“Howdy” From Holland!

Hi gang: Greetings from here in The Netherlands
Got here yesterday and spent the day with my buddy, fashion photographer, lighting wizard, and awesome instructor, Frank Doorhof (that’s a copy of the Czech translation of Frank’s bestselling “Mastering The Model Shoot” I saw displayed when touring Frank’s cool new studios in a town outside Amsterdam).

We went to go shooting yesterday, but by the time I took my “jetlag avoidance nap” the rain had moved in, so we didn’t get any shooting done, but today we’ve got permission for what could potentially be a cool indoor shoot, and if I get anything I’ll post it over on my Facebook page.  (we did visit a town today called Urk that was really just adorable! Wish it hadn’t been chilly, rainy and gray — I can’t imagine how awesome it would be warm, bright and sunny!).

In other news…
We’re planning a free live travel photography Webcast next Thursday evening about my trip to Dubai (along with RC who was leaving Dubai as I was just arriving, and Brad Moore who was along with me on the trip).  We’ll be talking about travel photography, along with shooting tips (including tips on night photography), and post processing stuff, and we’ll be doing some awesome giveaways — a fun night all around and I hope you can join us.

I’ll have all the details here on Monday for you, including a link where you can sign up for the free Webinar.

Well, wish me luck today — hoping to get what could be a pretty cool shot (fingers crossed). Hope you all have a very awesome weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott
Diggin’ the Dutch

The Wonder List: The Dead Sea from Philip Bloom on…



The Wonder List: The Dead Sea from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Montage/ teaser for the episode of “The Wonder List” to air on Sunday at 10pm (Eastern) on CNN in the US and on CNN on demand/ CNN go. International broadcasters to be announced. cnn.com/wonderlist

Filmed/ Edited/ Coloured by me. Graded with James Miller’s DeLuts now available at deluts.com and with filmconvert. 10% off via this link gopb.co/filmconvert

Music by Tony Anderson “Ember” from The Music Bed gopb.co/musicbed

Filmed with the Sony F55 using numerous lenses and the A7s on a Freefly Movi M5 with the Canon 16-35 F4 with a Metabones V4 adaptor.

Tips for Portrait Photography for Shy Models

When looking at a portrait, the first thing we tend to notice is where the subject is looking or what message they are sending through their eyes. This post addresses both photographers and those having their photograph taken. You can use our tips for portrait photography to work with shy models.

Model Tips for Portrait Photography

First of all, it is not uncommon for some people to dread having their photo taken of, especially if it is a portrait. This can either come from insecurities we might be having regarding the way our face looks like, or maybe we consider ourselves totally un-photogenic, when in reality, it might only be about not knowing a few basic tricks.

Referring to portraits, people sometimes tend to look away from the camera, creating the illusion of depth, melancholy or distance. Stop. What you need to know is that looking away from the camera leads to a not so powerful photo, it shows insecurity from both the photographer and the poser, and gives an overall clumsy and unprofessional touch.

Portrait Photography tips

Eyes are the gateway to the soul. So, when you look straight into the camera, you let the viewer see a fraction of your soul. For this to happen, you should learn how to overcome your insecurities by following these simple steps.

  • #1 If you have time to prepare before your shoot, remember that light is the key to taking good photographs. Although natural light is best, there are plenty of ways you could enhance your features using artificial means, such as makeup. It does not matter what gender you are, you still need your face illuminated, corners shadowed and eyes enhanced.
  • #2 Avoid looking straight into the camera, because that pose is really hard to pull off when you are not so confident. Look
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Portrait Photography tips for shy models
    Continue reading "Tips for Portrait Photography for Shy Models"

Manfrotto launches miniature Lumie LED lights

Accessories manufacturer Manfrotto has announced a new series of consumer LED lights that offer portable continuous output for stills and video photographers. The Lumie Art, Play and Muse lights are powered by a USB rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that is said to deliver over an hour’s worth of continuous lighting. While the Art and Play models come with a hotshoe adapter and a tripod mount, the Muse additionally has a ball and socket head that makes angling the light easy. Read more

Need a Place to Write in LA? The Free 6-Month Fellowship from theOffice is Back

If you're a new writer in Los Angeles, and the local coffeehouse just isn't working for you anymore, you should apply for the 6-month free fellowship from theOffice.

What do you get with a 6-month fellowship to theOffice? You get free, premium 24/7* access from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 to a quiet space with 25 workstations ranging from single desks with ergonomic Aeron chairs to sofa chairs with writing tablets, all with their own power outlets. You also get free wi-fi, complimentary coffee and tea, access to Bose noise-cancelling headphones -- oh yeah, and parking (*theOffice is closed to all members Mondays 6pm to 11pm, Saturdays 8am to 10am, and Sundays 8am to 10:30am due to outside rentals, so almost 24/7).

This means if your most productive writing time is between 2am to 5am on Wednesdays, theOffice has a place for you to write with this fellowship.

The deadline to submit for the fellowship is April 15, 2015 (so be sure to do this along with your taxes). Here's what theOffice says they need in a submission:

Read More

Are the Days of "Studio Strobes" for Amateurs Done?

The recent demise of Paul Buff has made me wonder...who's using high-powered flash any more, I mean outside of the professional world?

The reason to use flash as opposed to the "hot lights" common throughout the 1920s, '30s and '40s were many. They were more efficient with electricity, they didn't overload location electrical circuits, and they weren't hot—models and portrait subjects didn't have to swelter and sweat under the pitiless intensity.

For this, their one big drawback—which is that they didn't allow you to directly see the light you were shooting with—seemed an okay tradeoff. Enter Polaroid, and pros had a system that worked. Big pack-and-head systems sync'd to fire with the shutter could be "tested" and perfected with Polaroid before film was exposed.

Nowadays, most amateurs, for most work, would be better served with a continuous-light source. The antecedents actually go back to the early days of artificial-light photography before flash sync. [See an illustration here of a "typical studio set up, with the large 'hot lights' and cumbersome sheet film camera." The model is Lana Turner.] Digital, with spotless performance up to ISO 800 and beyond, means lighting doesn't have to be so powerful; and LEDs mean that continuous lighting doesn't have to be costly to operate, or blow fuses.

Plus, with continuous light you can shoot video...which you can't with a flash.

As a longtime available light shooter I'm no expert, but doesn't something like a modest DotLine CooLED do everything an Alien Bee can, plus allow you to see directly what your light looks like and shoot video if you want to?

And you don't have to worry about syncing it.

As I used to say*, I'm just sayin'.

Mike

*But don't any more. I gave that up.

Original contents copyright

Continue reading "Are the Days of "Studio Strobes" for Amateurs Done?"

Paul C. Buff 1936-2015

Paul "Buggy" Buff, of Nashville, Tennessee, passed away on March 14th at his farm in Alabama, at the age of 78. A friend of Frank Zappa's who ran a West Coast recording studio in the 1960s and one of the last of the inventor/entrepreneurs, he is best known to photographers as the folksy founder and owner of the photographic lighting company which bears his name. He manufactured and marketed several lines of studio monoblock flash units that were innovative and powerful but always bargain-priced, such as the "Alien Bees" line.

Studio "strobes" as they were traditionally called have became less important to many photographers as ISOs skyrocketed in the digital age and on-camera flashes became more powerful and controllable and began to double as off-camera flashes as well (the concept behind the well-known enthusiast website Strobist.) Monoblocks (as opposed to pack-and-head systems which separate the electronics from the flash head) remain a flexible and simple-to-operate option, portable and versatile as well as fun to experiment with.

The company will continue in business.

Mike

Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.

TOP's links!

(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:

Michael Tapes: "Paul Buff was one of those genius people that grace the world. He made tremendous impact in the world of professional audio as well as photographic lighting. I only knew him casually, but used his products, both as a youth in the recording studio (he designed the first noise gate which was called Kepex), as well as in my photographic exploits (he broke apart the studio lighting price/performance world with his White Lighting

Continue reading "Paul C. Buff 1936-2015"

Island life: Samsung NX500 Shooting Experience

The Samsung NX500 takes some of the best bits of the NX1, including the same 28MP APS-C format sensor and still imaging pipeline, and wraps them up in a smaller, less expensive body. We recently had the opportunity to shoot with an NX500 on the beautiful island of Hawaii. We've already published a couple of samples galleries, but click through to read about how we got on with Samsung's newest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera

The Wonder List: The Dead Sea from Philip Bloom on…



The Wonder List: The Dead Sea from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Montage/ teaser for the episode of “The Wonder List” to air on Sunday at 10pm (Eastern) on CNN in the US and on CNN on demand/ CNN go. International broadcasters to be announced.

Filmed/ Edited/ Coloured by me. Graded with James Miller’s DeLuts now available at deluts.com and with filmconvert. 10% off via this link gopb.co/filmconvert

Music by Tony Anderson “Ember” from The Music Bed gopb.co/musicbed

Filmed with the Sony F55 using numerous lenses and the A7s on a Freefly Movi M5 with the Canon 16-35 F4 with a Metabones V4 adaptor.

New Member Shout Outs: March Edition

We love seeing new PhotoShelter members get their amazing work up and on display quickly with our mobile-friendly, HTML5 portfolio websites. That’s why every month we hand pick a few of the newest members that caught our eye with their professional work and unique site design. This month we’ve discovered a landscape photographer using the Element template to display his beautiful work in a simple, clutter free way, as well as a commercial and travel photographer both using different templates that suit their work.

Ray Palmer

ray-palmerV2

  • Name/Site: Ray Palmer
  • PhotoShelter template: Element
  • Member since: Feb. 17, 2015
  • Location: Glenville, NY
  • Specialty and background: With no formal training, Ray’s been shooting for 15 years, gaining expertise on his own terms.  His work appears in calendars, fine art shows, and the occasional publication.

McCory James

McCory James' Element Homepage

McCory James’ Element Homepage

  • Name/Site: McCory James
  • PhotoShelter template: Element
  • Member since: Feb. 19, 2015
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Specialty and background: McCory specializes in both architectural and travel photography. With 15 years under his belt, his client list is impressive – spanning from Microsoft and Home Depot to various real estate agencies.

Velar Grant

Valer Grant's Marquee Homepage

Valer Grant’s Marquee Homepage

  • Name/Site: Velar Grant
  • PhotoShelter template: Marquee
  • Member since: Feb. 24th
  • Location: London, England
  • Specialty and background: A licensed member of National Union of Journalists in UK, Velar works as a freelance photojournalist for multiple agencies including Zuma Press, Alamy, Corbis and contributes to Getty Images. Her client list includes The Guardian, The Telegraph, Independent, Le Matin, and more. In 2011 Velar was awarded Picture of The Year II Prize in Human Rights Observer in Germany – and she is currently working on a few personal projects, including Orthodox pilgrims in Poland and migrant communities in France.

Feature image by Velar Grant

Video: Copyright & Your Rights – Straight Talk on the Facts vs the Fiction

This week talked to photographer Jack Reznicki and IP attorney Ed Greenberg, who have been favorites in the industry for their no-bull, get-straight-to-the-facts approach to explaining and making sense of the confusing world of legal jargon and copyright technicalities. Together they’ve written the Photographer’s Survival Manual, and their newest release, the second edition of The Copyright Zone, is an essential for every working photographer. Through real world case studies, personal asides, and their clear, plain English speaking style, they’ve gained a following of photographers who have benefited from their sound advice over the years.

In this webinar, PhotoShelter’s co-founder Allen Murabayashi chatted with Jack and Ed to debunk many of the myths about copyright that have spread among the creative community throughout the years. They’ll present the facts, plain and simple. Tune in to get easy-to-digest advice on what you need to know to survive and thrive as a photographer in today’s digital world.

This free 1 hr webinar covers:

  • What is copyright and why do you care?
  • Why registration is critical
  • What to do and not to do when you’re infringed
  • Copyright Myths and Facts
  • Poor excuses we hear from infringers and their lawyers
  • Head fakes – What excuses lawyers use when their clients infringe
  • Things to consider when hiring a lawyer

Canon Just Showed Off a New 4K Video Camera

Canon 4K Video Camera with Fixed Lens
Canon may be a little behind on the 4K front, but apparently they've got some interesting high-res stuff coming at NAB.

One of these high-res cameras could be a more consumer-oriented 4K model with a fixed lens. Photo Rumors recently had a reader send them a few photos from an event in China where Canon was showing off this interesting camera.

Read More

The Art of the Personal Project: Agnes Lopez

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Agnes Lopez

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0001

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0002

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0003

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0004

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0005

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0006

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0007

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0008

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0009

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0010

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0011

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0012

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0013

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0014

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0015

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0016

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0017

Agnes-Lopez-Photo-Grape-Grain-Exchange-0018

Full disclosure Agnes is a client of mine.

How long have you been shooting?
Professionally since 2003. Many years before that, my brother-in-law bought a Minolta Maxxum 9000 for me from a pawn shop as a gift because he knew I was interested in photography.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self-taught. I got my start as a stylist for commercial photographers, so I picked up a lot on set. I would watch the photographers closely to see how they worked and then go off and practice on my own with local models, taking my film to Walgreens to get developed and scanned. I also took some classes at the local community college, where I learned how to use a darkroom and print my work. Cutting my teeth shooting film still influences the way I shoot today. I tend to be very calculating and specific when I finally hit the shutter.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
In the past three years I’ve made a move into photographing food and food lifestyle images, though mostly for editorial, so I wanted to prove to myself that I could produce a full concept from start to finish.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I shot the project early last year and presented it about a month after the last day of shooting.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
When I plan a project, I spend a day or two scouting and a few days laying out my vision. I’ll break down the day into a detailed schedule so I can get the absolute most out of my time.

On the day of, I just try to feel it out. I shoot a few frames and don’t try to force it. Since it’s personal work, I give myself the freedom to move onto the next shot if a particular setup isn’t working.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Shooting personal work is more about the process for me. What I ultimately get from the shoot doesn’t have to be a set of portfolio images; I want to learn and grow from something outside of what I do every day.

In my day job shooting for a monthly magazine, I’m usually given a short amount of time and specific parameters for the images I’m producing. With personal work, I’m able to take as long as I need and can experiment with different lighting setups and compositions. The hope is always to bring what I do with my personal projects into the other work I do.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Occasionally. I will be posting more of it this year after I finish the project I’m working on now.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet, but I plan to do more of it and keep putting it out there for people to see.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Some of the images from this shoot are in my current portfolio, which is primarily my food work.

Artist’s Statement

I had this idea to focus on cocktails and how bartenders make them. I pitched my idea to a package store in my area, the Grape and Grain Exchange, which sells small batch liquors and has a bar up front where they offer really unique drinks.

The bartenders are serious about what they do but they’re also funny guys. My goal was to show the bartenders in their element and how their personalities go into the drinks they make.

————–

Agnes is an editorial and food lifestyle photographer with a home base in the historic Riverside-Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida and is available for assignments worldwide.

From documenting the effort that goes into preparing a pop-up dining event or photographing the fine cuisine of a AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant, Agnes traverses the Southeastern US and beyond with her camera in search of inspiration and exceptional meals.

Her work can be seen regularly in the pages of Jacksonville Magazine and its other publications, Taste, Home, and 904 Magazine.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Blending Fiction and Doc in the Undercover Casino Production of ‘Las Vegas Story’

Does the progress towards cameras being smaller and less conspicuous give narrative films more freedom to get closer to reality?

After befriending Christina Bocanegra at a nightclub in Las Vegas years ago, Byron Q created a script with a lead based on her experiences as an escort in the underbelly of the city. Instead of finding an actress to play the role and stage the Vegas Strip setting, Byron decided to cast Christina and film in secret throughout the casinos of Las Vegas. No Film School sat down with Byron to get an inside scoop on filming undercover in the hybrid fiction-reality film, Las Vegas Story.

NFS: Why did you decide to work with Christina Bocanegra and have her play a version of herself in a fiction film?

Read More

Blending Fiction and Doc in the Undercover Casino Production of ‘Las Vegas Story’

Does the progress towards cameras being smaller and less conspicuous give narrative films more freedom to get closer to reality?

After befriending Christina Bocanegra at a nightclub in Las Vegas years ago, Byron Q created a script with a lead based on her experiences as an escort in the underbelly of the city. Instead of finding an actress to play the role and stage the Vegas Strip setting, Byron decided to cast Christina and film in secret throughout the casinos of Las Vegas. No Film School sat down with Byron to get an inside scoop on filming undercover in the hybrid fiction-reality film, Las Vegas Story.

NFS: Why did you decide to work with Christina Bocanegra and have her play a version of herself in a fiction film?

Read More