Recent Documentary Articles

Photographer Mark Wallace Documents His Motorcycle Drive Across 6 Continents

Mark Wallace is a great friend of ours, and also one of the leading photography educators on the planet (subscribe to his series on AdoramaTV). Mark has been traveling the world for over two years now, but in the beginning of 2016 he traded the trains, planes, and automobiles for a single BMW R1200 motorcycle. His latest journey will possibly take him 2-5 years as he trades the studio gear for a simple GoPro to document his travels across six continents. If you need a break from photography education, Mark on a Bike might be the perfect cultural experience to follow.

Photographer Steve Brown Recreates 'The Last Supper' Using Star Wars Characters

From Star Wars to Rogue One, we just can't get enough of this series as it continues on to the new generation. I know that I myself can't get enough of the Star Wars saga, let alone the numerous examples of fan art out there, including photography concepts. Photographer Steve Brown has created an amazing Last Supper with The Emperor, Darth Vader, and Imperial Stormtroopers. The final image just blew my mind. From sketching, planning, and retouching the final product, we bring to you the step by step tutorial on how he created this masterpiece.

In the Shoes of a Wedding Photographer: Tom Harmon Takes You Behind the Lens

We all know that wedding photography is not easy, and at our wedding, we want a record of moments that will last a lifetime. After working for Tom Harmon as an intern in the summer of 2015, I saw what went into shooting a wedding. It was a lot more than I expected. From the contracts to the gear, then shooting the actual wedding itself and going back to upload and edit the photos, it was tons of work, tons of gear, and a lot of patience and creativity.

Seven Inspiring Quotes from Timeless Photographers

Everyone’s life journey is different and often the road of the bravest leads to the most unexpected discoveries and inspiring experiences. It is never someone else’s decision of which path we take in our way and what we become. Henri Matisse, one of the giants of modern art, once said that creativity takes courage and I can’t agree more. We, as humans, have an obligation to grow as a person, as a professional,and as an artist, and inspiration plays a major role in this process.

Architecture in Motion: Emile Rafael

When it comes to shooting homes, Emile Rafael takes it to the next level. As a real estate photographer and videographer, I see the potential in shooting videos for agents; the only problem is they don't typically want to pay much, and they need things turned around fast. This is something where the agent could be taking a risk and receiving a quality product, but it does not seem to be so common.

A Visual Year in Under Two Minutes

This incredible year-long project by the 70 photojournalism students of Rochester Institute of Technology plays to the depths of photography in light, movement, emotion, and connection — Ideas laid out in short photographic bursts that create tangible emotions for the viewer to experience alongside the subjects in the photographs. In under two minutes we see nearly 100 stories, each on the screen for a second or less.

Ten Must See Photography Documentaries and Their Trailers

If I ever find myself wallowing in a creative rut, I have a few surefire ways out of that hole. My most effective method, although probably not the quickest, is to watch a documentary on another photographer. They need not be similar to your own brand of photography; in fact, I often feel it's better when they aren't. Whatever sub-genre of photography the subject does, a documentary is invariably a rich vein of ideas and inspiration.

'The Story Behind My Photo' Is a Compelling Series of Photographer Short Stories

Canadian digital camera store, Vistek, has been interviewing photographers that have exhibits in the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, in an ongoing video series called, "The Story Behind My Photo." In case the series title hasn't given it away, Vistek asked talented Canadian photographers to take us behind-the-scenes and share the stories that go along with their photos. These videos are very brief, but are compelling, beautiful, informative, and often, humorous.

Four Birth Photographers Who Capture the Glory of Motherhood

Birth photography has become a popular sub-genre of documentary photography that shows the raw, real, and beautiful journey of bringing new life to the planet. It seems fitting to spend a few minutes on this Mother's Day remembering how your mom earned the right to exclaim: "Hey, I brought you into this world, so [insert personalized threat]!"

Photographer Creates Haunting Reminder of Why We Need Earth Day

Now that everyone's feeds have been flooded with typical Earth Day stock imagery of beautiful rolling hills, ocean waves, and lush trees, Photographer Joe Freeman takes a darker tone and shows us the harsh reality of what future generations will see if humanity continues on the same devastating path.

The Power of Photography and The Stories Behind Some of the Most Iconic Photographs Ever Taken

COOPH Video Director, Matthew Rycroft, continues to make my job easier by sending me engaging content to share with the Fstoppers' community. Their latest video focuses on the ability, we all have as photographers, to capture unique, iconic, and fun moments. Watch "The Power of a Photograph," as it highlights twenty-two iconic photos that depict loss, depression, defiance, bravery, triumph, love and respect.

The Power of Portraits: Clay Cook's Look at Ethiopian Youth

On one side, we have advertising photography, where everything is contrived and meant to look a certain way. It might as well be a painting with how planned out each step is. On the other, we have photojournalism. As the opposite, true photojournalism should never be staged, posed or "created." The idea is to capture what is and has happened. Unlike a painting, photography has the power to show real time exactly how it is with no artistic interpretation. What captivates me is when those two worlds collide to create art with purpose, and that is exactly what Clay Cook has done with his portraits of impoverished youth in Ethiopia.

One Roll of Film

Since digital photography was introduced, our art has become available to most, for better or worse. Releasing a shutter doesn’t cost much anymore, the process of creating an image is easier than ever, and everyone who has a phone is now a photographer. In 2016, going back to film sounds like a crazy idea for many. However, like "One Roll of Film" shows, it still has its place, and it is different from digital.

Sony A7S II Filming Videography Kevin Whitley New Orleans

For years, videographers shooting in dark situations frequently ran into the issue of a ton of noise in darks and shadows that would oftentimes make some footage difficult or impossible to use. Many have heralded the release of the a7S II with applause due to its power for video in low-light situations and even to record bursts of high frame rates in HD, so we took one into the deep recesses of an abandoned power plant in New Orleans to see how it did.

Filmmaker Creates Art in Motion With Black Powder

Nicolas Vuignier has an amazing flare for the creative when it comes to documenting skiing. Working with Jules Guarneri in Crans-Montana over a year ago, the duo painted professional skiers with black ochre to create a strikingly unique contrast of seemingly silhouetted figures against stark white snow. The video is called “Nowness” and provides definitively artistic visuals and creative opacity blending to hit the mark of modern perspective.

Photographing a Concert With the Nikon D5

Canon and Nikon have always had their single digit models at the top level of performance. From the original D1, bringing a professional digital camera to the world that didn’t require a separate backpack for a processor, to the D3, Nikon’s first ever full-frame body, this series of cameras has pushed the envelope of what a camera can do. The Nikon D5 not only pushed the boundary, it has demolished any previous limitation that I have found in a camera.

The Deadline To Enter Red Bull's Illume Competition Is NOW!

Every couple of years Red Bull hosts one of the coolest photo competitions in the world called the Red Bull Illume. If you aren't familiar with this photo contest, the Illume showcases some of the most unbelievable sports photographs in the world. Many of the photos are landscape in a nature which give them an almost fine art feel but there are plenty of edgy closeup shots to grab your attention as well. The deadline to contribute to this year's Image Quest has been extended by 12 hours to April 1st 12:00 (CET) which I believe to be 6:00 PM Eastern if my brain is working correctly.

'Counterflow' Is a Photo Series Showing the Impact of Composition

Composition is something that can be slightly overlooked in digital photography. With the ability to take hundreds or thousands of images on a single memory card and cropping achieved so simply in Lightroom, photographers have become lazy. There are certain situations, however, where composition can make or break a photo. While every genre of photography can benefit from good composition, photojournalism may be the realm that sees the largest impact. In his series "Counterflow," Photographer Mauro Martins exemplifies just that.

How Ansel Adams Captured Images as He Saw Them

In this video essay, Evan Puschak aka The Nerdwriter explains some of the techniques Ansel Adams used to achieve his technical and esthetic mastery. Using visualization and some other relatively easy to learn techniques, Adams learned to bring what he saw in his mind's eye to his photographs (yes, I said "easy to learn," but hard to master). It was Adams' commitment to taking photographs, with intent, that made him a master artist and led him to develop the tools he needed to bring his images to fruition.​

Old School Cool: The Leica Factory Before World War II

Take a trip back to a time before World War II where the idea of a portable 35mm camera was just becoming a reality. Filmarchives Online brings us an amazing peek into the Earnst Leitz Optische Werke factory in Wetzlar, Germany sometime between the two World Wars.

Cinematographer Finds 'Soul' Making Landscape Documentary

It is somewhat cathartic to know that creating something beautiful can leave a profound impact on the creator. It seems possible for the emotional impact we feel when viewing art to be measured in the volume of revelation the artist unloaded to create it. This is reassurance that something that resonates is real.

"New Community: An Instagram Story" Brings Light to How Incredible Social Media Can Be for Photographers

I might push the importance of Instagram each week, but it's for good reason. It has seriously changed my life by introducing me to a hobby and career in photography and I know I am not alone. Thanks to a few talented photographers and Instagrammers including Eric Ward, Craig Hensel, and Ricky Staub, along with the Instagram community, set out on an eight day journey across the country to meet and collaborate with individuals they had met entirely on the social platform. Check out the incredible story here in this short documentary film!


Jeremy Cowart is a household name in the photography industry. Recently Jeremy was classified as one of the 30 most influential photographers on the web by the Huffington Post. After studying graphic design, he continued on to become a well-known celebrity photographer. We all know him from famous photos of Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and even the Kardashians. But who is Jeremy Cowart? And what motivates him to be a photographer, an artist, and a humanitarian?

The History of Photography in Five Minutes by COOPH

If you frequent this site, there's a pretty good chance you love photography. But how much do you actually know about its origins? Most of us rightfully jump to the camera obscura when thinking about the beginnings of photography, but how did we get from there to today's modern cameras? Have you ever wondered what the first photo ever taken was of? Or what the world's first color photo was of?

Some Like It Old: The Earliest Surviving Video of London in Existence

Right-o! Let's jump in our "wayback machine" to London, England in the late 19th century to witness some of the oldest known video footage, not only just of the city, but in all of human history. I'm a sucker for finding the earliest cinema and photography have to offer, and if you are too, then click on.

Beautiful Homage to War Photographers

Reporters Without Borders has released a wonderful video that demonstrates the importance of having impartial and unbiased coverage of war and conflicts. In the video they juxtapose images and video footage which popular media presents, with that of independent photojournalists, for a stark contrast that effectively displays the different messages both are trying to get across.

The Reality of Working as a Behind-the-Scenes Photographer

Working as a behind-the-scenes or “stills” photographer is an entirely different experience to most usual photography jobs. As photographers we naturally tend to take charge of the creative direction, and are used to getting our own way. Working BTS requires you to work within different dynamics, not least of which involves being surrounded by other creatives, each with their own opinions and ideas. Here are some of the best and worst things you can expect whilst shooting behind-the-scenes.

18-Year-Old Photographer Creates Inspiring New Year's Photo Series

Parker Gibbons is an 18-year-old photographer and freshman student at the University of Utah. He recently shot and released a series entitled "Resolve" which shares New Year's resolutions from the subjects depicted. These simply shot images allow the subjects to be honest and silently share thoughts they may otherwise not share. The results from the series range from the more comical "Be Rad" to the more introspective and honest "Authenticity to self and others."

Vaper: A Photo Documentary of Vaping Culture

Vaping is a phenomenon that has swept across America and much of the First World, mostly as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The culture, however, is what has caught the attention of the media worldwide. Smoke tricks have likely been around for as long as humans have been inhaling smoke, but vaping has spawned something quite interesting out of it: smoke tricks and ridiculous plumes of vapor spilling out of people’s nostrils. Photographer Louis Amore (whom we featured last year with his portrait series of English veterans) went to a local vapor shop, Prohibition Vapes, to document a vaping competition.

Urbex Photography Taken to the Next Level: On Top of Christ the Redeemer

When looking at urbex photographer's work, one can only wonder how they get in some places. Often these photographers will go to crazy locations just to get a single picture. Sometimes risking their life – or so it seems like – to get that adrenaline spike and a picture no one has ever captured before.

ISIS Is Now Stealing Photographer's Artwork As Well

When the terrorist organization, ISIS, isn't busy terrorizing people, they are apparently busy stealing photographer's artwork. In this day and age, it's not uncommon to have your work stolen. Heck, it's pretty common. But having the bane of the earth stealing your work has to be a new experience. That's not the end of the story though. It gets worse.

Vigilante Justice Photography Group Targets School Bus Drivers

Have you been trying to think of creative ways to use your skills with a camera for the good of your community? Well look no further! In Jacksonville, FL a vigilante photography group calling themselves, "Photography Is Not a Crime" is doing just that.

This Beautiful Behind-the-Scenes Video Offers Insight as to How Blind Photographers Work

Photography can easily be mistaken as a pastime or a profession where the greatest success is reserved for those with the eagle eyes, near super-human visual acuity, and a painfully sensitive awareness of the gradients of color around them. But the Seeing With Photography Collective flies in the face of such notions, and it’s a beautiful thing. A recently released documentary video shows the group collaborating and sharing their unique portraits, and it’s a must see.

Photographer Captures People's Reactions When Told They Are Beautiful

What's your response when you're told that you're beautiful? Eighteen year-old photographer and student, Shea Glover, decided to "film what I thought was beautiful." Without intending to, she has conducted an amazing social experiment on the effect of simple positivity and a compliment. The reactions are perfect!

How an English Photographer Showed Thanks to His Country's Veterans

With Veterans Day having just passed, there are a lot of thanks and praises going around to our past service members. We all give our gratitude in different ways. Photographer Louis Amore decided to create a series of portraits focusing on mostly elderly veterans. Amore said that the Remembrance Parade last year inspired him to create this series in order to preserve their memory and show thanks for their sacrifice.

New Film Looks to Document First Unsupported, Winter Crossing of Iceland

Iceland has become a naturelovers' playground and a hotspot for adventure photographers looking to visit the home of some of the most popular Instagramable locations on Earth. But many travelers visit the island nation during the warmer and more accessible summer months. Winter is when most of the country is covered in snow and ice and tourism drops dramatically. But that isn't stopping four British adventurers from attempting something that has never before been accomplished; crossing the country unsupported in the heart of winter in what they're calling "The Coldest Crossing."

Fashion Photographer Solmaz Saberi Provides Inspiration and Insight in This Short Documentary

In this latest installation of Format’s InFrame documentary series, the camera turns to fashion and beauty photographer Solmaz Saberi who speaks from her experiences in getting started with photography to how she conducts a photoshoot to why she founded her own magazine. Directed by Bas Berkhout, you’ll want to check out this short video for your daily dose of inspiration.

The Life of Iconic Commercial Fashion Photographer Will Shively

With over 40 years of portrait work under his belt, American Photographer Will Shively has become one of the most successful commercial fashion shooters in Columbus. Will found himself at a crossroads when he first decided to pursue his passion for photography. He got his BFA in painting from Ohio State University and was working for a design firm before being let go with a newborn on the way. But despite the risks involved, Will worked nights as a janitor at a local manufacturing plant while teaching himself the art of photography.

Can Photojournalism No Longer Be Trusted?

Recently the New York Times revealed a staggering truth about modern photojournalism that has the field's ethics under scrutiny. It appears the acts of staging and manipulating images have become prevalent, which puts the field as a whole in question. Photojournalism is about capturing the truth and journalist often work under a strict code that incudes observation only. But the nature of competition has brought a staggering number of photojournalist to bend if not break this code by presenting images that they themselves setup under the guise journalism.

"Off The Beaten Track" in Svalbard - Photographing Melting Ice, Polar Bears, and More

A few weeks ago, I shared the second episode of the video series "Off the Beaten Track," where photographer Chris Schmid visited the land of the Maasai people, photographing their culture and the wild animals of the National Reserve in Kenya. Chris recently released the third episode where he explores a much cooler climate. Svalbard is one of the most remote places in the Northern Hemisphere. This episode is beautifully shot with the DJI Inspire 1 and DJI Zenmuse X5, giving you a new look into the quickly melting ice and the polar bears who live there.

Using Photography to Fight Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is an unfortunate fact of life in many parts of the world. One company is seeking to reduce the gap by using the documental power of photography to enable women to share their stories with the world.

Inside CERN - Photo by Andrew Hara

CERN is a renowned international nuclear research facility located just outside Geneva. Straddling the border between Switzerland and France, it's home to the infamous Large Hadron Collider — the largest single machine ever made by humankind. It was built to find the Higgs boson, often referred to as the elusive "God particle." CERN recently hosted a small group of select photographers for a rare photo walk throughout their massive experimental laboratory, and we have an exclusive first look at the photos.

Can Photography End Child Labor?

No doubt you are familiar with some of Lewis Wickes Hine's work. He is the guys who took the iconic photographs of the workers who constructed the Empire State Building in New York City. But what you may not know is that he first shot for the National Child Labor Committee, documenting the child workforce of America during the industrial revolution. And that his work went on to influence politicians and law makers by drawing national attention to the harsh realities of child labor.

Photographer Awarded $625,000 Grant For Documenting Small Pennsylvania Town

Every year the MacArthur Fellowship announces the winners of its $625,000 grant and among the 24 they have chosen for this year is a photographer by the name of LaToya Ruby Frazier. LaToya has been documenting her small hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania for the past 12 years and it has resulted in some very large accolades.

Behind the Scenes of the Third Biggest Film Production City in North America

Have you ever had aspirations to shoot for the movie industry? To travel to some of the most notable cities in the world? To rock the streets of New York City, Shanghai, Detroit, LA, London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Paris? Well I hate to burst your bubble (actually I kind of get off on it) but chances are you're going to end up in my new hood, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

A Photography Lesson From Noted Street Photographer John Free

John Free, for those that don't know, is considered one of the great street photographers of our time. His ability to capture the human spirit in a split second is uncanny. Here is a 10 minute video of a private lesson that was given to Ted Forbes of The Art Of Photography. It is full of helpful advice and inspirational lines for photographers of any genre.

Your Only Chance to Be Photographed as an Astronaut is Coming Up

Lets face it, if you're reading this, it's probably slim you'll ever be an astronaut. Not because you aren't capable, but because the odds are 1 in 42,000. So there's about 7 of you guys reading this who might. So when this kickstarter came across my feed the other day, I was pretty interested. Not just because you get to be photographed in a space suit, but because you can get a pretty kick ass photo of you in a space suit.