Fstoppers Original Articles

Fstoppers Interviews Fine Art Photographer Andreas Poupoutsis

Andreas Poupoutsis is a fine art photographer based in New York City but originally from another small island on the other side of the world. His work is a little mysterious and even somewhat odd. His figures and faces often emerge from shadows, allowing for the objects to be (sometimes literally) painted with light. The work often speaks to a search for personal identity - something all artists struggle with; the faces in his images are often not integral to the image itself.

Fstoppers is Hiring More Staff!

It's that time again. Fstoppers.com is looking to hire several creative professionals to write for us. If you enjoy our site and think that you may have something to offer please send us a message. The only prerequisite is that you are at least a part time professional photographer or videographer. If you’re interested in writing for us, send us an email with a link to your portfolio at david@fstoppers.com and write “Fstoppers Job Opening” in the subject line.

Videographers Must Help One Another Out To Combat Thieves in the Industry

It seems like every week another story is circulating around the industry about one photographer stealing from another. Often the theft is done to build a portfolio of images they then use to promote themselves with and gain more business. This morning, though, I experienced a first. I learned that another company has stolen a video, put their header logo on it and is sharing this video on their site to promote themselves. Amazingly this was a video we featured here on Fstoppers and even shared how the original creator and owner of the video Simeon Quarrie put the whole thing together.

Why You Should Be Offended By The Pirating of Photoshop

Okay, I get it. Hundreds of thousands of you are offended by Adobe's choice to go to the Creative Cloud. I understand, I was leading the forefront with my torch in hand. Renting software sounds like a ludicrous statement, especially when half the software you won't even use. So why shouldn't you just pirate it?

Adobe Talks About the Method and Challenges of Creating Photo Software

Dream jobs are made where individuals labor in love, and passions are fostered. It is where “working” is hardly the right descriptor for they day-to-day. Seeing people who truly love their work and work for their passion is rare. I want to tell those stories, and I found one worth telling at a place where they produce the tools that make the lives of creative professionals possible- tools that often at first we never knew we needed, but now would find it impossible to live without.

Flash Vs. HDR For Interiors And Real Estate Photography, Part II: Mood And Color Case Study

About six months ago, I wrote a piece comparing flash techniques to HDR and ambient-only techniques when shooting for architecture and interiors clients. There was some great discussion involved and many valid points raised, and I'd like to take a few minutes to bring up another scenario that really shows the benefits of using flash whenever possible when dealing with interior or architectural situations.

10 Photographers to Look to for Inspiration

No matter what skill level you're at in photography, it's often helpful to take a break and spark the creative process on some new ideas by looking at the work of others; this shouldn't be confused with imitation, but rather used as a tool for building original ideas. The following list highlights the work and skills of creatives who offer inspiration throughout the industry that I, and many others turn to for a new perspective. Of course this is purely opinion, and readers who follow others who aren't listed are encouraged to promote them in the comments.

1000 Miles, 100 Days: One Photographer's Journey

Photographer Carlton Ward Jr. doesn't want to save the world with his imagery but he definitely wants to try and save Florida. Specifically, a wildlands passageway that connects the Everglades of southern Florida to the Okefenokee swamp in Southern Georgia. For 100 days in 2012, he, along with a filmmaker, bear biologist and conservationist, crossed the entire state in a continuous path using kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, horses and their own feet. The visual chronicle was recently published as a book and broadcast as a PBS special.

$5 Fixes For Your Food Photography

"Oh, I can just fix that in Photoshop® after the Shoot." Have you ever heard a photographer say that, or thought that yourself? Yes, Photoshop® is an amazing program that can fix almost anything, but the time it takes to do so is often longer than just fixing it on set. Worse than the time it takes, what if it is something that you just can't fix? Having to tell your client that you need to re-shoot something when you could have easily fixed it on set could be an expensive mistake to make. When shooting food, many solutions to retouching problems will costs less than $5. Here are a few of my favorite items that will save you time and money on post-production.

Final Release of Adobe Lightroom 5 is Available Now

After much anticipation, Adobe has just announced the latest iteration of their popular editing and workflow program, Lightroom 5. The early adopters to the Creative Cloud services will be happy to see a notification to download waiting for them right now, while the non-Creative Cloud perpetual license version is available for purchase on Adobe’s website now (and everywhere now). While we reserve full judgement on the program until after a thorough review, let's take a quick look at this final release and see how it handles.

Retouching - Is Credit Due?

In the world of digital photography, retouching often plays just as much of a role in the final image as taking the photo(s). There seems to be an even split of professional photographers who do it all themselves vs those who hire it out, and lately I've been noticing some discussion based around where credit is due when a photo's final appearance relies more on editing than setting up lights and pressing the shutter.

Chris ODell's Guide To Travel Photography

Guest writer and photographer, Chris O'Dell has an opportunity to travel the world and photograph some of the most beautiful and honest places in the world. With his job as a Minister, Chris often finds himself traveling all over the world, helping local communities and bridging the gaps between cultures and people. Listen closely, as he shares the tips he's learned from over 20 years of experience.

Insuring your Photo/Video Business - What to Consider

When you decide to get serious and make your photo/video hobby a source of income, one thing that you need to look into is insurance. With the abundance of different plans available it's easy to become overwhelmed as to what coverage is right for you, but hopefully this guide can make that decision easier.

Fstoppers Original: Success in Photography

This year Patrick and I were invited to Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai to film a behind the scenes look of what it's really like to go to this exotic workshop. The experience itself was one of the highlights of my life but the most memorable moment for me was the few minutes I had with each of the instructors. I decided to interview them about the pitfalls of their careers and what it takes to become successful as a photographer.

Creating Your Own Food Photography Backgrounds

There are many different surfaces that you can shoot your food photography on. You can use a table in your kitchen, a table in a restaurant, the floor, or any other flat surface that you can find. When selecting a surface, the colors, patterns, and textures of the surface will have a great effect on the look and feel of your final image. With the background playing such an important role in your image, there should be some thought put into what you shoot on. The best way to control this is to make your own backgrounds! Let me show you why wooden planks are my favorite surface to shoot on.

An Emerging Artist’s Approach To Fantasy, Steampunk, And Victorian Portraits (NSFW)

In this interview, I speak with Russ Turner, a photographer who is relatively new to shooting fantasy portraiture, but has already received awards and praise for the quality of his work. Russ talks about working with costumed models, how he incorporates Photoshop, and shares some of the places where an aspiring shooter can get started doing photography in this genre.

New Mextures iPhone App Quite Impressive

Merek Davis today announced the release of the image enhancing Mextures app for iPhone. Over the last year iPhone photographers have downloaded Mextures textures more than 200,000 times directly from Merek Davis’ store and tagged 140,000 images on Instagram; now they have an iPhone app to more easily create and share visually stunning images. I have got to say that after buying and playing with the app this morning, this is one that you don't want to miss out on.

My Unique Proposal Through a Lens

After dating for more then 2 years and having some of the best years of my life the time came to propose to my girlfriend. I knew I wanted something intimate, original / unique and true to who we are. I had the idea to use a vintage camera and tripod as part of the proposal. Then the experimenting began to find the best way to incorporate this.

The Harrowing Tale of The Underwater Realm's Hacked Facebook

As a creative professional, your marketing tools can be one of the most important aspects of your business. Facebook has always been a great place for your social marketing strategies, but what happens when that is stolen from you? It happened just recently with the creators of The Underwater Realm. This is their story.

A $50 Pen Tablet - Too Good to be True?

I don't think many people would argue that Wacom is the leader in the drawing tablet industry right now, with many professional photographers and graphic designers using tablets from their $200+ mid-level Intuos line as the staple for precise mouse work, and some even shelling out the thousands for the Cintiq line tablets with a built in screen display; so when I heard about a sub-$100 tablet with great reviews and competitive features, I had to try it out. Introducing the Monoprice "10x6.25 Inches Graphic Drawing Tablet w/ 8 Hot Key"!

Fstoppers Interviews Retoucher & Photographer Ashlee Gray

Finding a great retoucher (if you use one) can be a pretty daunting task. Most photographers end up doing their own - picking up techniques and tricks along the way. Ashlee Gray is a beauty and fashion photographer and [primarily a] retoucher based in New York whose clients include Tresemme, Starbucks, Rebecca Minkoff and Gatorade. As a photographer, her images are beautiful, feminine and even delicate. It's that same underlying aesthetic that she applies to her retouching- yet still managing to retain the unique style of the individual photographers she works with.

Fstoppers Interviews Active Lifestyle Photographer Coty Tarr

"Coty Tarr is an active lifestyle photographer based in New York City," so says the not quite so lengthy bio on his website. On initial thought, one might think the concise personal description is a little off-putting, but to anyone that has ever met Coty, it is nothing if not an apt discriptor. In a world where many photographers feel the need for shameless overpromotion (not that there's anything wrong with that), Coty takes a more subtle approach, working tirelessly and letting the caliber of his images and his work ethic speak for him.

Use Colored Smoke Bombs to Accent Your Photos

Summer is upon us, which means fireworks. Previously, we have discussed using alternative methods to get smoke-like effects in your photographs. But using flour can make for a messy clean-up and smoke machines require electricity. Smoke balls, however, are cheap, come in a variety of colors and require nothing more than a lighter.

The Best Lens For Food Photography

What is the best lens? If you shoot wildlife, a long zoom lens will bring you close to the action but allow you to keep your distance so as not to startle your subject. If you shoot architecture, a tilt shift lens will allow you to make sure all the lines of your room or building are straight. Shooting weddings? You will most likely need a lens that can zoom for a variety of wide and close shots. When photographing food there is only one way to get those close up mouthwatering shots that your clients desire! Allow me to show you how a lens with macro capabilities will change how you shoot food!

When and Where To Style Your Food Photography

Food styling can take place in the production kitchen and in front of the camera. How do you know when and where to style your food? The answer will depend on what food you are shooting. For food with long shelf lives, like cupcakes, the dish will generally be camera ready when it leaves the kitchen. If the dish involves a sauce and a variety of garnishes, the styling will occur both in the kitchen and in front of the camera. Here is a behind the scenes look at a dish that involves styling in both locations: The Meatball Sandwich.

My Top 8 Pieces Of Gear For Shooting Run And Gun Video On A DSLR

Whether I’m going out for a short hike, a weekend camping trip, shooting the zombie apocalypse, or assisting someone for their personal project, there are many times when I’ve needed to be light and fast in my video rig setup. Besides going with a single camera and lens, the accessories I choose enable me to be versatile and get better clips in the end. Here’s my top 8 list of items that keep me on the move while I’m shooting video.

How to Sell Your Food Photography

If you are a professional, or an aspiring professional photographer, you rely on your photographic work to bring you financial rewards. Self satisfaction alone, won’t pay rent, put gas in your car, or food on the table. If you want to earn money from your pictures, then you will have to find someone to pay you for them. Here are a few strategies that you can implement to start selling your food photography!

An Introduction To Restaurant Food Photography

Have you ever been assigned to take pictures of a chef's creations in a restaurant? Photographing food on location at a restaurant is a very common assignment for a food photographer. I have an editorial client that sends me to 4 or 5 restaurants every month to take pictures of the dishes. Through these assignments, I have discovered that most restaurants are not designed with the photography in mind.

2 Different Approaches To Styling A Cinnamon Roll

When you hear the words cinnamon rolls, what comes to mind? Is it a roll hot out of the oven with a rich creamy icing oozing over the sides? Or do you picture a Saturday morning breakfast with a dish of rolls that have been covered in a rich thick cream cheese frosting? Neither vision of a cinnamon roll is right nor wrong. The key in turning these cinnamon roll visions into reality is the styling.