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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Things to Keep in Mind When Photographing Temples

Temples have always been close to my heart. In fact, that is where I started my journey in photography years ago. The divinity in its architecture and the timeless stories etched in it fascinate me. While we can talk about the what and how of temple photography in detail in a future article, this is essentially a list of important things that one has to tick before setting out to photograph temples. Hailing from India, the temples I have shot are mostly rooted here but the points mentioned would apply universally as well.

Win Up to $10,000 in This Photography Giveaway

In a few days, 5DayDeal will launch the biggest photography education sale of the year and this year, Fstoppers is proud to be participating with our own content included. While more information on this sale will be coming in the next few days, there's a chance to get started early with a giveaway of over $10,000 worth of photography prizes. All you have to do is head over to the contest page now to sign up.

Photoshop Raw Smart Objects Primer for Dodge and Burn

When you are especially particular about your adjustments and want your dodging and burning to utilize the maximum amount of image data possible, nothing beats Raw Smart Objects for the task. This is also ideal when you're making significant changes to exposure, whether it's for dodging and burning or other adjustments. In the end, more data almost always amounts to smoother, better looking changes.

When to Turn Pro in Photography

Going pro or full time in photography is often a daunting task. A lot of us are making the jump from another career rather than straight from university. This offers a particular set of challenges. Chances are that you have a mortgage or rent, loans, credit cards, children, cars, bills, a cat and dog, and a host of expenses that you have to keep on top of. The risk is high, but so is the reward.

How to Switch From Lightroom to ACDSee Ultimate 2018: Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed ACDSee's latest photo editing software release and even said it could replace Adobe products in many ways for Windows users. It was only wise to back that statement up with two complementary articles, this one being the first, showing to Adobe users how they could switch from Lightroom to ACDSee. In today’s write-up, I’ll concentrate on bringing files from previous Lightroom catalogs into ACDSee and also on how to manage your pictures in ACDSee Ultimate 2018.