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Entries in Video Pick (64)


Photographing Water Reflections to Mirror the World's Beauty

Photograph: Dichotomy by Stefano Corso
A still lake, pond, or puddle .. the reflections of solid objects in water ... that's been a favorite subject for countless painters and photographers. Capturing the shapes and colors of trees, rocks, and people in softer, muted hues is what reflection photography is all about.

There are many good tips about the best conditions and techniques for taking photographs of water reflections. Here are a few tips I snagged from a forum string:
  • The best reflection shots happen with well illuminated subjects against a clear blue sky. That means the sun should not be in front but in back of your position.
  • Its often more interesting to have something in the water itself be visible, either by sticking or growing out of it. 
  • Shallow bodies of still water make for excellent shots, including small ponds and even puddles.
  • Use a tripod. Smooth out the water a bit with long (1 to 4 second) exposures. Stop down. Use f/16 or smaller for great depth of field. Expose for the reflection and then drop down on shutter speed.
  • Polarizers are worthwhile when working with reflections because they help control the amount of reflected light you get. 

In my Video Pick for this week, I wanted to show some photographs that Suellen, an otherwise unnamed photographer from Canada, shot on a beautiful Thanksgiving Day on Lac Philippe in Quebec. I was struck by her skillful piecing together of the shorelines in multiple images - the strong line emphasizes the strength of the real-life shapes on top of the shoreline and the symmetrical-but-shimmering reflection in the water below. These pictures, even though taken of a still and quiet series of reflections, show tremendous drama, movement, and color. So go out and take some water-reflection pictures to capture the natural majesty of this colorful season!



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Strobist Photography Lighting Basics

David Hobby has devoted his blog to helping photographers master the art of lighting. His Strobist website covers basic equipment, techniques, and lighting used by real photographers on real shoots. It's great to see the equipment being moved around, see the studio or location lighting setup, then view the final shot and learn how the photographer lit the subject and problem solved. In our Video Pick this week, the Strobist gives us a tongue-in-cheek rundown of basics, which will serve as a good checklist for beginner and pro alike.

Oh, and if you're wondering how popular a subject like lighting is to photographers, note David's 350,000 regular Strobist readers.


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Hard-Working Wedding Photographers

Hollye Schumacher Photography

Consider the condition of your typical wedding photographer. You're first and foremost a guest at your clients' wedding. You need to blend into the background, yet be a traffic cop and tell the bride and groom and other guests what to do and where to be whenever appropriate. And you must be quick about what you do. When vows are exchanged, there are no "do overs" - you can't afford to have lost opportunities. You have to capture all the key moments, the subtle facial expressions, the tender exchanges, and the honest emotions. After the event, you need to be a great editor, weed out the questionable photographs, focus on the keepers, add enhancements in your digital darkroom, and sell your clients on individual images and packages.

Hollye Schumacher of Phoenix, AZ, has a stunning portfolio of portraits, "modern dog" portraits, baby and children, and weddings - and we were drawn to the following video, capturing her in action at a festive wedding.



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Photographer Bruce Dale Captures a Halloween Festival

The exceptional work of former National Geographic photographer Bruce Dale has come together with video on the following Halloween Festival production he put together. Shot on Halloween 2010 with a Lumix FH1 and GH2 cameras with 14-140 lens, the photographer also used a 45mm f2.8 lens for some of the portraits.

The Halloween Festival was shot in the countryside of Rappahannock County, Virginia. The event was filmed on the Stone Hill Farm, with border collies, sheep, bagpipers, and a dramatic play providing the entertainment - with a symbolic "sacrifice" at dusk.

Halloween provides all photographers with a wealth of imagery to capture, from a single child's trick-or-treating escapades to parades and costumed revelry. Take your camera with you as you explore creative opportunities on Halloween eve to add some colorful and atmospheric pieces to your portfolio.


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Short Film Project: The Halloween Kid

If you love Halloween and horror films, then this short film project, The Halloween Kid, is your cup of tea ... and that's appropriate because this is a UK project, too. 

Writer-director Axelle Carolyn is a Halloween fanatic, as you'll see in the following video shot for sponsors. As a photographer or videographer, it's likely you'll one day want to put together your own short film project - the usual preliminary step to hitting the film circuit, winning awards, and creating larger feature projects. Good luck to you - and Axelle - as you dream big with your photography and videography projects. 

For more information about the project, and even how you could help raise funds to complete its budget, go to The Halloween Kid project summary on (they've raised almost all of their project monies, but there's still a bit more to go, and a more days in October to raise the funding). 


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