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.

A Beginner's Mistake in Photography That Can Last a Career

I have likely made a great many mistakes over the course of my photography career, but one could well still be impacting me today. The question is, are you making it, and if you are, should you do anything to change?

Skills and Secrets of Shooting Stunning Seascapes

Seascape photography is so different from shooting landscapes. Its dynamic nature makes it one of our most exciting and challenging subjects. The distinct difficulties of capturing the ocean require a different set of skills and learning some of the secrets of the sea.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (June 2022): Creigh McIntyre

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 2022, 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.

The Best Retouching Tools for Photographers

Fstoppers has teamed up with Infinite Tools to bring you the best retouching plugins online. These tools are relevant for every type of photographer and will dramatically speed up and improve any retouching workflow. We are offering them at 20% off in the Fstoppers Store through July 5th.

The Two Major Distractions Stopping You From Becoming a Great Photographer

We all want to improve our photography and get recognition for our work. However, there are two big distractions that we need to push aside to achieve success in our art. The first obstacle is the largest. Usually hailed as the key to photographic success, it has more disadvantages than helpful attributes.

Landscape Photography and Self-Expression

What urges you to travel, hike, and camp out for landscape photography? How do your emotions affect what you shoot and how the output turns out?

Your Images are Making Me Fall Asleep

It's time to be honest with yourself. It's time to ask some hard questions about your work and answer them straightforwardly, even if you hurt your own feelings. Grab a pen and paper, drop your ego, and tackle these questions.

Step Up Your Street Photography by Embracing the Darkness

What a time to be alive for photography! Advances in technology, combined with reduction in pricing and the “gear wars” that brands wage against each other continue to make image-making hardware of the highest quality more and more accessible to the every person. This market process continues to make it possible for us to minimize sacrifices in image quality we once made when shooting in less than optimal conditions.

5 Questions To Ask on a Discovery Call

You’ve received an enquiry from a potential new client and you’re looking forward to booking them in. Here are five questions to ask on your discovery call to make sure you understand what the client needs and that you can quote for the job accurately.

How to Find New Photo Spots

While browsing through various photo-sharing platforms, you might get the impression that everything has already been photographed. After all, millions of photos get uploaded each day to Instagram alone. But if you take a closer look, you'll see a lot of repetition. Many photos show the same places, the same compositions, and often similar light and editing. Even today, it's possible to discover new photo spots. In this article, I show you my favorite way to do so.

Getting Razor-Sharp Photos With Any Lens

Here comes the shock: you can get extremely sharp photos with cheap gear. Let’s have a look at what sharpness is and how we can improve it.

How to Fix Adobe Photoshop's Save As Feature

Adobe has released another update for Photoshop, bringing improved features, usability, and workflow for photographers and artists alike. However, one update from a while back has constantly irritated me, the save as feature, but there's an easy solution to fix it.

Our Hands-On Preview of Profoto's Connect Pro Flash Trigger

If you are a Profoto user who has always dreamed of the day you could see the actual power settings of your strobes directly on the remote, today, your dream has come true. I was one of the first photographers to test the new Connect Pro in my own studio, and I have to say, this is a very welcome upgrade for any Profoto user.

Could Artificial Intelligence Replace Photography?

With technology continuing to move on at a swift pace, there's been plenty of recent discussion as to whether digital renders can truly ever replace product photography. Taking this one step further, is it possible that one day, artificial intelligence could simply create images without needing any input from a photographer or digital artist at all?

Searching for the Perfect Panoramic Camera

A few years back, I managed to find a beater of a Hasselblad XPan for a song. I've tried to find a shooting style that would help me stand out from the crowd, and the panoramic format appealed to me. I didn't realize it at the time, but this purchase sent me down a rather obsessive path, trying to find the best panoramic cameras for news and editorial work.

5 Clauses to Include in Your Photography Contracts

No matter how uncomfortable it might feel to send out a photography contract at the beginning of your commercial photography journey, having a robust contract in place is essential for creating professional relationships with your clients.

Bringing Your Photography to World Class

Take a nice subject, awesome conditions, build up a pleasing composition, and you will get a great photograph. But there is still something important missing for getting it to world class. Therefore, we have to go even one step further.

5 Words Headshot Photographers Should Never Say

One of the biggest mistakes I made early on as a headshot photographer was using the dreaded phrase, “I'll fix it in post.” In today's article and accompanying video, I share five reasons why I never say this to my clients, and why you shouldn't either.

Is Technology in Photography Lowering the Bar or Increasing Freedom?

The craft of photography has arguably changed more in the last 20 years than in the century before it. With each improvement to the equipment comes the inevitable groans of many photographers who believe the technology takes away from the craft. Is that well-founded or mistaken?

4 Things Photographers Should Do Every Day

Life as an artist is a never-ending series of peaks and valleys full of both joy and inevitable disappointment. But adding a bit of routine into a life seemingly devoid of it can make you both a better photographer and a happier human being.

Accessories in Your Camera Bag You Don’t Need

A camera bag can carry a lot of stuff. It fits a camera and lenses, but also other things that may or may not be helpful for your photography. Sometimes, there’s too much stuff that seems to be essential at first, but isn’t used at all. How many things have you collected in your camera bag?

The Surprising Reason Photography Is Dying on Instagram

If you've used Instagram in the past six months, you might have noticed the slow decline of photography on your feed. Reels are the main culprit of that change, but there's more to it than you might think.

How to Get Incredible Landscape Images on the Coast

After shooting more sunsets than I can count along the Pacific coast, I've experienced many different conditions and learned a plethora of valuable lessons. These are the most important tips I found throughout that journey that will help you the next time you're shooting along the coast.

What is the Best Camera Mode for Landscape Photography?

For more than 30 years, I tried different camera settings for my landscape photography. With the settings I use today, I don’t only feel more flexible, but they allow me to nail each of my photographs technically.

Insight From the Creative Conference in New York City

We often describe children as creative. We are impressed at how they create art using nothing more than a crayon and a sheet of blank paper. Many adults, however, neglect the artistic spark they had in their youth and label themselves as “not creative.” The Creativity Conference, a no-cost, full-day event held in New York City on June 10, presented speakers who encouraged the adults in attendance to believe that they are indeed creatives who should be proud to pursue and share their artistic creations.

Three Reasons a Monopod Is Better Than a Tripod: ProMaster Air Support AS431 Monopod

Tripods have been sturdy companions for photographers all over the world. A good tripod can help you produce images that are simply not possible when shooting handheld. Unfortunately, tripods can be a bit of a pain to carry around, especially if they're any good. This is why, in many cases, a monopod ends up being a better option.

8 New Film Photography Announcements Ranked in 2022

It didn’t seem like there was much to cheer for film photographers in 2021. Supply chain issues, global film shortages, and price rises led to a wave of discontent among film photographers, leading many to cry into their soy lattes and burn their berets.

A Unique Element in Your Photography That Only You Can Bring

When we create a photograph, there are things we can do to change it from being mundane to interesting. Here are some of the most important aspects of composition and the one unteachable factor that is exclusively yours to discover.

Understanding the Value in Pursuing Personal Projects

Photographers are creators. As creatives, we have something to say. Photography, as a medium, can capture a mood or a message as powerfully as words, music, paintings, and sculptures. Embarking on a personal project is the perfect opportunity for a photographer to convey their message without the influence of any client concerns.

How To Be an Artist in an Ever-changing Marketplace

The things that help us survive in life are often the same as those which help us survive in business. And when you make your living from your art, survival in business can feel a lot like life or death.

Here’s Why You Need To Invest in This AI Photo Editing Software

AI retouching software is becoming increasingly more popular among photographers. The key benefits are that these kinds of software perform complex tasks quickly and to a relatively high standard. This effectively saves a great deal of time, and it's that time benefit that can end up being extremely valuable.

The Ugly Truth About Iconic Places in Landscape Photography

There is nothing better than being out in nature, inhaling all the mood out there, deciding on the best possible camera position, and enjoying landscape photography. But what if there are 25 other photographers beside you so that it becomes difficult to move just 20 inches to the left or right without disturbing another photographer?

5 Simple Mistakes You Need to Avoid as a Photographer

Photography is a complex thing that takes a combination of technical skill, creative vision, and (if you are a professional) business savvy to find success, making it easy to fall prey to traps that can derail you along the way. Here are five subtle mistakes photographers make that can negatively affect their experience, images, or careers.

Ideas and Tips for Photographing at a Fairground

Photographing at a fairground can be fun to do. It’s a fun place to go to, with lots of people, bright lights, and action. It can also provide some challenges for capturing great photos. I have some ideas and tips if you plan on photographing at a fairground.

Savage Sports Photography

How do you get “the shot”? The saliva spewing out, as a fighter gets the decisive knockout blow. The sprinters desperately leaning forward in to gain the winning inch as they cross the finish line. The water tracing the swimmer's face as they come up gasping for air. Sporting events happen so fast, and even if you make the most of your camera's impressive burst rate, it takes a lot more to nail your sports photos. These are three pillars I always lean on to create savage sports imagery.

Not All Color Calibrators are Created Equal. See Why.

Being a commercial photographer working on ad campaigns, I pay a lot of attention to color. From image capture to the final result, color plays a significant role in my work. The tools I use for color, by all means, determine the quality of the result.

Tricks for Masking in Adobe Lightroom

I've never been a huge fan of photo editing in Lightroom. In the past, I used it to organize my photos and for basic raw processing. But since the introduction of the new masking feature, I do a large part of my post-processing in Lightroom. Here, I share two videos, in which I show how I use Lightroom masks.

Think Outside the Box With Luminar Neo

Now in its seventh year and incarnation as Luminar Neo, Skylum's editing software can fit the needs of some photographers as a standalone app or as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom. But what if you want to push the limits of your creativity with it? That's when you have to think outside of the box.