Fstoppers Originals

Is Social Media the Death of Creativity or the Birth of a New Creative Era?

Is Social Media the Death of Creativity or the Birth of a New Creative Era?

I often think back to what it must've been like being a photographer before the birth of the Internet, the social media craze, and the hunt for likes, shares, and follows. Photography was less convoluted before the dawn of the digital age, with specialist magazines and museum and art gallery submissions showcasing only the cream of the crop. Browsing through old magazines and reading the articles, it's clear that the top-tier photographers stood out amongst the rest of the crowd for their raw skill in their art form. Their images meant something to many of those who took the time to stop and look at it for longer than two seconds.

When Are You Done With Your Portfolio? Hint: the Answer Is Never

When Are You Done With Your Portfolio? Hint: the Answer Is Never

A good portfolio is never finished. Portfolios, books, albums, or websites, however a photographer's body of work is contained, it should be ever-evolving and developing even after a photographer has started working on professional projects. Any perception that a photographer can leave a portfolio static once work starts flowing in is a dangerous one. For a number of reasons, developing and improving is an on-going process.

Produce Better Black and White Photos by Paying Attention to What You Like

Produce Better Black and White Photos by Paying Attention to What You Like

When I first decided to try converting some of my photos to black and white, it seemed very hard to get good results. I would often rely on using the desaturate adjustment in Adobe Photoshop that I learned in high school 20 years ago. This makes for some very flat and gray looking images. From there I found better results by using tools like Photoshop actions and Nik Silver Efex. This method still lacks control a bit, and in my opinion anytime you have to leave Adobe Lightroom, your workflow speed is taking a hit. Once I learned to emulate the monochrome photos I was attracted to and impressed by, my work started getting better.

Five Reasons Your Photography Business Is Failing

Five Reasons Your Photography Business Is Failing

You’ve got a solid website, your photography skills are on point, you’ve been around for awhile, but you still aren’t getting any clients. Peers’ businesses are booming, you know there are plenty of clients to go around, and yet, you’re still struggling to get by with your photography business. There are a ton of factors that go into why a business fails, but here are a few reasons why your photography business may be failing.

Why the Nikon D850 Could Make the Canon 5D Mark IV Obsolete

Why the Nikon D850 Could Make the Canon 5D Mark IV Obsolete

Like the Nikon D750, the Canon 5D Mark IV is the parent brand’s attempt at making what’s arguably the most versatile professional full-frame camera system that fits the needs of most professional photographers, except that it beats the D750 on nearly every metric that matters, as it should for a newer camera. Still, Nikon’s D850 easily strips the versatility title from Canon for plenty of reasons, not the least of which is resolution. The 5DS line, however, isn’t the only thing at which Nikon is taking aim with the new D850.

How I Shot and Edited This Solar Eclipse Photo Using Only My Phone

How I Shot and Edited This Solar Eclipse Photo Using Only My Phone

Who out there captured the eclipse this week? Did you plan ahead, travel hundreds of miles, purchase the right gear, and capture the phenomenon that is a total solar eclipse for that perfect shot? The photos are coming in by the thousands and each seems to be better than the last. Here is my photo capturing 90 percent coverage of the moon over the sun and also a little behind-the-scenes on how I shot and edited it completely with my phone.

Dronelapse Video of Miami - The Tilt-Shift Technique and Tutorial

Dronelapse Video of Miami - The Tilt-Shift Technique and Tutorial

After eight months of work I finally finished this project: an aerial tilt-shift hyperlapse of Miami. The idea was to produce something different. Time-lapse videos are very common these days and most drone operators can make a decent hyperlapse with their drones. In this video I wanted to replicate the out-of-focus look normally associated with macro photography to give a miniature effect of the city of Miami. Here is how I filmed this video and what I learned during the process.

[UPDATE] Oprema Jena: New Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5 Joined by Biotar 58mm f2

[UPDATE] Oprema Jena: New Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5 Joined by Biotar 58mm f2

An updated version of the Biotar 58mm f2 will join the already announced Biotar 75mm f1.5, as the first two pieces in Oprema Jena’s lineup of modern remakes of classic lenses, the company announced today. Oprema is offering 58 people the chance to get the Biotar 75 and Biotar 58 – both originally produced by Carl Zeiss -- as part of a special rewards bundle in the current Kickstarter campaign for the Biotar 75. The 58 Biotar 58s will be pre-production models with serial numbers between 1 and 58. A pledge of $1,999 USD would allow someone to get both lenses at $2,500 less than the combined projected retail price for the lenses. The Biotar 75 is expected to go on the market next summer at a projected retail price of $2,499, with the Biotar 58 following by the end of 2018 at a projected retail price of $1,999.

Learning to See: In Photography and In Life

Learning to See: In Photography and In Life

I still remember the first time I heard the word. Senior year of high school. Sitting lazily squeezed into a metallic desk-chair combination unwillingly decorated with the carvings of amateur graffiti artists from years past. The boisterous post-recess classroom went quiet as my favorite teacher, and apparently everyone’s favorite teacher, Mrs. Wallace entered the room. With an ever-present sense of flair, she strode to the chalkboard and wrote out eight letters in big bold type. P-A-R-A-D-I-G-M. I didn’t know what it meant. Heck, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. But, in that moment, I was introduced to not only a new piece of vocabulary, but given a dynamic tool to develop as an artist, and as a person.

CrashPlan Backup Service Abandons Home Users as It Jumps for Enterprise

CrashPlan Backup Service Abandons Home Users as It Jumps for Enterprise

CrashPlan is a popular cloud-based backup solution that many (myself included) use to backup their computers and external drives. But the company's announcement this morning to focus on business-to-business services leaves consumer customers hanging, despite their promise not to do so. Those of us with particularly large backups on CrashPlan's consumer service have a problem that raises a greater question about cloud-based backups in general.

A Quick Look Behind the Scenes of an Amazing Solar Eclipse Photo

A Quick Look Behind the Scenes of an Amazing Solar Eclipse Photo

Just like everyone else, my social media feed was flooded with solar eclipse images yesterday. While there were a number of truly amazing shots and at least one potentially politically controversial one, my hands-down favorite was the remarkable photograph of a silhouetted climber at the moment of totality, captured by professional Outdoor and Commercial Photographer Andrew Studer. I spoke with Studer and Ted Hesser, an adventure photographer who envisioned and planned the shot, to better understand how they pulled it off.

Fstoppers Interviews One of the Creative Industry's Hardest Working CEOs

Fstoppers Interviews One of the Creative Industry's Hardest Working CEOs

There's a lot more to creating unique and edgy content than keeping a camera fixed to your face. From eating scrumptious tacos and filming rock-busting, high-horsepower off-road race trucks in Baja, Mexico to cruising the scenic Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada creating content for some of the motorsport industry's biggest names, it's all in a week's work if you're Matt Martelli, the creative director and CEO of one of the fastest growing media companies on the U.S. West Coast, Mad Media.

Never Get Stuck in a Rut Again: The Importance of Play

Never Get Stuck in a Rut Again: The Importance of Play

Photography requires repetitive tasks that can often become habit forming. When we find a way of doing something that works, we repeat those steps to get the desired result. We get locked into certain styles and certain ways of thinking. This can be valuable because it makes us dependable, but these habits can also have an undesired effect: they can make us predictable, bland, and stifle our creativity. What can a photographer do when their creativity starts to atrophy? The answer is play.