Everyone claims that they know how to shoot subjects on pure white but many of them still struggle with the background light washing out their subject. In the video below, Olivia Speranza shows us how she created the look for a video but the same techniques apply to flash as well. The key is to light the background as evenly as possible and expose it so that it is just barely pure white. If your background is a few stops past pure white, the light will begin to eat into your subject.
Articles written by Lee Morris
Below is a fantastic TED Talk given by David Griffin, the photo director of National Geographic. David gives us a unique look at how Nation Geographic's images come to be and he also explains the power of photography in general. As David says, even the most average amateur photographers will take a few amazing pictures in their lives.
A few months ago Patrick and I flew up to NYC and filmed our first ever full length DVD (dual DVD actually) with Peter Hurley. The DVD is still being edited but we can finally see an end in sight. Initially we didn't plan on having a pre-order but when Peter Hurley decided to start teaching workshops, we decided to create a special pre-order deal. When the dual DVD is released, it will cost $300. If you purchase it before October 1st, 2011, we will give you a $300 credit towards any of Peter's workshops (and this can be used at any time) so you are actually getting the DVD for free. Peter is also going to personally sign all of the pre-ordered DVDs. Patrick and I are working as fast as we can to edit this DVD while managing Fstoppers.com and also shooting a wedding every weekend. Things are busy but we hope to have this DVD released sometime this summer. Head over to Hurley's website to sign up for "The Headshot Intensive," his new 2 day workshop. There are currently 4 slots left for his first workshop on May 21-22.
Many of the videos we post on Fstoppers are geared towards professional photographers even though most of our readers are not pros themselves. If you want to take your photography to the next level, you may want take a look at "Learn & Master Photography" with Vince Wallace. For the next week, this 15 DVD series is on sale for just $119 (most photography DVDs cost more for just a single disc). Learn more about this offer here, and check out the quick promo video below.
Don't you dread viewing your friend's and family's vacation pictures and videos? Even when I go on vacation I take so many bad pictures and videos that I don't even want to go back and view them again. What if we spent a little more time on our next vacation and shot pictures and stills with a particular project in mind? That is what this couple did and now they have a tight 4 minute video that is fun for anyone to watch. Check out the full post for another vacation video shot with a GoPro.
Below is a fantastic video filled with random bits of priceless knowledge from 5 acclaimed photographers. Albert Maysles, Sylvia Plachy, Andrew Moore, Timothy Greenfield Sanders and Gregory Crewdson casually answer questions for Ovation TV about all aspects of the business.
We all like seeing things in super slow motion right? Well I have just been turned on to "The Slow Mo Guys". These guys have a Youtube channel totally dedicated to showing things happening in super slow motion and in this video they create and eventually pop the largest water balloon I have ever seen. This video is not informative in any way but it's still fun to watch.
I know that we have shown a lot of timelapses lately but our readers really love them and each month someone seems to raise the bar on quality or creativity. It is now Dominic Boudreault's time in the spotlight with his film "The City Limits". This film has the most amazing cityscapes I have seen to date. Make sure you watch this thing in HD full screen.
A few months ago at WPPI I met Dennis Wood the president of Cinevate. Dennis told me that if we had a chance to play with Cinevate's DSLR rigging gear it would totally change the way we shoot. So we ended up getting a few pieces of gear from Cinevate, the most exciting piece to me being the Atlas 10 slider. The Atlas 10 turned out to be the best built slider I have ever gotten to play with. The track was long and amazingly smooth but there was one problem. This thing was big and heavy. The Atlas 10 is actually rated to hold a 40lb camera which means it was really built with cinema cameras in mind. The slider is a dream to use but quite difficult to travel with. Well I was just about to send Dennis a message to tell him I wanted them to make something that was smaller but still just as smooth when I realized they had read my mind. Cinevate just released the Atlas FLT and for my DSLR shooting and traveling needs, it is my "dream" slider. I literally JUST went over to their website and ordered one. At $579 it is way more expensive than our previous slider, but there is honestly no comparison when it comes to quality. Check out the full post to see a video of the Atlas 10 in action.
RETV, a new video based website started by Resource Magazine recently filmed a quick interview with Albert Watson. During the interview Watson talks about his humble beginnings and walks us through a few of his famous shoots. Watson claims that many photographers get into the field simply because they enjoy the technical aspects of the gear. He also says that these are the same people the continue to ask him the same "stupid question" when he shows his work; "What camera was this shot on?"
Yes, it has been done to death but everyone loves to see it so we will keep posting it. Digital Rev TV has been doing a series called the "Cheap Camera Challenge" and so far they have created 3 videos with 3 different photographers shooting on 3 different cheap cameras. Check out the full post to see all 3 videos.
I released The iPhone Fashion Shoot back in July of 2010 thinking that it would be a fun way to prove a simple point (that people can create compelling images with any camera). I never thought 1, that the video would become so huge and 2, that 50% of everyone who saw it would totally miss the point. Half of the comments made on my video are about my expensive studio lights, professional model, professional hair, makeup, and retouching. People still didn't want to admit that they were capable of taking great shots on whatever gear they had. Still to this day I get emails all the time where people suggest that I do another iPhone Fashion Shoot outside with natural light and without a professional model but I was never interested. I really don't want to become known as the "iPhone photographer" and these videos are a lot of work to produce. Well I just got an email from Pye at SLR Lounge and he did all of the work for me! Pye takes a normal girl outside and uses 2 reflectors to create stunning images... It does not get any more simple than this... The point has now officially been made. No more excuses people.
This video gives a quick look at Jay P. Morgan's latest advertising campaign for Pedia-Sure. The video isn't quite as informative as Jay's average BTSV but there is still a lot to learn from it. I was really impressed by the size of the campaign and then range of images that were taken.
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens traces the arc of Annie's photographic life, her aspirations to artistry and the trajectory of her career. The film depicts the various phases that shaped her life including childhood, the tumultuous sixties, her transition from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair magazine and later her most significant personal relationships including motherhood. Check out the full post for the rest of the documentary.
Most guys are drawn to fashion photography for the over the top concepts and beautiful women. The issue is that most of these men will never truly gain an interest for fashion and sadly, shooting a pretty girl isn't really "fashion photography" at all. Mario Testino is to many, the top fashion photographer in the world. Testino rarely allows cameras to roll while he shoots but in these three videos we can get a glimpse of what a true fashion photographer is. Check out the full post for the other two videos.
Many photographers claim that they will never shoot a wedding because there is too much pressure. If you miss some of the key moments, you will never get another chance. I agree with this to an extent but at least weddings have hundreds of "moments" over the course of a day. If I miss a couple, it's usually not a big deal. A first descent is another story though. In the video below, Lucas Gilman shows us all of the work that goes into capturing just 5-10 seconds. When it comes to something like this, there is absolutely no room for error.
We were just sent an incredible TED talk with artist "JR". During his speech JR talks about his incredible art project that entailed traveling around the world, photographing locals with power stories, and then pasting their images on the sides and tops of buildings. The video is long, and starts off a bit slow, but really is worth finishing. At the end of the video JR gives us all a call to action by taking part in his new project "Inside Out". Art is a powerful thing, and can easily change the world.
Sometimes it's a pain to bring a client to your studio, or maybe you don't even own a studio. In these situations you must figure out a way to bring the studio to the client. Diana Deaver shows us a quick glimpse of her last shoot that involved bringing a paper background and a single large parabolic reflector into a clothing store.