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James Robertson

Staff Writer http://www.jamesrphoto.com Facebook
I'm James Robertson, a 21 year old commercial photographer & studio owner in SK, Canada. My goal in writing for Fstoppers is to bring content to the beginning professional, providing advice and tips for dealing with the parts of this industry that are often unexpected.

Best Online Tool I’ve Seen for Learning Manual Photography (Canon)

I can think of at least five times where a client has pulled me aside in the past year to ask how they can use their camera better, outside of the automatic setting – I’ve drawn out countless exposure triangles on napkins, newspapers, even an iPad drawing app, and despite my best efforts I can sometimes tell they’re still confused from my brief lesson. For now on, no more triangles, I’ve found a great website that anyone can learn from.

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The Paper Kites “Young” Music Video Made of 4000 Portraits

There’s nothing more inspirational for me than someone taking a medium and using it outside of it’s usual purpose. This creative collaboration between film team “Oh Yeah Wow” and musical group “The Paper Kites” shows how photography can become a killer music video.

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Fabian Oefner’s “Psychedelic Science” TED Talk

Back in March, Fstoppers writer Zach Sutton featured Fabian Oefner’s “Black Hole”  series, high shutter speed images of paint being spun and flung quickly to produce some amazing art pieces. In this TEDxWarwick 2013 presentation, Fabian shows his passion for bringing art and science together to create his surreal and colorful work, and explains the process behind it all.
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7 Steps to Being a Cooler Photographer with Jimmy Hickey

Ever worry that the way you hold your strap makes you look like a tourist? Well, worry no more. Portland based photographer, Jimmy Hickey joins us with his slightly tongue-in-cheek video to teach all photographers how to take great photos and look like a pro while doing it.
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Can You Guess Which Celebrities are in These Old Photographs?

Celebrities are all over the headlines, news channels, radio shows, and billboards. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there are probably a couple dozen famous faces that will instantly come to mind when you hear their name. What we don’t get to see normally, however, is the celebrity before the spotlight. Photographs taken before, or early in their career or before their accomplishments, before a camera in their face was an every day thing. Can you recognize them all from the portraits below? (Highlight the space to the right of their number to see the name.)
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Voyager 1′s Journey Through our Solar System in Photographs

In a recent Reddit AMA to commemorate the craft’s leaving of our solar system, a Voyager 1 team member (name unverified) commented that all cameras were turned off permanently after the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” photograph was taken on Valentines day in 1990. Between then, and its launch date on Sept 5, 1977, hundreds of thousands if not millions (exact number unknown) of photos have been taken by the craft on its journey. These are just a few.

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One of The Fastest and Most Accurate Ways To Cut-Out Subjects for Composites

When first learning Photoshop, most of us are introduced to the pen tool, brush tool, or maybe even the eraser tool to remove sections of a layer. However, these methods can be both time consuming and mediocre in creating a clean final image. In this tutorial I’ll be walking you through the steps that I use to isolate subjects shot in studio (against plain backgrounds) for the creation of a composite image. [more]

Wildlife Photographer Charms a Wolf Pack

In wildlife photography, and being in the wilderness in general, there’s always a risk that you’ll meet one of the many wild and territorial creatures that calls it home. In this video, a photographer meets a (seemingly wild) pack of wolves that fight amongst themselves, yet remain gentle and affectionate towards him. [more]

Taking it on the Road: Location Scouting 101

Lately I’ve been scouting locations for a calendar project I’m working on, and it got me thinking how little content I’ve come across online on how to go about it. Location scouting isn’t really a science, there are a lot of ways to go about it, but there are a few simple tricks and tools to maximizing productivity in your efforts.

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Change It Up (Challenge)

Recently we saw a great post from Rich Meade listing off 34 ways to stay creative, well now I have my own to add as well, as a challenge to our readers – change it up!

Routine, in many ways is a good thing. It keeps you organized, makes sure everything is completed on time, and is usually a source of comfort/sanity for people with busy schedules, but it has its draw backs as well. [more]

Behind the Scenes of a Composite Photo

A big part of the appeal for composite photography for me has always been one’s ability to imagine a scene, then use different components of the world around them to make it a reality. In this behind the scenes video from Erik Johansson, we’re given a breakdown of one photo from the beginning sketches, to the different components and method, post production, and the final product.

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The Little Business Practices That Make a World of Difference

So you know your business inside and out and your image quality is top notch, but there’s always room for improvement. A factor that many people overlook is the experience that a client has when they work with them, being on one side of the operations gives you a very different perspective and because of this you could be overlooking little important details that make the world of difference. I’ve been working as a full time commercial photographer for a year now, and in that time I’ve learned a lot from not only my own client interactions, but the other businesses I’ve worked with as well. [more]

5 Ways to Make Hours of Editing Endurable

Recently, fellow Fstoppers writer/astounding editor Pratik Naik posted a status on Facebook asking what people’s editing routines were, you can read the discussion that followed here. With his permission I’ve decided to spin this off into a post, and offer some suggestions for our readers facing hours of repetitive retouching in their future. I’m writing from the perspective of a photographer, but I’m sure many if not all of these will carry over into the video world as well. Note that these aren’t in any particular order.

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Jay P Morgan Teaches Us How to Make a Smoke Tube of Death!

Sure you may know how to create smoke in a photo…but do you know how to make a smoke tube of death? Whether you’re using it to create your photo concept, or you just want to get a head start on your Halloween plans, knowing how to turn one smoke machine into multiple smoke sources is a great thing to know, and The Slanted Lens is here to show you how.
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10 General Items to Keep in Your Gear Bag

As photographers and videographers we often obsess over our cameras, lenses, stands, lights, etc. But often times, the most important tool in your bag is from the hardware store, something that allows you to temporarily fix an unexpected situation, whether it’s a gear failure, or the need to fix something in an awkward space. Here are 10 items (in no particular order) that I recommend.
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