Fstoppers Original Articles

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.

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.

Ten Rules of Proper Networking and Business Etiquette

Photography is a business largely built on referrals, word of mouth and reputation. How you present yourself to others and take advantage of chance opportunities can make or break your career. Are you presenting the best possible version of yourself to clients and fellow photographers?

6 Wacky Ways To Supercharge Your Creativity To Become A Better Photographer

Creativity is the core building block of every great photographer. Those who know how to foster and stimulate the power of their creativity often can enjoy a tremendous boost in their work. Some methods such as listening to music or getting hammered are pretty common knowledge but there are also an endless collection of somewhat less orthodox methods that are also worth giving a whirl!

Use These Weird Lighting Tricks to Add Motion Blur to Your Photos

Holy butts. Sometimes the fact that I'm an artist and I'm allowed to get weird slips my mind. I don't have a boss, I'm allowed to create what I want, I'm allowed to try new things for the sake of playing, and I'm even allowed to start a blog post by saying "Holy butts." That rocks.

How to Build a Huge Following on Instagram in 3 Comprehensive Steps

The number one questions I receive when talking about Instagram is "How do I build a huge following like you?" and I usually laugh and reply "I honestly have no idea." Though this is true in some sense, there must something attracting these people to follow me by the masses. Whether that be by liking, commenting or even reaching out to collaborate it's still a bit of a mystery to me. Beginning today I am going to break down the various ways to use Instagram for business but first I want to give you all 3 comprehensive steps to building a huge following.

Stop Spoiling Amazing Photos with Downer Copyright Statements

Photographers often get worked up into a frenzy when they feel their business has been abused or taken advantage of. This isn’t more true than when it comes to discussing the improper use of images that are proofed online or shared via social media.

A Photographer's Journey to #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives [Interview]

Recently, Richmond Virginia-based wedding and portrait photographer Meagan Abell made a stunning find in a thrift-store box of old images. Among the half-century-old family snapshots she uncovered a set of jarringly beautiful transparencies (slide film) and a desire to find the women on them. The #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives campaign has, overnight, caught fire, garnering worldwide attention and press. Ms. Abell was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her schedule of NatGeo and BBC calls to chat with me for an exclusive interview.

What You Should Be Spending Your Money On If You're a Photographer

Gear, of course! Camera bodies and lenses galore! Nothing makes you a better photographer than dumping thousands of dollars on the latest technology! Right? No? Ok, I digress, I guess blowing all your hard earned (or borrowed) cash on the latest and seemingly greatest in camera equipment is probably about the least effective thing you can do to improve the quality of your work. So what SHOULD you be spending your money on then?

Day 2 With Windows 10, One Strange Glitch After Another

I've made 2 posts on Windows in the last couple of weeks and people seem to think that I'm a Windows hater. I'm not. All of my computers are Windows machines. Every computer in the Fstoppers office is a Windows machine. But I'm not some fan boy who is going to lie about my experience either and Windows 10 so far has not been a good experience.