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Cool Stuff – Week of July 14, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Photo Finds – June 11, 2012: Zack Arias

Photographers
Zack Arias

Zack Arias

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week’s Photo Finds is a very specific one. We’re not just going to talk about a specific photographer; we’re going to talk about a specific photographer shooting a specific genre.

A lot of you have already heard of photographer and teacher Zack Arias before. We’ve certainly mentioned him on our blog repeatedly, and his lighting workshop on creativeLIVE ranks as one of our top lighting resources to date. He’s also easily one of the most eloquent and honest photographers I know of.

That same honesty and eloquence has, of late, manifested itself in a style of photography that’s pretty different from the portraiture that brought Zack his initial acclaim. Yet, despite its difference, there’s something uniquely Zack about it, and that’s why I’m talking about it today. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of June 9, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • We start this week by talking about one of our favorite photographers, Zack Arias. Zack was just named one of the top 50 street photographers  around today by Complex magazine. His response is – as are most things Zack writes – engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking.
  • Speaking of great photographers, Steve McCurry, the man who captured what is perhaps National Geographic’s most iconic cover, has posted an outstanding gallery of monsoon images.
  • NASA seems to have a knack for releasing jaw-dropping imagery that smacks us upside the head when they do. Here’s some star trails, taken from the International Space Station.

    Star trails, captured from the ISS

    Star trails, captured from the ISS

  • The folks at PetaPixel have a great piece with some very practical advice for photographers. Yeah, we know, there’s lots of these types of articles around, but this was was actually pretty good.
  • iPhone users, rejoice! You already knew the iPhone 3GS could be a usable camera in a fashion shoot (albeit with lots of studio lighting, etc), thanks to Patrick and Lee over at FStoppers. Now, the always amazing Nick Fancher follows it up with a more minimalist answer to the original FStoppers video, this time with an iPhone 4S.
  • And speaking of great videos, this one showing the ridiculously fantastic Dan Winters photographing Jack Nicklaus for the cover of Golf Digest is definitely worth your time.
  • Street fashion photography Scott Schuman – better known to some as The Sartorialist – has a particular affinity for capturing great fashion on the streets of some of the world’s most glamorous cities. Here he is in Madrid, shooting for Loewe.
  • We leave you this week with, well, we’ve run out of superlatives, so just watch this video about the creative film Marmalade…

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Monday Photo Finds, March 12, 2012

Photographers

Welcome to Monday Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week on Photo Finds, it’s all about Dubai – more specifically, about the Gulf Photo Pro expo in Dubai, where some of the industry’s biggest names congregate for a week of education, networking, and fun in what is quickly being referred to as the “City of Gold.”

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

The Shootout

Each year, GPP ends with a photo shootout between three photographers. Three photographers have 20 minutes to come up with an idea for a shot, then shoot it and process it into a final image. The photo is based on a subject provided by the conference organizers.

David Hobby, of Strobist fame, has been a regular at these shootouts, and photographers Joey L and Zack Arias have also been past shootout participants. Last year, one of the titans of the industry, Gregory Heisler, went from being the official heckler in the audience, to doing an impromptu shoot. This year, he participated in the shootout as one of the three photographers. David Hobby and Martin Prihoda completed the triumvirate. (more…)

Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

Tips & Tricks

Every week, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

This week, we bring out our favorite lighting videos. Whether it’s about small flashes or studio strobes, lighting is something we get an awful lot of questions about. So, we decided to put together a short list of our favorite lighting-related video tutorials to help you get going. These are paid videos, but are worth every penny, since the instructors are some of the best in the business.

  1. Joe McNally’s “Language of Light”: Joe is easily one of the best lighting instructors in the world, and his “Language of Light” DVD set is pure genius. Whether it’s shooting a family portrait, or hanging off the back of a truck to capture speeding downhill skaters, Joe does it all and does it incredibly well. He’s funny, engaging and eloquent, and while he doesn’t make it look easy, he does help you understand his methods and techniques, letting you learn a lot in the process.
  2. David Hobby’s “Lighting in Layers”: David Hobby became famous for starting what is now considered to be the bible of small flash photography websites. Strobist.com has become the go-to site for folks looking to learn about lighting with small flash, and to his credit, David pretty-much gives away a ton of information for free there. His “Lighting in Layers” DVD, however, ratchets things up to a whole new level. Six full shoots span nine hours of video, replete with lighting diagrams, commentary and on-the-job demos. For lighting enthusiasts and aficionados, this is definitely worth checking out.
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  3. Scott Kelby’s “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it!”: This one requires a subscription to KelbyTraining.com, but is totally worth it. Scott takes you through a complete shoot, from lighting setup, to shooting, to the retouching process. Throughout the entire tutorial – which is actually broken into three parts – he describes all the gear, software and techniques he uses in great detail, leaving few, if any, questions in the minds of the audience. Scott’s class got so popular, it spawned a book and a nationwide teaching tour of the same name.  If you don’t have a subscription to KelbyTraining, they do have a free trial so you can check out the class during that. Get the subscription, however, because it also gets you access to another video on this list.
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  4. Zack Arias teaching studio lighting at creativeLIVE.com

    Zack Arias teaching studio lighting at creativeLIVE.com

    Zack Arias’ “Studio Lighting.”: This is easily THE go-to course if you’re just starting out and want an immersive, extensive course. Shot over three days, this workshop form creativeLIVE is absolutely stunning in the amount of instruction it provides. From learning how to setup a shoot to why you start with, say, a soft box to what that does versus an umbrella or a beauty dish, to measuring exposure, this workshop has it all.

    Zack is a fantastic instructor; he’s humble, self-deprecating and brutally honest. This is a guy who’s not afraid to let his mistakes be a teaching tool, and you’ll see that in this video workshop. Moreover, he doesn’t assume you know something about lighting already, so he explains things very thoroughly. Even experienced folks will get something out of this workshop, so don’t pass it up.
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  5. Syl Arena’s “Working with Speedlites”: This two-part course, also available from KelbyTraining.com (the same place you can find Scott Kelby’s class, mentioned above) is a nod to the Canonistas out there. Since David Hobby and Joe McNally are Nikon users, their classes invariably involve heavy use of Nikon cameras and flashes. Syl’s class, on the other hand, is all about Canon flash photography.What’s really cool about this class is that it does what your Canon flash’s manual should have done, but didn’t. Syl breaks down Speedlites and explains everything in detail – but he doesn’t stop there. There’s plenty of technical information to give you lots of “Aha!” moments, but then he shows you just how to use those flashes in actual shooting situations. The class is broken into two parts, one for working with single Speedlites, and the other for working with multiple Speedlites. If you’re a Canon shooter and want to get into the world of small flash photography, this is your go-to class.

So that’s the list of our favorite lighting videos. Got a recommendation of your own? Leave us a comment, and let us know!