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Douglas Sonders
New York, NY
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Articles written by Douglas Sonders

Ultimate Tutorial on How to Photograph a Car with the Westcott Ice Light

Ultimate Tutorial on How to Photograph a Car with the Westcott Ice Light

My friend and RIDES Magazine's head photographer Andrew Link is no stranger to Fstoppers. He also happens to be one of the kings of shooting cars with the Westcott Ice Light, which is essentially a handheld LED rod (looks like a flourescent tube) used as a constant daylight temperature light source. After about 6 months of me begging Andrew for him to make one, he has finally created a fantastic and to-the-point tutorial on how to create an epic car portrait with nothing but a camera, tripod, and the Ice Light.

"The Greatest Car Film Event" Announced and You Can Get Involved!

"The Greatest Car Film Event" Announced and You Can Get Involved!

Our friends at the automotive website Jalopnik have announced their second transportation-focused film festival, and it is great news for car lovers and creatives alike for a few reasons. First, you can attend an awesome film festival in New York City later this year and watch great car movie shorts. Second, you can submit your work and possibly win awards just as you would in any festival. Third, if you don't have a movie but always wanted to make one, you can possibly win the chance to have it made for you. Finally, you can help me create the ultimate car movie poster!

How To Make a Parked Priceless Vintage Porsche Look Like It's Racing

How To Make a Parked Priceless Vintage Porsche Look Like It's Racing
I'm always amazed at how my car photographer friends can make a car that is parked at an event looks like it is racing at high speed with proper application of post-produciton and back plates. To think that this image by Jordan Donnelly started with a photo of a rare automobile at an event with no lighting or special equipment is incredible. Read about his process below and feel free to ask him questions in the comments section to learn more.

Tired Of Getting Pushed Around? How To Deal With Photo Industry Bullies

Tired Of Getting Pushed Around? How To Deal With Photo Industry Bullies

Early on, I faced some bullying from older photographers that viewed me as competition and tried to convince me to quit my budding photo career. Ever since, I have been particularly aware and sensitive to how photographers treat and/or handle each other. It's as if so many creatives are willing to try and crush others' work/reputations/jobs in order to get ahead. To many, it seems like a dog eat dog industry, but it doesn't have to be. I've put together some thoughts and tips on how to overcome those that may try to bully or discourage you.

Amazingly Effective DIY Flashlight Lighting Setup

Amazingly Effective DIY Flashlight Lighting Setup

If you've ever tried to film something, you probably know what it's like to try and cobble something together with a bunch of borrowed and/or homemade gear. I know the first music video that we ever shot we done with a "borrowed" shopping cart, a camera on loan, and some shop lights. Shanks FX, which appears to be a part of PBS Digital Studios, put together this great short video about how they light various environments creatively using less than $150 in flashlights and accessories.

Celebrity Covershoot at Amazing Locations in Las Vegas You Need to See to Believe

Celebrity Covershoot at Amazing Locations in Las Vegas You Need to See to Believe

Late last year I was contacted by one of my magazine clients to shoot their upcoming cover with Panic At The Disco front man Brendon Urie and it had to take place across the country in Las Vegas in about a week (I am NYC-based by the way). I scrambled to find some cool locations in the region, knowing full well I did not want to shoot in some cramped hotel suite. Little did I know that with some good researching and shrewd negotiating, I would find some of the coolest locations I have ever photographed, and just moments from the Las Vegas strip.

A Touching Veteran Portrait Series In Honor Of D-Day

A Touching Veteran Portrait Series In Honor Of D-Day

My buddy and DC photographer Willis Bretz has been busy working on a personal portrait series in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Mixing his history degree and his flourishing photography career, he wanted to create something that reflects his love for both. Learn more below about this personal series that was even picked up by The Washington Post for their coverage for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

You Are Not Your Own Photo Army. Do Not Burn Yourself Out.

You Are Not Your Own Photo Army. Do Not Burn Yourself Out.

So you've been working long hours at your desk or computer, rarely see your friends, when you're not working, you're thinking about work or shoots. Your portfolio and income may be improving (or trying to), but you feel like your personal life is falling apart in the process. Does this sound all too familiar? Well it all hits very close to home for me and it's what put me in the hospital last week.

How a $3.6 Million Supercar was Photographed in Under an Hour

How a $3.6 Million Supercar was Photographed in Under an Hour

Some great photographers are lucky enough to have a rare opportunity to photograph ultra-rare and exclusive cars, but usually you have to work under tight restrictions or are often thrown an obstacle or two. Car photographer Pepper Yandell's recent photo shoot with a rare super car worth nearly $4 million was no exception. See how he shot incredible images in less than an hour and learn from the helpful tips he shares.

Phlearn Tutorial: How to Master the Motion Blur in Photoshop

Phlearn Tutorial: How to Master the Motion Blur in Photoshop

Phlearn has debuted another really helpful and easy-to-follow tutorial about how to master motion blur in Photoshop. Early in my photography career, I would make the mistake of shooting motor sports with a high shutter speed. The cars would look sharp but they appeared to be parked on the race track. The technique shown in this video and the steps listed below would have helped add a more dynamic motion and story-telling elements to my otherwise static photographs. This is a great skill to master and can be applied in many scenarios.

Things You Should Avoid When Taking Selfies

Things You Should Avoid When Taking Selfies

The "selfie" has become an epidemic. Satire news reports have recently even referred to it as a certifiable mental disorder, but sadly, many of us (including myself) can't see that far from an actual reality. The compulsion to selfie has effected most of us since the advent of popular social media platforms. Our friends at Digital Rev have put together a helpful video on what to avoid when taking self-portraits with your favorite digital device. See below for some self portraits from our Fstoppers staff.

Using Photography to Change the Negative Stigma Surrounding Pitbulls

Using Photography to Change the Negative Stigma Surrounding Pitbulls

Two years ago, I adopted a lovable Pitbull mix named Emma. She's afraid of thunder, loves belly rubs, is sweet with kids and great with other animals. Sadly, a lot of the general public perceive my Emma as a monster, and that's probably why over half a million Pitbulls are put to sleep in the US alone each year. I decided to use my photography to start a positive PR campaign called Not A Bully to help change the way people view Pitbulls.

How To Produce A Combined Print And Motion Fashion Campaign

How To Produce A Combined Print And Motion Fashion Campaign

We live in a time where photographers and filmmakers must combine powers to be competitive in todays advertising market. Recently a huge fashion client approached our production company to capture concurrent motion and still ad campaigns with supermodel Lily Aldridge, but we had to do it all in under 10 hours with 2 complete hair and makeup changes and 12+ outfits. Advertising creatives today need to be able to shoot stellar visual content and assemble bulletproof productions.

Ask A Commercial Photographer Anything About The Industry

Ask A Commercial Photographer Anything About The Industry

Have questions you want to ask a creative industry professional, but wasn't sure who to turn to? I've been writing for Fstoppers for over a year now. I've been able to share my own BTS shoots, those of friends, reviews, tutorials, and more. I've had the chance to interact and meet some great people through here, and I really want to do something more for you folks. Rather than do a fresh article this week on something I find interesting, I am leaving the content completely up to you.

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