Fstoppers Originals

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Recently I was sent a YouTube video of an artist who spent a huge amount of time creating drawings using MS Paint. The end product was decent enough, even impressive if you consider the tool he was using, but if you were to eliminate knowledge of his method it would merely be a mediocre, unimpressive digital painting. How amazing could this guy’s work be if he didn’t arbitrarily limit himself? This is clearly an extremely talented artist that is limiting the quality of his work by stubbornly insisting on using an inefficient tool. Which, of course, got me to thinking about how as photographers, we have a tendency to do the exact same thing.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 5: High Contrast Black & White Conversion

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 5: High Contrast Black & White Conversion

In the final part of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will look at how I do my Black and White conversion. This image is a dramatic image so it calls for a punchy and high-contrast black and white conversion. In this tutorial, I will show you how I stack blending modes and adjustment layers to get my image exactly where I want it. You can follow these steps in your own images or use the techniques and customize them for your own use. In the video you will also see how to use layer masks to create targeted adjustments for your high-contrast black and white portraits.

7 Tips for Casting the Right Model for Your Next Shoot

7 Tips for Casting the Right Model for Your Next Shoot

Working with models can be an exciting part of photography, as each model can lend a different look and unique perspective to your vision. Casting a model appropriately for each project is an important part of a photographer’s job, as it speaks to their ability to manage their ideas and make them a reality. Just as a casting director will carefully select the best actors for appropriate roles, the same is true for casting the right model for the right photoshoot. Below we will review some guidelines for making the most out of working with models, in order to produce the best photographs...

Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Camera Body?

Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Camera Body?
There comes a time in every growing photographer's career when he or she decides that it is time to upgrade their equipment. If you are like me, then you put it off for as long as possible. In recent posts, I’ve mentioned that I firmly believe that you can create some great images using a very basic DSLR. While this is true under most circumstances, there are often times as a working photographer that you will need the options of a professional grade DSLR.

See How Much Improvement You Have Made in a Year

See How Much Improvement You Have Made in a Year

Recently I felt a bit let down when looking at my work. It seemed to me like I had not improved much during the last year and that I had hit a plateau. Then when asking friends, fellow photographers, and other people from the industry, everyone told me it was just in my head. Creating new things day in and day out is quite difficult, but creating new things that are better each time you shoot is even harder! Sounds familiar? I know for a fact that most photographers have felt like that at some point in their career. We all have periods in our lives where we feel disappointed with our work. That same time when we also start looking at others work and wonder why we are not better. But all we really should be doing is looking at our work to see how far we have come and how we could get even better.

How to Give Your Dance Photos a Sense of Motion

How to Give Your Dance Photos a Sense of Motion


My favorite part of the wedding day is the reception. After the traditional first dances, and speeches are done, and the wedding party starts to let loose. The party is in full swing and the best man is giving “The Dougie” his best attempt in an effort to win a dance battle against the bride. While capturing these images I want the viewer to feel like they were in there, in the moment. My goal is to not light up the entire room like a Christmas tree. I want to see the light from the DJ and the motion on the dance floor. This is how I do just that.

Start Your Own Photograph Group on the Fstoppers Community

Start Your Own Photograph Group on the Fstoppers Community

Since Lee and I first started Fstoppers 5 years ago, we have always wanted it to be a place for inspiration, news, reviews, and of course educational behind the scenes material. One thing has always been missing though, and that is the voice of you our readers. Today we are expanding the Fstoppers Community by opening Groups to the public. Anyone with an Fstoppers account can now create and moderate their own photography community directly on Fstoppers.com

Motion & Still Photographer Ivan Agerton’s Beautiful Portraits - And What We Can All Learn From Them

Motion & Still Photographer Ivan Agerton’s Beautiful Portraits - And What We Can All Learn From Them

What inspires you to pick up your camera? For Ivan Agerton, it’s people – and for all the talk about convergence between the worlds of stills and motion, Ivan is doing it. His ‘stills from motion’ portraits are both a visually gorgeous treat with their sublime use of slow motion, and thought provoking in the connection with the subject Ivan has captured. Not just creating eye candy, Agerton is a fascinating character and provides a great example of the life we can all construct for ourselves – if you decide to take the plunge and go for it.

Advice for Recent Undergraduates

Advice for Recent Undergraduates

It's been a month since most undergraduates walked across the stage and received their diplomas. The glow is still there as summer ramps up, but will soon wear off as August approaches and they realize they will not be moving back to the alma mater. With summer in high gear let's take a look at what recent undergraduates can do to make sure they are successful moving forward.

Don’t be a Villain: 7 Things NOT To Do as a Wedding Photographer

Don’t be a Villain: 7 Things NOT To Do as a Wedding Photographer
When wedding photographers get together, we’re known to discuss (or debate) the things that can be a challenge in our line of work. Whether it’s videographers who’ve never met a telephoto lens or an Uncle Bob getting in the way of a shot, rest assured that we’ll be talking about it. But what about us? Do we ever stop to think what we might be doing to draw the ire of others in the event industry? I wanted to know when we were playing the role of the villain, so I asked a few prominent wedding planners - two in the U.S. and one from the U.K. - to give me the dirt.

CrossFit Head Staff Photographer Dave Re Helps Lead Media Team into the Future

CrossFit Head Staff Photographer Dave Re Helps Lead Media Team into the Future

Dave Re has a demanding job. He heads the photography team within the media department of one of the fastest growing sports in the history of sports. CrossFit (CF), a topic that I wrote about last month, is a fitness regimen that has gained extreme popularity in just a short time. Although Re never planned going to work every day as head staff photographer for CF Media, he has embraced it with open arms.

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