Hacks

What Your Mom Never Taught You About Natural Light

What Your Mom Never Taught You About Natural Light

When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.

Photoshop Shortcuts Stop Working When Using Wacom Tablets - SOLUTION

Photoshop Shortcuts Stop Working When Using Wacom Tablets - SOLUTION

After endless hours wasted, I found the solution for an issue I've had using the Intous tablet with my Macbook Pro. The brush would get stuck and I couldn't hit Photoshop shortcuts between brush strokes. I went through the hassle of reinstalling all drivers, buying a new tablet and setting all my Photoshop settings back to default before finding the following simple 30-second fix. This issue pertains to people using Apple computers with Photoshop CS6 or CC and a Wacom Intous tablet. The fix is for the following issues:

Animator Uses Custom Rad 1980s Nintendo Power Glove to Streamline Filming

Animator Uses Custom Rad 1980s Nintendo Power Glove to Streamline Filming

If you were a kid of the 1980s like me and loved Nintendo, you absolutely remember the Power Glove. In fact, I think that was one of the only scenes I remember from the movie "The Wizard" starring Fred Savage of "The Wonder Years" was the debut of this badass piece of 80s tech. Fast forward to 2015. The animator of the Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken" has modified his Power Glove to control his stop-motion workflow. Woah, dude.

Graphic Designer Uses Manfrotto Tripod and Apple Magic Trackpad to Work Hands-Free

Graphic Designer Uses Manfrotto Tripod and Apple Magic Trackpad to Work Hands-Free

Well, now we've seen everything. In this wild video, graphic designer Michelle Vandy shows off her — ahem — unique technique for working without the use of hands. Vandy developed this unusual workflow in order to combat her RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), and with it she is able to take movement of her arms and hands virtually out of the picture. She further credits this method with subtly influencing her design work.

Preparing and Packing A Portable Studio Efficiently

Preparing and Packing A Portable Studio Efficiently

When people walk through my living room studio, they are puzzled that I do not own or rent a permanent studio space. What many do not know is that when I’m contracted for a commercial assignment, about 80% of the time I must travel to a location or shot at the client’s home base. And, in many cases that requires transporting several 9 foot seamless backdrops and a whole lot of equipment. I don’t have a giant bus to haul all of my studio gear, so it’s been a trying experience to find the right tools to efficiently pack and tote my mobile studio.

No Presents? No Problem! Six DIY Photography Gifts to Save Your Holidays

No Presents? No Problem! Six DIY Photography Gifts to Save Your Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you’re most likely short on cash and haven’t started gift shopping for friends and family yet. Fear not, for the lovely people over at The Cooperative of Photography have put together a how-to video of six different DIY photography gifts that you can make with just a few low-cost items and some images.

Transform Your Living Room Into A Practical Studio And Making It Work

Transform Your Living Room Into A Practical Studio And Making It Work

I guess I’ve always been different; I’ve never really yearned for a big studio space. As a freelance photographer, the majority of my clients require that I come to their location and shoot on-site. I have a strict organizational-mobile system to transport all my equipment which includes over 8 strobes, 2 scrims and a plethora of staging props and modifiers. I’m asked quite often about my studio and where I shoot all these incredible portraits and dramatic fashion editorials. The answer is easy; my living room.

How I Upload My Photos to Facebook or The Photographer's Guide To Photo Formats For The Web

How I Upload My Photos to Facebook or The Photographer's Guide To Photo Formats For The Web

If there is one thing I get asked, and that has been answered online time and again, it's "How do I get my photos to look like I want them to look on Facebook?" followed immediately by "Why does Facebook ruin my photos anyway?" and finally "I just want my photos to look awesome on Facebook." The bottom line is, Facebook does give us options, loopholes if you like, and we just need to adhere to them and our images will look stellar. But, what are these magical settings? I decided I was going to fuse my two careers together into one article, and explain it all as best I can.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Modifiers

Getting The Most Out Of Your Modifiers

Artificial lighting can be overwhelming, there are thousands of options to modify one single light source and there are dozens of companies that claim they have the best product and best bang for your buck. Regardless, photography equipment is expensive and I know I'd rather not waste money on a gimmick product when the same result could be achieved with just the right strobe placement or accessory.

Meet Kenji Yamaguchi - National Geographic’s Legendary In-House Camera Engineer

Meet Kenji Yamaguchi - National Geographic’s Legendary In-House Camera Engineer

For 32 years Kenji Yamaguchi has been National Geographic’s resident mad scientist camera engineer. He's been modifying all sorts of camera gear to enable Nat Geo’s photographers to capture the spectacular images that they do. His workshop, located in the depths of Nat Geo’s basement, is filled with frankenstein camera equipment that only exists in the form of dreams to the average photographer. Motion-detecting flashes and modified wide-angle macros are just a few of the contraptions that emerge from Kenji's workshop - frequently called upon by the world’s best lensmen. David Ehrenberg at National Geographic recently gave a peek into the workshop and mind of the master.

Joey Shanks Explains to Fstoppers How He Re-Created the Black Hole from the Movie Interstellar

Joey Shanks Explains to Fstoppers How He Re-Created the Black Hole from the Movie Interstellar

If you’re interested in getting big budget looks in your low budget indie film, then you should be very familiar with the Shanks FX channel on YouTube. If you’re not, you should get acquainted with it… like now! Joe Schenkenberg aka Joey Shanks is the man with the know-how when it comes to creating Hollywood effects out of simple household items. He teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to bring you quality behind-the-scenes content online and has recently partnered with Red Giant to explain how he created a black hole effect very similar looking to the one in the recent movie Interstellar – all captured in-camera.

Five Methods To Recover From A Creative Collapse

Five Methods To Recover From A Creative Collapse

Whether we're a photographer, graphic designer, painter, musician or dancer... throughout our career, we’ll slam right into a rock solid wall and it some cases it can be so traumatizing that some of us may never recover. It’s not really a question of if; it’s a question of when and if you’re a new artist then brace yourself, there will come a time when things just don’t click. I’ll be honest; I hit that wall with writing for Fstoppers this past month. Writing 1,000 words once a week is no easy feat, I figure it's only appropriate to write about this very topic as I sit here in recovery from a creative collapse.

Tips To Improve Your Beverage Photography: Secrets Of The Craft

Tips To Improve Your Beverage Photography: Secrets Of The Craft

This week I wanted to share a few of the tools we commercial photographers use to create our tabletop images. Particularly the items used in photographing beverages. There's a lot of trial and error when it comes to this sort of photography, often times we find ourselves using things in ways far from their originally intended purpose. Having said that, there's a lot of things that have become kind-of standard practice in food/beverage photography, some of those items I'll share with you today.

"GoPro Array" Creates Incredible Action Video In Bullet-Time

"GoPro Array" Creates Incredible Action Video In Bullet-Time

When my friend and filmmaker Marc Donahue of Permagrin Films told me about the idea behind his "GoPro Array", I was speechless. Place 20 GoPro Cameras side by side in a slightly curved custom holder, set them all to film in super slow motion, and then use the footage to create a "bullet-time" look at break dancers performing some super cool moves. The results are a unique and exciting look at one of America's coolest dance forms.

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