Distinguish Luminosity Levels in Photoshop Better Than Ever With This Visual Help Layer

Seeing colors and luminosity correctly is not always easy. You could calibrate your screen and be stuck working at the same place every day, but some people just can’t have a fixed office or studio. And even with a calibrated monitor, adjusting luminosity to your creative vision can get tricky. This is where visual help layers come in, especially one called the five-tone heat map. Blake Rudis from f64 Academy shows you how to use and why it’s so useful.

Why Aren't My Images Sorted?

You've just arrived at a meeting with your prospective wedding clients. Examples of a canvas, acrylic, and aluminum are with you, but first up is a slideshow sequence you've authored as a video. You're there to impress and so whip out the pico projector and plug in the USB stick. This is going to be big — two meters big. You navigate to the video folder which has 30 or 40 files in it. And… they are only vaguely sorted by name. Where the heck is the file you are looking for?

Simplify Your Background for More Powerful Compositions in Photography

As I head into the new year of photography, I’ve taken the opportunity to think a lot about composition and how it relates to my photography and to photography as a whole. It is true that every picture has a composition, whether the creator intended it or not. Some spend much of their time thinking on how to compose, others do it instinctively, and others pay very little heed to it. Whatever your approach is, your photographs do have a composition, and it is worth considering how it affects the way your images are interpreted.

How to Photograph a Wedding Cake: Free Excerpt and Massive Discount on Fstoppers Tutorial

Several years ago, Fstoppers created a comprehensive tutorial on everything wedding photography. The tutorial includes over 14 hours of content revealing shooting techniques and successful tips on running a wedding photography business. Today, we're offering a free excerpt from the full tutorial to the Fstoppers community. Additionally, to celebrate our 30 videos spree during January, we're offering one of our biggest discounts ever if you choose to purchase the full tutorial. To save $200, simply use code "CAKE" at checkout.

New Extremely Fast and Portable SSDs Are Coming Out This Spring

Files from our cameras get bigger and bigger and we expect our workflow to get better and faster. This is not possible without using new technology for transferring our work to a backup storage device. The trend today is the portable SSD. This year several brands released their first portable SSD devices, which might make you update your on-location backup arsenal after you see the crazy speeds they can transfer data at.

Protecting Your Camera Gear After Shooting in the Cold

Baby it’s cold outside, just look at that ice beard! Only in Northern Michigan would you find someone actually surfing in this kind of cold. But, that’s what a Marquette local, Daniel Schetter or “Surfer Dan,” does. On Christmas day, Photographer Devon Hains ventured out into the cold to photograph Schetter out on Lake Superior. If you’re thinking at all about venturing out in the cold after the next fluffy snowfall to take some shots (and you should), you need to take the appropriate actions to protect your gear. In this article, I’ll share a tip on how not to completely ruin your gear after shooting in the cold.

Giving Voice to Black Female Photographers

It's one thing to be a female and feeling represented in this industry, but it's a whole different thing to be a black female, trying to acquire recognition and voice in photography. How many can you name from the top of your head? For the first time in 30 years, there is a substantial body of work to give an international representation to women of African descent. MFON, "an exclusive and commemorative publication," has collated stories and photographs from over 100 women of African descent, to kick off their first issue, "MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora."

It's Worth Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I think we all tend to figure out, one way or another, what works specifically for us as individual photographers. There are some styles that I simply don't shoot, some subjects that simply don't interest me, and elements that I simply would not put together for a shoot. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have many times found myself in a creative rut. You know, that mental state where you can think through the mechanics of most your shoots and it's just not as interesting as it has been in the past?

A Complete Guide to Organizing Your Photos in Lightroom and Maintaining an Efficient Workflow

In addition to being the place where you perform a lot of edits on your photos, Lightroom is an excellent program for cataloging and organizing images. As you work over time, you're likely to have tens of thousands of images stored there, and it becomes crucial to carefully organize your photos so you can easily find and work with them. This great video will show you just how to do that along with some other helpful tips.

Thinking of Switching to Mirrorless? You Need to Watch This

There are a lot of people switching from DSLR to mirrorless these days. But while Sony has the full frame side of things pretty much locked down, a ton of people, including Fujifilm X Photographer and Fstoppers tutorial maker, Elia Locardi, are recognizing the great, more compact, systems that Fuji is producing. In this video, Photographer and YouTuber Mark Duffy explains why he moved from Canon to Fuji.

Want to Go Viral? Here's How to Retouch a Portrait Like That Internet Sensation

Unless you've been completely off Internet for the past 24 hours, you'll have already seen the amazingly unique retouching skills of a portrait photographer in Missouri. While there is speculation on whether this is real or some kind of publicity stunt, one thing is clear: the photos are hilarious. Someone was bound to create a how-to at some stage, and thankfully, one of our favorite YouTube Photoshop wizards, Antti Karppinen, was quick on the draw. Pun intended.

PTW Episode 8: Lee Crashes Mavic Drone Into Italian Mountain

In today's behind-the-scenes episode of “Photographing the World,” Elia and the Fstoppers team continue to photograph the ancient city of Matera, Italy. Lee gets abducted by an old man, Elia scouts the city for the best camera location, and I walk for hours in search of food. After a successful production day, we then face one of the most disastrous moments in all of our “Photographing the World” journeys.

Using Photoshop to Create Sharper Images

Post-process sharpening is an often overlooked tool that can significantly improve an image. There are several techniques available to sharpen photos. Usually, an editing software will have a simple slider delegated to adjust a photo’s sharpness that may include a few options with it as well. Adobe Photoshop, however, can take the ability to control sharpening much farther.

How to Stabilize Footage Without Using Premiere's Warp Stabilizer

After getting into the video world, you quickly realize that being able to stabilize your footage when needed can make a significant impact on the result and quality of your video. While you can buy an expensive gimbal or rely on a not always so practical Steadicam, there is also the possibility of improving the stabilization in post-production. The tools included in most video editing apps aren’t exactly perfect as it will give you a weird effect and make you feel sick. What if I told you there is another way that works better than the warp stabilizer VFX filter and gives your footage a cool effect?

Don't Let Yourself Make These Three Common Photography Mistakes

Evan Ranft is a freelance photographer and short-form video maker based out of Atlanta, Georgia. While he has only been shooting professionally for a short time in the grand scheme of things, he has amassed quite the client base by shooting for brands such as Clif Bar, Mountain Dew, and Budweiser. Through his four years of shooting he has learned many things but in this video, he breaks down the three biggest mistakes he has made throughout his career.

ISPWP's List of Top Wedding Photographers Dramatically Under Represents Female Photographers

Intentional or not, there’s a substantial amount of messaging that occurs when you create a “Top 100” of anything. The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers released their list of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the World, and when you scroll down the list you’ll notice there’s a group that’s incredibly under-represented: women.

Kanto's YU4 Active Speakers: A Better Desktop Audio Experience

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk, both producing and consuming content. I have a supportive chair, high-end monitors, and all sorts of peripherals cluttering up my desk. All to make that time easier, comfortable, and more productive. One area a lot of people either don't think about or just skip is speakers. Whether you are listening to music while you work or editing your next big video project, quality speakers will improve the experience and quality of that work. In an attempt to improve the audio experience at my desktop I tried out a midsize set of speakers made by the Canadian company Kanto. The Kanto YU4 speakers are a reasonable size with a built-in amplifier making them perfect for desktop use.

Photographers Doing Bad Things: The Internet Doesn't Forget

I think that it is fair to say that photographers have probably been doing bad things to public lands, popular landmarks, and other natural resources since around the time that the camera was invented. There’s no way to keep ignorant people from acting irresponsibly. But, with the power of the crowd and the reach of social media, photographers need to think twice before staging shooting sessions that could result in damage.

Location Scouting: A Vital Step When It Comes to Creating

A few days ago I had the idea to shoot a new video. This project would involve three cars driving in a formation next to one another, which means location is key. Over the summer, I went to a spot next to a bridge to do some flying and thinking back to then, this would be an ideal spot to do this shoot. Without any planning, this idea would crumble which is why it is important to always scout these locations beforehand.

How to Setup an Easy DIY Overhead Camera Rig

Whether you shoot portraits, still life, fashion, beauty, or even video, there will be a time when you’ll need to shoot overhead for some reason. Don’t ask me why, I’m just sure that one day you will. So while I can’t help you with when and why, I can share the latest video from Peter McKinnon explaining how. Watch this tutorial to learn all about setting up a secure, compact, and efficient overhead setup.