If you’ve never shot with a large format camera before, you might find this video illuminating. In it, photographer Simon Roberts walks us through the process of making prints using a 4×5 plate camera, from setting the camera up to watching the giant prints roll out of the machine.
Because it’s quite a slow process, you think much more about the composition…you take a lot more care and thought in crafting the image.
In this video, commercial photographer Jay P. Morgan walks through how he went about shooting a composite sports photograph of Mexican soccer player Rafael Márquez.
We were going to shoot several shots that would need to freeze him in mid air as he kicked the ball. We had limited time with him so it was necessary that things were planed out and ready to go when he arrived. We took two Hensel speed max heads that have the fastest flash duration of any mono block head available. The goal was to use them as our key lights and freeze his action in mid air. We shot background plates the day before at the ruins outside of Mexico City for him to be retouched into. The idea being famous soccer players in action shots at different iconic sites of Mexico. [#]
Here begins the process of lining up your children and, ummmm, figuring out which ones you love more than the others. This begins the painful process. It’s painful to not only choose but if you are a true creative this is the part where your self doubt, anxiety, and loathing start to show up. You come back to your BIG edit and it all sucks.
The images that you want to shoot are not in this folder. They are still out in the world waiting for you to capture them. As you start to go through 1,000+ of your “best” images they all begin to suck. You want to trash them all and just go shoot a new book. Well sorry Charlie, you can’t do that. You can’t go shoot a new book. Those elusive images are just that… elusive. You have to harden yourself during this process and realize that you are building a body of work with what you have to work with. If you ever say “I’ll just do this when my work is ready” then you will never do it. That kept me from this process for a long time. Kick the demons out of your head and get to work.
Arias recommends that you should go through this process at least twice a year, as it will show you holes in your body of work that you can then go out and fill.
Photographer duo Joachim Guanzon and Marden Blake (AKA aesonica) created this short behind-the-scenes video showing how they recently shot and Photoshopped an Audi A4 photo for a print advertisement. You can read a longer how-to over on the aesonica website:
The goal is to make it look as if you had 20+ lights, grids, flags and reflectors to shoot your project. There is nothing better than hearing someone ask how many lights were needed to create your shot and revealing that you used only one. The trick is by doing something that could realistically be done with enough equipment and lighting skill, with only one light.
On the other hand, if you get too carried away, there is nothing worse than someone asking if you used Photomatix to compile your HDR garbage shot followed by “My 13 year-old has that program too!”
Photo enthusiast Robert Simpson created this informative behind-the-scenes video detailing how he created a composite photograph showing tiny children running along a bookshelf. Although a ton of planning and preparation went into the shot, everything was done at home on a small budget rather than in a fancy studio. This may inspire you to dream a little bigger using your current resources.
Here’s an illuminating (pun intended) video walkthrough by photographer Eric Curry, showing how he went about creating a photo of a B-25 bomber. His technique for lighting the plane is similar to the real estate photography walkthrough that we featured last weekend, and involves lighting the scene a bazillion times from different angles, and then combining the different parts of the photo in Photoshop.
As he says in the video, it’s a useful technique that can be done by “anyone with a digital camera and a tremendous amount of patience.”
Here’s an educational time-lapse tutorial by Los Angeles-based architectural photographer Mike Kelley in which he walks through how he goes about photographing buildings. His technique might be described “manual HDR” — after shooting the building over a longish period of time to capture different lightings, he then enters the scene and lights different areas of the building using two Canon 430EX Speedlites. Afterward, he loads the stills into Photoshop and selects different portions of the scene from different photos depending on the lighting he wants. The finished composite photo ends up looking as if it were lit by a large number of Speedlites.
Want to adorn a wall with a giant print using your own photography? Here’s a great video in which photographer Lee Morris shares how he shot, printed, and framed a massive 5-foot-wide panoramic print for less than $150 — super cheap compared to the $1,000+ you might pay to have it professionally done. After shooting multiple photos on a bridge in Rome, he merged the images using Photoshop, had a metallic print made by Bay Photo Labs, and then framed it using a large mirror he found at Bed Bath and Beyond. The final result is quite impressive!
Disclosure: Bay Photo Labs is a sponsor of PetaPixel