Fstoppers Original Articles

Relativity and the Context Within: Thoughts on Power and Responsibility in Photography
An unedited photograph I took in the Santa Cruz Mountains and posted on Instagram got a decent amount of feedback. People asked questions about where this was, what kind of dream world I had uncovered, and if they could repost it in some form in different areas of the web. I loved this image, too; but naturally, I began to wonder what it was that was so special or engaging about this photograph? I almost never take anything but "people" shots.

Take an Emotional Journey Through Time with Photographer's Amazing "Past and Present" Project

Three years ago, Photographer Christian Carollo came upon his grandfather's travel photography from across the United States. The initial spark for the "Past and Present" Project started with a particular image of the small coastal town of Winchester Bay, Oregon. Christian wondered if he could replicate the image and he succeeded. This was the start of an epic and awe-inspiring project now known as the Past and Present Project. Christian has traveled all over the United States, continuing to replicate his grandfather's images. The results are breathtaking and have re-inspired in me the true emotional potential a single image can have.

Does the Mola Setti Beauty Dish Live Up to Its Hype?

In this article we will take a closer look at the Mola Setti Soft Light reflector and compare it to a few images taken with a Silver Deep Parabolic Reflector. The goal of this article isn’t to choose a winner, it is more of a comparison of different types of light modifiers that are available to you. I will leave it up to you to decide which one of these light modifiers best fits your style of photography.

The Sad Truth About Filing a Copyright Lawsuit Against Stolen Photographs

Almost every photographer has found one of their images reproduced online without their permission. The first question you might ask yourself is "how much money can I get for this infringement?" However, copyright law can be extremely difficult to understand and there are many common or case law rulings that factor in on how an image can be used fairly or commercially. In this fascinating video, the guys at PRO EDU sit down with Joe Naylor with Image Rights and fine art photographer Peter Coulson to discuss how photographers can protect their art.

14-Year SNL Director of Photography, Alex Buono, on His Beginnings, Working for Free, and Advice for Film Students
When someone asks if you’ll be able to meet with a DP that has worked with NBC’s Saturday Night Live over the last decade and a half, you don’t exactly say, “No, thanks.” You’re simply guaranteed to get something great. Even coming from USC’s film school, it takes a lot to get that position. But, by his own admission, Alex Buono would be hard pressed to disagree that all it takes is attitude, persistence, and a little free work at the start.

The Monday Retouch - Submit Your Images For Next Week !

Its Monday so as promised here is the completed retouch for last weeks winning submission by Mitchell Flores. For only being the first week of this regular segment we had an great number of submission and it was hard picking, can't wait to see what you guys submit this week. In this post I'll go over some of the steps of the retouching process and talk about the challenges for this particular image. If you would like your image to be selected for next week, post your low-res image in the comments below by Wednesday of this week.

Interview with Hookgrip and How They Used Slow Motion Video to Build a Following

Building a business is a tedious thing as most of us know. Everyone uses a different approach and some of us fail and some of us succeed, it's the nature of the beast. In my free time I do some Olympic lifting and I found myself searching for new and better techniques online. What I ended up with is not only finding some great videos for my Olympic lifting, but also a different way of building a business.

Optimize Your Photoshop Workspace to Speed up Your Retouching

When using Photoshop, I find myself zooming in and out very often. While this might not be a massive loss of time, it still is one, especially when doing some local dodge & burn. I recently found a technique that doesn't require me to zoom anymore. I can now work on my file with multiple views at once in Photoshop. How is this possible? It is only a very simple option in Photoshop, nothing as crazy as Inception.

Lighting on a Budget - 2 Speed Lights

Most amateur photographers assume that they need to buy a ton of expensive gear in order to compete or reach the level of most professional photographers. I’m quite guilty of doing the same. As a matter of fact, I spent the first couple of years studying the work of photographers that I admired and I was quickly intimidated by their level of production. I didn’t think that I could possibly afford to invest in the type of equipment they used. It wasn’t uncommon to see these photographers use 3+ studio strobes on set, along with a seemingly endless list of modifiers they had access to. Their level of production just didn’t fit my personal budget at that time.

How to Add Interesting Light Flares to Your Images

I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to add visual interest to my images. I’m a big fan of the effects you can get with prisms and the like, but it’s always nice to find something a little less used. Last year I went to a Katy Perry concert and they were handing out pairs of 3D glasses, which cause rainbow light streaks to appear all around you. I later found out that the glasses were made from diffraction paper.

Everything You Need to Know About Capturing Sharp Photographs in Any Situation

Some photographers like that soft, ethereal feel as they specifically seek out types of plastic to stick in front of the lens, or even go so far as to buy defocus control lenses and LensBabies that will allow them to distort an otherwise true image. That has its value. But this isn’t for that. This is the new go-to guide for absolutely everything to know about how to get your images to be tack sharp. Get ready to dive in: this is a no-questions-left-behind study on sharpness.

Reasons You Should Do a Documentary Project

With the democratisation of photography and the near ubiquity of camera toting humans, there has been no better time than now to record the human condition. Not everyone is going to be the next Sebastião Salgado, traveling the world in order to document the atrocities of man kind, and again to celebrate the wonders of the world. However, in our own small ways, we each have the opportunity to describe our corner of the world the way we see it.

How To Create Complementary Colors In Your Images

As a Photographer you will often find yourself in a situation where your color palette is less than ideal. For example, you show up on location for a Portrait shoot and your subject is wearing dull, dark clothing on a dark background. What do you do? If you happen to find yourself in this kind of situation, here’s what you can do to add a little life to your images and broaden your color palette.

7 Tips for Effectively Directing Your Subject in Portraiture

For any photographer with ambitions of working in the fashion industry, or for those with a focus on portraiture, there will come a time when you work with a subject that is unfamiliar with being in front of the camera. This can range from a newly signed model at an agency, to a client interested in a corporate headshot. While a photographer’s eye can be their greatest asset, communication skills are just as important. Below we will take a look at some of my top tips for making the most of your next session.