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Fstoppers Analog Reviews: Canon AE-1 Program

Creating beautiful and compelling imagery through the medium of photography is a difficult challenge. Capturing a scene as it unfolds is both art and truth in storytelling. Today, digital photography presents the effortless platform for image capture. Excelling technology allows anyone to pick up a camera and take excellent photographs. One might say the ease of digital imagery has opened doors across platforms. We’ve seen this paradigm before; we witnessed the introduction of gateway tools in the world of photography since the dawn of the medium, each time bringing in new and excited enthusiasts who will go on to redefine what it is to be a photographer. In 1981, well before the surge of digital technology, there was a camera that similarly ushered in a generation of photographers: the Canon AE-1 Program.

Combine Photos and Create Collages in Photoshop with Layer Masks

Utilizing layer masks within Photoshop isn't going to be anything new to some of you but if you are one who is somewhat unfamiliar with using masks in your work then this quick tutorial by Colin Smith, with photoshopCAFE, is just for you. Layer masks are best known for hiding or revealing sections of an image in a non-destructive manner. This could be compared to an eraser tool that can be reversed at any time without having to resort to your history panel. Even though the history panel in Photoshop CC now lets you set the controls to record up to 1000 history states, by using layer masks you don't have to undo all of your work in a sequential order in order to go back and modify the layer that you are masking.

Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 VR vs Sigma Art vs Tamron G2

Although everyone has a different "favorite" lens, the 24-70mm 2.8 lens usually ends up being used the most. It's standard zoom range and fast 2.8 aperture makes it usable for almost any type of photography. Today, I'm comparing the three most popular 24-70mm lenses to determine which one is best.

Top 10 WeeklyFstops: Light

The WeeklyFstop depends not only on its loyal readers and participants, it relies on light. Light determines what we see and how we see it. Our photos depend on us controlling the camera so the light coming through the lens exposes correctly. This week's list of photographers submitted some superb examples of photos featuring light.

It's Time For Some Awesome Wacom Hacks

So if for some reason you've still never tried a graphical tablet for your image retouching or digital illustrations, seriously stop waiting around. Worst case scenario is that you find that you really don't like it so you turn around and sell it. Best case, you revolutionize your retouching habits; pretty much a no-brainer. You can pick up used tablets online at huge discounts or you can buy new if that's your thing. For the sake of retouching, just try one out. Give it about a week if it's your first time with a tablet. Here is an awesome video with some tips and tricks you can apply to get you flowing right out of the gate.

This New York City 'Layer-Lapse' Is Jaw-Droppingly Cool

The thing I love about creative people is that just when I think I've seen it all, they do something that never even crossed my mind. Such is the case with this very unusual and very cool time-lapse of New York City that completely blurs the line between day and night.

Photographic Virtues Series: Adaptability

In this series, I attempt to identify the key professional virtues I have found to be the most important in building my own career, as well as identifying traits of other successful photographers and business leaders that are most key to their success. Today’s virtue: adaptability.

How I Shot a Magazine Cover with Liam Gallagher

In September I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of a couple of hours of Liam Gallagher’s time to shoot a magazine cover and 12-page spread. Here’s a detailed breakdown of my thought process, creative ideas and how the shoot was executed on the day.

The VAST Project: How to Capture and Edit Artistic Gigapixel Photography

Ultra-high-resolution photography has been around for years now but the technical difficulties associated with the creation of gigapixel images tend to limit the artistic output of this type of photography. People find it incredibly fascinating and like to explore every little detail of a scene, but they wouldn't want to put one on their wall as artwork. The aesthetic is often sacrificed in the race for resolution. That’s precisely why a group of photographers joined forces to create a collective called VAST in order to conciliate beauty and high definition.

Three Tips to Speed Up Adobe Lightroom

I have heard several photographers complain about how slow Adobe Lightroom is. While I agree that Adobe needs to make some improvements to their photo processor and image organizer, there are a few things we can do on our machines to help Lightroom run a little more smoothly.

The Rewards of Patience in Photography

In a lot of genres, you have to shoot quickly and efficiently, lest you'll possibly miss an important shot. In other genres and situations, being in too much of a rush can be what actually causes you to miss the shot or come home with less-than-stellar results. This great video examines the idea of patience.

How Having Your Photos Taken Will Make You a Better Photographer

I hate having my pictures taken. It’s common, but still ironic, to have a photographer who dislikes being on the other side of a camera. This fall, I made a promise to my wife that we would have our family photos taken and I was able to experience the entire process of hiring and working with a photographer. It wasn’t my intention to treat this as a learning opportunity, but now that all is said and done, I can say that I have learned a lot. Experiencing the client’s perspective, watching another professional operate, and the renewed perspective gained for what a photo is worth are among many things I came away with from our session.

President of NEXT Models Discusses the Industry and What Photographers Need to Learn in Order to Succeed

Fashion Photographer Alexi Lubomirski recently sat down with Kyle Hagler, president of NEXT models, for an intimate and candid chat about the modeling industry and what photographers can do to succeed. Hagler offered an array of fantastic advice that almost any photographer can draw on. Solely focusing on abstract aspects of what makes a great photographer, he is able to provide advice that resonates in a unique way.

Follow the Re-creation of One of the Most Famous Photographs in History

Philippe Halsman's "Dali Atomicus" is one of the most famous images ever, notable for its complex composition and remarkable timing that captured the soul of its famous subject. This modern re-creation goes to painstaking effort to replicate the original, and the process is very neat to watch.

Using Clone Tool Blend Modes To Better Preserve Desirable Skin Texture When Retouching Skin

Often when retouching skin we want to clone away high contrast blemishes without also cloning the texture surrounding it. Advanced techniques such as using frequency separation can be a great help to make this sort of thing easier by separating detail from broader tones. One often overlooked technique that does a great job of preserving mid-tone detail while cloning is to leverage the power of blend modes to target only bright tones or dark tones when cloning.

Working in Photography With Anxiety

Most of us will have had that feeling of dread creeping up on us at some point in our lives; the racing heart, nausea, sweaty palms, and sense of impending doom. For some of us, this is just the start. And it’s not occasional. Working as a photographer with anxiety can feel very isolating and often impossible.

Fstoppers Analog Review: Nikonos V

Fstoppers Analog Review is a quick throw down on some of photography’s greatest equipment. In a world where we are constantly defined by the rapid progression of technology, these posts are intended to remind us about our love for the fundamentality of capturing life in silver and light. Each week we’ll review another piece of pivotal photography equipment, discuss the history, review its capabilities, and share our results! This review will go to the fabulous Nikonos V, a waterproof 35mm camera with a history as deep as diving itself. This handy sidekick will blow you away with its capability!

Making 150-Megapixel Photographs on a 10-Year-Old Camera

They say the best camera is the one that is with you, but what if that particular camera is lacking in megapixels? Here's how to take advantage of the camera you already own and make some giant image files and extra large photo prints.

The Importance of Persistence and Effort in Photography

We all like to get results and to know that our efforts have not been for naught. Sometimes, though, getting that killer shot is just not in the cards, often because of forces outside our control, which is when it's important to remember how effort and persistence will eventually pay off.

Five Tips to Speed Up Your Editing Workflow

Every video project is different. You can have a client looking over your shoulder at every instance, or you can have a client not giving you any direction of what they want, which leads to multiple re-edits to produce a video they like and need. This means that where you can save time, you should. And one of the areas you can cut down is to know your NLE (non-linear editing system) and optimize it to suit you and the project you are busy with. In this video, Pond5 shows how you can streamline your editing and speed up your workflow.

A Closer Look at the Image Quality a $63,000 Camera Can Produce

Phase One announced a couple of new medium-format digital backs this year, the Trichromatic and the Achromatic. The latter is available for a whopping $63,000 in a kit with the XF body, and for that price it only shoots in black and white. At least that’s the way many seem to consider it. However, it’s much more than that. It captures black and white images like no other camera, and for the photographers that like black and white shooting film, this gorgeous beast offers a very similar workflow. See how it works and performs in this video.

Some Handy Hidden Tricks in Lightroom

Lightroom is likely where you spend a lot of, if not the majority of your post-processing time. And so, any little shortcuts or tricks you can pick up can add up to more efficiency and better output down the road. This helpful video will show you five such tricks to add to your arsenal.

Six Quick Drone Photography Tips for Beginners

I'm just starting to look into adding drone photography to my commercial photography services, so I've been trying to learn as much as I can about it when I have the time. Quick videos like this one usually teach me a thing or two, and they don't take long to watch. I'm all about learning something new while eating breakfast, editing photos, or even folding socks.

When and Why You Should Turn Your Images Black and White

For many photographers, particularly hobbyists, making an image black and white is almost arbitrary. I remember in the early days of my photography, I was the same. I would mutter: "I wonder if this would look good in black and white," and then, I'd try it. Sometimes, it would look better, but usually, it would not. I presumed it was all just down to taste, but that's not true. After years of reading around the subject and experimenting, I began to understand why it worked when it did and conversely, why it often didn't. Here are some key elements that ought to be present in black and white images, and why.

How to Improve Your Documentary Photography

Although I now work in the commercial world, my passion started with documentary photography. I was, and still am, obsessed with Annie Leibowitz’s work with the Rolling Stones and I loved William Egglestone’s color observations of the mundane world he found himself in. When I find a free day, there is nothing that I enjoy more than walking out with my camera to document someone else's life. However, unlike the plethora of studio lighting tutorials available, there seems to be a real lack of articles on documentary photography. Here are six tips on how to improve your images.

First Hands-On Look at the Sony a7R III

Following the announcement of the Sony a7R III, I had the chance to use the new a7-series flagship mirrorless camera for an evening of studio shooting. Here are my first impressions on handling, Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, the much improved autofocusing system, and 10 fps continuous shooting.

Fstoppers Reviews the Hasselblad X1D-50c

The Hasselblad X1D-50c is one of the more recent of the more affordable medium-format digital cameras to come out. And it sports Sony’s 50-megapixel CMOS sensor that has made these cameras much more affordable than their predecessors — all in a body that is by no small margin the most compact and portable in its class. The only question is can it perform?

An Alternative Way to Color Grade Images in Photoshop

The cool part about Photoshop is that for any desired result, there are numerous ways of getting there, allowing you to choose the method that works best with your workflow and what you know. This helpful tutorial will show you another way to color grade your images that you might not have seen before.

A Beginner's Guide to Using the Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop

One of the coolest things you can do with Photoshop is get rid of stuff you don't want in the picture fairly easily in most situations. If you're relatively new to the app, this helpful video will show you two such tools for doing that: the Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush.

Five Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make

Every single photographer from rank amateur to seasoned pro makes mistakes. Of course, the idea is to minimize the occurrence of said mistakes so you can focus more on being creative and not have to worry about missing a shot. If you're just starting out, here are five mistakes to be aware of when you head out to shoot.

A Simple Way to Extend Your Audio Tracks

When creating videos, sometimes finding that perfect song, music score, or track takes a while. Then when you place it together and the music isn’t long enough, manually cutting and extending the track can take some time. What if I told you there’s an easy and automated way to extend your selected track to any length.

How I Got The Shot! With Red Bull Photographer Ryan Taylor

Photographer Ryan Taylor recently worked with Red Bull to shoot a highlight story on Hilary Knight, one of Red Bull’s professional athletes and member of US Olympic Hockey team. With Knight going to the winter Olympics this February it was the perfect opportunity to showcase her journey to Gold.

Why Are You a Photographer?

Perhaps a better question to ask is: “Why am I a photographer?” In recent months, I feel like I've completely lost touch with why I became a photographer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do, but sometimes I forget why. When I was first starting out as a photographer and all of my shoots were “just for fun,” it was easy to see why I enjoyed it. After all, there were no consequences if I screwed something up, and I looked at photography as more of an escape from reality than a job.

Sony Announces the a7R III: Solid Improvements Built Around the Previous Generation's 42.4-Megapixel Sensor

The cat is finally out of the bag: Sony is giving us a look at their new a7R III this week during the Photo Plus Expo. The just-announced mirrorless camera mixes the best of the a7R II with some of the technology first seen in the a9, plus a little bit of all-new treats that landscape, architectural, and still-life photographers will want to take note of.

Using Tension in Your Photos

Photography is, by its nature, an interruptive thing: it freezes a moment in time, and in doing so, it can either subvert the dynamic nature of time and all that moves in it or (if done correctly) can enhance it. This helpful video shows you one element you can add to your images to breathe dynamic nature into a still medium.

A Haunting Victorian-Era Photography Trend Known as Memento Mori

There have been all sorts of strange trends in photography throughout its vast history. Some of those trends raise the question, where would you draw the line when it comes to taking on commissioned work? Would posing and photographing the dead be considered too taboo in today's society?

Why You Should Consider Giving Film a Chance

I still try to learn, as much as I can, as often as I can, especially in the world of photography. No matter how much more experience I manage to gain or how many people I get lucky enough to work with, I think I will always still feel like a beginner who is just learning the craft. I was fortunate enough to begin my adventures into photography with a great darkroom class. My experience behind the camera quite literally started with black and white film and using enlargers to bring my images to life.

Five Ways to Get the Cinematic Film Look Using Your DSLR

When it comes to filmmaking, a really popular look is the cinematic look. This is something that can be really difficult to perfect especially when you're first starting out in the industry. Fortunately, Armando Ferreira, a YouTuber and filmmaker has provided some techniques that are relatively easy to implement. The great thing about the techniques outlined in this video is that they're either completely free to do or may only cost a small amount, making them very viable. Personally, what I love about the techniques Ferreira discusses is that they're so simple to do and even a complete beginner shouldn't find them too difficult.

Is Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Really Faster? [Updated]

It's been at least four major updates to Lightroom throughout which so many photographers have been begging for performance improvements, even at the cost of feature updates. Finally, that day is here. Alongside today's announcement of Lightroom Classic CC (the new "normal Lightroom" for those who aren't yet aware of the name change), Adobe promised major performance updates. We know they're serious this time, but they've made similar performance enhancement claims in the past that have fallen far short of expectation. Do they mean it this time? Short answer: Hell yeah they do.

The Two Most Useful Lenses a Photojournalist Should Carry

A photojournalist is often called upon to photograph a scene at a moment’s notice. It can be a car accident one day, a music festival, the next and a protest the day after. With that in mind, there are two useful lenses that every photojournalist should carry in their bag to cover such a diverse range of photographic opportunities.

Seven Simple Tips for a More Natural Smile

A smile can make or break your portrait. While shooting the person who is forcing a fake smile, it can be obvious in a lot of people who aren't used to "smiling for the camera" and ruin the shot, while a genuine natural smile can make your photo that much better. So how do you get your subject to give you a better, more natural smile?

How to Properly Blend and Match Lighting and Colors for a Composite Image

When you're creating a composite image, it's a game of balancing and matching a ton of parameters to make the different elements convincingly look as if they all originated in the same frame. This helpful tutorial will show you some of the most important aspects you need to have mastered to create your best composite work.

Learn the DJI Drone Intelligent Flight Modes

If you own a DJI drone and are anything like me, the first time you looked at the controller menu, you were both overwhelmed by the options and set abuzz by the possibilities all those weird buttons and symbols contained within them. This helpful video will show the advantages of and how to use the Intelligent Flight Modes on the latest DJI drones.

How to Become an Expert Photographer: Fame and Fortune Optional

Industry icons like Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz often look to us plebs like they’ve been blessed by the photography gods with talent the rest of us can only dream about, yet their success stories often include incessant practice, unwavering determination, apprenticeships, and lucky breaks. What separates those of us at the bottom from the select few at the top? And, if you want to be front and center stage, how do you get there?

Seven Ideas for Better Fall Photos

I don't care when the song was originally referring to, because fall is the most wonderful time of the year. As this great video highlights, autumn is full of inspiring creative opportunities that are an absolute joy to shoot and can yield some really impressive imagery. Here are seven ideas for fall photographs.