Fstoppers Originals

Copyrights and Consideration: Do Your Clients Know?

Back in August, while preparing for my latest trip - Seattle on this particular weekend - I found myself casually scrolling through Instagram to kill some time while taking a short break. After just a couple of minutes of this, something I had known quite well for years suddenly became clearer than ever: photographer's images are routinely modified by their clients, with the various filters and image manipulation tools Instagram offers, before they post them. I decided I was going to do what little I could do to speak out against it that afternoon because, by golly, I was all self righteous at that moment, and I was going to be heard. Well, at least on my Facebook anyway.

Always in Season - A Beauty Photographer's First Foray into Video

Growing up, my dad liked to quote an old song called “Warpaint” by the Brooks Brothers: “With all that lipstick powder and paint, you all dressed up like what you ain’t.” It was his defense against the inevitable growing up of his teenage daughters, but never once did I buy into it. Instead, I embraced makeup, hair styling, clothing, and more as a path to self-expression.

For Better Photographs, Don't Think Big, Think Simple

This post is in celebration of simple ideas, executed brilliantly. Incredibly simple ideas demonstrate that simplicity, combined with brilliant execution, can result in incredibly powerful images that affect us far more deeply than those that are more complex and technically well executed, but are boring and bring nothing new to the table. To make better images, stop thinking big and start thinking simple.

Behind the Scenes of a 50s Inspired Music Video Shoot

Martin Melnick is a Portland-based director and colorist. His studio, Tree House Post, specializes in color, VFX, editing, and motion graphics. Recently he along with his team put together an amazing music video for the band Adventure Galley based on classic 50s and 60s scifi shows such as Men into Space, Destination Moon, and Dr. Strangelove. The video has already received quite a bit of attention from various film and music video festivals and Martin was kind enough to share a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the video in a brief interview.

Umbrella 102 for Beginners: Placement of your Umbrella and Flash

Last week, we talked about how to understand the difference between your bare flash unit and a flash fired through an umbrella. We learned that adding the umbrella would drastically change the light, creating a much softer glow to aim toward your photo subject. We also learned that we could use a white umbrella in a shoot thru position or a reflective position. But there is so much more to learn.

How to Recover Skin Texture from Over-Exposed Highlights

A common issue that we're often faced with when using hard light modifiers such as a beauty dish or open reflector, is that of over-exposed highlights on our subject's forehead, nose and under eye areas, which also results in lost skin texture in those regions. While raw processors offer up the ability to recover highlight detail, this rarely leads to satisfactory results. In this tutorial I'll show you how to recover the texture while leaving the overall luminosity in-tact to produce a well-balanced result.

How Do You Determine A Fair Price For Licensing Your Videos And Photos?

Figuring out a fair rate for providing photography or video services can be a slippery slope, filled with pitfalls if you happen to price yourself incorrectly. But what's more complicated than setting a rate for services is how to approach setting a rate for someone who wants to license a piece of work you've already created. In this post I'll share my insight on the factors I look at, and my rationale for determining a fair fee for video and photo licensing.

You Can't Do It Alone So Drop The Ego And Collaborate

How many times have you heard the saying "if you want it done right you've got to do it yourself"? Well, that is not always the best mindset. This business we are in is all about collaboration, and the sooner you embrace what others have to offer, the sooner you will put out work that is competitive. Collaboration has many benefits that can take your work to the next level.

California In Four Minutes: Explore America's Finest Natural Wonders and Urban Landscapes

The state of California is simply unmatched when it comes to beautiful, picturesque imagery in the United States. As the birthplace and home of timelapse photographer Hal Bergman, it was his goal to compile as much of the visual wonders California has to offer in to a tight four-minutes time. His newest video, aptly titled “California,” combines four years of filming in to a marvelous treat for the eyes that any citizen of the world can appreciate. Beyond the video, Hal also speaks to Fstoppers about the behind-the-scenes work and equipment used in the making.

What Happens When a Viral Image Spreads Beyond Your Control

When you make a photograph as part of a personal project, the likelihood is that you'll want to share it with your peers. Often the concept is as important as the final image, so the title or description must sit alongside it for the picture to be taken in context. So what happens when a picture accidentally goes viral with no credit to the artist and more specifically, no mention of the theory behind it?

How To Photograph Jewelry For Catalogs

As a commercial photographer, I specialize in product, food, and architecture. One of the products we've been shooting a lot of lately is jewelry, specifically jewelry for catalog use. In my opinion, jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph, and many photographers don't know where to start. Whenever we're tasked with photographing shiny, reflective, spherical objects, our studio sounds like a group of sailors on leave with all the profanity flying around (often times strung together to make complete sentences).

Another Useful Lightroom Tip Your Mom Never Taught You

Adobe Lightroom is a program full of many different little tips and tricks just waiting to be discovered. In this short video I show you one of my favorites which allows you to apply a selective focus technique to your photo without having to open it in Photoshop. This technique is especially useful if you want to draw your viewers attention somewhere specific in the photo.

Sometimes, Pictures Do Lie

This is not a story about an amazing photographer or stunning photography. It’s about photos that are taken by non-photographers, in everyday situations, documenting a moment in time that is supposed to be filled with joy and happiness. The time after a baby - that fresh-smelling bundle of joy - came into the world. These are the faces of mothers, suffering from postpartum depression, hiding their angst behind a smile.