Nature

Tom Guilmette Goes Skyfishing

Have you ever wanted to shoot aerial photos or video but thought that the cost would be too high? Well Tom Guilmette just did something that Patrick and I were considering doing in one of our upcoming Fstoppers originals. I'm glad he did it first though because now I realize our plan wouldn't work. For some reason I thought a single helium balloon would be enough to lift a GoPro... I would have been about 29 balloons short. Part of me thinks that Walmart helium is only about 10% helium and 90% air though.

"Skyfishing" with a GoPro HERO and 30 Helium Balloons from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.

Walking on Water:  The Newest Extreme Sport

This video was released earlier this year but I really loved watching it so I figured you would too. It's a pretty clever way to advertise a product like waterproof shoes and would have make for an excellent commercial concept for an advertising ad. Click the full post to view a BTS video about this crazy new sport called Liquid Mountaineering. /center>
Brian Skerry Becomes One With the Ocean

As a commercial wedding photographer, I know very little about how to take compelling underwater images. Luckily underwater photographer Brian Skerry and National Geographic have shared this short BTS video on what it's like diving with fish and swimming over coral reefs. I think it's interesting how simple but necessary the lighting setup is for this field of photography; most of us "land photographer" probably take for granted the complex lighting setups we can easily construct. Most of us also don't bring "backup gear" to our shoots because we expect our gear to break! Hopefully we will see more videos like this from other underwater photographers. /center>
How To Shoot Kickass Video From a Helicopter

Adam Boozer is an amazingly talented videographer right here in Charleston, SC. His company Jewell and Ginnie has been making a big splash with very cinematic video here in the low country and throughout the southeast. Last night Adam emailed us a BTS video he created on how he sets up his camera for these incredible aerial shots. Besides having the access to a Robinson R44 Helicopter, the actual setup isn't that complicated: A Canon 5D MKII, a Zucato Follow Focus, a Marshall Monitor, and the piece that stabilizes it all together, the Tyler Mini Gyro. I've posted the highlight reel here so click the full post to see the BTS video on how Adam is getting these shots!

J&G 2010 Aerial Selects Reel from Jewell&Ginnie on Vimeo.

What Makes A Great Image?

A few editors of National Geographic sat down to talk about a few of their favorite images. What is it that makes an image memorable and interesting? Most everyone said it was something they have never seen before. Some fields of photography don't have to be ground breaking but if you want to take your own images to the next level try to imagine shooting something you have never seen published before. I'm afraid too many photographers get wrapped up in the lighting, gear, location, and very picky details. Before you even pull out your camera, think to yourself, "what have I not seen done before?" Obviously this video applies mainly to naturally occurring events in nature but I think the same principles can be applied to planned shoots. What do you guys think? /center>
Bob Poole Films the Most Amazing Moment of His Life

Bob Poole is a DP (Director of Photography for you still shooters) who often works for National Geographic. While filming researcher Jake Wall who is studying the migration of African elephants, Bob and his team came across one of the most amazing things I've ever seen capture on video. You gotta watch this video to believe it but Bob was trapped in a sand storm in Mail for 4 hours while the sun was all but completely blocked by the flying debris. It always amazes me when I see photographers or videographers capture nature at it's best.
Peter Lik's Photos Require Their Own Furniture

The Fstoppers team just got back from Miami and the Bahamas, and while we were there we came across Peter Lik's newest art gallery in Miami Beach. I was first introduced to Peter's amazing landscape photos at his Las Vegas gallery in the Venetian Hotel, and I'm always blown away every time I step into one of his galleries. Peter uses large format panoramic cameras (some film some digital) and then prints them LARGE with his own special printing process. When his prints are displayed under gallery lighting the images pop off the wall unlike anything I've ever seen before. You can even dim the lights to reveal different qualities in the prints. Check out this video of Peter talking about what makes a good landscape photo and click the full post to see how you can see Peter on your television soon! /center>
Jim Reed is One Crazy Photographer

With a bunch of hurricanes heading our way, I figured it might be fun to show everyone that rainy days do not mean you cannot still pick up your camera. Jim Reed has made a career out of extreme weather photography and has some pretty wild videos to document his craft. Some may call it a craft and others may just call it being out of your mind but either way it puts a smile on my face. Click the full post to watch Jim run straight up into a tornado. /center>
Danny Cooke Shoots Blurry Video... On Purpose

Sometimes videos don't require a BTS because although they are a unique idea, they don't necessarily have to be complicated. Danny writes "Everyone has experienced fireworks. It is truly a magical sight. I set out to capture them, not as we know them normally, but in a way that many of you may not have seen them before. For this, I used Bokeh, which originates from the Japanese word "boke", which means "blur" or "haze"."

Bokeh from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

Monument Valley Timelapse With Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom is an amazing British DP, Director, and Film Maker who also works hard to bring us some neat gadget to use out in the field when filming DSLR video. When I saw this timelapse video of Monument Valley out in Utah, I knew this BTS video/audio would appeal to our landscape photographers who are often stuck watching fashion and commercial videos. So in an effort to change it up a bit, go ahead and load both the audio and video tracks (hit play and then pause) and start with the audio track. Philip also outlines a lot of the gear used in this timelapse over at his blog so check that out too. Enjoy Monument Valley commentary by PhilipBloom

Monument Valley from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Contest Entry: Lorand Peli Puts Models On Lava

Ok, not REALLY, but that was the concept for the shoot. I like this BTSV for 2 reasons. First, he has a concept. So many photographers just take headshots of girls and forget about coming up with any sort of idea or theme for the pictures. Lorand Peli planned this shoot out before he ever started and it shows. The second reason I really like this video is because the finished pictures are high quality. I have seen a few contest submissions where the concept is fantastic but the finished product falls short. Enjoy this BTSV while trying not to feel dirty with all of the "interesting camera angles." /center>
Storytelling From the Swamp!

Scott Holstein sent us this video a while back and it must have gotten lost in our email (thanks iphone fans). Being from Tallahassee, Florida, Scott decided to use the swamp as his backdrop. He also came up with a cleaver way to light up little lanterns used in the shoot. Maybe I'm the only one, but I'd be a little scared of getting eaten alive or being bit by something hiding in those country swamps! /center>