National Geographic's Best 52 Photos of 2016

Tis the season. Around the time of December, photography websites worldwide recap last year with their selection of the cream of the crop. To many photographers, National Geographic is a well-respected media platform to get your work selected and exposed. And now they have made their selection curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs.

Man Invents Camera Rig for Terminally Ill Photographer

“Memories are important, because with a terminal illness, you’re not going to live a full life,” explains James Dunn. Suffering from epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin condition that causes blisters and extremely fragile skin, he can’t use a camera without assistance. However, that may now have changed.

What It's Like Photographing Olympic Fencing

When it comes to Olympic venues no other event goes so far to create such a theatrical experience for the attendees while also making for some of the most dynamic Olympic photographs as fencing.

Winner of Adorama and Nigel Barker's 'Top Photographer' Series Scott Borrero Chats Exclusively to Fstoppers

It’s been a week or so since San Fran-based photographer Scott Borrero was crowned the winner of Adorama and Nigel Barker’s new series "Top Photographer." The series saw five hopefuls take on a number of weekly photo challenges – including action sports, landscapes, and fashion editorials - to prove they were an all-rounder. Here, Borrero chats exclusively to Fstoppers about the experience and what’s coming next.

'Whispering Iceland' - Further Proof that Iceland is Disneyland for Photographers

If I'm brutally honest, I felt as if I'd become a bit numb to time-lapses. There's a sense in which the bar has been raised so high of late, that it's difficult to create anything that's likely to capture my attention (not that anyone's trying to). However, if there's one place that can deliver over and over again, it's the frozen tundra that feels as if it has been designed by a landscape photographer: Iceland.

golden retriever sitting on log

Many photographers who are beginning to dabble in pet photography ask about the best lens to use when photographing pets. While there is no right or wrong answer, as a dog photographer who primarily specializes in outdoor sessions, I use a telephoto lens for the majority of photos I take. If I were limited to just a single focal length to use for photographing dogs, I’d go with 200mm, and there are several reasons for this decision.

Group Composites: How to Get the Shot

Annie Leibovitz is well known for her group shots that have a high fashion aesthetic. The posing, lighting, and color toning are signatures to her images. While most photographers may not be shooting for Vanity Fair, learning how to create the staging and composites for family sessions can give you the leg up on wowing your clients.

Random Tests to Practice Using Your Gear

Yesterday was a really muggy day here in New Jersey and my partner and I both had off. We came downstairs to the office and worked on a few things when I realized we should be going out in this crappy weather and making something of it. We thought of a few ideas together and one stuck with us over the others, that was to shoot a car video using our Sony a7s ii and DJI Ronin M.

What Does America Think of 360-Video? The Answer May Surprise You

Have you immersed yourself in 360 degree technology? What do you think of 360-degree video and its future? Nikon was eager to find answers to these questions by initiating and conducting a "Nikon Life in 360" national survey. According to Nikon's study, you're more than likely to put your hands on a 360-degree camera soon if you haven't yet. Let's find out!

The 12 Best Long Takes in Film

The long take might be my favorite shot in all of film. The blocking, timing, thought, and technical mastery that go into a successful one are astounding. So, when you take some of the best in history and bunch them all together, it's a film lover's dream.

'Moonline' Combines Glow in the Dark Skis and Drones for an Amazing Short Film

It's winter here in Cleveland. Snow is flying, and there's a space heater under my desk. But while I'm moaning about being cold incessantly, a group of filmmakers did something so neat and innovative that it inspired to me to go out and find my own creativity in that winter wonderland.

Don't Get Comfortable in Your Photography Work

It's come to that time of year again. Business is slowing down for the winter, and friends are headed to their respective origins to visit family and friends. The weather outside is dipping further below zero every day, encouraging me to spend more time indoors. This is the time of year when I reflect and digest my year's work. It's also the time where my mind digs a little too deeply, and I often make rash decisions like purchasing a new camera that I don't need simply in order to experiment. However, it is mainly the time when I get to look at my work and decide where I want to take it next.
Adding Realistic Glow to Lightsabers in Your Work

With the increasing popularity of Star Wars from the latest batch of movies coming soon and last year's release of "The Force Awakens," Star Wars cosplay has become very popular once again. Unfortunately for us fans, as cool as they look in movies, lightsabers are not real. Even the very well made props that light up still do not look that realistic in photos.

Perfectly Normal: One Focal Length for Personal Photography Projects

One may be the loneliest number, but it may also be all you need. Gear is necessary for photography. Gear is a huge part of the fun of photography for many photographers. And having a variety of lenses at our disposal allows us to get shots in all kinds of circumstances. But when you're not out shooting for money, and instead are trying out a slowed-down approach to photography for a personal project, one prime lens may do nicely.

Should You Tell Your Photography Clients About Your 9-to-5 Job?

There are numerous avenues to becoming a full-time professional photographer. For many aspiring photographers who seek a career change, the responsibilities of family and financial commitments mean that quitting your current 9-to-5 job to pursue this goal is not possible. So there will be a period of time that you start to take on paid photography commissions whilst you still work your 9-to-5. Should you tell your clients the truth: that you are a part time photographer? Or should you fake it till you make it? We examine the pros and cons of both sides.
Did Time Magazine Use Photography to Compare Donald Trump to Hitler?

Time recently announced that it had named Donald Trump its Person of the Year. That's unsurprising when you remember that the title goes to the person who "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year." However, the cover photo is peculiar in several ways — enough so to raise the question of if it is an intentional reference to one of history's most evil and infamous figures. The Internet seems to be split on if that's the case.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Louis Le Prince, Father of Cinematography

The race to conquer new frontiers of innovation is not a new event, but it is well known. What can be learnt from history about these types of competitions, however, is that it is not always to the winner go the spoils; the lightbulb and telephone are infamous examples, but the moving picture can be added to that list.

How To Help Someone That Is New To Photography Become An Amazing Photographer

Every photographer worth their salt has had that moment when they get a message from an excited friend who just bought their first camera. That friend is absolutely thrilled with their purchase and has become starry-eyed with the prospect of all the amazing photos they will soon create. There is only one problem: they know nothing about photography. That is where you come in. You have the opportunity to mentor them and create a shooting buddy for the indefinite future, so get it right!

Photographer Recreates Famous Brand Adverts to Highlight Lack of Diversity in the Industry

Does the world of advertising suffer from a lack of diversity? One photographer certainly thinks so, and to highlight the issue, has faithfully recreated some of the best known advertising campaigns of recent years to imagine what they would look like with a black model instead of the white models predominately used within the industry. Entitled "Black Mirror," the project is the work of Los Angeles-based photographer Raffael Dickreuter and his girlfriend, model Deddeh Howard. Dickreuter believes it was being part of an interracial couple which first opened his eyes to the lack of diversity in the photography of many of the world’s leading brands.

My 10 Favorite Films for Creative Inspiration

Sometimes, when creativity and inspiration leave us, we have to immerse ourselves in the creativity of another to regain them both. What follows are my ten favorite movies I constantly find myself returning to when in need of inspiration. Whether it be their visual spectacle, their storytelling, or the collective force of their artistry, they always manage to knock the creative block loose.

Photoshop: My Smart Flare Action Explained

It's been a little while so I reasoned some new free Photoshop Actions were in order! As you may recall, I create Actions based on simple processes I find myself doing regularly in my retouching workflow, mostly in the interest of convenience and efficiency. Today, however, I've essentially updated a previous Action I gave away, now dubbed Smart Flare. Let's break down what it does and why.

New Interactive Tool Leads Auto Mode Users out of Photographic Darkness

If you've been practicing photography professionally for any amount of time or even if you're an advanced amateur, you've been asked by friends, family, or strangers if you could teach them how to use their camera. Often, this results in the conversation devolving into bits and pieces about apertures, exposure triangles, and using manual mode, ending with a deer-in-headlights look from the unsuspecting inquisitor. Well, here's a new tool to help teach them how to use that "nice camera" to "take nice pictures" without breaking the bank. And if you're one of the people needing help to switch off Auto mode, this is the tool for you.

Three Amazing Moments in the Emotion of Cinema That Filmmakers and Photographers Can Learn From

I've been in love with the movies since I was a kid. I believe we, both as filmmakers and photographers, can learn so much about storytelling, composition, and minute visual details that can elevate our art to another level. This analysis of three emotionally moving scenes is highly instructive and offers great lessons that makers of both still and moving images can benefit from.

Apple's iPhone Photography Tips for Shooting in Portrait Mode

Apple just released some quick tips from professional photographers for shooting in Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus. For those that thought you'd find some tricks in the Tips app on your iPhone, you thought wrong. But Apple is finally sharing a few tips online. Although fairly easy to use, these tips can help an unfamiliar user to better understand the dual-camera system and how to get the best out of Portrait Mode.

Erik Almas Asked to Recreate a Famous Vermeer Painting Using Stock Photos

'The Concert,' a painting by the famous artist Johannes Vermeer, is one of the masterpieces of the Dutch painter. Unfortunately it was stolen in 1990. All his paintings are so skillfully created with quite remarkable understanding of light as intensity, shape, direction, size, and color. It's exciting to see what would happen if a photography master is asked to recreate this painting using Photoshop, images from a stock library, and his extensive knowledge of light and color.

Win a $6,495 Italy Photo Adventure in This Free Photo Contest!

Our friends at ViewBug teamed up with Discovery Photo Tours to offer an unforgettable Italy photo adventure to one lucky photographer. Submit your image to the completely free “Around the World” photo contest and you could win a seat on Discovery Photo Tours' Spring 2017 Italy Photo Tour! This all-inclusive, eight-day tour will be an incredible journey through the heart of Italy. Start in Rome and wind through the Tuscan countryside, into Florence, and end in Cinque Terre.

Instagram Introduces New Features Designed for Better Control

It's no secret that Instagram is a bit of a free-for-all in some respects. Every day, I fend off the usual swarm of bots and comments offering me services of questionable legality. Instagram seems to have recognized this, introducing several new tools today, all designed around increased control and positivity in the app experience.

Jain's 'Makeba' Music Video Displays Incredibly Creative Thinking in South African Culture

Jain is a musician from France, but she's lived all over the world during her teens, from Dubai to the Republic of Congo and even in South Africa, where the music video for 'Makeba' was shot. The song's name is a reference to Miriam Makeba, a well-known South African singer and songwriter during the 50s and 60s. Her mother used to play it at home, and she noticed how different the African beat and rhythm is to that of the Middle East and Europe. In the music video, it's smart editing and visual effects that bring simple ideas together to give the video the rhythm that perfectly taps into the African beat.

The Brand New MeFOTO Air: First Impressions

The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.

How To Take Advantage of Windy Weather To Create Beautiful Portraits

When life serves you lemons, make lemonade. At least that’s what I was always told when I was younger. Now as a professional photographer, I’m sometimes dealt lemons in terms of weather conditions. How do you make lemonade out of less than perfect weather so it benefits your set?

How to Adjust Specific Colors in Photoshop

Changing a single particular color is easily done in Capture One, but it can prove to be a little bit more complicated in Photoshop. None of the tools found in Adobe's image editing software target colors such as orange, violet, azure, or other tertiary colors. However, there is a very simple trick to make it happen. I'm not talking about curves here, but an approach that will be extremely easy to understand, even for beginners.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (November 2016): Lisa-Marie McGinn

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2016, we'll be featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

Create an Eerie Nighttime Photo in the Middle of Day

Sometimes you just want to shoot midday with a speedlite, in the middle of the forest, on a balmy 80-plus degree day in Florida. OK, those last few statements are purely hypothetical, but as a traveling photographer, I work with what I’ve got.

Is Photoshop Ruining Your Craft and Confidence?

I don't know about the rest of you, but when it comes to comparing my work to others, I'm a sucker for punishment. Try as I might, I can't help but peruse the latest trade magazines when I'm cruising the bookstore, avoiding the editing I should be doing at home. And without fail, something catches my eye that makes my jaw drop. In this day and age when so much of the great work out there is heavily Photoshopped, should we be so quick to compare our own work to it?

Perfect for Gimbals: Using Your Phone as a Monitor

The biggest downside to using a gimbal is losing basic controls of the camera. Sure, you can use a monitor, but you can't actually control the camera. Could your phone fix this problem?

Impressive Hyperlapse Video Shows Cappadocia in Four Seasons

Internationally acclaimed time-lapse film maker and photographer Rob Whitworth brings magical Cappadocia alive in his flow-motion hyperlapse film for Turkish Airways. The visually stunning clip, which highlights the tourist attractions in the region, took six weeks to shoot over the course of two months and two seasons. The effortless blending of multiple photography techniques and precise After Effects work culminates in a breathtaking finished product which pushes boundaries and leaves no doubt as to why Whitworth's videos have over 9 million online views.

Canon Camera and Lens Deals for the Holidays

There are still a few weeks before the Holidays and plenty of time to order that camera and lens before the gift giving starts. Whether you're considering buying a camera for yourself or a loved one, now is the perfect time to check out some of the deals on Canon products which can instantly save you up to $400. Check out the great deals on the Canon Rebel T6i, a fantastic starter camera for anyone interested in photography or who is starting to shoot video, and browse through some other great canon products and kit options.

Fstoppers Reviews the Wotancraft Scout Camera Bag

More and more photographers are starting to adopt a minimalist approach to their photography gear. What this means is that users want and need smaller bags that accommodate their gear. Having a small camera body and a couple lenses is almost useless if you have to let them rattle around in larger traditional camera bags. Fashioned after WWII army backpacks, the Wotancraft Scout shoulder bag has the looks and size to fill this need, but does it have the functionality to stand out in the growing market?

Now That I Have a Nice Photography Portfolio, How Much Should I Charge?

Although you read it on a website related to photography and videography, the information in this article can be applied to many other businesses. What I'm going to share is based on my own experience, not based on marketing books. I will not teach you new psychology tricks on how to sell mediocre products or services, nor will I give you X steps to follow blindly in order to have a successful business. I will try to give you advice to help you correctly estimate your business value and set a price accordingly.

Kaylee Greer and Scott Kelby

If you haven’t yet come across the whimsical, awe-inspiring dog portraits created by Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography, they will forever change the way you look at dog photos. Within the last few years Greer has risen to be one of the most recognizable dog photographers in the world, with her colorful style and ability to capture humorous and fun expressions. On a recent episode of The Grid hosted by Scott Kelby, Greer answers a variety of questions about her craft.

Joey L Covers the Oil Disaster in Qayyara, Iraq

2016 has been a year that has seen Joey L plunged in to unusual situations. His name is usually associated with is masterful lighting and portrait style of A-List celebrities. Then, in October this year Joey reached out to me about his work for the legendary Lavazza calendar which a more travel orientated series of portraiture. Now, Joey has gone one step further and taken his beautiful image style and applied it to a crisis in Qayyara in Iraq.

Turn That Super Moon Photo into Something Creative

Now that the Super Moon has come and gone, just about every photographer has a bunch of great moon shots sitting on their hard drive. With help from Andrei Oprinca over at, you can turn those images into creative graphic designs for various uses. I turned mine into cell phone wallpapers and gave them to friends and family.

The Profoto B1 vs. Godox AD600 for Flash Photography

I promised a while back that I would do a comparison between the Profoto B1 and the Godox AD600 head to head. I have finally had the chance to rent and spend some time with the Profoto B1 again, and I am ready to give my thoughts on the two as they pertain to the way I shoot and the situations I spend my time in.