Opinion

How Many Studio Lights do you Really Need?

When it comes to the quantity of lights that one needs, opinions are often heavily polarized and a hotly contested debate often rages. There are those that are staunch supporters of one light while others claim that a handful of lights are needed before anything meaningful can be done. Ultimately neither group is right as there is no definable minimum or maximum number of lights that one should use.

I Asked for a "Mythical" Video Travel Tripod, and Benro Made It a Reality with the Aero

Earlier this year at WPPI in Las Vegas, I stopped by the Benro/MeFoto booth to tell the team how much I loved the MeFoto tripod... but it was lacking in just a few places for a traveling videographer. Yes, the MeFoto was really compact, light weight and quick to set up, but I wanted clip locks and a smooth video pan head without sacrificing the size and weight the MeFoto offered. It seemed like an impossible request, until seven months later they delivered me the Benro Aero.

The Metabones EF Speedbooster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Rocks

Over the past month I've been hard at work testing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema (BMPCC) camera in a variety of situations for an Fstoppers review (since they updated the firmware, it's like an entirely new camera). While that review is still in progress as of today, I did want to talk to you guys about one piece of equipment that made shooting with it a great experience: the Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds Adapter for the BMPCC.

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.

Becoming a Photopreneur: Doing What You Fear

I still remember this conversation from several years back. A fellow photographer was about as stuck as you can get. He worked perpetual fourteen (or more) hour days, never got much of a day off and was struggling hard with a record-setting case of burn out. He was making good money, but it wasn't enough to justify the time being put in...and this had been the same story for years. From the outside he was a very successful photographer, but on the inside life was a dark and frustrating place.

Lowepro Finally Builds Hard Cases... Would They Make Me Give Up My Pelicans?

Though they are excellent for photographers, Pelican seemed to fall into the industry rather than build specifically for it. But with options between the ubiquitous Velcro inserts and foam, there hasn't been a lot to complain about in the design and function. They do exactly what they claim to, extremely well. However after using Lowepro's first attempt at hard cases, I can now see room for improvement. I think the perfect hard case is somewhere in between the two brands' offerings, but Lowepro is closer to the mark.

Censorship is Good for Photography. Seriously.

If there is one medium that has been subject to the most censorship in society for well over a century, it's photography. Further, if there is one medium that has been responsible for the most heated debates about censorship, it's photography. For the most part, photographers decry and loathe censorship, whether it's because they capture nude figures, or create images with fictionalized depictions of violence, or perhaps - arguably the most important - they capture vital, photojournalistic visuals of the world around us which, let's face it, it's sometimes just plain scary. But consider this: Mainstream censorshop is not only necessary in photography, but it helps photography overall. No, really.

Fstoppers Reviews the RadioPopper Jr2: This Could Be the Trigger System You've Been Waiting For!

RadioPopper just released their new mid-range set of triggers – the Jr2 system. It’s a complete overhaul of their much successful JrX system with some additional new features like 4 groups, stop-accurate remote power adjustments and 4 memory locations. The transmitter is completely backwards compatible with all previous RadioPopper products and can remotely power all Canon and Nikon flashes as well as Paul C. Buff and Photogenic monolights. Like me, you probably already have an off-camera flash triggering system you’re used to and using regularly… but the Jr2 may very well have you switching triggers!

Top 5 Children Photographers and Their Secrets

What are certain photographers doing that make them popular? Surprisingly enough, things like gear, location, social media skills and post production have very little to do with it. Believe it or not, it's something far more important and it's not often discussed. Here is the common secret all five photographers shared that makes their work stand out.

Copyrights and Consideration: Do Your Clients Know?

Back in August, while preparing for my latest trip - Seattle on this particular weekend - I found myself casually scrolling through Instagram to kill some time while taking a short break. After just a couple of minutes of this, something I had known quite well for years suddenly became clearer than ever: photographer's images are routinely modified by their clients, with the various filters and image manipulation tools Instagram offers, before they post them. I decided I was going to do what little I could do to speak out against it that afternoon because, by golly, I was all self righteous at that moment, and I was going to be heard. Well, at least on my Facebook anyway.

For Better Photographs, Don't Think Big, Think Simple

This post is in celebration of simple ideas, executed brilliantly. Incredibly simple ideas demonstrate that simplicity, combined with brilliant execution, can result in incredibly powerful images that affect us far more deeply than those that are more complex and technically well executed, but are boring and bring nothing new to the table. To make better images, stop thinking big and start thinking simple.

Unique Beauty - Lighting Out Of The Box

Throughout my career so far I have failed over and over again. Although it’s the successes that I'm remembered and known for, it’s the failures that are always the catalyst. At the end of the day, the key to success lies in failure. This improvisational beauty shoot was only a success because I set myself up to fail.

How Do You Determine A Fair Price For Licensing Your Videos And Photos?

Figuring out a fair rate for providing photography or video services can be a slippery slope, filled with pitfalls if you happen to price yourself incorrectly. But what's more complicated than setting a rate for services is how to approach setting a rate for someone who wants to license a piece of work you've already created. In this post I'll share my insight on the factors I look at, and my rationale for determining a fair fee for video and photo licensing.

You Can't Do It Alone So Drop The Ego And Collaborate

How many times have you heard the saying "if you want it done right you've got to do it yourself"? Well, that is not always the best mindset. This business we are in is all about collaboration, and the sooner you embrace what others have to offer, the sooner you will put out work that is competitive. Collaboration has many benefits that can take your work to the next level.