Fstoppers Original Articles

Astrophotography With a Google Pixel Smartphone? Really?

The recent addition of an astrophoto time-lapse mode (uncovered by XDA Developers) coming to Google’s camera app on their Pixel line of phones piqued my interest. Not that I think it will replace all of our “real” cameras, but I do have a deep appreciation for the engineering wizardry required to push right up to the physical limits of a tiny sensor and lens. And as an astronomy enthusiast, any developments that might open an appreciation of the night skies to a wider population get me very interested.

Is That Camera Good Value for the Planet and Your Pocket?

Different camera makes and models are better than others for longevity. The main failing point of cameras is the shutter, because it is a moving part. Most manufacturers publish targets for shutter life. By spending a little more, you may get much better value and reduce environmental impact too.

Why I Became A Professional Photographer

Having spent a long and exhausting, but fruitful and necessary, weekend going about the chore of reorganizing my overly cluttered garage, I found myself with time to think about a basic question. Why exactly did I become a professional photographer?

Why You Should Start Selling Postcards Through Your Website and How to Do It

Many photographers would love to sell prints from their website but holding stock is expensive, shipping can be complicated, and buying a quality print can be a significant investment of money and wallspace that won't appeal to a large chunk of your audience. Why not sell postcards instead?

The Top Five Photography Spots in Socotra: This Place Is Beautiful

Socotra is one of the most stunning places on the planet to photograph. Its strikingly white sand dunes and breathtaking dragon blood trees certainly have a lot to do with it. But there’s way more to love about one of the planet’s most biodiverse islands.

Stop Storing Your Files Like It’s 1999

Whether you’re shooting 8K video or are just coming back from a shoot with 1,000 images to sort through, your digital asset management strategy has to be on point. Over the last few years, technology and standards have advanced quite a bit, and it’s easier than ever to create a powerful, versatile, and safer approach to storing your files, but it can also be confusing. This guide will take a look at the standards you have to know when upgrading your storage.

Talent Alone Isn’t Enough to Get You Very Far

Talent is a wonderful thing, but talent alone isn't enough to bring you success in the photography world. And let's face it, there are lots and lots of talented people out there. Here are some other things that you will probably need far more than talent to succeed in photography.

Are You Shooting Raw? There May Be a Good Reason Not To

I shoot solely raw. However, I know some tremendous photographers whose cameras are set to record just JPEGs, and they will never change. I am envious because they spend less time in front of the computer. Shooting raw is worth learning, but maybe there's also a good reason to shun it.

Sony a1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sony Netherlands gave me a Sony a1 for a review. During two weeks, I dove into this amazing camera, learning about all the things that make the Sony a1 the top of the Alpha line-up. I shot a lot of pictures and learned a lot of things about this camera. These are my thoughts.

Learn to Utilize Frequency Separation in Landscape Photography

Frequency separation is a Photoshop technique that involves "separating" the colors in an image from the textures. Though typically used by portrait photographers for retouching a model's skin, it's a useful tool for landscape photographers to have on their belts. In this article, I outline two cases in which frequency separation helped me process a recent image.

Creating Time-Lapse Videos With Just Lightroom and Photoshop

Lightroom and Photoshop are generally considered to be tools for standard (still) photography, but simple video tasks can be handled entirely within your photographer’s Lightroom and Photoshop subscription package (no need for Adobe Premiere Pro), and without any third-party add-on tools. In particular, the pair of programs handles time-lapse videos quite nicely.

The Blueprint: How to Create Cyanotypes

Cyanotypes are a type of printmaking process invented in the 1800s by Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH FRS. What a name!

How Many Lenses Do You Actually Need?

With more and more amazing lenses being introduced at a dizzying pace, I find myself asking a very basic question: How many lenses do I actually need?

How to Create a Panorama From Start to Finish

Shooting a panorama is quite simple in concept, but there are a few tips to follow that should give more consistent results. Whether you have never shot a panorama before or you're well versed, there may be something in here for you.

Why the Platypod Is a Game-Changer for Landscape and Travel Photography

When I first saw the Platypod, I honestly thought it was a gimmick. Compared to the lightweight Gitzo travel tripod I’ve loved for years, the Platypod is really just a piece of aluminum with some holes in it. I scoffed at the concept of it for a long time since I had no idea how much it would improve my travel photography.

10 Pro Tips for Photographing Landscape Reflections

As landscape photographers, one skill that always requires honing is composition. Essentially, we seek to find a bit of beauty in the chaos of nature and then capture it in a frame. Finding and capturing reflections is a great way to portray order and symmetry. Here I've compiled some tips and tricks that can help you master your reflection compositions.

Rankin and the BBC's, The Great British Photography Challenge

Somewhere between Allen Funt and season 245 of Survivor, reality television has become the most popular genre of television. We’ve seen a handful of photography-centered shows, but not nearly enough. Frankly, even I got tired of watching the drama of America’s Next Top Model just so I could watch 10 minutes of photography. Thanks to Rankin and the BBC, we’ve been giving something much better.

Why All Photographers Should Take Self-Portraits

Self-portraits tend to get a somewhat bad rap, in part because of the selfie craze. But, self-portraits can be an incredibly beneficial process for photographers that can lead to great growth and skill development.

The Battle of Mesa Arch: Landscape Photography Gone Wrong

Twenty feet away from arguably the most spectacular high desert scene lay a pile of photographic detritus. Busted tripod legs, smashed lenses, and camera bodies pulverized beyond recognition, the scene looked more like a badly bungled camera store robbery than a National Park vista.

Simulate Light Setups On Your Computer With Set.A.Light 3D

If you are going to shoot a model, it is great to have an idea about the right lighting setup. Experimenting when the model is standing in front of your camera may not be the best time to do this. With the software set.a.light.3D, it is possible to simulate any possible lighting setup imaginable.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (May 2021): Thomas Andlauer

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 2021, 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.

Medium Format: Why Did Fuji Get It Right and Pentax Get It Wrong?

Leica pretty much took the world by storm with the 35mm camera, and manufacturers haven't looked back since. In the film and digital realms, 35mm has been the mainstay for any serious photographer, however, it is also true that those who wanted a little bit "more" went medium format. This tended to be the mark of certain professionals with a price tag to match. So, why then is Fuji capitalizing on a digital market that Pentax seemingly had at its feet?