Fstoppers Original Articles

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.

Fstoppers Sits Down with Lara Jade

A captivating photograph often tells a story. That story is – more often than not –the story of the one taking the picture. Sometimes the story is obvious, and sometimes not so much. It’s in that delayed gratification that we are able to explore the nuances –when we have to reach into the subtleties for meaning behind a photo. Lara Jade is a classic example of this and her images are a vivid interpretation of her life.

Fstoppers First Look: Sigma's New 18-35 f/1.8

When we announced the new 18-35mm f/1.8 lens from Sigma, the excited and joy-filled response from you all was nearly instantaneous (which was rather impressive since it was confirmed at just past 1 in the morning eastern time). I too was particularly excited because of what this lens means to the industry and the future of lens design. I want to share with you my first impressions of the lens, which arrived in my studio just a few minutes ago.

Fstoppers Reviews SLRLounge's Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop DVD

I'm a strobist by heart. When I first got into photography, I didn't even begin shooting portrait work until after I had gotten at least a flash. That purchase, quickly turned into studio strobe after studio strobe until I found that I was completely controlling all light sources during my shoots. So who better to review SLRLounge's latest DVD, 'Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop', right?

Wedding Tutorial: How To Photograph Engagement Sessions

If you've been hired to photograph a wedding, there's a very good chance your clients will also want you to take engagement photos. Recently we released our 14 hour long wedding tutorial How to Become a Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer which covers everything about how to start a wedding business. Lee Morris previously released a sample called How To Light Posed Photos In a Church but today I wanted to share a free excerpt on making the most out of your client's engagement session.

4 Inexpensive Ways To Improve Your Food Photography

Are you interested in adding food photography to your portfolio, but don’t know where to start? Don’t be intimidated. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on expensive lighting equipment, lenses and cameras, but these aren’t necessary to make a beautiful food image. If you are a portrait photographer, landscape photographer, sports photographer, or an expert instagrammer, you can use the gear you already have to make beautiful images of your food!

Interview With Lifestyle Photographer Basil Vargas

Most people think lifestyle photography is over rated. Just pictures of people hanging out having a good time and thats about it. Technically, yes that is it. However, it's more than just that. It's not that easy to just have the shots look like people hanging out. They have to work well with each other, you have to be able to tell a story with the images, show emotions, ect. Basil Vargas is one of the many Life-style photographers I really enjoy looking at.

Video Showing One of Lightroom's Most Under Utilized Tools

As a type of person that loves to figure out everything I can about gadgets and software, I am always surprised by how often I meet up with photographers that really only use the powerful programs on their computers for the most basic functions. Typically we get comfortable with a few features and never really explore what else can be done. Maybe we run out of time, maybe we just have no interest. Either way, I hope to share some short, quick, easy to follow along videos over the next few weeks sharing some of my favorite tips and tricks in Lightroom.

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams- Retro Fashion Shoot

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to work with Tina Hughes, a talented local clothing designer. Her latest collection blends vintage and modern elements. I thought that my friend's modernist house would be the perfect location for the shoot. We were limited to doing the shoot during the (bright and sunny) day so I used speedlites, a polarizing filter and orange gels to add a moodiness to the images.

How I Shot A Corporate Promo Video With Motion Timelapses And A Steadicam

Back in October, the local headquarters of a global company that specializes in industrial automation hardware and software solutions contacted me. Over the next several months, I put together a production plan for this company and we agreed on what they wanted for a final product. This video is a behind the scenes look at our primary shoot day. Click on to read about how I used different tools to create an engaging video for my client.

How To (And Not To) Shoot Underwater Pt.1 Natural Light

This year my family and I escaped the cold of NYC and went to South Florida to celebrate the holidays. I was so glad to be heading to some warm weather, and I planned some shoots that wouldn't be typical of the winter weather up North. I had never shot underwater before, so I wanted to challenge myself and try it out. I contacted BorrowLenses to see if they had an Aquatech housing that I could

How I Lit This Fashion Shot

Lighting is one of my favorite things to play with on a shoot. Creative lighting can really give you're photography a large edge over just shooting natural/ambient light. I love using lights, because I am always growing and learning new techniques. This week I will walk you through the relatively simple setup for one of my favorite shots in my portfolio.

Tax Guide For Photographers

Its that time of year, the dreaded tax season. During this time, we all either hire someone to do this work for us, or we spend hours on websites trying to decoded the complicated tax laws that apply for us all. This can be a painful process, especially for us self employed photographers. Well, I'm here to help you dig through the complicated process, and simplify your taxes into some terms you may be able to understand.

Fstoppers Sits Down With Joey Lawrence

It’s six o’clock in the evening; Joey Lawrence and I are having what could only be described as the trendiest cups of coffee in all of Williamsburg at that very moment. To be fair, this part of Brooklyn takes its coffee (as well as its trendiness) very seriously. Outside, it’s not unlike being inside of a freezer during a power outage – it’s bitingly cold, wet and smells like something somewhere is spoiling. Luckily, we’re inside, sans rainwear, meeting over a table made from reclaimed wood while Edison bulbs on simple fixtures drip unassumingly from the ceiling.

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams: The Martin Schoeller Portrait

Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt.

How I Shot It... Bridal Portraits in Hotel Room

As a wedding photographer I have learned that our shooting conditions are not always ideal. One of the places I dread most is the bride's dressing room. It is typically a hotel room with bags, shoes and every beauty accessory invented strewn across the floor. The lighting is never ideal and the decor just might be the straight out of your grandma's home. Read on below to see a simple lighting setup using two flashes that can help you create beautiful portraits even in not so flattering locations.

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams - Head Shot

The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller's technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn's post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn't have.

Fstoppers Look into Ian Ruhter's 'Death Do Us Part'

Ian Ruhter is quickly becoming a household name in the world of creative photography and wonderful documentaries. His name first broke into the scene last year, with his film entitled 'Silver & Light'; where he discussed his van which has been converted into a camera, but more importantly, takes us through his journey to find his passion again. Yesterday, Ian gave us a new story where he tackles death and the coping process.