Fstoppers Original Articles

How to Create Adjustment Layers Based on Color in Capture One 9

Before Capture One 9, no raw editor software on the market could create a mask based on color. With their recent update, Phase One created something unique with the improved color editor panel. It is now possible to select precisely one color – or a range of – and then create a mask to adjust only the parts needed.

An Interview with Renowned Portrait Photographer Noah Abrams

Recently, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with photographer Noah Abrams. I talked with him about his work, some ongoing projects, and his day to day life. Noah grew up skateboarding in Columbus, Ohio. He also mentioned to me that he never truly considered photography as a career until later into his 20's, although he had dabbled with it for years throughout high school and college. To learn all of this, I began with a question that many people have for working photographers: where did your initial interest in photography come from?

6 Loathsome Retouching Mistakes That Drive Editors Insane

Part of building a professional looking portfolio is in learning to retouch your photos in a way that gives them an elegant, high-end polish. However, I unfortunately encounter dozens of images on a daily basis that were quite strong to begin with but ended up looking bewilderingly amateur because of one or two very easily solved retouching mistakes that drags their quality to abysmal depths.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Lifestyle Images Now (Also, Win a Bag)

Fstoppers is adding a little something extra to this week's episode of "Critique the Community." We are inviting everyone to submit your lifestyle photography images for review. This means your images shouldn't just be portraits of people, they need to be images of people in action or living some sort of life. Like we've done in the past, we will be choosing 20 images give our thoughts and feedback to. In addition to our normal critique, we will also be giving away two camera bags to two individuals who will be randomly chosen from the critiqued image pool. Submissions must be made by Sunday, December 13th.

The Ugly Truth About Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is most probably one of the most desirable fields of photography. We are lured by the prospect of working with the hottest and trendiest people out there. That is where I come from and all I can say is: what does not kill you makes you stronger.

Calibration: What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and How It's Done

Why is my print dark? Why are the colors off? I believe we all found ourselves asking these questions inside our head (or worse, yelling at our photo printer!) during our first steps into our journey in photography. Monitor calibration is the solution, bad settings and bad color reproduction by the monitor are the culprit. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink and read on, I'll tell you everything about it, what you have to do, what you gain, how it's done, and what you need to correctly calibrate your monitors.

Critique the Community Episode 14: Food Photography

Last week, we asked the Fstoppers community to submit their best pictures of food to be reviewed by the Fstoppers team for our next episode of "Critique the Community." To change things up a little for this episode, we had a local commercial photographer, Andy Hagedon, join us to give some fresh perspective. A total of twenty images were selected to be reviewed. Check out the selections and add your thoughts and critiques in the comments below.

How to Make A Perfect White Background Within Minutes Using Photoshop

If you’re a commercial or fashion photographer, eventually you’ll run into a client who will ask to have their product, model, etc. to be placed on a perfectly white background. This method is very popular in the e-commerce and print industries for many brands, sellers and catalogs. But some techniques in post production cause some headaches and are also time consuming. So what exactly is the best and quickest workflow to get that perfect white background for your client?

Is the Updated Photoshop Healing Brush Better Than the Legacy for Retouching Photos?

Since Adobe released Photoshop CC 2015, retouchers and photographers have complained about the revamped healing brush. However, Adobe promised their users that CC 2015.1 would offer an alternative, making the tool as good if not better than the one found in CC 2014. Photoshop was updated a couple of days ago, and the said updated healing brush setting can be found in the form of a diffusion slider. However, is it as good as the previous healing brush?

Forget All the Fancy Photo Gear, Here Is What a Truly Minimalistic Photographer Looks Like

As a follow up to my most recent article about making a living using nothing more than an iPhone camera, I wanted to dig a little deeper into my entire gear setup. Yes, contrary to popular belief I do own more than just an iPhone, though as primarily a mobile photographer the limitation of the phone can be both a blessing and a curse. With just a few more pieces I have been able to absolutely perfect a minimalist photography setup for any all-around professional shooter.

Why It's Important To Have a Good Website

In the creative world, constant advancements in technology mean we have to keep up or risk being left behind. Clients looking to hire a photographer no longer seem to seek proof of physical qualifications, but rather insist on browsing a website of our previous work. Here’s why it’s important to have your own website, how I’ve found it best to organise your work, and what you can do to make it as appealing as possible to prospective clients.

The Fstoppers Flash Disc Portable Light Modifier Is Back In Stock!

The Fstoppers Flash Disc has been out of stock both through Amazon and BH Photo for the last 2 months, but luckily we have received our next large shipment of inventory for the holidays. It's been pretty amazing to see and hear how many photographers are enjoying our portable, pocket sized soft box for off camera flash. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years and if you have any images taken with the Flash Disc, feel free to post them in the comments. Happy Holidays everyone!

Pixel-Peeping Reviews of Nikon's 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Leave Room for Sigma to Kill

Nikon upset and confused some customers when they moved the overall size and filter thread of their 24-70mm f/2.8 follow-up to 82mm (up from the standard 77mm). While this would mean that those wanting the latest upgrade for their mid-range zoom would need to invest in new filters and lift heavier weights at the gym, the change allowed Nikon to introduce unprecedented image quality and, of course, vibration reduction. But what if that image quality wasn't unprecedented? What if it wasn't even better? What if, God forbid, it was worse?

How to Work with an Assistant or Second Shooter

At some point or another, most of us photographers will have a chance to work a job that requires us to hire help. It may be a one-off, or perhaps your studio has come to a point where hiring a full-time assistant makes sense. There are so many factors that go into hiring another person, even full-time. Thinking of the expense, the role that person will play, and how they will fit into your style are just the beginning of these considerations.

The Complete Guide to Epic Foreground Bokeh

When talking about bokeh, the majority of the photography community instantly thinks of those nice creamy out of focus backgrounds. This is because most of the photographs we see only involve a subject and a background. Once you start to incorporate foreground elements though, you will quickly see that bokeh in front of the subject can be just as important and impactful as having bokeh behind the subject.

Tell Us Your Favorite Photography Gear Of 2015

This year Fstoppers will be awarding the best photographic equipment of 2015. I have an idea of what my favorite gear is but I don't want to leave anything out and so I want to hear from you. What pieces of your kit deserve recognition?

How to Improve Your Photography by Shooting Black and White

It is understandable that many beginners new to taking photos often get impatient when learning photography. Learning this craft is a process and involves the gradual addition of techniques that will eventually turn into second nature. We all get “the bug” and want to learn anything and everything as soon as possible, it’s natural. There are all sorts of elements that factor in to a well composed final image. The fact of the matter is, we’re all still learning new things from our experiences that we encounter.

​5 Signs You're Ready to Quit Your Day Job

Many photographers start out as hobbyists and part-time photographers while relying on a day job to pay the bills. Maybe you shoot on the weekends and edit after hours. But at what point should you quit your day job and commit to becoming a full-time professional photographer? Here's how to take that first big step in your photography career.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Best Food Images Now

To celebrate the holidays and all the delicious meals that are being prepared around the world, we invite you to share your best looking food images for our next episode of "Critique the Community." We will be critiquing the pictures from a commercial standpoint so submit the pictures that you think sells the food itself. Please get in your submissions by the end of Wednesday, December 2, 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.

Comprehensive Guide to Shooting and Editing Astrophotography Time-Lapse Videos

The Syrp Genie caught everyone's attention with its contemporary design and advanced automation features that made it a time-lapse photographer's best tool in the field. Today, photographer Mark Gee shares tips on how to set up and use the Genie while offering a few great suggestions that apply to all methods of landscape photography, from what apps he uses on his phone to help him plan every shot to how to edit for final output. Need to shoot a time-lapse soon? Whether you're experienced or just starting, there's undoubtedly something in here for you.

The Best Photography Related Cyber Monday Sales: UPDATED

The best shopping day of the year is upon us! Unlike the highly stigmatized Black Friday day of chaos, Cyber Monday allows us all to casually browse the best sales from the comfort of our homes. In this post I have gathered some of the best and most useful sales for photographers and videographers as well as some non photography tools that can be a lifesaver. Check back into this post throughout the day (or follow us on Twitter) as the Fstoppers staff will be updating it often.

How to Make A Living Using Just an iPhone

Last year I profited nearly half what I made at my day job in freelance photography using nothing more than my iPhone. I've spent the last 4+ years on Instagram building a following and client base that has allowed me to vie for projects and relationships with clients to make money. That has slowly grown to allow me full creative freedom to shoot with nothing more than an iPhone and get paid for it. Now, before you go and sell off all your Canon or Nikon gear hear me out, this is not as easy as it sounds, but I'll lay it out for you.

Win a FREE Tamron Prime Lens of Your Choosing - Either the New 35mm or 45mm f1.8 [UPDATED

[UPDATE: The contest has closed and a winner has been randomly selected. Congratulations to Patricia Schwenk for being selected as the winner of a new Tamron lens!]

Fstoppers wants to thank our readers during this holiday season and is partnering up with Tamron for a giveaway! All entrants in the contest will be eligible to win their choice of Tamron's new 35mm or 45mm prime lens which were just released this year. The lens will also come with your choice of a Canon or Nikon mount. The winner will be selected randomly from the entries we receive. There are many options to increase your chances of being selected so check them out below!

VonWong Goes Stormchasing for Severe Weather Backgrounds in Portrait Series about Climate Change

No stranger to unique and challenging photography pursuits, Ben VonWong's latest adventure sent him across the Western United States in search of summer thunderstorms, with an entourage of assistants, filmmakers, and models helping along the way. VonWong shared this behind-the-scenes video, but also some insightful information as to the conversation he hopes to start– one about the seriousness of climate change.

Behind the Scenes with Photographer Craig Kolesky Shooting Skiing and Biking in the African Desert

It can be a real creative challenge to try and concept, as well as execute, something that has never been done before, especially in photography. Adventure photographer Craig Kolesky accepted that challenge and ended up in the desert of Namibia, with two unlikely athletes for such a location. I asked Craig a few questions about this project that he shot for Red Bull Photography.

Your December Photography Project: Reflection

In many of the world's cultures, the coming of a new year is celebrated as a time of renewal and reflection. It is a time to share with family and friends, a time to celebrate, and for some, a time of contemplation. Although it can be a hectic time for many of us, with so many preparations and celebrations, it is also a great time to look back. I encourage each of you to use this month to reflect on your art from the year to date.