Articles written by Lee Morris
Patrick and I have been in contact with LPA Design (the company that makes Pocket Wizards) for a few months now and we were excited to hear that they would be sending us a few beta units of the unreleased Nikon FlexTT5, MiniTT1, and AC3 units. Our website is not about reviewing gear but we did want to push these units. I called up Sigma and asked for a loaner 800mm 5.6 lens and Patrick planned a shoot that involved every SB-800 and SB-80DX that we own. Check out the video below, and then view the full post to read detailed info about the shoots and check out the high res images. If you enjoy this content, follow us on Twitter to stay updated when our next video is released.
Kent Marcus was inspired by the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and wanted to do a fashion shoot with a little Swamp flair. Half way through the shoot he looses his main strobe in a water accident but continues flashing with his backup 580EXII. Check out the BTSV below and head over to his website to see the final images because they look much better there than in the video.
Now I am not going to jump to any conclusions. Maybe these guys and gals had a VERY similar idea, and not one of them had seen the iPhone Fashion Shoot (which has been seen by about a million photographers so far). And even though this video is filmed in the exact same way and has all of the exact same information, MAYBE it is just a coincidence. And MAYBE this really is the worlds first and I am actually living in the Matrix. Still a good video though :) The strangest part about this whole thing is that we actually used a super-clamp to mount the camera in my video but we changed it and went with the velcro because it was blocking the button on the phone and it was never actually shown in the video. It's like these guys were spying on me as I was doing it!
FS reader Jordan Murphy just sent us an email moments ago asking if we would post more videos about the business side of photography. His timing could not have been more perfect because a few days ago I watched a great video on just that by Allen Murabayashi. The video below is not going to be as fun to watch as a fast paced BTS but this is the stuff that will take a hobby and turn it into a profession. Most people think that I am a successful photographer because I take good pictures and that is simply not true. Having a solid product is important but getting it into the hands of a customer is the hard part. How dedicated are you?
We usually try to keep the good camera deals that we find only on Twitter, but I think everyone deserves to hear about this one. Amazon is currently giving $100-$400 off when you buy any Nikon SLR and a lens. You can see all of these deals here. This is a pretty good deal in itself, especially if you were about to buy the new D7000 anyway but it gets better. Epson is currently giving you a $450 rebate when you buy their $385 R1900 Photo Printer and a Nikon SLR which means they are actually paying YOU $65 to buy their printer. You can check out the rebate form here. The deal above is just a random one that I put together. If you are only interested in a new lens then I would suggest buying the Nikon D3100 (Nikon's cheapest camera), getting the discount on the lens, getting the rebate on the printer, and then selling the camera and printer when they come. It's a bit of work but you could potentially save about $600-800 on a new lens this way. I have done my best to read all of the fine print and this all seems to be legitimate. Please don't count on me though, do your own research and hopefully we can all save some money.
Photography is all about lighting and it's important to learn what flattering light is. Once you do, you will find that the color temperature of that light makes a huge difference in the over all mood of that image. I can't tell you how many potentially great images that I see that were taken outside on a sunny day and the auto white balance makes everything blue, wrecking the image. Check out the video below where Jay P Morgan shows us how to set the white balance manually on a 5D Mark II. All you need is a White Balance Disc or a nifty White Balance Lens Cap.
I enjoy playing some video games but I actually enjoy the technology that goes into creating them even more. Check out the video below where Rockstar Games takes us behind the scenes of their new technology called "MotionScan". I am so excited to see this implemented in all of the games that are produced in the future. Of course graphics aren't everything, which the greatest game of all time proves.
When Canon first started producing lenses they used the FD mount. In 1987 they switched to the current EF lens mount. This change made the FD lenses plummet in price but not in value. Check out Caleb Pike from DSLRVideoShooter.com shooting incredible video with his 5DM2 and 7D with these $20 Lenses. How do you do it? It's easy, you simply need this adapter that happens to be 63% off for just $30.
We have all seen it before, you may have just not known what it was called. I think the first time I saw this was years ago in a Gatorade commercial and it really stood out to me. Today, 2.5D animations or "animated photos" are starting to pop up all over the place. Check out a cool example of 2.5D in action mixed with moving time-lapse by Ryan Flett below and then head over to Creative Cow to watch a fantastic tutorial that shows you how to create this effect in After Effects. FYI, simpler versions of this can also be created in programs like Premiere and Final Cut.
On Wednesday we are giving away an iPad to a random Twitter follower but this contest is all about skill. Patrick Hall did an incredible photoshoot for the next Fstoppers Original BTSV (which should be released soon) and he has a ton of great wakeboarding pictures with tremendous potential. The rules could not be easier: simply download this high res image, edit it any way you like, and then post it here on our forum by Thursday at midnight eastern time. On Friday, Patrick will choose his favorite edit. The winner of this contest will receive a Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 35 camera bag and the chance to be a part of the next FS Original Video. Due to shipping costs, the bag can only be shipped to a North American address.
What if you could shoot 1080p video for just $300 with a camera that was waterproof, basically indestructible, and so small and light it could be mounted anywhere? What if that camera could also shoot 60fps for amazing slow motion? This camera is the GoPro HD and we own 2 of them. Watch this video and then check out the previous post. I'm not saying that the GoPro is better than a pro film camera, but it does bring up an interesting debate. Which style of video do you like more and why?
In February, Patrick and I flew to Colorado to film Dave Lehl shooting snowboarders. It was an eye opening experience but it was still relatively easy for us because we were simply documenting the event. Warren Miller has a different task; he is in charge of shooting full length ski videos on film and they have to look perfect. This video will give you a very small glimpse of what that really means.
Does anyone remember the Domino's Pizza "cheese puller" video that we posted a few months back? Well I remember commenting about that lady because she seemed a little crazy. Well she did seem crazy until I saw this interview with Ellen Sirot. We all take our job seriously... but com'on... Check the full post for another video of her acting insane and a Funny Or Die spoof.
Here at Fstoppers we are all about INFORMATIVE BTS videos. Although this video does lack a few of the technical details I usually look for, there are a ton of great bits of inspiration to take away from it. Ty Michael's lighting schematics, clothing design, and especially his location and sets stand out to me. I know a few of these ideas may show up in a photoshoot or two of mine in the future.
Even if you have never shot pictures underwater before, I bet it has crossed your mind. I know I've tried it a few times and failed miserably. Luckily there are talented guys out there like Cal Mero who are masters at shooting below the surface. Check out his latest BTSV which is packed full of priceless underwater shooting tips. Do you want more info on shooting underwater? Check out DivePhotoGuide.com
Remember Sean Armenta? He created this BTSV for our contest a few months ago. His previous video did a great job of showing us how he actually lit the shot but not much on retouching. Learn the other half of the story below in this top notch tutorial.
Pirelli is constantly pushing the envelope with their sexy Calendars. This year, mega fashion designer/photographer Karl Lagerfeld was in charge of shooting this Greek Goddess themed photoshoot. Karl seems to shoot most of the shots with 1 single bare bulb flash and his images are stunning. Once again this video is NSFW has quite a bit of nudity. To watch the video, please view the full post.
Our cameras sync at a maximum of 200-250th of a second but in this video Chris OConnell strobes at 1/500th of a second with his Broncolors. How does he do it? Well the new Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5s are the secret. Instead of trying to explain it all here, watch the video below and then head over to the full post for a second video with more details.
Many of you have probably seen this beautiful portrait of Tyra Banks before. In this video Matthew Jordan Smith takes us through the details of his lighting and gives us a reality check on the nature of fashion and beauty photography. Check the full post to see a second video with Matthew.