Fstoppers Original Articles

The Stun Gun Photoshoot:  Portraits of People's Faces When Hit With A Stun Gun

As a portrait photographer, I am always trying to make people feel comfortable in front of my camera so I can capture a real emotion from them. But what if I was able to make people feel so uncomfortable in front of the camera that I could guarantee an interesting portrait every time? This is the idea behind my latest series: The Stun Gun Photoshoot. I've edited two different videos as well as a behind the scenes in the full post below.

NFTs Are a Pyramid Scheme and People Are Already Losing Money

Photographers, filmmakers, and digital artists are falling over themselves to mint NFTs in a get-rich-quick scheme that will do little beyond transferring wealth from artists to tech billionaires. Why are so many people buying into the idea that something is rare because everyone says it is?

The Best Thing for the Camera Industry Is for Nikon to Exit

Current orthodoxy in the camera market is based around the triumvirate of Sony, Nikon, and Canon. They hold the keys to the professional full frame sector, supported by wide ranging lens systems. However the last decade has taught us that change is normal, so would the best future for the sector lie in Nikon ending camera production?

My Photo Went Viral, And Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For What Happened After

A little bit over a week ago, I went to Los Angeles International Airport to make a photo. It was a clear day, and I didn't want to waste it sitting inside. Being an aviation fan myself, as well as an occasional pilot and aerial photographer, watching planes, to me, is hardly the worst way to pass the time. As it turns out, making this photo would lead to one of the craziest weeks of my entire life.

The Death of Photoshop: A Warning to Photographers

Photoshop's days are seriously numbered thanks to the likes of AI, machine learning, and neural networks. The question is, what should photographers be doing to prepare for this big change?

How To Upload High Quality Photos to Facebook And Fix A Common Mistake

We've all been there, we work so hard preparing, shooting, editing or whatever it may be when we're involved in taking photos. After everything is finished and the photos look amazing, we cannot wait to share our photos to the world. But are they the highest quality possible?

How I Upload My Photos to Facebook or The Photographer's Guide To Photo Formats For The Web

If there is one thing I get asked, and that has been answered online time and again, it's "How do I get my photos to look like I want them to look on Facebook?" followed immediately by "Why does Facebook ruin my photos anyway?" and finally "I just want my photos to look awesome on Facebook." The bottom line is, Facebook does give us options, loopholes if you like, and we just need to adhere to them and our images will look stellar. But, what are these magical settings? I decided I was going to fuse my two careers together into one article, and explain it all as best I can.

A Complete Guide to Retouching Portraits in Photoshop for Free

There is an innumerable amount of articles and tutorials teaching parts and pieces of retouching portraits. However, finding the ones with quality techniques and information can take days. Furthermore, there is no singular tutorial that teaches a complete set of methods to retouch portraits free of charge. Finding the right tutorials for each aspect of editing can become very time consuming. This article contains 5 years of research for achieving the greatest methods to retouch a portrait.

Having Your Dreams Ripped Away

Anthony Carbajal is a Wedding Photographer in Temecula, California and during the past six months he noticed his hands becoming weaker and his arms had began twitching. He shook it off and tried to tell himself it was carpal tunnel. After both his mom and grandmother being diagnosed, he knew what it was: ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

A Natural Light Tip That Will Have Strobists Selling Their Lights

One of the most noticeable differences between portraits taken outside using natural light as opposed to artificial light is the background. Images using artificial light tend to have darker backgrounds. This is crucial in catching the eye of the viewer and allows him or her to focus on the subject. This article is a guide in achieving this look using natural light only.

Ingenious Father of Three Uses Daughters to Create Digital Masterpieces

This photographer not only creates situations that are unique and comical -- but sends you to a surreal universe in just a glance. John Wilhelm lives in Switzerland with the subjects of many of his works --his girlfriend and three daughters, he's also an IT director in the university there. His hobby is art. Aside from being technically perfect, his eccentric portraits each tell a story which will have you dumbfounded, but pining for more.

20 Photographers are Given the Same Portrait to Edit, Check Out the Results

As we all know, the human experience is unique. Your life and your opinions will never be the same as any other persons. This is why there is a subjectivity to art. When viewing and creating art, there will not be two artists who imagine the same piece. Since photography and retouching are both art forms, it would be plausible that the same applies.

25 Popular Photographers And Where They Started - The Ultimate Inspiration

One thing we often forget - All successful photographers started somewhere. This knowledge is motivation that fuels my every action and every photoshoot. We all have the power to exceed our expectations, to set goals and reach them. We may look back at our work and feel embarrassed, asking ourselves, “What was I thinking?” But remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Here's a show case for 25 popular photographers with their first photos, next to their recent work. Proof that you can be successful, too.

Does Gear Really Matter? 30 Mind-Blowing Images Taken With Entry-Level Gear

When someone tells a photographer that “their camera must be really good,” chances are the photographer will respond with an eye roll. The debate surrounding gear verses skill in the photography world is a tired albeit consistent discussion. Let’s not kid ourselves, gear does in fact matter. However, does a photographer need top of the line equipment to produce mind-blowing images? Take a look at this collection and decide for yourself.

What It's Like to Photograph F16s... From Another F16

It's hard to imagine someone not describing what Sergeant Larry Reid Jr. does as a dream job. Once you see what he does, the images he captures and the joy on his face as he explains his process, part of you (no matter who you are) kind of wishes you were him. With two cameras strapped around his neck firing shots off while his pilot banks at seven G's, Sergeant Reid is living the dream.

The New Mac Studio M1 Max: One Photographer's View After 5 Days

First: Some History

I've had a lot of Macs over the years. I remember the old PowerPC Macs, which performed OK against Intel-based PCs, but did have some heat issues under heavy loads. I went along with the transition to Intel in the Mid 2000s, and had a Mac Pro Intel-based machine, which replaced my identical-looking PowerMac G5. That served me well for many years because it was so upgradeable, but eventually, that machine no longer supported the latest versions of macOS, so reluctantly I bought an iMac in 2019, sporting a 3.6GHZ 8-CORE INTEL CORE I9 chip, and 8GB of memory. Like many...

$5,000 Pro Camera vs iPhone 13 Pro: Can You See the Difference?

Apple boasts that their new phone's cameras are better than ever, but how good are they? In this real-world comparison, I capture multiple challenging scenes with very impressive results. Can you identify which photos are from the iPhone 13 Pro and the Canon R5?

The Navy SEAL Technique All Photographers Should Be Doing

Many parallels can be drawn between being in the military and being a photographer. Both have their high pressured moments and require extreme concentration at times. Here's one technique that the Navy SEALs have adopted that photographers should too.

Why You Should Care That DSLRs Are Dying

I am not a big tech fan; I don’t overly get involved in tech reviews, but the death of the DSLR is something that does concern me, and here is why you should be worried to.

Top 48 Photographers To Follow On 500px

Even the best photographers need inspiration. 500px is a beautiful playground for some of the best photographers in the industry, and also one of the most powerful tools for motivation. There’s no sifting through rubbish to find quality work in your feed, which is often a problem with various social media platforms, like Facebook. Here's a list of photographers and their mind-blowing work in 4 different genres you MUST be following.

7 Tips Your Camera Manual Never Told You About Portrait Photography

Many people will avoid picking up a camera because they think they don’t have an eye for photography. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take talent to capture a solid portrait. It takes skill and the motivation necessary to master those skills. Portrait photography can be dealt with as an equation; with just a set of rules and guidelines, it’s possible to take jaw dropping, natural light portraits tomorrow. Here are seven steps to master portraits using natural light only.

My Problem With Natural Light Photographers

Every time I hear a photographer state, “I’m a natural light photographer”, it can carry a suggestion that they are a more honest type of photographer, better attuned to reality, and purer in motive. What I hear is, “I haven’t learned to use my flash.” This may sound harsh but I can’t help it; right or wrong, I want to call them out on it. It is time to question why natural light shooting has, in many circles, become the more virtuous form of photography.

A Tale of Two Moons: Peter Lik’s Photographs Called Out by Science

For me and many photographers that I know, compositing and post-processing is fine, even needed in many cases. The thing that we all seem to get wrapped around the axle about is when a fellow artist is not entirely forthcoming about how a work was produced.

The Cinematic Look – How To Make Your Photographs Look Like Films

I recently noticed that a handful of photographers were producing images that had a look as if they were stills captured from films. A couple of the most well known photographers of this genre are based here in New York so I got them together and challenged them to not only come up with a dynamic personal project on the fly incorporating this cinematic look, but to share with us how it is achieved. Read on to find out how it all went down...

The Ultimate Guide to Composition - Part One: Just Say "No"keh

Note: This is Part One. For Part Two: Beyond the Basics, click here.

Composition – it’s perhaps one of the most important elements of photography. And with today’s technological marvels in lenses, it’s an even easier thing to forget – especially when bokehliciousis is so much more fun to talk about. Your composition is how you see – and that makes it infinitely more important than how out of focus the background is.

Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes Are Dead: It's Time to Get Rid of Them

For most manufacturers, one of the hangovers from analog cameras is the chunky dial that sits on top. Two of the modes — shutter priority (often S or Tv) and aperture priority (often A or Av) — are becoming increasingly obsolete. Cameras have changed, and so has how we use them, and manufacturers need to keep up.

The Canon EOS R1 Is Going to Be a Crazy Camera

Canon's EOS R5 showed us they were finally taking mirrorless seriously. And now, the EOS R3 has shown us that they are swinging for the fences. And yet, there is still the EOS R1 to come. It is going to be one crazy camera.

Posing To Perfection - 10 Crucial Steps To Pose A Model

As photographers we face challenges day in and day out, but one of the toughest facets of the job is posing our subject. Regardless of experience, when a model steps in front of your lens for the first time he or she will expect some direction. It’s up to you to give that proper guidance, otherwise your images will just come up short.

The Sony a7 III Might Have Ruined Canon's Plans For Their Mirrorless System

Canon is definitely late to the party when it comes to developing a professional mirrorless system, however, being late isn't always a bad thing. There are advantages to being second or even third to market when it comes to new products. Unfortunately for Canon, Sony seems to have anticipated this with the a7 III and competing is not going to be easy.

Secrets Of The Best Levitation Shots Shared

The first time I saw a levitation shot, I stared at it for 15 minutes in astonishment. I could not conceive how the image was captured; I was captivated by the story it conveyed, it was surreal, magical and awe-inspiring. Conceptualizing the image and executing it can prove to be rather difficult and meticulous. Thankfully, photographers who have mastered the techniques involved in levitating have decided to share their secrets with us.

10 Signs That You Will NOT Make It As A Successful Photographer

With a saturated market for photographers, there are so many pitfalls a photographer can plunge into that can prevent them from being successful. Taking a step back to analyzing yourself and your business can be the first step to improve and guarantee chances of success for the future. Here are a number of things to look out for, these things can be what is preventing you from reaching your potential.

Creative Cloud: Is It Time to Ditch Adobe?

Adobe just killed one of its last major one-time fee softwares, Lightroom, in favor of the subscription model introduced in 2013. While the most refractory users may continue to run on the previous versions, they will be forced to roll to the Creative Cloud at some point since Adobe will stop supporting the traditional software. Future raw images and video codecs will not work on old programs. But when looking at the price plan in detail, are we being milked by Adobe with the subscription model and if so, what are the alternatives?

The Best Camera Hack to Get Sharper Photos

There are a couple of things you can do to get sharper photos with your long lens. But what if we want to go even further? This lens hack might be a bit crazy, but it is the best I have ever seen because it really works, and it is feasible on location. Find out how to get sharper telephoto shots.

Why the World's Best Photographers Are Sticking With DSLRs

Following the announcement of the winners of the World Press Photo competition last week, Spanish photography website Photolari.com compiled the metadata to examine what the leading photojournalists are using to capture their images. The results are quite interesting and demonstrate that the mighty DSLR is going nowhere. Here's why.

Disappointment After Disappointment — What Is Wrong With Canon?

Back in 2008 the Canon 5D Mark II was a photographer’s dream. The camera revolutionized the industry and opened new creative horizons for many professionals. The low light performance, dynamic range, and image quality were unheard of. This technological wonder was a huge hit in the photography world and beyond, especially in the indie filmmaker community. Later in 2012 came the 5D Mark III, with a solid body but somehow conservative specifications. Since then, it seems that Canon has decided to freeze progress, and lately, take a few steps backward.