Fstoppers Original Articles

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.

Critique the Community Episode 4:  Landscapes with Elia Locardi

Last week, we asked the community to submit their landscape photographs to be critiqued by Elia Locardi and Fstoppers. Thank you everyone for all for posting your pictures! Since we only had time to critique a limited number of submissions, we selected a range which covers different skill levels and types of landscape scenes. Check out the images we've selected.

Quit Complaining and Grow Your Facebook Photography Page the Right Way
Photographers love to complain about the abysmal reach of their Facebook pages, as if Zuckerberg himself is gleefully consipiring to cripple everyone's business pages. He's not. If your Facebook page is floundering, it's because you're doing it wrong. Here's how to get back on track and ahead of your competition on social media.

5 Photography Deals You Don't Want To Miss

Photography and Videography are expensive hobbies/professions but we do our best to help you save when we can. Today I scoured B&H, eBay, and Amazon for the best photography deals and I've found 5 different sales that you may want to check out.

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.

Was This Planned? Time Magazine Shares Memes Of Bad Cover Image

Yesterday Time Magazine released a screenshot of its newest cover. The cover instantly started trending around the internet because the majority of people find it hilarious/just plain bad. Now, Time Magazine has actually joined in the fun and is sharing the hilarious memes created from that cover themselves.

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.

How to Properly Clean Your Lenses, Filters, Mirror and Sensor

If you're like me, the thought of touching, let alone fully cleaning your precious glass or even worse, your sensor, strikes fear into your heart. It's a skill every photographer should have, however. Learn how to do it safely here.

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.

This Time Magazine Cover Is So Bad I Feel Sad And Inspired At Once

I've always considered Time Magazine to be a pretty high quality publication. Getting your photograph featured on the cover would be a lifetime accomplishment for most photographers. That's why the current cover with Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey is particularly shocking.

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.

This Video Just Changed My Mind About CG Visual Effects In Movies

I've always been one to complain about poorly rendered computer graphics in modern movies. I thought I could easily pick out what was real and what was rendered on a computer. This video makes a compelling argument that there is such a thing is "good" CGI.

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.