Archive for July, 2011

Niagara Falls – Videotaped By Wedding Videography Photography GTA NYC

27 Jul

Niagara Falls. Forever Video, Tel: 416-519-8433, 647-500-0898, provides experienced wedding videographers and photographers for weddings, slideshow, sweet sixteen birthday parties, bar / bat mitzvah, baptisms, anniversaries, commercial, corporate conferences, and all…


Olympus launches VF-3 and announces E-PL3 US pricing

27 Jul

Olympus has announced US pricing and availability for the PEN Lite E-PL3. The E-PL3 will be available from September at a suggested retail price of $ 699.99. As previously announced, the MSRP in the UK market will be £549.99. The camera will be shipped as a kit with either the M.Zuiko 14-42mm lens or the M. Zuiko 17mm pancake lens. The company has also introduced the VF-3 electronic viewfinder for its PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras. This is a smaller, slightly lower resolution (0.97x magnification, 920k dot, rather than 1.15x, 1.44M dot) alternative to the existing VF-2. Compatible with all PEN cameras that have an accessory port, the VF-3 has a street price of $ 179.99, offers a 100% field of view and can be tilted by up to 90 degrees.
News: Digital Photography Review (

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Photography Mega Tutorials

27 Jul

Here is a list of websites with hundreds of fantastic tutorials.

Best Photoshop Tutorials
Design Reviver
Photoshop Website
Tv Adobe
Six Revisions
Blue Bots
Elite by design
Tutorial Park
Tutorials Garden
I will be adding more from your comments and also my searching around the web.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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Nike Fall 2011 – “Make Yourself”

27 Jul

I got a call from my agent, Jackie, on a Thursday evening in late February. A NY ad agency was interested in booking me for a Nike job that was shooting in 10 days. After signing a confidentiality agreement, the agency sent me the mood boards and we had a conference call between myself, my agent, the art directors in NY and the art buyers at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. My agent worked out a budget with the ad agency, finally settling on a number and I was booked on the job. One week later, I was in Los Angeles shooting.

This job had 3 shoot days: Day One was product shots for Nike. Day Two: 4 our of 7 Pro Athletes were to be shot and Day Three: 3 Pro Athletes plus fitness model shots with Nike Fitness wear. The first two shoot days were in Los Angeles and our Third Shoot day was in NYC.

Day One shoot took place at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. We had roughly 34 product shots to capture. From everything to shoes, logos, seams and cuffs, Nike wanted detailed shots of the garments and shoes to show texture and color. Using the Nikon D3, we shot with a 105mm 2.8 macro lens.  We kept the exposure the same: 1/250 at F14. For lighting, we used a beauty dish for the key and an octabank directly behind me for the fill and a light with a barn door for an edge light in the back. The reason I used this lighting is that Nike wanted the product shots to parallel the shots I was going to produce with the athletes and fitness model so I had to add a bit of edge/back light and use the beauty dish with the octabank as my main lighting sources, because that was the same lighting I was going to use on Day 2 and 3.

Our digitech was Travis from Milk Studios. This guy was the BOMB! If we could’ve, we would’ve taken him back home with us to NYC. We were lucky to have Travis on both day One and day Two of our Nike shoots. I have to say, a digitech is just as important a member of your crew, especially when you’ve got to keep color profiles and lighting consistent over several shoots that take several days to produce. I was a little nervous that we were taking the whole second day shoot set up and replicating it in NYC, but confident that we were also using one of NYC Milk Studio’s digitechs as well for day 3 in NYC.

But back to Day One. We were able to get all 34 shots done successfully in the first day. These shots were edited by the art directors immediately after the shoot and FTP’d back to NYC where my retouching team was waiting for them so they could begin retouching. We were working with a very tight deadline, so they needed to get started on them right away.

We had a day off between day One and day Two of the Nike shoot. Our day off, though, was hardly a “day off”. I wanted to see and test out our location shoot with the pro athletes before we started shooting them so I was able to go to the location with Tyler to see our set being built out. We shot day Two at Culver Studios in Culver City. Culver Studios is a movie studio site, there are a bunch of huge stages and I was in one stage, while Annie Liebovitz was two stages down. Annie was hired to do the advertising campaign for Nike. I was hired to shoot for the Look Book. But both Annie’s and my photographs were featured in the Look Book. The idea was to shoot the athletes at an authentic old-school type gym. But they built the gyms, instead of having us shoot at an actual gym. Annie’s set was washed in grays and darker hues while my set was completely white-washed. Our gyms matched in size and equipment. But the color hues were different. The night before Day Two’s shoot, I went in with a model to test out the lighting, get a feel for the space to determine which lenses to use, and just be totally prepared for Day Two. Because on Day Two I was given very limited time with each athlete to get “The Shot” and I didn’t have time to trouble shoot my lighting or take a lot of time figuring out angles, etc. So being prepared was the most important emphasis, at least for me, on this job.

Day Two. Call time was 8 AM but Tyler and I got there around 6:30. They were still finishing the set we were shooting on. I did some test pictures to show my client and Nike and we agreed the windows needed to be a different shade of white, so they were re-painted while we waited. I felt prepared, though, because I had done the small test the night before. Nothing was left to chance. Save for any last minute technical hiccups, I knew the set, had my lighting in place and was ready to start capturing the athletes once we got them on set. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. At 2 PM, I got my 15 minutes with Sofia Boutella.

The whole idea around the campaign was how these women athletes stay on top of their game. They are all examples of success and they all speak about how that success came to them through hard work, practice, focus and an obsessive-like determination. The campaign is to encourage women that you can make it if you want it. You can make it if you try hard enough. I can jump on that philosophy!!

My first professional athlete was Sofia Boutella, a dancer who started out dancing in Paris in a mall to touring with International performing stars and starring in pop legends’ videos. Read: Madonna, Rihanna, Michael Jackson! Sofia’s line: “I pay attention to every detail and strive for perfection even though I know it doesn’t exist” really fit her personality. She twisted and contorted her body into incredible shapes for my lens and was happy to do it again to make it look even better. After viewing the first 100 shots on the monitor she asked me if she could do a couple of the contortions again because she believed she could make them better. I was impressed with her diligence and her willingness to keep doing something until she felt right about it. That makes any photographer’s job so much easier because we do the same. We take many shots to get that one that speaks loudest. That one that communicates exactly what we are trying to say.

My second athlete was Tennis Star Maria Sharapova. Maria is as nice as she is beautiful. Maria’s catch phrase: “To achieve something great takes sacrifice.” You see, we can all learn something from these pro athletes! I had a lot of fun capturing Maria because she really pushed herself to get the perfect shot as well. After checking out her images, she asked to go back in the set and do it again which was so great for me! I like the way the light worked with her movement, too.

Third athlete was Li Na, another Tennis Star. “Winning takes confidence and a clear goal. You have to fight for it.” These words from Li translate on the court: she’s determined to succeed and doing it, actually. Li had translators with her which I thought was going to make it more difficult to communicate with her when I was directing her. But she actually understood more English than I originally thought she did and we were able to capture her shots in under 10 minutes.

Fourth and final athlete in Los Angeles was Allyson Felix, Track and Field Star and wow, just an incredible girl! She was running, jumping, throwing herself around this set which was probably around 20’ X 20’. Not uber-small, but certainly not track field size. She leapt through the air as if there were no walls in front of her.  I was on the floor and moving around the set to get her in action. It was a lot of fun. Her line was: “My competitors don’t take the day off so I can’t either. Every day I’m obsessed with getting the absolute most out of my body that I can.”, and I can attest that she absolutely believes in her own words!

We wrapped day two around 6 PM. I was exhausted but it’s that kind of exhausted I get after a shoot: I’m tired but I’m wired. Can’t sleep, totally in the zone, amped up and high, but physically wiped out. I love the feeling, actually. We had dinner with some of the art directors after wards in a restaurant near our hotels on the Sunset Strip. Then it was off to bed because we had to get back on a plane to go home to NYC the next morning. Yeah, it felt a little odd flying into LA for a job and then flying home to NYC. But I was excited to get back to NYC. : )

Exactly one week later found us in Brooklyn at Broadway Stages in Stage One. Our set in Los Angeles was packed up and shipped to NY. Which means one thing: my lighting had to stay the same, right? We had our notes, our pictures and we knew how to replicate it exactly in NY as we had it in LA. Broadway Stage was a big raw space, much like Culver Studios. We arrived at 6 AM to see our set being set up by the NY crew.

Day Three of my Nike job had me doing two things: capturing 3 more pro athletes and also shooting Nike fashion on a model. So in between the athlete shots, I had about 20 fashion shots to get done that day.

First athlete I shot was Hope Solo. “I’m determined and grew up knowing what I wanted. I’ve never taken my eye off it.” I pretty much can say the same thing about my own work, although we’re talking about totally different things. Hope is beautiful. And limber. She’s a soccer champion whose hard work paid off in 2008 at the Summer Olympics in Beijing as well as being recognized as one of the best keepers in the world.

Laura Enever - Nike Make Yourself

19 year old surfer, Laura Enever, was our second athlete on day 3 Nike shoot. She’s adorable and sweet as can be. Claiming that being in the ocean is different than playing on a field or a court because every wave, every beach is different. “I work daily to get stronger and learn to trust myself and my body” is her motto. She’s limber as heck, doing somersaults and handstands, having to hold them for the camera for a bit. And she did so with grace and perfection! She was a real joy to shoot.

All Images © 2011 Melissa Rodwell Photography

Our 3rd and final athlete was Perri Shakes-Drayton, track and field star. “I am just me. I don’t change for anybody. What got me to where I am today is pure determination and hard work.” Perri is known for her infectious self-confidence and it showed while shooting her. No idea was too crazy for her, even jumping a hurdle with no running start. She did take after take until my client was happy with the shot. And she would have done more to get it if needed. I really loved her personality and yeah, her self-confidence was infectious.

My fashion shots were in the same set as the athlete shots. And the lighting stayed the same as well. I mentioned earlier, Nike had the vision of the white-washed gym and wanted the shots, whether they be of the athletes or the products, to stay consistent in look and feel. So my fashion shots were shot right there on the same set with the lighting. I used the Nikon D3 on these as well but mostly with the 85mm. I shot some close up shots with the 105mm 2.8 macro lens but for the rest I used my 85mm lens.

The biggest thing I took away with me after shooting this job was the realization that it doesn’t matter if you’re training to be in the Olympics or trying to become a better photographer: training, doing something over and over and over again to get it right is key to becoming a better “fill in the blank”. All 7 athletes had fierce determination, rock solid self-confidence and razor sharp focus on their goals. The same assets are needed to become a professional photographer! If I can emphasize anything in this post it is this! You MUST work at it to become great!

The Nike Blog has a post about the shoot: “Make Yourself”

Next Post: Kurv Magazine! Here’s an outtake from the shoot. This image didn’t make it into the magazine but it gives you an idea of what the shoot looks like. I was especially proud of this shoot! See you soon!

Fashion Photography Blog – A Resource for Fashion Photographers, Created by One.

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Darkening Gray Hair

27 Jul

Photoshop Tutorial
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Posted in Retouching in Photoshop


Autodesk Maya Tutorial – Realistic Rain

27 Jul

Struggled a little bit on this one, but it is a neat way of creating rain that can also splatter.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Posted in Animation Videos


Motorstorm Apocalypse – Skyline Gameplay – HD

26 Jul

* Playable demo: A demo is being planned for 2011. * Stereoscopic 3D: We showed Skyline in stereoscopic 3D, and pretty much everyone agreed with me that it sets the benchmark for 3D gaming. I hope you get to experience it in this way! * New Photo Mode: We?ve got a sophisticated Photo Mode that can capture gameplay images in ultra-high resolutions, as well as some easy-to-use tools that allow for fantastic post-effects ? all of the Skyline screenshots were taken using Photo Mode mid-race! * Post-release content: We have big ambitions to continue support for the game after it releases, and to develop some of the concepts we haven?t been able to find time for in development, including a special island track we?re hoping to be able to give away for free. * Release date: We don?t have a final global release date, but are scheduled to launch in Spring 2011.
Video Rating: 5 / 5


Beyond Bounce Flash: Using Your Ceiling as a Light Mod

25 Jul

When I shot for The Sun I was assigned to do lots of small product illustrations, AKA table-top shots. And when possible, I would gang them up and shoot them at home rather than in the paper's pro studio.

Shooting at home gave me a variety of locations, a houseful of props, more time with my kids and something the big studio did not have — a plain white ceiling. The latter being one of the more useful light mods in my kit. Read more »


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In with the new: dpreview forums expanded

24 Jul

We’ve just made the biggest changes to our forums since the site was established, 11 years ago. This includes expanding the scope of dpreview forums to include areas dedicated to discussion of photographic techniques and digital video. We’ve also introduced totally new Off-Topic and For Sale/ Wanted forums. You’ll notice a couple of minor name changes and a shuffling of the order of a few of the existing forums too. Check out the details after the link…
News: Digital Photography Review (

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Eintauchen in andere Welten

24 Jul
Das ist ein Artikel von Anja Stiegler, die in der Nähe von Gifhorn lebt und beruflich Konzepte für Multimediaanwendungen entwickelt. Sie schafft mit ihren Bildern surreale Welten, in die der Betrachter eintauchen und sich von ihnen mitreißen lassen kann. Mehr von ihr gibt es auf flickr und deviantArt.

Ich mag es, mit meinen Bildern Emotionen beim Betrachter zu wecken. Dabei spielt es für mich keine allzu große Rolle, ob meine Bilder realistisch oder eher surrealistisch sind. Wobei Letzteres häufiger der Fall ist.

© Anja Stiegler

Ich möchte den Betrachter meiner Bilder gern für einen kurzen Augenblick aus seiner gegenwärtigen Situation herausholen. Ihn einfach von seinen Gedanken treiben, sich besser fühlen, frei sein, noch einmal Kind sein lassen.

Dabei kann er sich selbst aussuchen, was er in meinen Bildern sehen möchte. Ich gebe dabei nur einen Ansatz. Ich habe schon oft von anderen, die sich meine Bilder angesehen haben, gehört, dass sie sich danach irgendwie besser fühlten. Und genau das macht mich glücklich. 🙂

© Anja Stiegler

„Instrumente“ zur Ideenfindung
Um Ideen für meine Bilder zu finden, lasse ich mich überwiegend von Musik inspirieren. Musik transportiert Stimmungen, von denen ich mich mitnehmen lasse. Ich mag zum Beispiel viele Stücke von Yann Tiersen, Moby oder Air, um nur ein paar zu nennen.

Es ist allerdings nicht so, dass ich mich hinsetzen kann, Musik höre und warte bis ich eine Idee habe. 🙂 Nein, die Ideenfindung passiert ganz nebenbei im Alltag. Habe ich eine Idee für ein Bild, kritzle ich sie mir auf Stück Papier oder irgendetwas, das ich gerade zur Hand habe, damit ich sie nicht wieder vergesse. Diese Ideen sammle ich in einem kleinen Notizbuch.

Da ich berufstätig bin, habe ich leider nicht mehr so oft Zeit, ein Bild umzusetzen. Wenn ich sie jedoch habe, schaue ich hin und wieder in mein kleines Notizbuch und suche mir eine Idee aus, auf die ich gerade Lust habe, sie zu realisieren. Ich suche mir dann im nächsten Schritt die Dinge zusammen, die ich für das Bild benötige.

© Anja Stiegler

Bildmaterialbeschaffung – Eigen- oder Fremdleistung?
Meistens ziehe ich mit meiner Kamera und allem, was ich brauche los und fotografiere selbst. Ich bin dabei fast immer draußen, da die Natur meiner Meinung nach die besten Kulissen bietet und ich natürliches Licht am liebsten für meine Bilder mag.

Wenn ich keine Zeit oder Möglichkeit habe, eines oder mehrere benötigte Objekte zu fotografieren, suche ich mir Stock-Bilder im Internet, mit denen ich mein Vorhaben umsetzen kann. Ich muss jedoch dazu sagen, dass ich eigentlich kein riesengroßer Fan von Stock-Bildern bin.

Doch genau durch diese Stock-Bilder konnte ich meine Photoshop-Kenntnisse stark ausbauen. Hat man eine Idee für eine Fotomontage, bekommt man eigentlich alles, was man dafür an Bildmaterial benötigt im Internet. Allerdings kann die Suche danach mitunter recht mühsam sein.

Denn zum einen ist es für eine Fotomontage wichtig, dass alle für das Bild relevanten Objekte unter den gleichen Lichtbedingungen fotografiert worden sind. Beachtet man das nicht, wird man bei der Montage feststellen, dass irgendetwas nicht so richtig passt.

Und zum anderen muss man bei Stock-Bildern auf die Lizenzen achten. Das kann es einem ganz schön schwer machen. Letztendlich ist es immer besser, eigene Bilder zu verwenden.

© Anja Stiegler

Nachfolgend möchte ich zur Veranschaulichung einen groben Überblick über meine Arbeitsweise in Photoshop geben.

Wenn ich alle Objekte, die ich für die Umsetzung eines Bildes benötige, zusammen habe, stelle ich sie frei und positioniere sie da, wo sie am Ende sitzen sollen.

© Anja Stiegler © Anja Stiegler

Details und Sättigung
Ist dieser Teil abgeschlossen, füge ich Details hinzu. Das können zum Beispiel Schatten der Objekte, Wolken, Sonne, Sterne sein. Danach beginnt für mich der Moment, in dem ich dem Bild (je nach Bildinhalt) eine Farbstimmung gebe. Dafür verringere ich im ersten Schritt die Sättigung des gesamten Bildes.

Farbkleckse und Feinheiten
Danach spiele ich mit der Farbbalance, der selektiven Farbkorrektur, mit Farbverläufen oder/und den Tonkurven. Man sollte immer darauf achten, dass die Farben nicht zu extrem sind, sonst wirkt es schnell kitschig.

Habe ich die passende Farbstimmung gefunden, füge ich zum Schluss meistens noch eine Vignette ein, um den Blick des Betrachters in eine bestimmte Richtung zu lenken.

Letzter Feinschliff
Hin und wieder gibt es einem Bild noch das letzte i-Tüpfelchen, wenn man eine Textur hinzufügt. Dabei sollte man aber aufpassen, dass sie nicht zu dominant auf dem Bild liegt und so das eigentliche Bild zerstört, sondern lediglich als kleines Detail wahrgenommen wird.

© Anja Stiegler © Anja Stiegler

Zu guter Letzt
Abschließend kann ich sagen, dass neben der eigentlichen Bildidee (und deren sauberer Umsetzung natürlich) die Farbgebung für mich eine wichtige Rolle spielt, denn Farben bzw. Farbkombinationen wecken ebenso wie Musik Emotionen und Assoziationen. Ich weiß vorher meist noch nicht ganz genau, welche Farbstimmung mein Bild bekommen soll – aber das sagt mir mein Gefühl, sobald ich an den Farbreglern spiele. 🙂

Ich hoffe, ich konnte euch einen kleinen Einblick in meine Arbeitsweise geben. Ich habe mir vorher nie allzu viele Gedanken darüber gemacht, wie ich bei der Erstellung meiner Bilder vorgehe. Hier habe ich es zum ersten Mal niedergeschrieben. Also falls es noch Fragen, Anregungen etc. gibt, stehe ich gern dafür zur Verfügung.

KWERFELDEIN | Fotografie Magazin

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