Recently, I was hired by a corporate client to take the portrait of Rod Stewart here in New York City before a concert. After a day of pre-planning logistics, 4 cancellations/reschedules (same day), and 3 location changes, the shoot finally happened... and it took place in two shutter clicks. Now, this is not a complaint post or to prove what an intense shoot this was. This is merely the stark reality of what it's like to shoot celebrity portraits. You have to be ready for anything.
Articles written by Douglas Sonders
For a couple of years now, I have been shooting a personal series about movie and tv cars, and the people that either own the original vehicles or build replicas for themselves. I call it the Unicorn Project (see more from the series here). Recently, I had the chance to photograph one of the screen-used Black Beauties from the 2011 film, The Green Hornet. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out my new automotive rig from Rig-Pro for the first time to simulate high-speed action shots.
Phase One asked me to go on a speaking tour through China (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing) to share about my photo career, creative inspiration, and being a Phase One shooter myself, to demo their innovative new IQ2 digital medium format camera back system. After flying in to Hong Kong from Washington DC just hours before, I had the great honor and pleasure to be a part of Digital Rev's Cheap Camera Challenge. A broken Holga + jet lag + beer + a goof like myself = What could go wrong?
My buddy Ray Wert from the ad agency Tiny Toy Car knows how I love gadgets, filmmaking, and obviously custom camera trucks capable of racing in the Baja and destroying anything in its path. Last month he got me a sneak peek of this Ford ad (below the break) before it aired and introduced me to the director, Tim Damon, who told me about his incredible custom Ford Raptor that he used to film rally racer Tanner Foust as he thrashed the new Ford Fusion in the hills of California.
Phase One announced their new Capture One Express 7 raw image processing software today and it's free to try for 60 days and only $99 to buy! Express 7 is actually a streamlined version of their advanced Capture One Pro 7 software, which is what I personally use, focusing primarily on RAW processing. Also, I'm excited to mention that they are using my Mad Max photoshoot on the marketing material. :)
If you haven’t heard of TetherTools.com yet, well… you have now. Tethered Tools makes a wide range of fantastic products to make your tethered shooting go more smoothly. They are THE one stop shop for all of your tethered shooting gear needs including software. They have seemingly infinite customizable tethering configurations that you should definitely check out.
I'm a lifelong motor head. I salivate at a great custom exhaust on a big block V8 engine, or a custom candy paint job on a 1957 Chevy BelAir. I literally dream of pro-touring modernized 1960's muscle cars. So as a photographer, it would only make sense that I would crave to customize my cameras, especially after recently investing in a Phase One digital medium format which I cherish like I would a car. For years, I've been looking for a cool rugged camera strap system that fit my style and functional needs. Thanks to Vulture Equipment, I think I've finally found it.
One of my fellow photographer buddies, Andrew Link, the photo director for Rides Magazine, is native to Staten Island, which was hit very hard by Hurricane Sandy. Although, I never knew the extent until I saw his photo series. For a commercial car and portrait photographer, he put together quite a compelling group of photos telling the story of the difficult rebuilding process in Staten Island.
By the age of 24, my buddy Nicole Fallek has done a lot of travelling with her camera. She decided that she wanted to see more of the world, but realized she didn't have a big budget to do so. Nicole put together this extensive blog post for you guys using her vast travel knowledge to help ensure your world travels will go more smoothly and affordably. Check out all of tips & some of her travel photos/design below.
A few months ago, I hit up my buddy Paul Miller, who is a movie director out of Southern California. Regular readers of my personal blog site may recognize Paul from my previous Mad Max Interceptor shoot. Paul told me that he is part of a group of folks that essentially constructs clothing, weapons, and even vehicles to re-enact the Mad Max post apocalypse in the Mojave desert, much like some re-enact the US Civil War. They are often referred to as "Wastelanders" after their annual gathering entitled "Wasteland Weekend".
My buddy, Eric Doggett, is one of those commercial photographers that I want more people in the community to know about because he is very talented. Every holiday season, Eric will create a Christmas card using composites of himself and his family. This year, he took a page right from one of my favorite movies, Back To The Future. He created a fantastic in-depth tutorial video on how he created this year's holiday image form scratch.
I’m driving a beautiful triple-black Aston Martin DB9 V12 down a florida highway. Its nose so long that the sun striking it practically blinds me. AC/DC is blasting on the radio and the car’s 12 cylinders roar at the slightest touch to the throttle. One client has loaned me his beautiful British exotic so I could drive 90 minutes away to briefly meet another private client about photographing his multi-million dollar Bugatti supercar collection. Surreal, right? This sort of experience has become sort of commonplace for me recently, but it never becomes any less mind-blowing. Sometimes I just sit and wonder: how did I even get here? This is just crazy.
Let's be honest, writing for a photography website, you notice that a lot of us photographers like to gripe at each other. Hey, you're more than welcome to express yourself as you wish since this is the internet and all. Although, I wanted to do a short positive post about how and why we should be a little nicer to each other. Sometimes it equals more resources and more money. Reason enough for you?
I did this post for my personal photography blog, but I figured this is an important subject that I hope the Fstoppers community will benefit from. By all means add to this list in the comments below if you have any suggestions!
I get this email all the time: "I’m a new/aspiring/struggling/young photographer and I want to know what advice you have for me?" I literally get this email or tweet or facebook message daily.
I was recently hired by the team over at TheRealMach5.com to shoot new marketing images of the "the only officially licensed Mach 5 in the world that was built to the Speed Racer cartoon Mach 5 specifications". As you can see from the video, it was a hot hot day. I was probably suffering from heat stroke and a wicked farmer's tan by the end of the day, but I got to tear around in the Mach 5 on Florida back roads after the shoot (thankfully she's street legal if you don't drive with the spinning saw blades on it haha), so it was completely worth it.
I had the pleasure to be hired to shoot an amazing car collection last year, which included 2 ultra-rare special Bugatti Veyrons. For example, the silver Bugatti, as you will watch, is a one-of-a-kind 100th anniversary Bugatti called the Sang Bleu… literally 1 of 1. We also had a decent-sized portion of a private airport at our disposal to use for the shoot. Pretty incredible experience. Read on to learn more about the shoot itself and my lighting.
I first met Glyn Dewis while we were both teaching at a Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas. He's a pretty nice guy and talented photographer/retoucher if you can get past the whole being British thing (kidding kidding). I figured this post would be very fitting since the new James Bond film is opening here in the United States this week. Learn how one can make the iconic James Bond gun barrel shot!
I love zombies and wanted to commemorate them in a holiday e-card I created to send to my client mailing list. I did this a couple of years back, but never really promoted on other sites until now. I called on some friends for props, extras, zombie makeup, and styling. My total expense was probably around $150-200 to pay for zombie clothing and rent a big industrial fog machine. I used 4 lights, including one behind the fog machine to create that great glow.
Earlier this year, I put together a fun campaign and photo series with my friends over at Nik Software. Nik wanted to find a way to showcase the abilities of my favorite iphone/ipad photo editing software (you can now use the app on your mac or pc as well), Snapseed. I pitched the idea of photographing different adventures using nothing but a mobile device and their Snapseed app.
There's this "man rule" that every red-blooded male should drive at least one 12-cylinder vehicle before they die. This is one of those jobs where I got to assert that rule with a golden fist. A gold-plated Lamborghini Aventador and a 1965 Shelby Cobra replica with a BMW Alpina suspension and late model Mustang 5.0 engine... both incredible vehicles created by the team over at Prestige Imports and both sets of keys left in my care alone. One of those jobs where you pinch yourself and ask, "how did I get here again?"