Fstoppers Originals

Model Testing with the Broncolor Siros Monolight

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to shoot with the Broncolor Siros Monolights for the first time. Until now, my light of choice has been the Profoto D1. I, like many of you, have seen reviews on Broncolor's new monolight, and like many of you as well, have been a bit skeptical about their delve into competing with Profoto's D1 and B1 Series for the high-end monolight market. The Siros is available in two models, a 400W/s monolight and an 800W/s monolight, and for this shoot I used five Siros 800s. In this article I will give you my complete lighting setup, gear list, a retouching preview, and complete review of my experience with the Siros Monolight and BronControl app.

Getting the Most out of a Photoshoot's First Look

Whenever you work with someone new, whether it’s a member of your crew or a client, there is often that initial hesitation that comes with working with someone untested. There is a question of personalities clashing, of their skill, their expectations, and how they’ll handle direction or feedback. The sooner you are able to ramp up production and start capturing photographs, the better. Here are some best practices for making the most of the first look, and setting a great tone for your next photoshoot.

Simple Pure White Background Setup for Beauty Portraiture

Beauty photography is something that I have become drawn to over time. Setting a mood, imagining a makeup style, and finding or even creating props to fill the frame with my model’s face is something I came to love more than anything else. In any genre of photography, I feel like it is important to develop a style that is recognizable. May that be retouching, posing, lighting, or something else, if people can tell you took the picture it means you have developed a signature style. For my beauty work I wanted to create a signature lighting setup that would be easy to recreate wherever I would go, no matter the condition or the place the shoot would take place in. Here is how I created it and how you can recreate it as well to make it your own.

How to Easily Create a Tasteful HDR Image Using Photoshop

A lot of people associated HDR with over-processed, surreal images. This is not always the case. Shooting HDR can be very useful in different circumstances. It is often seen in real estate and landscape photography and can be very useful to balance a wide range of light levels. There are many programs out there for merging images together to create an HDR photo, but one of the simplest ways to create these dramatic photographs is using Photoshop's built-in HDR Pro.

The Latest Richard Prince Controversy, Clarified by Patent and Copyright Attorney John Arsenault

Specifically, John is my attorney, and I am lucky to have him on my side of things when it comes to my work, as he is rather sought after and emerging as one of the preeminent patent and copyright lawyers in the country. But before I go into that, I will say that I know I'm going to catch hell for this article today, as evidenced by the many and varied opinions I've seen in the industry about this latest Richard Prince controversy. Here goes nothing.

Three Methods to Match Skin Tones in Photoshop

A question asked very often by photographers is "How do I fix red or mismatched skin tones in Photoshop?" As with everything in retouching there's hundreds of ways to achieve the same thing. So the question you're left with is, which is the most efficient method that has the best results. Here's the top three methods known to mankind, pick the one right for you!

5 Ways to Improve Your Engagement Photography

If you're a wedding photographer, chances are couples are also asking if you do engagement photos. The answer to this should be “absolutely!” So you’d better get good at them quick, because well-executed engagement sessions will lead to more work. But before you think about weddings, spend some time and find your style shooting couples. Here are five simple ways to improve your engagement photography.

My Experience Shooting Cinematic Headshots Indoors

Recently I went to New York City to do a week of headshots. As many of you know, part of my cinematic style involves shooting outdoors, but flying from Los Angeles to New York City to put this on meant I couldn’t rely on the weather. Figuring out how to translate the look and feel of my style indoors was the only way to make it a success. As I’ve had many questions about how to make this look happen inside for those that can’t always be outside, I decided to share my own experience with you.

Photographing Dan Gable for Sports Illustrated

Last spring, I got a dream call from one of the photo editors at Sports Illustrated to photograph the legendary Dan Gable, a wrestler from Iowa, and one of the most winning athletes of all time. From winning gold in Munich during the 1972 Olympics, to having coached other U.S. teams to gold after, this guy oozes excellence and passion in everything he does. I’m not one to be intimidated by people because of their status in life, but people who work as hard as he does definitely stand out to me.

Pre-Edit Your Photos For Better Final Results

We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.

DJI Phantom 3 Review - A New Perspective On The World
Since I started traveling full-time as a photographer in 2009, I’ve consistently gone out of my way to find the most awesome vantage points possible for my photography. I’ve literally climbed mountains, paddled kayaks, ridden pack mules, contracted helicopters, you name it and I’ve done it. Now, a fair bit of that work can be solved with a small, affordable DJI Quadcopter that fits comfortably into my backpack. Here’s an in-depth review of the new DJI Phantom 3 Professional based on my experience flying and shooting in Italy through Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 2: Preparing Your Image for Retouching Using Lightroom and Camera Raw

In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.