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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

What Is The Difference Between a Parabolic Reflector, a Beauty Dish, and an Octobox?

What Is The Difference Between a Parabolic Reflector, a Beauty Dish, and an Octobox?

When it comes to shaping the light sources photographers use, there are a lot of modifiers available. Each lighting modifier has it's own characteristics which can make it difficult to determine the best light for your project. Karl Taylor has produced one of the best videos I've ever seen showing exactly how the light fall off, contrast, and specularity differs between the parabolic reflectors, beauty dish, and large octabox softbox.

Free Wedding Tutorial: How To Light Wedding Reception Venues

Free Wedding Tutorial:  How To Light Wedding Reception Venues

Photographing weddings can be tough for a lot of people, and the area I find most of my assistants struggling is at the reception. Many times throughout a wedding you can rely on natural light, but what is going to make or break your reception images is your ability to master artificial lighting. In this free excerpt from the full Fstoppers wedding tutorial, we share four of our most used lighting setups so you can take the guess work out of properly lighting a wedding venue.

Peter Hurley's "Squinch" Helps To Make Better Headshots

Peter Hurley's "Squinch" Helps To Make Better Headshots

You would have to be from Mars not to know who Peter Hurley is at this point. He was one of the first photographers to let Fstoppers into his studio, and together we produced the wildly popular The Art Behind The Headshot tutorial where he shares all of his secrets. Today Peter is publicly sharing perhaps his most important tip for making people look good in front of your camera, and it is appropriately named "squinching."

Fstoppers Contest: Win A Free Pass To Gulf Photo Plus London 2013

Fstoppers Contest:  Win A Free Pass To Gulf Photo Plus London 2013

One of the most exciting things about our industry is being able to meet other talented photographers and talk shop. Lee and I recently attended Gulf Photo Plus 2013 out in Dubai, and we were able to meet photographers from literally all over the world. GPP has decided to take their workshop to London, and they are bringing four of their most sought after instructors with them. On September 28th and 29th, Joe McNally, David Hobby, Gregory Heisler, and Zach Arias will check their bags for the United Kingdom....and one lucky reader of Fstoppers could head out there with them. Full details

Why Cloudy Days Aren't Always Best For Your Photographs

Why Cloudy Days Aren't Always Best For Your Photographs

Most photographers know that a cloudy or overcast day produces really soft light that can be flattering on the human face. But many of my wedding clients naively say "Oh it's overcast today, the photos will turn out much better!" Sometimes Most of the time overcast light is actually pretty boring and removes any and all contrast from your scene. There is a little trick I explain in our Wedding Tutorial that has saved me from producing boring, flat images on a cloudy day, and I think all photographers should have this technique in their bag of tricks.

Joe McNally Shoots From The Tallest Building in the World

Joe McNally Shoots From The Tallest Building in the World

A few months ago Lee and I went out to Gulf Photo Plus to see what all the fuss was about and absolutely had one of the greatest trips of our lives. While we were filming our "What makes photographers successful" video, we were hearing rumors that Joe McNally was about to shoot from the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. If you've spent any time with Joe, you know he absolutely loves a challenge and lives to create images taken from exotic places (like his shoot on the top of the Empire State Building).

"Unplugged Weddings": Preventing Guests From Destroying Your Photographs

"Unplugged Weddings":  Preventing Guests From Destroying Your Photographs

As any wedding photographer knows, one of the most nerve-wracking events is when a guest completely destroys the picture perfect moment you've been hired to capture. Whether they stand up in the aisle during the first kiss, take photos with their ipad in front of your camera, or inadvertently cause half the family to look off to the side during posed family portraits, wedding photo bombs can be a real headache. Wedding photographer Corey Ann's suggestion is having an "Unplugged Wedding".

Samsung's New Campaign With Chase Jarvis Is A Colorful Mess

Samsung's New Campaign With Chase Jarvis Is A Colorful Mess

I woke up this morning to find an email from Chase Jarvis's camp showcasing his new photo campaign for the Samsung 9 Series Monitors. It feels like ages since Chase has released one of his epic behind the scenes videos, so I was excited to see he's still alive and kicking the creative cloud (pun intended). If your imaginative juices don't start flowing after watching this video then it might be time to put your camera into retirement. Check out the behind the scenes video and then

Wedding Tutorial: How To Photograph Engagement Sessions

 Wedding Tutorial: How To Photograph Engagement Sessions

If you've been hired to photograph a wedding, there's a very good chance your clients will also want you to take engagement photos. Recently we released our 14 hour long wedding tutorial How to Become a Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer which covers everything about how to start a wedding business. Lee Morris previously released a sample called How To Light Posed Photos In a Church but today I wanted to share a free excerpt on making the most out of your client's engagement session.

Come Celebrate Fstoppers 3rd Birthday at Gulf Photo Plus

Come Celebrate Fstoppers 3rd Birthday at Gulf Photo Plus

It's that time again, Fstoppers is having a birthday! In typical fashion we are hosting a little get together but this time we are sending out an open invitation to anyone in the middle east. Today is Photo Friday at Gulf Photo Plus (which is practically free to attend) so if you are near the Dubai area definitely check it out. Then mingle with the likes of Zack Arias, Peter Hurley, Joe McNally, David Hobby, and many more in an open celebration at The Vista Restaurant in Internet City. More details

Learn The Fundamentals Of Digital Photography

Learn The Fundamentals Of Digital Photography

Right now on creativeLIVE, photographer John Greengo is going over the fundamentals of Digital Photography. If you shoot primarily with film and are on the fence about switching to digital then this is a class you can't miss. John is going over all of the basics and much more. As with all creativeLIVE workshops, the LIVE event is FREE. This course will run live until February 22 but if you don't have time to tune in, you can purchase the video downloads for only $99.

Inspiring Outlook On Photography With David Alan Harvey

Inspiring Outlook On Photography With David Alan Harvey

One thing that I believe is so important for the creative health of a photographer is listening to what other photographers have to say about their craft. I just got word that David Alan Harvey is going to be teaching at Gulf Photo Plus, and somehow David had not yet crossed my radar. As I began investigating this National Geographic photojournalist, it became increasingly apparent how much passion David has for his work. One quote that really stood out in the video above is "Take the photo first, and focus later,"

February Only Sigma 30mm f1.4 Lens Only $289 at BH Photo

February Only Sigma 30mm f1.4 Lens Only $289 at BH Photo

One of our favorite lenses for cropped DSLR cameras is currently on sale at BH Photo for a ridiculously low price of $289 (Next lowest price is Amazon at $349). If you've been looking at getting a nice wide angle lens for low light or super shallow depth of field, this lens is one to consider. We've shot a lot of Fstoppers Originals with this prime lens and it's a great choice for those wedding fusion videos in extremely low light situations. Comes in versions for Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

Awesome Saran Wrap Sledding Almost Destroys $65,000 Red Epic Camera

Awesome Saran Wrap Sledding Almost Destroys $65,000 Red Epic Camera

Stewart Edgington seems like a pretty rad guy if you ask me. He and his friends created what is bound to be a viral winter video. The concept: super slow motion video of his friends sledding, tubing, couching, and saran wrapping down a snowy slope. All of the shots were filmed on a Fastcam, Canon 60D, Canon 5D MK III, and a Red Epic but things could have turned tragic as a "Ski couch" nearly takes out both the Red Camera and the whole camera station. While

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