Natural Light

Why Professional Gear Is Not The Most Important Element in Photography

Why Professional Gear Is Not The Most Important Element in Photography

Yes I said it. I can hear the outraged shrieks of equipment addicted photographers, but hear me out. In February, I went to Capetown for a month to please my trigger finger and shot eight stories in the same location using just natural light. South Africa is a renowned location for occidental productions. When it is snowing in Europe and in the States, it is summer season there. During that time the only weather complication can arise from wind with the upside being constant blue skies. During my stay, I got unpredictable rain and clouds. When I was done throwing tantrums at the black skies and banging my head against a wall questioning my decision of spending hard earned bucks to fly to the southern tip of Africa, I capitulated and went with the flow. And learned a lot in the process. Getting out of my comfort zone reminded me about the core of photography: my vision.

Download and Retouch a Photo Nino Batista Shot in Miami

Download and Retouch a Photo Nino Batista Shot in Miami

I am calling this the "Dani Diamond Experiment", because he has done this before, and I thought the end results were fascinating. See, Dani's been known to offer a totally unedited raw file of an image he shot as a free download, asking photographers and retouchers to have a go at finalizing the shot however they see fit. Rather than specifically ask anyone to retouch the image in any particular style or use any particular workflow, the idea is to simply offer the raw file with no instructions beyond "Edit it!" and see what happens.

Photographing a Concert With the Nikon D5

Photographing a Concert With the Nikon D5

Canon and Nikon have always had their single digit models at the top level of performance. From the original D1, bringing a professional digital camera to the world that didn’t require a separate backpack for a processor, to the D3, Nikon’s first ever full-frame body, this series of cameras has pushed the envelope of what a camera can do. The Nikon D5 not only pushed the boundary, it has demolished any previous limitation that I have found in a camera.

How Ansel Adams Captured Images as He Saw Them

How Ansel Adams Captured Images as He Saw Them

In this video essay, Evan Puschak aka The Nerdwriter explains some of the techniques Ansel Adams used to achieve his technical and esthetic mastery. Using visualization and some other relatively easy to learn techniques, Adams learned to bring what he saw in his mind's eye to his photographs (yes, I said "easy to learn," but hard to master). It was Adams' commitment to taking photographs, with intent, that made him a master artist and led him to develop the tools he needed to bring his images to fruition.​

Pushing the Sony A7RII's Dynamic Range Using Capture One, Photoshop and Luminosity Masks

Pushing the Sony A7RII's Dynamic Range Using Capture One, Photoshop and Luminosity Masks

Recently, during my annual trek to Las Vegas for WPPI (wherein I arrive in the city of sin and proceed to actively avoid going to the actual expo because I book too many other things), I found myself in the deserts outside of Vegas with a Sony A7RII, a few bits of glorious Zeiss glass, no modifiers or lighting of any kind, and Renee Robyn as my model. Welp, guess it was time to see what Sony's dynamic range claims were truly about then.

Shooting at Sunset: How to Balance Ambient Light With Strobes

Shooting at Sunset: How to Balance Ambient Light With Strobes

Commercial Photographer and Videographer Jay P. Morgan has spent the last 25-plus years mastering light, production, and the business end of photography. He shares most of his insights on The Slanted Lens, his site dedicated to providing step-by-step instruction on how to light for photography and video. His latest video finds him in Gettysburg, combining strobes with ambient light, featuring Honest Abe and a couple of sweet cannons, while he shows us how to light a scene during sunset.

Photographing Hong Kong With Elia Locardi / Behind The Scenes Episode 13 and 14

Photographing Hong Kong With Elia Locardi / Behind The Scenes Episode 13 and 14

Our second tutorial with Elia Locardi: Photographing the World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, and Advanced Post-Processing was all about different types of cities. We started in Cinque Terre, a region of Italy where cities are basically built into the side of a natural landscape. We then moved on to Rome to shoot ancient architecture. Next we moved on to Singapore and Hong Kong for something a little bit more modern.

Street Photography: Wandering While Observing Both City and Society

Street Photography: Wandering While Observing Both City and Society

Some of my best street photography was shot while wandering the city with no apparent aim. Street photography is a genre in which you have little to no control of what your subject does, the light you’re working with, or the setting. You cannot force anything, and you cannot stage life in the streets or predict what’s about to happen before your very eyes. You’re just there, observant and ready to shoot. Here’s how I do it.

Out Of My Element: The First Time I Ever Shot In Snow

Out Of My Element: The First Time I Ever Shot In Snow

Despite having grown up around photography all my life (thanks, dad) and then starting my own commercial portrait business in 2009, there is one small little thing I'd never done before, silly as it sounds. I have never, ever shot in snow. Born in the Caribbean in 1975, then briefly living in Miami before settling down in Houston in 1979, I have truly never experienced real snow. But all that changed for me recently in Salt Lake City and Albuquerque - in January.

Understanding Light: Large Light Sources and How To Use Them

Understanding Light: Large Light Sources and How To Use Them

I’ve always been a fan of big lights. There are certainly situations where they aren’t appropriate, but a lot of my work is centered around big, soft light. What has always drawn me to large sources of light is their versatility. Almost every subject looks good with soft light. Because large light sources cause such soft gradation in the shadows, they can be useful for both younger subjects with smoother skin, or even older subjects that may have wrinkled and scarred skin. However, there is one thing that should be cleared up: the definition of a large light source.

We Sit Down With Globetrotting Wilderness and Urbex Artist K. R. Whitley

We Sit Down With Globetrotting Wilderness and Urbex Artist K. R. Whitley

Over a year ago, after having discovered his work a year before that, I felt it necessary to introduce Fstoppers' readers to photographer K. R. Whitley, the world traveling wilderness/landscape and urbex artist. Since then, Whitley has traveled even more and expanded his work in some bold, new directions. I brazenly invited him to an interview at my house, and thankfully he agreed.

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