Fstoppers Original Articles

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.

The Sad Truth About Facebook

Everything in life comes and goes. Sadly, photographers using Facebook to promote their work is coming to an end. It wasn’t that long ago when newsfeeds were sorted by the things most recently posted and not by what Facebook thought we’d be interested in. There was a time when followers of any given Facebook Page would scroll through their newsfeed and they saw every photo or status posted. The good old days are behind us. Facebook’s algorithm is a bottomless, money hungry pit. After making some huge mistakes on Facebook, I now realize that Instagram is the only platform that provides photographers with the greatest reach.

Submit Your Image To Get Retouched For Free This Week!

I'm excited to announce a new weekly segment, where you the Fstoppers community can submit your favorite image to be edited and retouched by me, Lance Nicoll. Post an image you recently shot, that hasn't been retouched yet, in the comments below. On Thursday I will retouch it an post the recording of the entire process! If you guys love it, I will continue to do this every week! – And maybe in the future even do it as a Live Retouch with Q&A. The rules are as listed below. Really excited to see everyone's submissions. Submit your image by Wednesday at Midnight to be selected.

What Every Bride Should Know About Photographing a Wedding Ceremony

Anyone who has been booked as a wedding photographer knows that this genre of photography can be extremely challenging. Perhaps no other field of photography throws as many variables at you more than those found on a typical wedding day. Whether it is crazy weather, horrible lighting situations, demanding wedding planners, strict church rules, or overall disorganization, there are a many many things that can cause the day to go less than expected. Here is what every bride should know about the challenges of photographing a wedding ceremony.

How One Photographer Recreated A Beautiful Iconic Image In His Alleyway

I knew when I saw this image up in the photo section of our Fstoppers website, I had to inquire about how it was created. It is clearly a thoughtful re-imagining of the iconic painting "Liberty Leading The People", but I had no idea how much effort Anthony Kurtz went into creating this photo. Little did I know that it took three weeks of preparation, two days of set building, one day of photographing, and 50+ hours of retouching and it was all done on a shoe string budget with borrowed props and location. What he created with very little money and a lot of brilliant strategy and vision is inspiring. Read below to learn how Anthony did it.

Photographing The World BTS ep 3: The Glacier Ice Cave

Welcome back to our weekly segment of Photographing The World Behind the Scenes where we take you through the process of filming our landscape photography tutorial with Elia Locardi. In last week's video, episode 2, we ran through 4 different lessons in 4 completely different locations around Iceland. This week's location, a glacier ice cave, was so amazing that we decided to dedicate an entire episode to it.

The Debate Over Watermarks in Photography

Controlling your image is a valid quest for any photographer, as we all want to protect our brand. Seeing one’s work altered without permission can be frustrating, as can discovering your work on blogs that are void of any credit. The first response for most photographers is to watermark their images, ensuring that their logo or website graces every image that hits the internet. In today’s landscape, is watermarking your photographs the best way to protect them? Let's review both sides of this debate, and explore the current state of the watermark in photography.

Invaluable Insight into the Business and Art of Product Photography

Whether you’re just starting out in product photography and are trying to figure out where is the right direction to head, or have been in the business for a long time and want to hear another professional’s perspective, this interview with Tony Roslund is going be well worth watching. From starting up and getting his first clients, to maintaining relationships with those clients and running a business, to establishing a style and making an impression on potential clients, Roslund’s stories and experiences that he shares are a perfect mix of interesting and informational.