Fstoppers Original Articles

Save Money by Checking Out Nikon's Best Older Gear

Nikon has a long history of venerated products, many of which are still just as useful today as they were in generations past. Here's a list of some of the best products of yesteryear.

The Quick and Not Too Dirty Way to Clean Skin in Photoshop

Dodge and burn, frequency separation, and other techniques used by high-end retouchers are great but time-consuming. Shooting and retouching weddings, as well as fashion and beauty, I sometimes find myself spending way too much time on wedding retouching. Being used to cleaning skin with dodge and burn for beauty, I tend to do the same with weddings. Which, as you can guess, is not very profitable. The same thing goes for proofing portrait sessions. I like to give lightly retouched proof images instead of pure raw files. So for weddings and portraits proofs I had to come up with a quick way to clean skin without making my images look too bad. Here is how I do it.

Why Using Your Gear Should Always Be the Easiest Part of Every Shoot

I’m often amazed by how many photographers don’t really know all that much about the technical aspects of operating their gear. While I’m not expecting everyone to go out and study how the mechanics of a lens works, I think it is utterly paramount when you are on a shoot that the actual act of operating your equipment to achieve a professional-quality image should be trivially easy so that you can focus on the more important aspects.

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.

3 Tips to Consider Before You Hit The Surf
Depending on where you are from, what you photograph will vary. For some, it’s beautiful towering mountain tops and crystal clear streams. For others, it’s glimmering cityscapes and the urban flow of a city. No matter what you love to shoot, we each have our own unique take on our favorite subjects. While the New England Surf scene isn’t quite the same as Hawaii or California, I owe my roots in photography to it. For me, the Atlantic served as a introduction to the joys of photography. While this may not be relevant if you are land locked, you never know where you may end up in your travels.

Watch This Free Headshot Tutorial From Peter Hurley's Illuminating the Face

When it comes to all things headshots and manipulating human expression, the best guy to seek council from is Peter Hurley. Peter's career has spanned about 15 years now, and over those years he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. Last year with the help from our friends at Profoto, Lee and I were able to film a supplemental free chapter to Peter's Illuminating the Face Tutorial. In this video Peter takes us outside to show some of the techniques he uses out on location.

Ranking The Top 5 Fashion Photography Websites

For those of us who admire and look to gain a foothold into the fashion photography industry, finding reliable quality resources can be invaluable. Being a great fashion photographer goes beyond lighting and encompasses understanding the genre, trends, and the ever evolving industry as a whole. In this article we rank the top online resources for fashion photographers. All of these sites can serve as inspiration and show insight for both new and established members of the fashion photography industry.

Celebrating Your Achievements in Photography

We are our own worst enemies. As photographers and artists, we can be unfairly hard on ourselves and on our work. While it is healthy to be critical of one’s creations, it can be very difficult to stay motivated if you do not receive the right kind of encouragement from others, as well as from yourself. Slumps and dry spells of inspiration are par for the course in art, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. By initiating a few simple practices, you can give back to yourself, and recognize the many accomplishments you've made in your journey as a photographer.

Using the Liquify Tool in a Non-Destructive Way

One of the benefits of using layers in Photoshop is to edit pictures in a non-destructive way. However, there are a couple of techniques and filters that will require you to flatten a file or create a merged layer. The liquify tool is one of them. To use it, you must create a merged layer of the area you want to edit. Sometimes it means a merged layer of the whole image. In this article, I will show how to avoid this problem using a simple, yet very powerful tool Photoshop offers. We are going to see how to use the liquify tool in a more efficient way than on a merged layer. This way you will be able to go back into your retouching process without losing anything and even edit your liquify.

Why the Sony a7RII Could Be the Most Important Camera in Years

I'm not one to get caught up in hype. The camera world is constantly inundated with new, interesting products and technologies, many of which scream of excitement before their release, but arrive with nary a whimper. The Sony a7RII is a rare product that has caught my attention before its release.

'Reverie of Vietnam' Is a Short Video Adventure for the Soul

For over two weeks in late March and early April, digital director and photographer Oliver Astrologo traveled through Vietnam exploring its best treasures. His 1,650 kilometer north-to-south journey takes the form of “Reverie of Vietnam,” a beautiful short video that places you inside the country face-to-face with the residents and the historic and natural wonders that surround you. Read on to learn more about the production as well as see many great images captured during the expedition.

Model Mayhem Has Some Competition – Finally!

Model Mayhem has long been the double edged sword that many of us starting in fashion photography have to deal with. How do you find talent and put together your team when you first start? Finding those resources and assets is difficult and the idea of having a database of people looking to do the same thing you are is brilliant, but the go to source for that is slightly less than brilliant. Model Mayhem requires that you put together and add a portfolio before getting started, but the vetting process is very much lacking. Those of you, especially photographers know the often agonizing process of finding good talent through MM. Especially for those of you, like myself, who live outside of the major fashion markets. We now – finally – have an alternative in the new service, Portbox. I have been fortunate enough to take a look at the new site and speak with its inceptor, Joseph Evans.

Lessons Learned from Shooting Large Format Photography

Sometimes you just need to slow down. Last year, I shot just north of 95,000 digital photographs. That may not seem like a lot to some of you wedding photographers out there, but it was enough to make me take a step back and want something else. How many did I throw away? How many were made without thought or conviction? This was enough to trigger the impulse to try something new, and that something new was large format photography.

How to Prepare for the Unexpected at Your next Photoshoot

“Expect the unexpected” is great advice for anyone, especially for a photographer. Making the necessary preparations for a photoshoot is essential to success, but what about matters that are beyond your control? We will review three of the most common obstacles that can potentially derail your next session, and how to best handle them both preemptively and after the fact.

Fitness and Adventure Photographer Rob Hammer Finds Success Through Personal Work

Rob Hammer knows all about stories, adventure, and experience. He is a San Diego-based commercial shooter. He has worked for many clients such as Nike, Adidas, Foot Locker, and Under Armour. If you have a chance to follow his Instagram feed, you'll probably find images of him backpacking in a foreign country, photographing old barbershops in the Midwest, or hiking up a mountain with his friends enjoying a cold beer. He lives the life that he photographs. I believe that shooting what you love will ensure you to always have a steady stream of good clients. But when you are photographing your own lifestyle, the possibilities are endless.

Speed up Your Retouching with Six Easy Tips

In dealing with bigger paid jobs lately, I've had to find ways to refine my retouching workflow. I used to do most of my skin cleaning by dodging and burning problem areas. It then had to be color-corrected of course. Negative dodge and burn gives you excellent results when mastered, but it eats up a lot of time. For some clients or projects, justifying 1-3 hours of postproduction per image is simply not possible. Being confronted more and more with this real-world issue, I have taken the time to look into my workflow and see how I could spend less time in front of my computer. Here are some of the things I have changed as well as a few tips I could give anyone facing similar issues.

Spaghetti and Histograms: Exposure to the Right

When shooting digitally, more information is almost always better. Here’s an exposure technique that maximizes the available information your camera can gather in a photograph.

Basics Guidelines to Becoming a Pro Photographer

In today's age of digital manipulation and overabundance of imagery, it is quite common to turn on your computer or phone, hop on the internet, and instantly become bombarded with dozens of images. From soccer moms to Insta-famous teenagers, just about everyone seems to be a photographer these days. With easy-to-use website and portfolio templates, affordable DSLRs, and tutorials all over the web, becoming a “professional” photographer is easier than ever. While I am all for following your dreams, here are some basic guidelines for your journey to becoming a pro.

Foolish Lies You Keep Telling Yourself That Are Holding Your Photography Hostage

Photography is crazy hard to master. That difficulty becomes impossible when you start locking yourself behind walls of your own creation. Stop deluding yourself, those little restrictions that you keep using as crutches to excuse your lack of progress are only inhibiting your ability to grow. Shatter those internal lies so you can keep pushing your photography forward and become the photographer you dream of.

A Quick and Dirty Way to Get Rid of That Frizzy Hair

Sometimes you need to get rid of that frizzy wind-blown hair but you don’t have the time to mess with cloning and blending. This can be even more difficult and time consuming with more complicated backgrounds that have gradients in them. I’m here to show you my quick and dirty way to get rid of those flyaways.

Ask a Copyright and Licensing Attorney Your Photography Legal Questions Right Now

Every photographer out there either has legal counsel or very much should have legal counsel. After all, it's a new world out there, and protecting your intellectual property here in 2015 is crucial. That said, there are those who have yet to seek legal counsel, or perhaps feel no need to as they shoot as a hobby. But if you could ask a copyright and licensing attorney anything, what would you ask?

Lindsay Adler’s 10 Day Creative Challenge Aims To Take Your Work To Another Level

What do you do to continually push yourself and develop your work? Often it can be tricky to figure out how best to push ourselves, as well as keep the momentum up to continually do so. The best photographers I know are constantly pushing, challenging themselves a little each day and now one of them has given us the chance to up our game - welcome to the next 10 days of the 'Stay Out There' Lindsay Adler challenge.

The Best Way to Share Photos to Instagram from Your Computer

Instagram is a fantastic tool for photographers. It has almost single-handedly ushered in the age of the mobile photographer, and has served as a creative platform for millions of people who want to share their images with the world. Unfortunately, there has never really been an easy and intuitive way to get your non-mobile photos onto Instagram; until now.

Instagrammers Fight Censorship by Photoshopping Male Nipples [NSFW?]

It's no secret that Instagram, and its parent company, Facebook, have some pretty old-school ToS in terms of censorship. Their policy, inconsistently policed at best, has given the boot to many otherwise tasteful images including, notably, an image by artist Ruki Kaur of a woman on her period. Now a trend is taking Instagram by storm wherein people are photoshopping male nipples over a females' nipples to stick it to the man and hopefully result in a meaningful dialog on Internet censorship.