Natural Light

Space Shuttle Program Turns 30, Takes An Epic Picture

This month NASA's space shuttle program turned 30. To commemorate the occasion they decided to take a single image that included every single employee standing together in the shape of a shuttle.
The Dark Side Of The Lens

I remember seeing this video a long time ago and really enjoyed it. Maybe we thought it was not educational enough to post it but after watching it again I think it's worth sharing. For those of you who have not already seen this short story, the Dark Side Of The Lens is a poetic journey into mind of surf photographer Mickey Smith. The cinematography is outstanding and the locations are breathtaking. It's this sort of presentation that truly makes me appreciate what we all do as artists.
The Aurora Borealis As You've Never Seen It

When I tell people that I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, everyone always asks me what it's like to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). I always try to explain how it looks by relating it to a laser show or smoke streams but I've never found a way to describe it to someone who hasn't seen it for themselves. Two days ago Terje Sorgjerd created the best visual representation of the Aurora Borealis I have ever seen from Pas National Park near the Russian border. Using a timelapse dolly from Dynamic Perceptions, a Canon 5D Mark II, and a few wide angle lenses, Terje was able to take long exposure iamges and size them down to create an 4K video masterpiece. Check out the Geophysical Institute if you live near the North Pole and want to monitor the activity of the Aurora.
Red Bull's Illume Photo Exhibit Is Itself Art

Yesterday I got an email from one of the Red Bull brand managers inviting me out to 2010 Illume Photo Exhibit here in Charleston, South Carolina. Illume is a traveling exhibit where dozens of images from the world's best action and extreme sports photographers are displayed on huge 6'x6' backlit panels. I have to say it was one of the most interesting photo displays I have ever seen, and the winning photos are nothing short of spectacular. The next stop on the tour is Miami, Florida but you can check out the images and future tour dates at Red Bull Illume Online. Also, check out this BTS video we posted last year of one of the winning images.
Shannon Sewell's Family Photos Aren't JCPenney Pictures

The girls over at [Framed] have started a really great web series that profiles photographers and shows them in action behind the scenes. In this video they dive into children photography with Shannon Sewell. I know a lot of photographers have made a side business out of shooting families and children but what Shannon is doing is completely different. Her images are straight up commercial in style and are really amazing to look at. Children can be really really tough to work with which makes me appreciate her ability to connect with and control her subjects. And if you are interested in the Photoshop Actions Shannon uses you can check them out over at Flourish Actions. What do you guys think about her statement at 13:30?
Sometimes Harsh, Direct Sunlight Can Be Beautiful

When it comes to my photoshoots, I almost always look for shade. I find managing harsh, direct sunlight to be a problem for a number of reasons but I may have to give it another shot. In the video below Phillip Dixon shows us that not only is it possible to directly light your subject with the sun, it can produce stunning results.
Mark Peterman: A Conversation With An Editorial Photographer

In this video from AdoramaTv, Mark Wallace sits down with Mark Peterman to discuss camera gear, location scouting, lighting, and overall creative drive. Mark Peterman is an editorial and commercial photographer from Arizona who has a portfolio that is a bit tough to describe. What really draws me to Mark's work is his really simple and clean lighting, often natural, along with his use of very muted and subdued colors. I'm sure Mark's background in graphic design also plays a part in his simple and clean style.
Greenpeace Through The Lens: Photographer Pierre Gleizes

In 2011, Greenpeace - the world's largest environmental campaigning organisation - celebrates its 40th anniversary. French photographer Pierre Gleizes has shot some of the organisation's best known photographs over the three decades he has worked for Greenpeace. Some of these pictures have truly changed the way we look at our planet and the environment.
How National Geographic Photographs A 300 Foot Redwood

Michael Nichols is a photographer for National Geographic who was recently faced with the task of photographing a 300 foot Redwood in Northern California. In order to capture the tree in all of its glory, Michael had to use 3 Canon 1Ds Mark II cameras, several pocket wizards, a cinema dolly system, and dozens of bracketed photos all shot at f2.8. Each full image of the tree took over 1 hour to complete and in order to capture the perfect photograph of the tree Michael and his team photographed the redwood over 18 days. The video below shows a quick recap of the project and the second video in the full post explains in detail how he was able to overcome all the obstacles required in creating this 18 meter tall image.
Fstoppers Original:  The Wakeboard Studio Shoot

One of my favorite things about Charleston, SC is being close to the ocean. I love being in and around the water, and although I'm not very good at it, I do enjoy wakeboarding. Charleston has become a pretty big hub for sports like kiteboarding and wakeboarding over the last few years, and this city is not short on talented athletes. I took an interest in wakeboard photography a couple years ago, and I always enjoyed shooting images from extreme angles. Although I've gotten some cool images, I never felt like I really had much control over my images with just daylight. I've tried to bring strobes outside to create something "different" but even those shots have been done a million times. I decided I wanted a way to shoot a rider flying through the air with interesting, studio quality lighting and this is what I came up with....click the full post for the full story. https://vimeo.com/19633416

Fstoppers Original: The Studio Wakeboard Shoot from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Freddie Wong Builds His Own Gun Shots

If you are not already subscribed to Freddie Wong's YouTube channel, you should go there right now and watch one of Youtube's most popular animators. Well this week he has created a really simple video called The Freeze Shootout and has provided a quick behind the scenes video on how he did it. Watch the full video here and click on the full post to watch how he created it.
HDR Timelapse Video Explained In Detail

A few months ago, Patryk Kizny with Dito Gear shared a really amazing video called The Chapel with Fstoppers. I was absolutely blown away by the footage but I knew our readers would want to know exactly how he created it. So I was able to persuade Patryk to create a second video that outlined exactly what he did to create the original HDR timelapse images featured in The Chapel. With just a few Canon DSLRs, a magic arm, and a Dito Omni Slider, Patryk created a really unique looking video made from HDR stills. If you have any additional questions about the making of this video, leave them in the comment section and I'm sure Patryk will be happy to answer them. Click the full post to watch the original video in its entirety.
How To Create An Easy Street Photo Session

Clay Enos is a laid back photographer who is probably most well known for his portraits from the movie The Watchmen. Today he is taking his portrait photography to the streets and doing something most of us would find pretty intimidating by asking random people to pose in front of his white backdrop. Making people feel comfortable with you in a short amount of time is a crucial skill to have as a photographer, and Clay does a great job explaining how you can do this on the street with a relatively short 50mm lens. Now some people might not consider this real street photography but it's definitely an easy way to capture spontaneous images with a studio look.
Dancers Among Us: Urban NYC Portraits

Jordan Matter is a headshot photographer based out of NYC but does some rather quirky personal projects. One of his going projects is titled Dancers Among Us where he places professional dancers in urban environments and tries to capture a spontaneous yet thought provoking image. I must admit some of his tactics might be a bit unlawful and I don't recommend necessarily following his advice but the concept is pretty interesting. Shooting in public places is always tough especially when you want a high production value but doing it in NYC can be extremely tough without getting proper licenses. View more images from this series here. //-->