Fstoppers is happy to announce the next round of Critique the Community. We invite everyone to submit your best sports image to be critiqued by the Fstoppers team. The image doesn't have to have any particular style but it must be related to sports and action, incorporating a human element (not just products or sports equipment). Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Sunday night, February 7th and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.
Every portrait session with a new subject could bring new challenges. Some people are more comfortable in front of a camera than others, while some just take a little time to open up. I've put together a list of tips that may help you along the way during your portrait sessions.
Getting accurate Autofocus must be one of the most frustrating things an event or wedding photographer deals with on a daily basis. How many times have you been in the right place at the right time, taken a photo at the absolute peak of the action, and then found yourself cursing under your breath when you review the image only to find it wasn't in focus? This used to happen to me a lot at weddings, and I still see many of my assistants struggling with autofocus in extremely low light situations. Luckily there is a very simple solution that works everytime.
Keeping a fair amount of texture seems to be an issue for a lot of photographers and retouchers. No matter what technique they use to clean the skin of a model, I often hear people trying to find a solution to get a more natural and visible texture. Here is one for you!
Everyone wants to win the lottery. In this day and age winning the lottery can mean many things, one of which is hitting it big on social media. Creating a body of work, an brand image, and a following so massive it creates clout behind your name so high, it is easily seen by everyone as the best in the business. For photographers and creative alike, achieving something like that can easily be seen as difficult, but in reality for some it was outrageously easy and can still be done thanks to Instagram.
This story happens much more often than any of us would like to believe. A beautiful model receives a text from a highly respected photographer asking if she would be interested in doing a swimwear shoot at the beach. The model has heard great things about the photographer or maybe has even worked with the photographer before and jumps at the opportunity to shoot with him. The model, back home for the holidays, drives 7 hours across the country for an opportunity of a lifetime only to find out that she has been catfished by a creeper posing as a real photographer.
I admit it freely: I didn't used to pay attention or care about portrait lighting patterns. In fact, when a photographer would mention them around me, I would cover my ears and say "La la la la la" as loudly as possible while hurriedly trying to leave the room. There was a time where dismissing the standards was my usual, as was my tendency, but eventually I realized I was missing out on fundamentals that I could easily have built on and expanded rather than ignored. Just starting out? Don't make my mistakes.
I encounter lots of people who are torn between pursuing their passion for photography as a career or keeping it as a treasured hobby. There’s naturally that underlying paranoia that doing what you love full-time and taking on the pressure of monetizing it will kill your enjoyment. I’d like to say that years after going “pro,” I still love what I do every day. If you’re unsure and need convincing, here’s why I believe you too should take the plunge.
In a recent discussion with a friend over coffee, I was asked how it is that I gain access to photograph so many different people, specifically about the portraits that I have set up for some of my personal projects regarding artists and craftspeople. Some of these images require quite a bit of setup and a significant contribution in time and skill from the subjects of the photographs themselves. The answer to this question was quite simple: I ask.
If you work in portrait photography, be it commercial fashion or high school seniors or anything in between, at some point you will be on set with makeup artists (MUA) and hair stylists, if you aren't already. A good makeup artist can make or break your sessions, and a bad one can simply ruin everything. And since no amount of retouching can totally undo subpar makeup, hair, and styling, Staci and I decided to sit down with pro makeup artist Sarah Stafford in The Backyard to shed some light on the relationship between MUAs and photographers.
Computational photography is quickly becoming one of the leading threads for the future of our industry. Whether we realize it or not, it is already deeply integrated into our DSLRs and cameraphones in a supporting role, while other manufacturers have embraced it as the fundamental basis for equipment. Recently, I chatted with the team from Algolux about how they’re tackling some of the most relevant problems in photography to enable a future in which software and hardware work more in tandem than ever before.
If you look back to the beginning of photography, color didn’t exist. In fact, it didn’t exist for a long, long time. Even as 35mm film pioneered the way that photography was used and purchased, black and white was king. Slowly, as time progressed, color film began to take a foothold in the industry. Once legendary color films like Kodachrome and Kodacolor became widely available, black and white became far less popular for commercial use. Now, in the digital era, almost every digital camera records information in color. Why then, would I bother viewing my images in monochrome during my shoots, even if I know I’ll deliver them in color?
We all have that time of year when lethargy seems to run rampant by pulling our desire to keep creating great photos to the ground. For Vancouver, where I live, that time is right about now. Vancouver was carved out of the middle of a rainforest, which means we have a rather aggressive rainy season. It is pretty common to go weeks without even seeing a hint of sun. During this time, the motivation to shoot seems to wash away. As photographers, we need to take this time to toss several new logs on the fire and re-ignite that passion that is threatening to slip away.
Casting is time consuming! It can suck up all your energy. It can leave you exhausted and frustrated. It is mostly the one part of photography that always demands tons of effort, and does not always reward us with the results we hope for. That’s why there are casting directors, both in the stills and film industry. It is a job! When you are working on your portfolio you rarely have the means to hire one, so better to get efficient with it on your own. If you are a landscape or a still life photographer, move along gleefully.