Recent Natural Light Articles

Skateboarding as Art - An Interview With Fred Mortagne

Fred Mortagne, or French Fred, is a skateboarder, photographer, and filmmaker living in France. His images have taken skateboard photography to a place where the line between fine art, portraiture and action sports have beautifully dissolved into amazing works of art. As someone who shares a lot of the same passion for actions sports and black and white photography, I decided to get in touch with Fred to ask him a few questions about his work.

A Natural Light Tip That Will Have Strobists Selling Their Lights

One of the most noticeable differences between portraits taken outside using natural light as opposed to artificial light is the background. Images using artificial light tend to have darker backgrounds. This is crucial in catching the eye of the viewer and allows him or her to focus on the subject. This article is a guide in achieving this look using natural light only.

Beautiful Japanese Photography Studio Designed to Harness Ambient Light

Have you ever wished that you could simply walk into your studio space and immediately have perfect lighting? Japanese architecture firm FT Architects has created a gorgeous photography studio which uses diffused skylights and windows to harness ambient light and do just that. This beautiful studio located in Kanagawa, Japan seems to be the first of its kind.

“Don’t Be Afraid” – Emily Soto On What It Takes To Succeed As A Photographer Today

Everything starts from nothing. Thousands dream of being full time photographers, but knowing how to start a business - and how to grow it - are really tricky parts of a complex equation. Emily Soto today celebrates 4 years of full time professional photography. In this exclusive interview, she shares insights on how she has grown her business, as well as the struggles, hardships and rewards she's encountered along the way. If you're curious about what it takes to make it as a successful photographer today, this might just provide the answers you've been looking for.

Bazaar Magazine Fashion Editorial Shot Entirely On Film

These days it's hard to come by a fashion shoot that's not shot with a digital camera. That's why when Fstoppers discovered on a Facebook Film Shooters group that Indonesian based photographers Wirawan Sanjaya and partner Gaillard Mathieu had convinced the editors at Bazaar Magazine to allow him to shoot the entire editorial on film, we just had to reach out! The stakes were high, but his results were stunning.

The Best Landscape Photographer You've Never Heard Of

I adore a good landscape image. And it goes without saying that few things can take your breath away quite like an incredible image of mountains, valleys, spires, oceans, even castles and cities. After all, what is larger than life, or at least larger than us, can be far more awe inspiring than most portraits. However, the craft of landscape photography is hardly a matter of planning a vacation and bringing a tripod, which is about where my landscape "skills" end.

Dan Winters Shares the Incredible Story of Capturing the Last Space Shuttle Launch

Capturing the launch of a space shuttle is undoubtedly a tremendous task to take on. Add to that the pressure of capturing the last space shuttle launch and you may have one of the most immense photographic endeavours of your career. In a very passionate and insightful video talk, Dan Winters takes us through the process of accomplishing said task. From his emotional relationship with capturing launches, to diagrams of his camera setups, Winters not only shows us how he captured his incredible photos, but conveys what doing so meant to him as a photographer as well as a human being.

11 Incredible Photography Tips That Have Nothing to Do with the Camera You Use

The great team at Artifact Uprising has created a strong list of tips by some of the top mobile photographers on Instagram. Having been engulfed in the mobile photography, or iPhoneography, world for almost two years I have found that in the end the camera you use has nothing to do with the quality of your images you create. Just to clarify, by quality I mean the moment captured and the purpose behind the shot, not the pixel density. These guys truly are proof that the best camera is the one you have with you.

Lighting Basics - How To Do It Properly And Why You Should Care

You may have the newest DSLR or the fastest lenses known to man, but without even a basic understanding of light, it is going to be an uphill battle to create the images you envision. While this tutorial is directed primarily toward animators, the ideas and concepts within it are applicable to anyone who wants a better understanding of some basic lighting fundamentals.

The Photographer's Manifesto

I have seen absolutely beautiful things happen in the photo industry. I've seen strangers become best friends, I've seen grand ideas being brought to life, and I've seen photographers grow from beginners to mentors. I've seen so many things that make me proud to be a part of such an amazing community. The sad news is that I've also seen the uglier side of it. I've seen jealousy turn into bad-mouthing, I've seen photographers knowingly leave out key techniques from classes or talks, and I've seen new photographers become discouraged and disheartened by the cold shoulders of the more popular photographers in the industry.

Six Reasons Why Your Light Is Not Right

We’ve all been there, stuck with bad light and fresh out of ideas. I may spend up to an hour pre-lighting before a model or subject steps onto set, I work out the kinks and make sure everything is how it should be. But, despite my best efforts to make it right, every now and then I run out of time and have to wing it. We all have our “go to” lighting scenarios, but when you’re standing in unknown territory, keep the following tips in mind and you just might make it through the storm.

Photographer Cary Fagan Keeps Film and Art Alive

At the end of the day, a photographer's work takes just seconds to capture your attention. Usually, it is very obvious why you like a photographer's work, and other times, it is a bit of a mystery to you. This was the case when I first experienced photographer Cary Fagan's work recently. The fact is, based on what I like, what I shoot, and what I tend to gravitate to, I shouldn't like his work. But, I do.

Skillshare Launches Online School of Photography with 20 Iconic Photographers

Having just started in photography two years ago I have a strong passion for creatives willing to share their passion and tips with the community. Fstoppers included, its one of the reasons I found all the information I needed with little to no cost starting out. Skillshare is launching an exciting series of classes highlighting how some of the best photographers in the world do what they do best, take incredible photos and share them with the world.

The Big Black Box - Everything You Need To Know About The LEE Filters System

I get asked day in an day out; "What is that big black box on the front of your lens?" Well, it's a matte box that mounts glass filters in front of your lens... the LEE Filters System. In attempt to cover the question I recieve so often, I wanted to address it all and explain the system, but my friend and fantastic photographer Dave Kai Piper beat me to the punch! So, instead of writing my own article on the matter, I thought it best to simply share his article...

Sit Back And Enjoy The Fall Colors Of Aspen, Colorado In This Motion Timelapse

Timelapse photographer and videographer Mike Kvackay took a trip over to Aspen a couple weekends ago to catch the yellow and red colors of the trees that peak during this time of the year. What better setting than Aspen, Colorado, near the Maroon Bells peaks? Check out the video and then read on to hear about Mike's setup for motion timelapses, and see a few more of his awesome timelapse videos.

Anna Mia Davidson on Getting Published Through an Alternative Book Publishing Model

Anna Mia Davidson has been shooting and documenting sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest for the past seven years. The USA Television Network and Aperture collaborated for a campaign called, “The Character of America,” which commissioned nine photographers to document the positive aspects of America. Anna was one of those commissioned to further her personal project under that campaign. She also gained further funding from Fotodocument to be able to complete the project.

#PictureBelfast: Can You Tell the Difference between a Filter and a Vintage Camera?

Let's face it, smartphone cameras are getting better and better with every release. Mobile photo editing software is getting better too, and with the rise in popularity of Instagram over the last four years, sharing vintage-looking photographs have become quite the trend. Online content studio Rubber Republic produced the #PictureBelfast campaign for Tourism Ireland featuring fashion and lifestyle blogger Donna Ross going head to head with Belfast based photographer Andrew Rankin. Their challenge was to take photographs showing off the best of Belfast – half with a smartphone and half shot on film – where Internet users would try to guess which method for each image was utilized.

Five Photography Related Answers To Five Photography Related Questions Part One

Over the last several years, I’ve been fortunate enough to grow an audience wider than I’d ever thought possible. From the days of taking photos of whatever was in front of me, to speaking at the Phase One Stand Out Photographic Forums this October in LA and San Francisco, it’s been, to the say the least, quite an adventure. All that would not be possible, however, if it wasn’t for the Google and, more importantly, a core group of photographers who, at one point or another, shared with me the answers to questions that had been burning so bright in my mind, that I literally couldn’t sleep until I’d found a satisfactory answer.

Behind The Scenes As Tyler Stableford Captures Incredible Portraits Of "The Farmers"

All this week at the Photoville NYC festival, Tyler Stableford is hosting a gallery exhibition featuring his work from "The Farmers" project. This Saturday there is a reception which is free and open to the public if you'd like to check out some of the amazing prints from Tyler's latest passion project. This behind the scenes video gives you a look at the photography as well as the printing process involved in making this work come to life.

Dispatch From The Road Part II: On Taking Leaps Of Faith

If you’ve been following along, you may remember that back in July, I packed up my apartment, loaded up my car, and set off on a month-long cross country tour of the southern United States with my girlfriend Holly and my dog, Olive. Along the way we met and hung out with some incredible people, had the opportunity to take great photos, ate at some great local places and most importantly, got to experience first hand the freedom of the open road.

Lumu: A Light Meter For Your Smartphone

I don’t do a lot of gear reviews, in fact, this is my first for Fstoppers (bear with me). But Lumu is a product I’ve been following since it’s launch on Kickstarter back in 2013. I didn’t invest back then, I’ll tell you why later, but it's a great concept that has become a reality so I’m here to give you my honest thoughts and a short video we hacked together using the meter in the field.

Understanding Depth Of Field: A Simple Visual Animation

One of the most common things I get asked at my photography classes is, "What is depth of field?" or often a variation of: "I think I get depth of field, but can you explain it?" Explaining it without a visual wasn't always easy, but I made it work during the class and for the most part, I managed to convey the concept and people understood. After a while I sought out other DOF visualizations online to try to show my classes, finding examples that, to me, made perfect sense. However, one day on the back porch at home, it occured to me that perhaps simplifying a visual could help those still puzzled by DOF.

If Picasso Were A Photographer

In today's world of hyper-exposure to media and art, it is a rare occurrence when a piece just grabs you by the heartstrings. Day in and day out you see another reiteration of the same old concept. But every once in a while, there's that moment when you come across another photographer’s work that leaves you in awe of their talent and unique vision. It's the kind of work that inspires you, and also makes you a bit jealous for not coming up with it yourself.

The Studio Essential - How To Construct High-Quality V-Flats And Why

Ever since I started diving into studio photography the term “V-Flat” has been a big mystery to me. Google and YouTube have been the quintessential resource for photography knowledge and for whatever reason there isn't much detailed information on how to construct a V-Flat or what purpose they actually serve. It took time to sift through the noise of nonsensical DIY fabrication and even more time to unfold the enigma of this studio essential.

Shooting Natural Light Portraits and the Art of Improv Pt 2

In addition to lifestyle, I have an affinity for shooting natural light portraits/beauty/headshots - whatever you want to call them. It's not something I shoot often, but when I do, I'm reminded of how much I love it. In fact, you may recall a few months ago, I wrote an article detailing my ideal natural light setup for the black and white portrait / headshot photos that I occasionally shoot. In the article,

From Sydney to the Outback: Julie Fletcher's Incredible Australian Landscapes

After becoming disenchanted by a mundane lifestyle in Sydney Australia 12 years ago, Julie Fletcher escaped and found solace in travelling throughout and photographing the remote and wild lands of Australia. Capturing the colours of the desert to the night sky, Fletcher has produced a formidable and impressive body of work which illustrates the majesty the Australian landscape exudes.

An Unforgettable Giant Ring Light and How You Can Make Your Own

The largest ring light I've ever seen consists of 27 bulbs and is four feet in diameter. Six months ago, I built it. With so many questions left unanswered, I put together a short film that explains how I built it, why it was built, and why it's the most amazing light I've ever used to date.

RED Epic Dragon First Look and Dynamic Range Tests

Magnanimous Media posted a video detailing some of RED's newest technology as they go through the performance of the sensor in the new 6K-capable Epic Dragon. In what is perhaps one of the most interesting and visually appealing ways to display RAW and ungraded vs. graded footage, Magnanimous Media's video shows quite some promise for the new sensor that promises better color, dynamic range, and low-light shooting with clean video at ISO 2000.

A Lingerie Photographer Takes us Back to the Basics (NSFW)

Too often people view lingerie or nude photography superficially and fail to see the photographic beauty behind it. While this stereotype is unjust, it’s also understandable. Too many photos of this genre forego the beauty and focus solely on tasteless sensuality. By sticking to the basics of what makes a compelling image, fellow Toronto based photographer Billie Chiasson reminds us just how tasteful and beautiful lingerie photography can be.

Gorgeous Natural Light Portraits by Italian Photographer Alessio Albi

Twenty-seven year old nutritionist-turned-photographer Alessio Albi creates colorful, expressive portraits using natural light sources and outdoor settings around his home in Perugia, Italy. Incorporating aspects of conceptual and lifestyle photography, Albi’s portraits feature contemplative young women, emerging from within their natural surroundings.

Ingenious Father of Three Uses Daughters to Create Digital Masterpieces

This photographer not only creates situations that are unique and comical -- but sends you to a surreal universe in just a glance. John Wilhelm lives in Switzerland with the subjects of many of his works --his girlfriend and three daughters, he's also an IT director in the university there. His hobby is art. Aside from being technically perfect, his eccentric portraits each tell a story which will have you dumbfounded, but pining for more.

The Cinematic Look – How To Make Your Photographs Look Like Films

I recently noticed that a handful of photographers were producing images that had a look as if they were stills captured from films. A couple of the most well known photographers of this genre are based here in New York so I got them together and challenged them to not only come up with a dynamic personal project on the fly incorporating this cinematic look, but to share with us how it is achieved. Read on to find out how it all went down...

Series Documents an Abandoned Mining Town as it is Reclaimed by the Namib Desert

Toronto-based photographer Elaine Ling’s series “Abandoned, Namib Desert” documents the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, located in the desert of southern Namibia. Ling’s series explores the relationship between man and nature as abandoned buildings are eroded by shifting sand and relentless wind.

Fstoppers Review Of The Panasonic Lumix GH4: Is It Ready For Professional Use?

In short, no it is not. But a few minor dealbreakers are all that stand between leaving this camera on the shelf, and making it best digital camera in its class.

After nearly a month of capturing video, stills, and timelapse media with the Panasonic GH4, I laughed, I cried, and I almost threw it off a mountain. At times it was a joy to shoot with, and other times it wouldn’t even power on with a full battery. I’ll give you a complete, unbiased rundown in my full review, complete with video samples.

Photographer Michael Salisbury Beautifully Captures the Urban Landscape of Chicago

Photographer Michael Salisbury’s stunning work captures the multifaceted urban landscape of Chicago, finding the symmetry and vivid color in often overlooked settings. Salisbury’s images showcase the intricate patterns of line and color created by the city’s massive buildings and public transportation systems; reminding us why, even in the busiest of urban environments, it pays to stop and look around.

iPhone 5S vs Canon 5D Mark III- Which Do You Prefer Here?

This war has been waging for years now, but when it comes down to it and you just want to get out and shoot for yourself, which do you prefer, your phone or your top of the line pro gear? Kim Thomas, an incredible nature and portrait photographer based in New York, has brought the battle to a head up at her blog with some comparison shots taken straight out of camera with both her Canon 5D Mark III and her iPhone 5s.

Glyn Dewis Shows You How to Save an Almost Unusable Image

In this valuable tutorial Glyn Dewis takes a quick snapshot and shows you how to pull detail from highlights and shadows to make it a beautiful image. Dewis mentions some great workflow tips and tricks in Adobe Lightroom as well as how to bring your image over, non destructively, to Photoshop camera raw.

Night Time Location Shoot Quito, Ecuador

This past year Mark Wallace packed up his studio in Arizona and hit the road, traveling the world with his camera. Mark is currently visiting Ecuador, and while there he has been doing some nighttime shots of the city.

Kirsty Mitchell - Wonderland "The Fade Of Fallen Memories"

After releasing the last main scene for her story, Kirsty Mitchell's wonderland series is finally drawing to a close. She spent months creating the art work which she shows you in the behind the scenes photos and video. The series was started in 2009 as a memory to her mother that passed away and has evolved with time into something beautiful. Her images are painstakingly put together over months until the perfect time comes for her to capture the magic she has prepared.

17 Simple Tips To Help You Better Control And Master Natural Light

Most of us love natural light and feel comfortable shooting with it – but how well do you really know how to utilize it effectively and to control it with precision? I just spent the day with Erik Valind, a New York City-based lifestyle photographer in his 'Controling Natural Light' workshop. Here are 17 simple ways to help get great results from better understanding and utliizing natural light.

New iPhone App Lets You Pre-Organize Your Photos

Keeping your photographs organized by means of keywording is not a new idea but a new app is changing the idea of keyword organization. Polymo lets you add your keywords before you shoot, and adds all of the photos into its own "smart album."

Eight Tips I Wish Someone Told Me Early in My Career

Regret is the worst feeling in the world but as humans, we feel it. There are times we all look back at, kicking ourselves thinking "if only I had known… I would've done it differently." I remember telling myself if I was ever given the opportunity to be heard, I'd collect a list of tips to share with others so they don't have to feel the frustration that often comes along with regret.

Brilliant Mix of Edibles, Photography and Text: Food Typography

From concept to finsihed piece Danielle Evans creates incredible pieces of art using various mediums for clients Target, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Kellogg. Her style is freeform and specializes in hand lettering to create stunning scenes with perfect lighting to match the feel she is looking for.

Synaesthesia: How Jaime Ibarra Color Grades His Images to Hear With Light

With the brand new Fstoppers website, everyone can now upload a portfolio to a profile for the world to comment and rate your photos. After just a couple of days from launch Jaime Ibarra's photos exploded onto the front page, with a whole series of popular photos and with good reason. His photos are a beautiful combination of emotion, concept and color that you cant help but be stunned.