Articles written by Lee Morris
So you are one of the lucky ones who got a Canon 5d Mark III this week huh? After taking 15 iPhone photos of the camera box and it's contents to upload to Facebook (bragging rights) you finally take some test shots. With your hand trembling in anticipation, you eject the memory card, then open up Lightroom 4 to import your ISO 6,000,000 low light test shots to pixel peep the amount of noise at 100% zoom.
Are you ever on location shooting and the background is a bit boring? Why not add smoke? In this video Jay P. Morgan shows us how he uses a smoke machine in the woods to liven up his shots. Using some materials from your local hardware store you can make the smoke go exactly where you need it to be.
The great thing about a program like Photoshop is that no matter how much you know there is always more to learn. As someone who spends a great deal of time each week retouching fashion images I consider myself quite proficient at Photoshop. Then I come across images like Thomas Herbrich's. His work instantly reminds me just how much more there is to learn.
What is going on with cameras these days? First we learned that the $6000 Nikon D4 is not a significant improvement over the D3S in terms of resolution or ISO performance. Now we are hearing that the Canon 5D Mark III is not a significant jump in video quality compared to the 5D Mark II that was released 4 years ago. I was shocked to see this video of a $900 Panasonic GH2 outperforming the $3500 5DM3 in terms of sharpness. Check out the full write up and 100% screen caps at EOSHD.
I will admit that I am a fan of low key and moody lighting. So the mention of impressive "film noir" inspired portraits definitely piques my interest. The photos in this post have film noir written all over them! They instantly make me want to kick back and watch some old classic b/w movies.
These days RC helicopters with video cameras are becoming more and more common because you can control and land them in almost any terrain. Have you ever wondered how you have to land an RC airplane when there are no available runways? Apparently you have to fly them directly at yourself and then snatch them out of the air with your bare hand. Check out this fantastic video which shows the pilot in some pretty incredible locations catching the plane again and again.
The Nikon D4 may not be a huge improvement over the D3S in terms of image quality but as a video camera there is no comparison. The most important updates include audio controls that allow you to dial in silky smooth sounding audio from an external mic as well as an audio out jack for headphone monitoring. The camera can also shoot at 1080P in standard full frame, 1.5 crop, or 2.7 crop meaning that you now can get almost a 200mm reach from a 24-70mm lens without losing quality. In this video I'll show you how to manage these new features.
As a wedding photographer I was really never interested in the D800. 36mp in ideal light for commercial jobs sounds fantastic but shooting thousands of images in a dark reception hall and having to deal with massive files horrified me. Because of this I purchased a D4 hoping for high ISO performance in a more manageable 16mp file. After I tested the performance of the D4 in low light and finding it was no better than the D3S, I am giving the D800 a second look.
Last night we put 3 Nikon cameras up against the new Nikon D4 in a studio ISO test and the D3s won. Don't get me wrong, the D4 files look fantastic, and beyond ISO 6400 the D4 did have slightly less color noise compared to the D3s but when we compared the images side by side we saw a pretty significant drop in contrast and sharpness. Even though the D4 has more megapixels, it appeared to be capturing less detail.
Yesterday I shot a full wedding with the new Nikon D4 that LensProToGo was kind enough to send me since mine isn't here yet. I was extremely pleased with the way that the camera performed and although I haven't gone through the images yet, I picked out 6 random shots that were taken at high ISO so that you guys can see the noise in real world situations.
Yesterday we got a call from LensProToGo.com and they told us that they had gotten in the new Nikon D4. Both Patrick and I bought the camera but it isn't due to show up before Monday. LensProToGo said they would over night the camera to me so that we could get a head start on reviewing the camera and now I will be able to shoot a real wedding with it tomorrow. This is the unboxing video of our first Nikon D4.
It's already been an exciting month for gear enthusiasts. Obviously, the major camera body announcements from Canon and Nikon have taken most of the spotlight. We have also seen new Pocket Wizards, as well as a shinny new version of Adobe Lightroom 4 come out. But what about the glass? Sure, Canon revised a few lenses, but I'm talking about a whole new lens. Carl Zeiss is apparently looking to step up and fill this void.
Commercial photographer Dean Bradshaw provides us with a unique perspective of his recent photo shoot for "Startrac". The shoot involved a handful of athletes being shot while mock competing in their individual sports. The athletes were shot in a controlled environment and then composited into different backgrounds in post.
If you are a beginner in terms of lighting, or looking for some quick and simple light setups, then Don Giannatti has you covered. Don (a.k.a. Wizwow), recently posted some videos on his website showing 8 different light setups, as well as the differences between certain light modifiers.
Rick Genest (aka Zombie Boy) is nothing if not intense. The 26-year-old Canadian fashion model is tattooed head to toe to look like a decomposing corpse, representing “the art of the rotting cadaver.” Genest, who you may recognize from Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video, spent over 6 years and thousands of dollars on his body art project, so who better to star in a commercial for tattoo-cover-up cosmetic company Dermablend?
Who doesn’t love watching the X Games? Those athletes are crazy. Just as captivating, though, is this behind-the-scenes two-part video on The Northface and X Games Baldface commercial. Director Todd Jones pulls out all the stops in this two part BTS documentary, breaking out a Phantom HD Gold, a helicopter, and building one really enormous jump.
Fstoppers.com has featured some great behind the scenes videos over the years and showcased amazingly talented professional photographers in our Fstoppers Originals series. Recently Patrick and I were invited to Scottsdale, Arizona to expose the secrets of commercial photographer Blair Bunting. When Blair invited us down to Loft 19 Studios, his idea was to shoot something big, expensive, and one of a kind.