Fstoppers Originals

My Response To Free Work

My Response To Free Work

The question of whether or not to do free work is always pressing. The debate becomes a grey area of ambiguity with many people firmly on one side or the other, and the rest of us stuck somewhere in between questioning our self worth as artists. There are strong arguments on both sides of the arena. Over the course of my career I have wandered back and forth across the defining line only to lately land in the anti-free work position, and here is why.

Fstoppers Reviews Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela

Fstoppers Reviews Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela

When I sat down to read the copy of Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela my first expectation was a book that parroted much of the same content that many other photography books had already laid out many times in the past. Basic lighting tips, the exposure triangle; the usual sorts of stuff that you'd expect from a typical book on photography. To my surprise, however, Picture Perfect Lighting offers a delightfully unique glimpse into lighting that can help beginners and veterans alike.

Fstoppers Creative Photography Challenge (Part Two)

Fstoppers Creative Photography Challenge (Part Two)

Awakening your creative mind can be a challenge, but from my previous article "Fstoppers Creative Photography Challenge (Part One)" I hope that these challenges are helping you overcome your creative rut. Sometimes it's hard to spot simple things and sometimes you just don't have that drive to take that photo. There are tons of options to sharpen you creative skills, but I find these challenges relaxing. Here are some more added challenges for you to continue.

How Every Photographer Can Use Vertical Video to Their Advantage

How Every Photographer Can Use Vertical Video to Their Advantage

Video is something I have begun to play with over the last few weeks in the form of a vlog on YouTube, but as you might know it's difficult to gain that organic reach you're used to on social platforms. That doesn't mean its impossible, but by using various other channels to advertise and push them to that new content is key in today's world. That is where vertical video comes in on Instagram! Yes, it might be annoying as hell to see yet another vertical video, but hold tight as I walk you through why this is a brilliant place to use it and also how you can do it yourself.

Landscape Photography Design Part 1: Composition Primer

Landscape Photography Design Part 1: Composition Primer

Landscape photography is the often stigmatized genre of it not communicating anything other than display of beautiful imagery at best. In this epic arc series, I strive to provide an integral resource for working on your own landscape images. We’ll cover planning, shooting, and post-processing, and talk about anything from composition to colour theory. And for the more advanced photographers, we’ll include the use of shapes, tropes, and negative space to aid in compelling visual storytelling. This week: A composition primer.

Is the Most Famous Photography of Africa Fueling Stigmas?

Is the Most Famous Photography of Africa Fueling Stigmas?

This is an article I've been on the cusp of writing for some time. I was first jolted into this area of discussion when I heard someone refer to the photography of poorer cultures and communities as "white middle-class photography." I say jolted because — perhaps naively — I had drawn no parallels between types of photographer and types of subject before that day. Unlike most criticisms about photography, this comment didn't glide past me; instead, I found myself plunged into an internal debate. Are the loose motivations of "raising awareness for" and "the documentation of" these communities disingenuous and moreover, are they doing more harm than good?

Adventures in Large Format Photography (Part 2): The Results

Adventures in Large Format Photography (Part 2): The Results

In my last article, Adventures in Large Format: A Beginner's Perspective, I talked about some of the things I noticed upon purchasing and attempting to use my first 4x5 large format camera. As fun as fiddling with some knobs and taking a photo of a stool was, it was time for me to point my camera at some actual people. After lugging the camera upstairs and taking portraits of some of the awesome characters that work at the bar, it was time to see how I did.

Large Format Lives On: Mat Marrash and the Ohio Valley

Large Format Lives On: Mat Marrash and the Ohio Valley

Slowly but surely, I find myself shooting more film. It’s getting to the point where my digital cameras are almost strictly for video. They may offer better resolution and more versatility, but there’s a look to film and a fascination with the cameras that pull me to it. The one man that took me into the bottomless hole in my wallet that is film photography is Mat Marrash, a coworker and an avid large format photographer. It's some of the most gorgeous landscape photos of the Ohio Valley I've seen. A few weeks ago, Mat, myself, and the good folks at Rooted Content traveled to Hocking Hills, where Steve and Kyle from Rooted created this short of Mat’s work.

My Gear and How I Use It to Affect Emotion

My Gear and How I Use It to Affect Emotion

Photography is a game of emotions. Think about some of the most powerful images that you’ve ever seen. The ones that have left a lasting impression on you. Sure, they might have gorgeous tones, light, or composition, but the reason they have stuck with you for so long is probably the emotion or mood that the image evokes. Our job as a photographer is to control those moods and to decide which emotion we want our viewer to feel.

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