The Coolest Stuff of 2013

The Coolest Stuff of 2013

Every week we curate the coolest recent video tutorials, time lapses, tips, and behind-the-scenes shoots. As the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites of 2013. There is a little something for everyone in this list of 10. We hope these videos teach you new tricks, inspire you to take on interesting projects, and help you meet greater personal goals in 2014.

This video is meditative, showing Luis Oliveira Santos’ exacting process of palladium printing. Modernity and tradition collide when he tries printing the Leica Monochrom’s digital files in a way typically only suited for medium and large format film. The results are beautiful:

Lee Varis knows what to retouch and when to back off in his demonstration of the Frequency Separation approach to skin editing. Learn to touch up “flaws” without losing texture – it will preserve the character of your portraits:

The narration is stuffy but the teaching approach is anything but. If you’re green to shooting video and have no idea how to approach recording sound, this video from Lights Film School will demystify capturing sound on a single, internal system like a DSLR:

Get psyched for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics with this incredible video compilation of Rio in 4 and 10K. Best viewed in HD, full screen, scaling off – can you handle the awesome power? Worth a gander, either way – Rio never looked more artistically frenetic:

2013 was the year of the quadcopter and expanding the limits of aerial footage for consumers. The DJI Phantom Quadcopter made a splash at NAB this year. Take a trip with one over NYC:

This video is on the longer side but worth it. Sit back and enjoy a little history lesson on Aspect Ratios – John Hess makes it much more fascinating than it sounds. Find out how screen shapes have evolved over time and why we have settled on the ratios we use today in modern cameras:

2013 marked the 80th anniversary of Nikon’s lens production. Whether or not you’re in the Nikon camp, the achievement is admirable and this celebratory video showing how lenses are made is fascinating and moving for any gear lover:

This video is very “master of the obvious” but, well, none of us thought of it! See how Chase Jarvis and team put simple climbing rope to good use. Relatedly, see how a rubber band can change the quality of your shot:

This underwater fairytale setting is a delight to see get assembled and a great example of just how cool it is to get to shoot with the Hasselblad H5D, which was finally made available this year:

This array of captivating landscape scenes were captured, in part, using Magic Lantern Raw on a 5D Mark III and demonstrates the power that video module unlocks. The messaging of this video is also very nice and inspired by the writer’s daughter:

Special thanks to Sohail, who tirelessly searches for new and interesting videos to post every week in his ongoing Cool Stuff series.


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Alexandria Huff is a portrait photographer based in San Francisco. Her tutorials can be found here on the BorrowLenses Blog, 500px, Shutterfly, Snapknot, and SmugMug. She specializes in studio lighting. Follow her work on 500px.

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