Fstoppers Original Articles

Why Are You Afraid of the Sun?

It seems that a lot of photographers tend to avoid direct sunlight and for a long time, I did too. Occasionally, I would backlight subjects, but I would never dare light them directly with the sun. I decided one day that it was time to embrace the sun. In this article, I break down my methods for achieving a good photograph in direct sunlight, discussing what has helped me and what you should avoid.

Final Chance to Buy the Fstoppers Flash Disc Light Modifer in Europe

This is some rather sad news I have to bring everyone. At the moment there are only 500 FlashDisc units left in our Amazon UK store and we will not be replenishing them once they are sold out. We are currently sold out of the FlashDisc in the US (more coming in the next 2 weeks), but because of logistics and the amount of administrative work it takes selling a product in another country, we will not be replenishing our Amazon UK store once inventory is sold out.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Family Portraits Now

Our next episode of "Critique the Community" will feature family portraits. We will choose anything from kids in a studio to whole family groups outdoors; so, feel free to include a wide range of pictures. Please get in your submissions by Friday at noon (EST) and you'll have the chance to have your image critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify, you must follow the submission rules below.

Developing a Sense of Consistent Style in Your Photography

One of the most valuable selling points that many of the world’s top photographers have is that they have invested in creating a signature look to their photography that builds a consistent sense of identity across their entire body of work. A very common question I am asked is how to develop your style. It seems to be a goal that many photographers are chasing, but have no idea how to go about.

Fstoppers Reviews The Canon 5DsR, Sony A7RII, and Nikon D810

If you thought the megapixel war was over years ago then you might shocked by the latest cameras released by Nikon, Sony, and Canon. The D810, A7RII, and 5DsR are the biggest and baddest pieces of artillery on the front line, and today the team at Fstoppers is going to determine once and for all which camera is the best. With enough megapixels to challenge some of the most popular medium format cameras, these compact full frame cameras pack a lot more punch than you would think. Don't believe us? View the full high res images and take the poll yourself!

How to Be Selected As the Fstoppers Photo of the Day

Over the past few years and into the future, our Photo of the Day feature continues to be a cornerstone of Fstoppers. Featured on the front page as well as being published out over our Twitter and Instagram accounts, Photo of the Day’s goal is to give enthusiastic attention to the creative talent found throughout the Fstoppers Community. Fstoppers has the greatest readers and we love showing off the incredible work you create. If you are interested in having your photo featured as PotD, here are some guidelines to keep in mind for how they are selected.

Inside CERN - Photo by Andrew Hara

CERN is a renowned international nuclear research facility located just outside Geneva. Straddling the border between Switzerland and France, it's home to the infamous Large Hadron Collider — the largest single machine ever made by humankind. It was built to find the Higgs boson, often referred to as the elusive "God particle." CERN recently hosted a small group of select photographers for a rare photo walk throughout their massive experimental laboratory, and we have an exclusive first look at the photos.

What Wedding Photographers Can Do When Everything Goes Wrong on the Big Day

October in New Orleans means wedding season. This weekend was a double wedding weekend just like most of the next few weeks will be and I just finished what would be considered a timeline disaster, but the marquee images were not missed in large due to experience and meticulous planning. In this article I will go over methods to prepare for the unexpected and how to make sure you get everything you need despite the inevitable busted timeline.

The Beginner's Guide to Culling and Why We Do It

The process of culling is used in every type of photography and is used by professionals and amateurs alike. Culling is simply the process of selecting the best images from a shoot to be edited and delivered to a client. When photographers first start out in the editing world, this process can seem like a waste of time or hard to figure out a best practice. So I’m going to explain why we cull and some of the best ways to do it.

As a Professional Photographer, Why the Hell Do You Have a Personal and Business Page on Instagram?

One of the biggest questions I get when photographers consult with me about managing their brand on Instagram is: "Should I create a business page separate from my personal page?" This discussion was started on the Instagram for Business group by Martin Bonden, who asked what I thought about creating a business page on top of a personal page, as opposed to having just the one. Here are a few reasons why I like to keep mine all in one page as a professional photographer.

Top Tips for Taking Portraits

As a self-taught photographer, I’m an advocate of learning through doing. I didn’t study it, but I can imagine that reading all the Photography 101 books that are available still wouldn't prepare you for actually being on a set, with a model standing in front of you, and a team awaiting your creative direction. In my journey, experience has meant everything. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that may help when shooting your own portraits.

How to Take Photos Without Causing a Ruckus

Are you as stealthy as a fog horn? Do you have all the grace of a dirigible in a sudden windstorm? Certain genres of photography — wedding and wildlife photography in particular — require a certain physical tact, an ability to be unseen. Check out our tips on how to capture the focus of an event without becoming the focus of the event.

Your First Editorial Photography Assignment – Part 1

Editorial photography is still alive and well, despite what the cynics will tell you. It no longer has the budgets it used to, and there are not as many publications to go around, but you may still get called on from time to time to shoot a series of images for a magazine. Editorial assignments can be extremely varied, and a challenge to do successfully, but they're extremely rewarding and often lead to meeting interesting people along the way. But where do you start when you get the call?

Fstoppers is Giving Away a Free Canon, Sony, or Nikon Flagship Digital Camera Worth $3900
UPDATE: Winner Announced HERE! Yep, the title pretty much says it all. Fstoppers has teamed up with our good friends at SLR Lounge and BH Photo for the mack daddy contest of them all! At the end of this month, one of our lucky readers will win their pick of the top high megapixel professional cameras offered by Nikon, Sony, and Canon. There are 6 different ways to enter and if you do all 6 you can gain up to 14 individual entries. We have the juicy details in the full post

Give More Depth to Your Images in a Couple of Clicks

Retouching can vary from photographer to photographer. But it can also vary depending on the genre you are shooting. I know it does for me. My wedding retouching is far from being as refined and time-consuming as my portrait retouching. When dealing with hundreds of pictures, you have to find techniques that get you close to a perfect result, but as quickly as possible. One thing I had trouble getting my head around was maximizing my dynamic range in my wedding pictures without stacking multiple raw developments. That was until I made a lucky mistake when sharpening an image using a high pass filter.

Deciding Which Camera to Bring When You Have Too Many Options

I love cameras: all shapes and sizes, formats, brands, and styles. No matter what kind of camera it is, I’m interested in what makes it work and what makes the image quality different than others. I enjoy experimenting with 35mm film, instant film, and all types of digital formats. I believe that using different cameras is a great way to better yourself as a photographer. Over the past several years, I’ve developed a decent collection of cameras and the more I obtain, the more I try and jam into my bag. At a certain point, I started to realize that my obsession was getting ridiculous and it just wasn’t practical to bring all of these toys with me to every shoot I had. This being said, where do you draw the line? And what goes into deciding what camera to bring with you? If you're like me and enjoy experimenting with different types of cameras, here is an inside look at some of my favorites and what goes into my decision process when choosing which one to bring with me to a photo shoot or on an adventure.

Using Heavy Cross-light To Make Headshots That Glow

Recently, I have been experimenting with creating a sort of more intense style of headshot for certain clients who are interested in a more surreal, vibrant, look to their headshot as opposed to the more traditional headshot which is designed to to more closely emulate realistic lighting. The heavy cross-light look uses powerful lights that are positioned perpendicular to your the main light to create a strong highlight to the side of the face while living a distinctive shadow down the subject's cheek. Heavy cross-lighting can do a great job of building a sense of three dimensionality without sacrificing the soft, flattering, feel of a traditional headshot.

Critique the Community: Submit your Automotive Images Now

Our next episode of "Critique the Community" will include any automotive imagery, cars, motorcycles, engines, or other vehicles. The above incredible image by Digital Macdaddy should inspire you to submit your best automotive photos below! Please get in your submissions by Friday at noon (EST) and you'll have the chance to have your image critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify you must follow the submission rules below.

PSA: What You Need to Know Before Upgrading to OS X 10.11 El Capitan Today

While some physical improvements with Spotlight, Photos, Safari, and other Apple apps are definitely welcome with today's new OS X release, perhaps the most exciting aspect of El Capitan are the under-the-hood improvements for performance gains. There’s no need to explain how time-saving performance upgrades can be for working professionals — and for those reasons, everyone will want to update immediately. But there are some things to always take into consideration before an operating system upgrade.

The iPhone 6s Takes Better Video Than My Professional Nikon DSLR

Yesterday we released the iPhone Bikini Shoot, a video in which I do a professional quality photoshoot with minimal gear. The point of the video wasn't to say that the iPhone was a better camera than a professional DSLR, it was meant to inspire photographers to use the gear they currently own to create beautiful images. Obviously the iPhone is infinitely worse than any current DSLR for stills but surprisingly it appears to be a far better video camera than my $3000 DSLR when there is enough light present.

Brooke Shaden's "Promoting Passion" Workshop Aims To Inspire In Completely New Ways

Brooke Shaden is an undeniable force of photographic nature. Not only is she well regarded as a pioneer of modern fine art photography with her dream-like compositions and self portraits, she is often as focused with helping us develop our own work as she is with her own. This week, Brooke throws open the doors to her “Promoting Passion Convention”, which aims to more than your ‘typical’ photo workshop. If you’ve been looking to spread your creative wings and be inspired to create by learning from some of the best in the industry, this could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for.