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Fstoppers Original Articles

Exclusive articles and expert opinions written by Fstoppers’ talented team of creative professionals. Here we cover everything from the latest photographic techniques to advice on running a successful photography business, to first hand accounts of working in the photography industry.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Photos and Lightroom Catalog Safe

Imagine the moment your computer stops working. It contains thousands of photos and a Lightroom Classic catalog. Imagine if all the work and effort you put into it is gone. The risk can be minimized when you take care of four or five things.

Backyard or Photo Studio?

Every now and then, the opportunities for creativity can be found right under your nose, or in your own backyard, in this case. I turned my backyard into a photo studio to create wild conceptual images.

Farewell to a National Icon

If you roll back the clock to around 300 years ago, America was still in its infancy years. It was a time before the Revolutionary War, and the slave trade was thriving across the world. Across the Atlantic Ocean, in England, a small sapling was beginning to grow which would later become an icon, until now.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (September 2023): Yong Lei van Barlingen

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2023, we're featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

7 Rite of Passages Photographers Go Through

There are some shots, shoots, or situations that are simply a rite of passage for photographers learning the craft. Here are seven examples most photographers have experienced. How many have you gone through?
5 Cameras for Winter Photography

Winter photography can be a magical yet challenging experience due to the conditions that come with cold weather, snow, sleet, high winds, and limited daylight. As photographers, we can prepare for this in advance to ensure we're insulated and dry enough to keep out the elements that this season throws at us, but what about our equipment?

I Wish I Knew This Before Going Full Frame

Full frame cameras are often considered the tool of choice for professional photographers. You rarely find such cameras in articles aimed at beginners. For many photographers, transitioning to a full frame camera is the next logical step in their journey. In this article, we will explore some crucial factors to consider before making the leap to full frame.

4 Productive Mindsets When Traveling for Photography

For a lot of photographers, the act of traveling is a double-edged sword. We travel to be able to see the world and draw as much inspiration as we can from everything we see and experience. At the same time, the act of traveling often requires pushing out of our comfort zones and leaving behind a lot of the things that allow us to operate with fewer worries and limitations.

Photography Opinions That We Should Burn

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the photography community is an opinionated bunch, and to make matters worse, there are a lot of people outside of the community who are opinionated about it too! So, let's take the edge off by sharing the worst photography opinions and why they should be condemned to history.

The Softest Light You Can Get: An Easy Guide

There are numerous applications for soft light, from portraiture to product photography, from macro to fashion. Soft light stands as one of the cornerstones of photographic expertise.

3 Pieces of Camera Gear That Surprised Me

I have owned, reviewed, or tested an inordinate amount of camera gear over the years — cameras, lenses, bags, lighting — and as a result, I'm not easily surprised. That isn't to say I'm never surprised, however, and here are a few times I was.
Here Is How I Light My Images as a Pro Photographer

I love light; it is the foundational component of my photography. I started off with light setups from the internet; however, I soon realized they don’t work for what I was aiming to get. This led me to come up with my own way of lighting photographs. Here is how I do it and how you can learn it.

Five Annoying Moments in Photography!

We have all been there! Out and about on a photo shoot, trying to photograph a beautiful landscape or during a portrait session, and then something happens, which annoys you to your core. Join me in this article as I discuss some of the frustrations I have experienced.

What Are the Worst Red Flags When Hiring a Photographer?

Whether you're hiring a photographer for your wedding, getting a headshot, or even hiring a second shooter as a photographer yourself, it can be daunting. So, what are the worst red flags you ought to be wary of when hiring a photographer?

11 Ways I Maintain Focus and Productivity as a Professional Photographer

Concentration and focus are among the most crucial skills to master as a freelancer and photographer. Being productive in your workspace is the key to gaining an edge over others when it comes to the basics. In this article, I have collected 11 of my best hacks for maintaining daily productivity.

Why I Love a Wood Box for Prints

In the digital age of photography, the imaging process has almost become effortless. Professional photographers can struggle to stand out in the crowded market. Although creating outstanding images is crucial to succeed in this craft of photography, photographers should take into consideration the final step of delivering those printed images.

Really? Is Expensive Gear Actually Even Worth It?

With the market inundated with countless products, it can be overwhelming to choose the right price point for the gear you need. Does the price tag truly reflect the quality and performance of the equipment? Let's dive into this question.

Sony Kando 2023: Bigger and Better Than Ever

I have been to a good number of photo-related events, both as a journalist and as an educator. And while the really good events usually strive to maintain, Sony Kando simply gets better and better. But what does that mean? Who attends? What is it like, and why is it important? Essentially, what exactly is Sony Kando, and why does it matter?

The Full Frame Cult Is Getting Tiring

I wish we’d all just move on. The format that used to be a compromise between image quality and price in the film days is nowadays being taken as the sole possibility for a serious photographer, and if you are not part of the gang, you apparently deserve to be ridiculed.

2 Mistakes the Best Photographers Never Make

If you want to be the best, you need to refine and perfect your craft. You also need to recognize your errors and eliminate them. Here are two of the most common amateur mistakes that the best photographers never make.

Why Cheap Clients Will Bury You: The False Economy of Anything Over Nothing

When you first start monetizing your photography or videography, you may quickly fall into the desperate scramble for jobs, particularly if you're looking to do it full-time. There is an issue that arises if you aren't selective with your work going forward, however, and it can be seriously damaging.
The Power of Telephoto Lenses in Landscape Photography

When you think of landscape photography, does a wide angle lens come to mind as the go-to choice for capturing the vast beauty of nature? While wide angle lenses undoubtedly excel at framing expansive vistas and foreground elements, the importance of having a telephoto lens in your bag for landscape photography should not be underestimated. Let's explore the often-overlooked role of telephoto lenses in landscape photography. You will discover how telephoto lenses can enhance your creative possibilities, capture stunning details, and unlock new perspectives in your landscape images.

Zoner Photo Studio X: Powering Up with Faster and Easier Features

Zoner Photo Studio X (ZPS X) is an all-encompassing post-production suite and file management system that has been quietly growing into something truly impressive. In the latest update, ZPS X has seen some major user experience upgrades, making it faster and easier to use than ever before.

Is the Camera Market Moving Away From Photographers?

It’s no secret the camera industry is highly volatile, but the bigger story lies behind people still buying and using cameras in 2023. Whether you’re a pro or amateur photographer, the landscape is changing rapidly from year to year. As camera manufacturers increasingly prioritize video users, is the market starting to move away from photographers?

The Artist's Paradox

In a career where our job is literally to be creative, sometimes the one thing you don’t get to be is… creative.

JPEGs: Where Do You Stand?

In digital photography, the type of shoot that you are doing often dictates whether you shoot in JPEG or raw format. Both options have their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

When Do Your Photographic Edits Become a Lie?

Huge advancements in technology have changed the way we approach editing. But maybe before adjusting our photos, we should consider what harm it is doing.

How to Go Beyond Photography by Telling Stories

As much as we would like to deny it, the true essence of photography extends beyond the simple act of capturing images. For centuries, photographers have been using photography as a medium to curate stories that evoke emotions, ignite imaginations, or even create a lasting impression of moments and spaces around us. As an experienced photographer for over a decade, I firmly believe that the process of photography involves a lot more than just clicking the shutter button. A complete process of photography also involves a meticulous effort in crafting a series of images that tells stories through a careful process of curation and presentation of images.

How to Create Perfect Night Photos

A few months ago, I shared how to take stunning night photos. There, I touched on the technical aspects of taking and editing such images. In today's article, I expand on the topic, focusing on creating perfectly noise-free night images.

Stuck In a Creative Rut? Stop Taking Photos and Do These 5 Things Instead

Creative ruts happen to every photographer but some are deeper than others. In some cases, switching up your gear, trying a new genre, or changing your approach can lift you out of a slump. You can’t always shoot your way out of a creative rut, though – sometimes, the best thing you can do is put your camera down and try a different approach.

Why Using the Golden Ratio in Your Photos Might Not Be a Good Idea After All

A while ago, someone commented on an article that composition is meaningless and people drawing wiggly lines on a photo were pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Initially, I dismissed that as being a naïve comment. Then, I did a little research and found something surprising.

A Photographer's Guide to Protecting Your Business and Client Relationships

Running a photography business is not as easy as you would like to think it is. A very common misconception starting in this industry would be thinking that you will be successful if you are good at taking photographs. While it was probably true decades ago, the steep competition and the change of industry landscape these days pushes the difficulty to the next level. In this article, we will be discussing an ongoing issue about client ghosting that has become increasingly common and continues to bug the industry as a whole.

A Cautionary Tale for Photographers

Do you have insurance? Do you need insurance? Is this something that you've thought about and then just not gone ahead and purchased? Photography is a hobby, so I'll be covered with my home insurance should anything go wrong. Is there something in the small print that won't cover your equipment at home or overseas?

Photography, CGI, and AI: Can You Tell the Difference? An Interview With Steve Hansen

Which image in the banner is a photograph, and which is computer generated? Can you even tell anymore? With the addition of computer generated imagery (CGI) and artificial intelligence, the process of creating images has provided commercial photographers more tools than ever. I sat down with award-winning food photographer Steve Hansen to discuss this topic and to delve into the question: "Is it enough to just be a photographer these days?"

Fujifilm Has Had Its Eyes on Full Frame the Whole Time

With its innovative APS-C and medium format cameras, many have long wondered why Fujifilm has steadfastly refused to enter the full frame market. It turns out they have had their eyes on the full frame market the whole time.

Breaking the Mold: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is a captivating art form that allows us as photographers to capture the beauty of the natural world. Among the many composition techniques employed by landscape photographers, the Rule of Thirds has long been considered a fundamental guideline for creating visually appealing and balanced shots. However, in this article, we will explore a less conventional viewpoint: why you should consider ignoring the Rule of Thirds in landscape photography. We will delve into the limitations of this rule and uncover situations where breaking away from it can lead to more unique, compelling, and creatively satisfying landscape photographs.

The Gamble and Reward of Seascape Photography

As a seasoned seascape photographer, I've learned that capturing the beauty of the ocean is a thrilling yet unpredictable pursuit. Each time I venture to one of my favorite locations, Ballycotton Lighthouse, I'm reminded of the gamble that is seascape photography.

The 5 Best Gear Purchases I've Made

After delving into some of the regrettable gear choices I've made, it's time to shift the focus to the gear that has truly excelled in my toolkit. In this article, I'll share the equipment that brings me joy whenever I use it. Be it a camera, or a light stand, or even a keyboard, it's all in here.

The 6 Most Valuable Smartphone Apps for Landscape Photographers

In today's digital age, there are numerous apps available that can significantly enhance your landscape photography experience. In this article, I want to take a look at the six apps that have proven invaluable for my own landscape photography.

Planning Versus Spontaneity in Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is an art that often balances on the precipice of meticulous planning and spontaneous creativity. As a landscape photographer, I've found myself torn between meticulously planning every detail of a shoot and simply going with the flow, capturing the unexpected. In this article, let's delve into a debate: Is it better to meticulously plan a landscape photography shoot or embrace spontaneity?

5 Unlikely Hero Accessories for Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is an art that requires creativity, patience, and the right equipment. While cameras, lenses, and tripods are essential, there are some unexpected items that can serve as game changers in the world of landscape photography. In this article, we will explore five unconventional tools and accessories that can enhance your landscape photography experience. Plus, unlike your main gear, these won't cost an arm and a leg.

Why Revisit Landscape Photography Locations

Are you the type of landscape photographer who visits a location once and then head off to other new locations, never to return? Or are you the type that returns to a location over and over? Revisiting a location presents significant opportunities for the landscape photographer.