Five Tips That Will Make You Better at Lighting

Lighting: it's the beginning and end of photography. The way we think about light shapes our style, our techniques, and the way we feel about our art. Unfortunately, lighting, whether by natural or artificial means, can be intimidating. When we're learning about lighting, all too often we get so wrapped up in technique that we don't think about what we are doing before we execute. However, sometimes the best tips we can get have more to do with mentality than technique.

Photoshop Plug-In for Better Frequency Separation Control

Full disclosure: I am about to tell you about my new Photohop plug-in, and yes it's a product of mine, via the new brand NBP Plug-ins. It's called Freqsep Control, and I intend to show you why I think it's so amazing, and a little bit about the history behind its development which began at the start of 2017.

How to Add a Window to Your Set With Seamless Paper

Different projects may require different things in the background to help sell the story we are trying to tell with our photos. Sometimes they can be as simple as using a window in the frame. What happens when you are shooting and there aren’t any windows that fit your vision, or any windows at all?

Is Apple Pushing Photographers to Use Windows?

For years, I've been the biggest supporter of everyone using a Mac, except gamers. Especially if you are a photographer or graphic designer, it just makes sense and it always has. But as current events unfold it's becoming harder and harder to stick with the platform, no matter how great it actually is.

Should You Buy Your Next Smartphone Based On DxOMark Ratings?

DxOMark has essentially become mainstream when it comes to providing ratings for cameras and smartphones. Anytime a new smartphone is released now, there’s a good chance that the overall camera rating from DxOMark is provided to demonstrate how much better this latest camera is. A growing number of individuals consider DxOMark to be biased and unscientific in its methods. The question is, how reliable is the overall rating or is it reliable at all.

Tips for Shooting Landscapes in Tourist-Heavy Locations

What do you do if that one location you want to photograph on your trip just happens to be one that hundreds if not thousands of other people also want to photograph? It can be a tricky situation to navigate. Sometimes it can be straight up frustrating. After too many instances where I found myself just being irritated, I found a few different ways to approach my shots of popular destinations that allowed me to capture what I wanted without having to feel like I was fighting crowds just for my shot.

Fstoppers Joins the Most Valuable Photography Sale of the Year: $2,500 Value for Only $117

Fstoppers is teaming up with 5DayDeal and dozens of other leaders in the photography world for the most valuable photography education sale of the year. The Complete Photography Bundle by 5DayDeal contains $2,500-plus in video tutorials, eBooks, Adobe Lightroom presets, marketing know-how, and so many more amazing resources for just $117 (a savings of over 95 percent). This year, we've thrown in our very own tutorial, Photography 101 to be a part of the charity match bonus which will support some incredible nonprofit organizations.

Why You Need to Print and What to Print Your Images On

The importance of printing your own images cannot be understated. There are a number of reasons, but I believe that it mostly comes down to perspective. Currently most entry-level cameras have at least 24-megapixel sensors, however, most screens are full HD which is only around 2 megapixels in resolution. Even a 4K screen is only around 8 megapixels. Seeing your images on any screen can never truly express the image as effectively as possible whether that is due to the colors or resolution. For this reason, printing your images can not only improve your perspective but also help with regards to improving your photography.

A Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Lightroom: Part 3

Do you know what keywords are and the best way to add them to your photos? What about what options to select when you are exporting your images? Have you ever heard of the painter tool? In this final part of my three-part series on Lightroom for beginners, I will cover the final steps to take after applying your final edits to your images.

Bored With Photography: Tips From Peter McKinnon

Usually for me it starts after the peak of fall foliage. After a busy year of spring portraits, wedding season, fall shoots, and some photographic trips sprinkled in, by the end of fall I find that it's easy to get a little bored with photography. Typically the inspiration needle on my gauge is in the red. While taking a break is never a bad idea, sometimes all you really need to do is challenge yourself. Presenting yourself with new opportunities to create photos and videos that may not normally be in your wheelhouse. Giving yourself some time to experiment can help you get back to why you started shooting in the first place.

How Well Does the Instamic Perform?

There are several different products out on the market for us to use aiming to help us with all of our different needs. Microphones are no exception and choosing the right one that fits you can be a daunting task, especially if you are looking for a great quality mic that is small and easy to use. Enter the Instamic, which claims to be the smartest, smallest, and most affordable microphone and audio recorder on the market… but how does fare?

DVLOP Presets Bring Creativity Back Into Your Lightroom Workflow

Love them or hate them, Lightroom presets have become a staple in the world of editing. A lot of users use them to emulate their favorite photographers or in an effort to recreate certain film looks. The problem with these presets is that everyone that uses them ends up releasing work that looks the same as everyone else who has the same preset. This was apparent with the very popular VSCO presets. What DVLOP aims to do is give you the ability to not only emulate your favorite photographers, but also the tools to create your own style.

Top 10 WeeklyFstops: Show Me 'Yours'

This week's theme of "yours" was less obvious than any of our previous prompts. That did not seem to dissuade any of the participants from submitting great shots. Of the four lists put together so far, this one might be the favorite. I'm also excited about the new theme this week, so be sure to check it out and join in.

Does Your Photography Tend to Change With the Seasons?

A simple question for you: do you find that from January to December, over the course of a given year, your photography changes along with the seasons and the environment? Kind of a loaded question though, right? The answer probably depends quite a bit on what exactly your brand of photography is. Of course, other factors play a major role like your location and whether your work is outdoors or in the studio too. When is the last time that you sat down and looked at your body of work? Aside from technical improvements, do you notice any trends that may coincide with various times of the year?

A Photographer's Nightmare: Hard Drive Failure Is Not a Joke, Back Up Your Photos

The day I’ve been preparing for arrived unexpectedly this past Saturday as I went to my Mac to export photos for a client, just like it was any other day. But I quickly found out it wasn’t going to be like other days when I found my photo and video files had disappeared from my Lightroom catalog.

Tips for Adding Metadata to Lightroom for Manual Lenses

Manual lenses have a fraction of the weight, size, unsurpassed sharpness, and price in many instances over autofocus lenses. With all these benefits there would have to be some form of a con, and that is the issues that arise when adding metadata to your images.

Why the Standalone Oculus Go Is What the 360/VR Industry Needs

360-degree video is a great way to tell immersive stories. Until recently though, the experience hasn’t been all that accessible. Just to view 360-degree content the way it was meant to look, you’d need an expensive headset like an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and a fairly beefy computer to run it on like a high-end Alienware or something with a powerful graphics card. This meant that while VR content was being produced in droves, few people were experiencing it the way it was meant to be. That’s about to change. Oculus just announced a standalone VR headset called the Oculus Go.

DJI Previews New Project Vertex Software for 3D Mapping in Pre-Production

On-site at DJI's Los Angeles Zenmuse X7 media event, DJI also previewed a new software solution it's working on in order to help plan drone shoots during the pre-production stages. Currently under development, Project Vertex will allow users to build three-dimensional models of a location and to bring them back to the office for more accurate shot-planning.

Starting a Photography Business as an Introvert

I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I was well into my 20s. I’m not shy, and I don’t mind speaking up in a crowd if I’m asked a question, so I always assumed I was an extrovert. You can imagine my surprise, then, when taking the Myers Briggs personality test in college yielded the result that I was an introvert. It all started to make sense. I would constantly find myself shying away from social events, although I considered myself social and had many friends, and I never liked any job that included a high volume of social interaction within a day, it exhausted me. When starting my business, one of my biggest struggles became working with my introversion.

C.J. Burton Reveals How He Created His Viral Donald Trump Cover for Newsweek

Earlier this year Newsweek ran a cover featuring everyone's favorite president to hate as their cover, depicting him lazily hanging out in the oval office pounding back the calories in about the least presidential way possible. Newsweek contracted legendary conceptual photographer C.J. Burton to create this inevitably notorious cover. Naturally, Burton quickly realized there would be no chance of him getting access to either Trump or the Oval Office for such a shoot so needed to leverage the power of compositing to create the image desired by the client.

How to Create Day to Night Time-lapse Footage

Time-lapse photography isn’t anything new, but it is a process that takes a lot of time to produce a cinematography effect showing subtle motion speed up to make it pronounced. Many motion films and television shows use it to show when a storm is forming, day shifts into night and vice versa, or even showing a busy street or freeway over time. Not only is it used there, many photographers produce their own clips for various projects. So how do you shoot and process a day to night time-lapse?

DJI Announces Zenmuse X7: First Super 35 Camera Optimized for Aerial Cinema

When it comes to flying cameras, there's no doubt that DJI is at the top of the game. Alongside its consumer, pro-sumer, and professional cinema options, today DJI announced the Super 35-format Zenmuse X7. Designed to work seamlessly with the Inspire 2 drone, the X7 features a number of advancements to make it the perfect match for cinema-quality aerial video capture.

Should You Capture or Create? How to Know if You're on the Wrong Road

I’ve always been jealous of people who know where they’re headed. They’re like greyhounds chasing a rabbit, absolutely certain of what they were put on this earth to do, and doggedly (pun intended) pursuing their purpose. When I first picked up a camera, I took photographs of everything. Bees, power lines, babies, weddings, families, anything I could point a lens at became my subject. It didn’t take long before I had people asking me to photograph them, and soon enough I was dragging families through shrubs and fields looking for that perfect outdoor shot.

Photographing Those Who Don't Want To Be Photographed

A few months ago, I took an overnight bus from Pokhara, Nepal, to Kathmandu. Arriving at five in the morning was not a part of the plan; nor was losing a night’s worth of sleep to dangerous curves, heavy rainfall, imminent landslides, and music that blared until shortly before arrival in the city. When I got there, I wasn't in too pleasant of a mood.

Review: Aluminium Dibond from

Today I’m testing out a direct to aluminum print from, which is supposed to bring out vibrant colors and incredible image clarity. The 3mm Dibond is fashioned from two thin sheets of aluminum, with a low-density core of polyethylene. This makes the print sturdy and durable, but also very lightweight. But to be honest, I’m awfully skeptic of printing on anything other than fine-art papers. Call me a conservative printer. Let’s find out if Dibond can change my mind.

Plug In Your Robotic Arm

We love gear. But this is next level stuff. If you’ve seen the smoothness of the shots used to introduce the Microsoft Studio Surface, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The guys at Motorized Precision who introduced KIRA robotic arm at NAB 2017 are taking pre-orders for the MIA, their latest robotic arm. It’s smaller, about as portable as a fridge is on wheels, and can plug into any traditional single phase wall socket. It holds up to a 22lb camera package, the arm itself weighs 120lbs and it comes with a standard six-meter track. If you want to see what it's capable of go watch Thor: Ragnarok, which used the KIRA for many of their shots. The video shows what the KIRA 1.0 could do.