Fstoppers Original Articles

Head Back to School with a Free Course from the New York Institute of Photography (UPDATED)

Although the summer heat is still lingering, fall is swiftly approaching. It's that time again: time to hit the books and head back to school. Books are expensive, but we have some exciting news: The New York Institute of Photography is giving three lucky winners their choice of a free photography course! There are just three easy steps to enter for your chance to win.

Life on the Road: The Realities of Traveling While Working as a Filmmaker and Photographer

In the last few weeks I interviewed both the Wickstrom’s and the Hage’s, creative couples who make their living while traveling full time. In this article, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned from spending two months on the road with my partner, while trying to stay on top of projects and work on new ones. Come to find out, it is not as fun and dreamy as it sounds.

The Monday Retouch - How to Retouch Landscapes - Submit Your Image to Be Retouched!

This week's winning image comes from Photographer Daniel Nordholm. It's a stunning landscape image that he captured in Lofoten, a beautiful archipelago in Norway. I was very excited to break from my norm of beauty and fashion retouching to tackle and share a landscape retouch. Many of the techniques and the workflow of a landscape can be very different from portrait retouching, while the philosophy can be quite the same. In this article, you will see the full retouch of the image in the short two-minute video. In all, the retouch took about an hour. I will also share some specific techniques for landscape editing that you can use in your images as well.

Markus Andersen’s New Book “Rage Against The Light” Beautifully Showcases His World Of Sydney Australia

Markus Andersen, certainly one of the leading street and fine art photographers in Sydney, Australia, and known globally, has just released pre-orders for his first book – and it looks stunning. “Rage Against The Light” published by TG Publishing showcases his wonderful work around his home town of Sydney (and for the first 100 pre-orders, 42 remaining pre-orders, comes with a free print).

Why I’m Not Going to Use the New Instagram Crop Feature

The day has finally come in which we are no longer bound to the square crop within Instagram. The ability to post horizontal and vertical images has been requested by users since the beginning of the app. In the past, you would have to open your image in another app, add borders, and then export the new image to Instagram. Since this is the process I follow, I know it’s a huge pain. But even with this new cropping ability, I’m sticking with my old ways.

Lighting on a Budget - 1 Speedlight
If there’s anything that you’ll quickly learn about me, it’s that I love simplicity, both professionally and personally. It’s the only way that I keep my sanity between trying to balance producing shoots, contacting clients, editing, teaching, writing and riding my motorcycle. Now, to be extremely clear, it wasn’t always that way. Like a lot of beginning photographers, I insisted on complicating things for myself.

Platon's Photographs Remind Us of the Importance of Engaging with Your Portrait Subject

Platon has photographed many of the world's most powerful leaders and biggest celebrities and often shoots covers for magazines such as Wired, Esquire, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and New York Times Magazine. Most recently, he captured comedian and TV show personality Stephen Colbert for the cover of Time, which you can see in the video posted above. His style of shooting proves that you can take some of the most legendary portraits of our most powerful people with nothing but a light or two and a real connection between subject and photographer. In fact, I learned that from him directly when he came to teach a couple of classes to some of us lucky photo majors back at Rochester Institute of Technology over 10 years ago. It was those classes that changed my view on portrait photography forever.

How ‘Rocket Wars’ Is Breaking Ground For Filmmakers Everywhere - And What We Can ALL Learn From It (BTS / Interview)

In case you missed it, ‘Rocket Wars’ is a five minute film that has changed the game. It's breaking new ground and heralds in a beautiful new era in filmmaking. 150,000+ views and a Vimeo ‘Staff Pick’ are pretty amazing, but what’s ground breaking isn’t that the film is just a beautiful cacophony of visual and aural eye and ear candy. What’s fascinating is the fertile new ground it thrusts us headlong in to, and how it engages us. How did the filmmakers pull this off – and importantly – what can we learn from them to apply to our own projects?

How to Not Let Your Personal Photography Project Ideas Be Forgotten

If you ask any well-known and successful photographer what the most important thing you can do to grow your business is, they will almost all point towards shooting personal projects. Before the end of every day, I try to visualize at least one creative and interesting idea that might be worth photographing. Nine times out of ten, those ideas are complete garbage. Every now and then, I come up with a really great idea, but unfortunately, 90% of the time, I completely forget these great ideas and they never become a reality. Here is how I have solved this problem.

The Monday Retouch Episode 3 - Submit Your Image To Be Retouched For Free

It's Monday so it's time for another speed retouch and episode of Retouching Mondays. This week image comes courtesy of last weeks winner, Ben Scott. If you would like me to retouch your image and send you back the full-high res final image, all you have to do is post your image in the comments and wait to hear back. I will email the winner on Thursday morning, so post your newest favorite image that you want retouched. It can be any genre, beauty, fashion, landscape, wedding! I'll record the retouching and send you the final image to use as you wish! Take a look at the speed retouch of Ben's image and let me know in the comments if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Now lets take a look at the before and after and the challenges for this week's Monday Retouch.

It’s ‘National Treasure’ In Real Life: How Photography Is Used to Reveal Secrets of the Past

Since the advent of photography, the craft has completely changed the world — from its profound effects on communication and documentation in practical applications, to being a powerful form of personal expression and a visual art. Now, photography is being used to look into the past and discover significant historical information thought to be lost forever.

Why Skin Work Is The Most Important Aspect of Portrait Retouching

I'll preface this today by making it clear that I know very little to nothing about architectural retouching, landscape retouching, or product photography retouching. That said, I've dedicated the last two decades to Adobe Photoshop, and the last seven years specifically to portrait retouching. As such, I've come to realize one key thing: If your skin work is no good, everything else in your retouch just falls apart, if you will, as the basic foundation is already substandard.

5 Tips for Making Models More Likely to Reply to TFP Requests

Getting started in photography is expensive. Sometimes frustratingly so. This expense tends to compound a bit if one has to pay professional models to build a portfolio. Fortunately, you don’t. Models also need to build a portfolio, so collaborating with photographers to create images becomes extremely valuable. TFP (time for print, or time for portfolio) has becomes a keystone of the beauty/fashion/glamor world.

How to Shoot Full Length Editorials in Studio: Full Gear List and Lighting Setup

In this tutorial I will show you how to setup your studio strobes for full length portraits as we shoot an editorial style lighting setup. First we will look at the entire gear list we used and you can use for a similar setup, from the backdrop to the studio heads. I will breakdown our lighting. with lighting diagrams and explanation of WHY we are placing our lights where we are. Also, in this video tutorial we share some Behind The Scenes from our shoot day.

Why You Should Consider Working Out of a Shared Space with Other Creatives

As artists and creatives we thrive off of energy, at least I know I do. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and talk ourselves out projects we want to do, want to come back to, or have almost given up on. I've been on this end of the spectrum, holed up in my editing bay whacking my head against the wall on my third cup of coffee. When there is no one around to talk through the details of a project, it can start to become extremely daunting. This is why working out of shared spaces can be a life saver for some creatives, like myself. Let's take a look at what benefits come with working in a shared space.