Studio Portraits of the World’s Most Extravagant and Endangered Species

Studio Portraits of the World's Most Extravagant and Endangered Species

A photographer from London is traveling the globe shooting studio portraits of unusual birds and showcasing their individual personalities. Most of his feathered subjects are endangered due to human activity.

Tim Flach is an animal photographer who has an interest in, in his own words, “the way humans shape animals and shape their meaning while exploring the role of imagery in fostering an emotional connection.”

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Photographer Holds Professional Photoshoot for Eight-Year-Old Girl Turned Away From School Photos

Photographer Holds Professional Photoshoot for Eight-Year-Old Girl Turned Away From School Photos

A Chicago-based photographer drove to Michigan to treat an eight-year-old girl to a professional photoshoot after she was “devastated” at being turned away from her school’s picture day for having red hair extensions that violated school policy.

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BIRTV 2019 Report

Jacques Lipkau-Goyard’s annual report on BIRTV in Beijing. This year was the 28th running of BIRTV—China’s most prestigious exhibition for film and television. Jacques also interviews filmmaker and cinema icon Mr. Percy Fung Tze-Cheong. They discuss the current state of cinema production in China and where they think it is heading. read more…

Sony Overtakes Nikon to Become Number Two Camera Company Behind Canon

Sony Overtakes Nikon to Become Number Two Camera Company Behind Canon

Sony has been aggressively coming after the camera market for several years now, and it seems their efforts are paying off, as they have now overtaken Nikon for the second position behind Canon.

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The Usefulness of Lightroom’s Secondary Display

The Usefulness of Lightroom's Secondary Display

Buried deep inside Lightroom’s menu is a highly useful feature: the secondary display function. This can make your workflow both far easier and much more efficient. This great video dives into the secondary display feature to show you how it can be of use to your post-processing workflow.

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Royal Photographer Reveals the Story of How He Was Booked, Timeframe He Had to Shoot Wedding Portraits

Royal Photographer Reveals the Story of How He Was Booked, Timeframe He Had to Shoot Wedding Portraits

The photographer who shot the official wedding and engagement portrait of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has spoken of the story of how he booked the job. He reveals that Kensington Palace phoned him “out of the blue” and that he had just three minutes to take the official wedding portraits.

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A Review of the Sony a7R IV Based on What Matters to Landscape and Travel Photographers

A Review of the Sony a7R IV Based on What Matters to Landscape and Travel Photographers

Two months since its release, the Sony a7R IV has been getting quite a wonderful acceptance from photographers across all fields of photography, and that’s no surprise. For this review, let’s take a look at how the camera performs based on the needs of a landscape and travel photographer.

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Mature Beauty: Photographer Celebrates the Beauty and Strength of Women Over 50

Mature Beauty: Photographer Celebrates the Beauty and Strength of Women Over 50

Over the last two years, photographer Pedro Oliveira has worked on a photo essay celebrating an underappreciated demographic, and the results are timeless.

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DGA Awards 2019 Theatrical Feature Film Nomination Voting Opens

Voting for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) 72nd Annual Awards nominations in the Theatrical Feature Film category will be open December 2 – January 6, 2020. The nominations will then be announced on December 7th. The DGA awards are held to honor directors for their directorial achievements in the previous year. The awards dinner will take […]

The post DGA Awards 2019 Theatrical Feature Film Nomination Voting Opens appeared first on Below the Line.

Shooting a Conceptual Photo Series About the Life of an Artist

This is a photo series about the life of an artist and struggles that might come along with it. I got a project grant from NFFF (Nordic Society of Photography) for this project in early 2019.

I gathered ideas during 2019 and now I have been working with this set for a while. The series is now ready, and here is a bit longer story about it. These photos will be part of the photo exhibition in my hometown of Lieksa, Finland, in May 2020.

I wanted to make a series of images from the artist’s viewpoint. The egg was chosen to represent the artist because it’s a small and fragile thing. It’s also a minimalistic form that is still familiar to all of the people. I usually like to keep my photos quite simple/minimalistic so this worked well for that.

Model Building

To make this series I had to learn to build miniature sets. I decided to use XPS foam that I was familiar with through YouTube videos (e.g. the Black Magic Craft channel). I bought styrofoam eggs. The height of the egg is 12cm, so I was aiming for roughly 1:10 scale, but mostly I did just what looked good.

Other stuff like walls, seesaw, and such were built from scratch from XPS boards (50x600x2500mm) that are meant for house insulation. I decided to use the foam because it’s cheap, easy to cut, sand and paint. I used a hot wire cutter to cut smaller parts of the foam. This is a quick and easy way to get different forms and blocks.

“Hot wire cutter”

The foam is also easy to texture to make it look like different materials. A stone look can be easily achieved by rolling it with an aluminum foil ball or wood by brushing it with a steel brush. Lines can be easily carved by using simply a pencil. It glues well with hot glue so making objects is quick. The only downside for the hot glue is stringing that is annoying from time to time. For bigger objects like the cube, I used polyurethane glue.

For painting, I used acrylic paints. For primer (first layer) I mixed in some PVA glue and acrylate lacquer to give it a bit harder surface. I then painted them with base color and used washes and dry brushing to give them a more rustic look. Overall I think the objects look quite good in photos and these techniques were not overly complicated to learn. I think I will be using these techniques in the future for building backgrounds for live models in photoshop composites or even on the live scale.

“Working with XPS foam”

All the signs were drawn in Inkscape and just printed with the inkjet printer. The painting in the “Pillars of Success” is Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. It’s from Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. They kindly provide lots of photos from old paintings in public domain that can be used eg. as part of your art­works.

“Other props”

Setup

Lighting the smaller set was a bit different than for humans. Mostly I used the Fresnel lens modifier to get a theatrical type of light/smaller beam for the set. All photos were taken in my home studio (yes I know I have serious GAS) which happens to be also our living room. It’s a bit tight even with a smaller setup like this but it works for me. When I needed a bigger preview I used the ControlMyCamera iPad app. I think it works better than the Nikon’s own SnapBridge and with the latest Nikon firmware update, it connects through Wi-Fi without any extra hardware.

“Lighting setup front”
“Lighting setup above”

Editing

Editing was quite straight forward. I usually do quite a lot of work in Photoshop but this time the images were quite ready. The biggest modification for the images was the use of textures to get a painterly feel­ing. I usually use my textures either photographed somewhere or hand made. For this, I used coffee stained paper and hand-painted backgrounds. After that, there were just dodging & burning and color grading that I do all of my images.

Presentation

For the exhibition, these images will be framed in A4 sized frames. I want to keep images relatively small since I think it works for this theme well. The plan is to have a frame that has some height so the images sit deeper inside the frame. All images will also have title and description text in the frame in the dictio­nary kind of way to open and tell more about the image.

The Photos

The fear of starting a new and intimidating project can sometimes be overwhelming especially without guidance or proper knowledge.
Theseus used red thread as a guide to get out of the labyrinth of Minotaur. It means a leading thought in a story.
Don’t be afraid of failures. Failures are the stepping stones to success.
A state where your creativity is lost and can be sometimes really hard to find.
Perfect is the enemy of good. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Often creatives are expected to work for free
Don’t let the likes and comment control how you do your art
Sometimes it feels that you are just nothing and everybody else is better…
Don’t mind what others say. It’s your art.
Keep on creating!

About the author: Petri Damstén is a fine art photographer based in Kuopio, Finland. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. His photos have won awards both in Finland and internationally. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (November 2019): Juhamatti Vahdersalo

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (November 2019): Juhamatti Vahdersalo

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2019, we’re featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

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Sony Now #2 in Digital Camera Sales as Nikon Falls to #3

There’s a changing of the guard at the top of the camera market. Sony has reportedly become the #2 brand in overall digital camera sales behind Canon, dropping Nikon to #3.

Nikkei reports that Nikon is projected to have been overtaken by Sony in digital camera sales in the current fiscal year as Nikon gears up to report its first loss in its core Imaging Products business.

Chart by Nikkei.

Sony had announced in 2018 that it is aiming to become the top camera brand in the world by 2021. It took a big step toward that goal earlier this year when it became the #2 brand in interchangeable-lens camera revenue, and it seems that Sony’s steady march has continued since then.

BCN Ranking reports that Sony’s system camera sales have continued to grow while Canon and Nikon are seeing year-over-year declines:

Chart by BCN Ranking. Translation by sonyalpharumors.

Sony is now also sitting at #1 in full-frame system cameras, having taken the lead from Canon over the past couple of years:

Chart by BCN Ranking. Translation by sonyalpharumors.

Nikon gave a glimpse of its current struggles in its recent financial report, revising its estimated Imaging revenue downward and stating that it would generate a loss instead of the profit that was previously forecast.

One of the biggest blunders by Nikon, both according to outside analysts and Nikon’s own financial results, was entering the full-frame mirrorless camera race too late. By the time the Z6 and Z7 were unveiled in August 2018, Sony already had a dominant stable of cameras and lenses drawing rave reviews from photographers.

Nikon is now undergoing a major restructuring effort with the goal of “[generating] enough profits to justify [Imaging Products’] existence as a business unit.”

(via Digicame-info and sonyalpharumors)

How to Convert a Film Negative to a Digital File Without Using a Scanner

How to Convert a Film Negative to a Digital File Without Using a Scanner

Getting film developed is expensive, and depending on where you send it, it can take more than a few days. If you find yourself with some old negative film strips and you’re wondering how they would look today, check out this fun tutorial for developing them in Photoshop.

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Rare and Unusual Birds Photographed Like Humans

British photographer Tim Flach has spent years scouring the globe for the world’s most striking and endangered birds, shooting highly-controlled portraits of them.

Some of the photos are shot in a studio while others are shot in the birds’ natural environment. Some of the birds are critically endangered while others are more plentiful on Earth, but all are unusually beautiful.

Red Splash Jacobin Pigeon
Crested Miniature Duck
Vultrurine Guineafowl
Philippine Eagle
Gouldian Finch
Himalayan Monal
King Vulture
Shoebill
Victoria Crowned Pigeon
Grey Crowned Crane
Silver-Laced Rooster

Several of the portraits seen here are part of Flach’s 2017 photo book titled Endangered, which documents animal species on the edge of extinction. Others will be featured in an upcoming book of his about birds.

You can find more of Flach’s work on his website and Instagram.

(via Tim Flach via Colossal)


Image credits: Photographs by Tim Flach and used with permission

Bride Plans Exclusive First Look for Down Syndrome Brother

Bride Plans Exclusive First Look for Down Syndrome Brother

First looks on wedding days have always been a magical thing. Usually, they are reserved for the father of the bride or the groom. One bride decided she wanted one for her brother, and the results were beautiful.

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Everything Fstoppers Knows About Shooting and Editing Video

Everything Fstoppers Knows About Shooting and Editing Video

The idea for Fstoppers originated when Lee Morris and Patrick Hall began creating behind the scenes video content about photography. After nine years of experience, they put everything they learned into one tutorial on how to shoot and edit video. For a limited time, “Introduction to Video” is $50 off when you use code BF2019 at checkout.

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