specialeffects

How to Shoot a ‘Day vs Night’ Portrait In-Camera

Special effects are a fantastic and fun way to tell compelling stories through images. While they may seem complicated, the truth is, many special effects are easily done in-camera using tools you likely already have. In this video, I’ll be walking through how to create one of our signature portraits, the “Day vs. Night” effect.

How to Create the ‘Ring of Fire’ Effect for a Couples Portrait

You’ve likely already heard of the “Ring of Fire” photography technique. This is a visual trick popularized by famous wedding and portrait photographer, Sam Hurd. The Ring of Fire is created by using a piece of copper tubing to reflect light coming into the camera.

How to Create In-Camera Effects with a Bride’s Wedding Veil

In this video and article, we’ll show you how you can use a bridal veil to create interesting flares and light leaks in-camera. It can be hard to get the right amount of flare in an image, especially when the sun is overpowering the frame. Here is a simple trick we like to use to block just enough sun to get the perfect shot.

These Long-Exposure Seascape Photos Pay Homage to Movies and Comics

To hear photographer Nathan Wirth tell it, the wonder of old movies, TV shows, and comic books was that they were so obviously unrealistic. These old fantasies sparked the creative fire inside Wirth, and it's in homage to these memories that he created the photo series Imaginations.

Recreating the Incredibly Accurate CGI Black Hole in Interstellar with In-Camera Elements

The black hole in the highly-anticipated Christopher Nolan blockbuster Interstellar has already made headlines. Put together with some serious mathematical help from astrophysicist Kip Thorne, it was so accurate he's actually going to get a few academic papers out of it.

It is, however, 100% CGI and as such outside of our purview as photographers... until now. Just a few days away from the movie's debut, Shanks FX and PBS decided to recreate the effect using all in-camera elements they've shown you how to create before.

Some Intriguing Trivia Tidbits on Shooting ‘The Shining’

There is little doubt that auteur Stanley Kubrick looms large as a director able to distinctively bring his films to life through his vision. He has left his mark across the motion picture landscape.

He also happens to be responsible for some very interesting technical results in the realm of photography as well (including owning 3 of the 10 Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 ever made).

Any words I write here about him will pale in comparison to the reams of scholarly works already published. And so, instead, I give you a couple of fascinating pieces of Shining/Kubrick trivia that you can whip out the next time there's a lull in conversation.

How Photography Was Used to Re-Create New York for The Avengers Movie

Here's a short but fascinating glimpse into the world of CGI, and how photography was used to help digitally build New York from the ground up for The Avengers movie. As it turns out, creating a digital world into which you can insert these actors takes, not only an insane amount of CGI and attention to detail, but a whole lot of photos to lay the groundwork.

Awesome Special Effects Fire Tornado Created Using Box Fans and A Metal Tub

We'll preface this by saying that this is very dangerous and if you choose to attempt it you do so at your own risk -- we don't recommend anyone try this at home. That being said, this is also one of the coolest "backyard" special effects we've ever seen, and one that would make for some kick-a photography backgrounds or slow-motion video.

Photos of Terrible Explosions Frozen Serenely in Mid-Air

New Zealand-based photographer Geoffrey H. Short has an ongoing series titled Towards Another (Big Bang) Theory that explores "the relationship between terror and the sublime" with images of large explosions frozen in midair. Short hired film industry special effects technicians to create the "big bangs" using fossil fuel mixed with gunpowder.

Line Up Some DSLRs for Matrix-style Bullet Time Video

Here's an idea: find a bunch of photography-lovin' friends, borrow their DSLR cameras, and shoot your own Matrix-style bullet time videos from home! The above video shows a workshop where they were able to bring together 24 cameras for this awesome purpose.

52 Canon DSLR Cameras Used for Matrix-Style Surfing Shots

Surf wear maker Rip Curl recently teamed up with Timeslice Films for an ambitious project of shooting surfers in "bullet-time", the effect that many people first saw in The Matrix. They used a crazy camera array of 52 Canon 5D Mark II Rebel DSLRs in order to capture the same shot from 52 different angles, stringing them together for the final footage.