lens choice, to the lighting, is an artistic one. Many genres of photography are heavily dependent on other artists; portrait photographers need models and more than likely a makeup artist and stylist to bring their vision to life. Networking is key to our work in order to meet people that we trust to help us craft our images.
Camera resolutions are soaring in recent years, with Canon unleashing a 50-megapixel DSLR and Phase One showing off the new XF 100MP back. The unending argument of why manufacturers bother with such resolution swirls around one thing: printing. Photographers argue that a higher resolution camera will produce a better print with more detail. Technically, that is absolutely true, but most photographers aren't printing much these days.
The beauty of studio shooting is that you have absolute control over every aspect of your final image. From makeup, to the general lack of ambient light to deal with, to the subject in front of your camera, everything is up to you. This can bring some challenges _ namely, you as the photographer are also the director of the entire shoot. If something isn't going right, it's your responsibility to fix it. I apply this to everything in life, but it's especially relevant in assembling a successful shoot. Remember the six Ps of life: proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.
I know that all of the iPhone 7 hype is on the portrait mode and DNG file capture that the new camera has, but I was particularly interested in another aspect of iOS's photo capability. Having been stuck on a Nexus 6 for the past year and a half, I missed out on a lot of the new tricks that the iPhones were offering. Specifically, Lightroom Mobile's new raw file support, giving it similar editing capability as the desktop version of Lightroom.
I always enjoy a good time-lapse. Making them is a hobby of mine, as I love getting to relax and work at the same time. Leaving your camera stuck on a tripod or Gorillapod doesn't always give you the most dynamic shot I've found. Fortunately, there are ways to add some depth to your time-lapse film without having to lug around several backpacks worth of gear. One such device would be the Syrp Pan/Tilt Bracket.
Since the days of film, medium format has been far from reach for many photographers. Even working professionals can have trouble justifying the high price point of these systems: when used, they can be $8,000-10,000. Medium format film bodies, while cheap now, were always several thousand away from even the most exorbitantly priced 35mm bodies. Factor in the inconvenient size of just about every medium format camera ever, and it's easy to put the idea of working with these monsters far from mind.
I've always seen SanDisk and Lexar as the two main companies when it comes to camera media. Having used Lexar for some time now, I'm always excited to see what the company releases given my success with them in the past. This week they have shown a few new products for a variety of uses from CCTV to action cameras, to still photography and filmmaking.
In the United States, you might know them better as Rokinon. Samyang Global, the Korean optics manufacturer, has announced two new lenses that may come as a bit of a surprise. While they have been producing quality manual lenses for a variety of mounts, they haven't done much that the mainstream manufacturers haven't already in terms of focal length, aperture, or cinema capability, though their price points have always been far more reasonable. With these new releases however, that has changed.
Traveling as a photographer can be difficult. The issue we always seem to encounter is a lot like G.A.S.; we want to have the right lens for every shot, and we don't want to miss out. The key to circumventing this issue is planning. While some of the best shots can be unexpected, you have to have an idea of what you're looking for. When planning my recent trip to New York City, I had to find a way to pack the camera gear I wanted for a variety of work in a small, comfortable bag. Enter the ThinkTank Photo Turnstyle 20, the best small travel bag I've ever seen.