Fstoppers Originals

A Quick Tip to Improve Your Final Image

A Quick Tip to Improve Your Final Image

As a family photographer, I often find myself pushing the limits with how fast I'm moving. Sometimes I'm trying to get a shot before the 2-year-old child decides he hates what is happening, and other times I'm rushing to make sure I accomplish everything the family wanted to get. It doesn't matter what situation I'm in. Anytime I'm rushing, my images suffer. Last year at WPPI while attending one of Jerry Ghionis' classes, he said something that really stuck with me, and helped improve my photography. Ghionis said to slow down.

Dina Goldstein's Iconic Photo Series 'Gods of Suburbia'

Dina Goldstein's Iconic Photo Series 'Gods of Suburbia'

What if God was one of us? What would that look like? Dina Goldstein's "Gods of Suburbia" is a series comprised of visually arresting images of everyday situations, only with gods as the main subjects. Gods of Suburbia offers an iconoclastic interpretation of how ancient belief systems fit with technology, science and secularism, the three main pillars of modernity. She spent two years creating her third large-scale series with a tiny budget, and every obstacle you can think of. But through creativity and tenacity, she was able to bring the project to fruition.

Creating Compelling B&W Aerial Images in Backlit Situations

Creating Compelling B&W Aerial Images in Backlit Situations

For a bit over a year now, I have been taking regular flights over the city of Los Angeles, photographing the city from a helicopter. I get a lot of questions about how I'm editing the images to get the look and feel that I am, and the answer is actually quite simple. Using only carefully considered exposures and Lightroom adjustments, I've come up with a consistent and somewhat unique look for the project.

Working With a Muse: Is the Search for a Creative Soulmate Worth the Trouble?

Working With a Muse: Is the Search for a Creative Soulmate Worth the Trouble?

Having your own muse, a person on call who is willing and able to bring your creative ideas to life, is a gift. Traditionally female, muses have been the source of many artistic inspirations and great works of art, due to their beauty, character, or some other mysterious quality. Problem is, these collaborations can become murky as conflicting goals, crossed boundaries, and trust issues seep into what was “a good thing.” How can working with a muse revolutionize your work? Are the benefits of finding one worth the trouble?

Is It Possible To Produce High End Video With A $600 Point & Shoot?

Is It Possible To Produce High End Video With A $600 Point & Shoot?

If you’d asked me this question last week, I would have said no. What a difference a few days makes. Ruslan Pelykh, a New York City-based videographer and photographer, is creating outstanding video with a Leica D Lux 6, a 10 megapixel, $600 point and shoot. This post is a kick up the butt for anyone hanging on for a piece of gear as being the reason they can’t create with what they have. Welcome to creating more, with less.

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.

Setting Up a Successful Headshot Session: Part 2

Setting Up a Successful Headshot Session: Part 2

Getting your clients comfortable in front of a camera is always a challenge. I still get a little nervous before a shoot so I can imagine what my clients must feel like. In part one of this series, we talked about the importance of the pre-shoot consultation and how it can start you off on a good path toward a successful headshot or portrait session. In this article, I want to talk about ways we can address skin issues with our clients, how to deal with makeup, when to use a makeup artist, and discuss the basics of getting clients comfortable and focused in front of the camera.

Alexis Cuarezma Explains the 'Whys' behind His Sports Illustrated World Cup Preview Issue

Alexis Cuarezma Explains the 'Whys' behind His Sports Illustrated World Cup Preview Issue

The last time I talked with Alexis, he was just trying out a technique of shooting two different lighting setups with the press of a button (be sure to check that article out for details on how the SpeedCycler feature of the Pocket Wizard MultiMax works).This time around, he managed to pull off five different looks (three at one time) – nabbing himself six pages and the cover of the World Cup preview issue of Sports Illustrated. His behind the-scenes-video gives a ton of insight into how he pulled this off, but I asked him to go even further than the video or what he already explained at his blog and explain the "whys" of it all.

A Better Way to Fix Snow’s Blue Color Cast in Photoshop

A Better Way to Fix Snow’s Blue Color Cast in Photoshop

Snowy region shooters rejoice, there exists a way to completely get rid of all blue snow in your photographs! I know what you’re thinking: just adjust the white balance in any ol' image processor. Unfortunately, you will find that using this method is only winning half the battle for many images. In a few easy steps, you’ll learn how to make any winter photo much more pleasing to the eye.

Skateboarding as Art - An Interview With Fred Mortagne

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.

The One Thing You Should Always Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

The One Thing You Should Always Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

It's that time of year! Lots of wedding proposals took place over Christmas and New Year's so couples are now on the hunt for a great venue and team of vendors for their special day. There are many websites and Pinterest boards that like to give advice to brides on what to look for when hiring their wedding photographer. But your decision can be really be based on one question that I wish more clients would ask but often do not.

Why I Can't Stand the Photography Community

Why I Can't Stand the Photography Community

In three years of working in photography, I've shot roughly 1,500 family sessions. I've dedicated all my time to growing my photography skills whether it be watching online tutorials, going to WPPI, reading articles, and reaching out to fellow photographers. In my time spent doing this, I've come to one major realization; photographers seem very guarded, opinionated, and close-minded. I've tried to understand what it is that stops us from helping one another? Is it the fear that we are training our competitors, are we bitter that we may have had to learn the hard way, or is it the fact that we are too proud to admit when someone is better than us?

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