Fstoppers Originals

Five Things You Should Learn to Improve Your Retouching

Five Things You Should Learn to Improve Your Retouching

If photography is an art, so is retouching. While there are school teaching photography classes, fewer offer retouching programs. Many photographers starting out seem to be looking at the same tutorials over and over again, without ever actually getting anything out of it. Frequency separation, dodging and burning, or curves will only get you so far before you hit a wall. In past the two years, I’ve been looking at other crafts to step up my retouching work. Here are five things I have spent time on that you should look into and why.

True to Its Namesake, Omnicharge’s Omni 20 Charges Even Your Power-Hungry Laptop On the Go

True to Its Namesake, Omnicharge’s Omni 20 Charges Even Your Power-Hungry Laptop On the Go

Keeping your gadgets charged on the go is essential if you travel a lot and expect to get any work done on the road. Thanks to the millions of battery packs that are out there, charging your phone is easy enough. But what if you need to keep your laptop charged while off the grid for a day’s shoot or while on a long flight without an outlet? Omni 20 is one of the only, and most recent, solutions that will charge anything you throw at it, including that ultra-powerful new MacBook Pro.

Audio Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

Audio Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

Audio is arguably the most important facet of any film or video production. There is a saying that goes: “Audio is 70% of what you see,” which means that sound makes up more of the experience than the visuals do. So while we may spend a lot of time planning for what our shot looks like, it’s even more important that we mic it properly for the best audio recording possible.

How to Quickly and Easily Create Your Own Photoshop Actions

How to Quickly and Easily Create Your Own Photoshop Actions

Everyone and their Auntie seem to sell Photoshop action sets these days, as if they're the answer to something. I'm primarily referring to action sets which create entire "looks" for your image, but there are uses for actions which are less comprehensive and arguably more useful. For example, I use an action for sharpening my images which creates a layer I can lower the opacity of or mask until it is satisfactory. Actions like these are easy to create and can result in accrued time saved. This guide will ensure even people whom have just picked up Photoshop for the first time can create actions.

Your Photography Is Political

Your Photography Is Political

We live in times of turmoil. The old fixed orders of the post-World-War-II globe have lately been called into question in new and unexpected ways. People are more engaged in politics than ever before during most of our lifetimes. Photography has always been a very political art form, and not simply in the obvious ways. You may not think that your images are political because they do not showcase political issues. But even if they don't do that, they still say something in the political sphere. As we all struggle to be the best photographers we can be, none of us should forget that, when taking and making images, we always also make statements.

'Instagram Pods' Can Double Your Engagement and Spark New Life Into Your Social Experience

'Instagram Pods' Can Double Your Engagement and Spark New Life Into Your Social Experience

Last month, I wrote an article called Hacking Instagram to Grow a Huge Following and Build Better Engagement with "Instagram Pods" that was received far better than I ever thought possible. I received hundreds of direct messages within the app of people asking about Instagram pods as well as wanting to join one. I apologize to those I have not yet gotten back with but rest assured, the hack seems to work and has sparked new life into my social media experience on the platform. Not only has it doubled my engagement, likes, and blown comments through the roof in comparison to a few months ago but its become a new found way to connect with new creatives from around the world.

How To Upgrade Your Tech Repair Workflow

How To Upgrade Your Tech Repair Workflow

As creative professionals, hobbyists, and tech nerds (myself included), we often find ourselves wearing many different hats in our day-to-day activities. The crafts of photography and cinematography, among others, remain heavily dependent on technology that needs to be reliable and largely up to date. Often, that means the technician hat comes out to perform RAM upgrades on computers, to replace internal batteries and hard drives, and, admittedly, to repair screens on mobile devices. Here are some tools and tips to make that process a bit easier for you.

Techniques to Improve Your Composites from Film

Techniques to Improve Your Composites from Film

Many photographers have that one muse who inspires creative projects, knows exactly what the direction is, and is always the perfect collaboration. One artist found his own muse in himself when he set forth on a project to capture every stage of emotion of his own work. Creating composites from film, this artist brought a new light on the emotional range that photographers face everyday.

'Boyfriends of Instagram' BTS Project Goes Viral

'Boyfriends of Instagram' BTS Project Goes Viral

Last year, my husband and I traveled to Greece. While we were in Athens, we could not avoid crossing paths with the same couple at every sightseeing location we went to. I must have seen the entire wardrobe of the girl during those hours we walked. Her eccentric wardrobe change was not the only thing that caught my attention. It was rather strange to witness an all dressed-up girl posing alone non-stop. To me, it was definitely meant for social media.

Use My New Ultimate Film Processing Price Guide to Decide Which Lab Is Right for You

Use My New Ultimate Film Processing Price Guide to Decide Which Lab Is Right for You

A few months ago, I started a passion project of mine: FilmObjektiv.org. Film Objektiv was started with one goal in mind: to get more people shooting film. We do this by renting film cameras at low prices for longer periods of time, by providing prints at a low cost, and also by serving as an online and educational resource to help film shooters find everything they'd ever need. It's this last part that still needs some work, but it's well on its way with this new pricing guide for film labs across the country. Still, I could use your help.

Three More Great Lenses That Aren't on Your Radar but Probably Should Be

Three More Great Lenses That Aren't on Your Radar but Probably Should Be

We Photographers sure love our lenses! So much so that the previous article of a rather similar name received so much love that I couldn't help but write a follow up. The world is filled with amazing glass that doesn't have to completely bust the bank. Sure we all want that new Nikon 105mm f/1.4 and certainly the enormously priced brand new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E but do we really need them? I'd argue probably not, the market has an enormous selection of great lenses, many of which are cheaper and offer exactly what many photographers need.

Six Tips for New Freelance Corporate Photographers

Six Tips for New Freelance Corporate Photographers

I've been shooting corporate jobs since about 2010. At first, it was a little rocky. I didn't really know what I was doing, I hadn't shot enough with other photographers to learn the ropes, and I was just a self-taught photographer trying to make ends meet. Fast forward to 2017, and I'm shooting high-profile executives at Fortune 500 companies, and am expected to do it quickly. I'm shooting luncheons where half of the attendees flew in from another hemisphere on their private jets, and am expected to do it quietly. And well. So, here are a few quick tips for people who are just starting out in the freelance corporate photography world.