Fstoppers Original Articles

Exclusive articles and expert opinions written by Fstoppers’ talented team of creative professionals. Here we cover everything from the latest photographic techniques to advice on running a successful photography business, to first hand accounts of working in the photography industry.

Five Problems You Must Solve To Take Great Photographs in Extreme Cold

As photographers, we choose where we take photographs. While it is undoubtedly a joy to take pictures in a climate-controlled photo studio, tethered to a laptop while your favorite tunes play through speakers, many romanticize taking photographs under challenging conditions. We dream of being assigned to document a war or cover the aftermath of an earthquake.

All Apple Everything: Shooting and Editing Video with Full Apple Workflow

As an experienced photographer, I have spent a career focusing on mostly still images, not paying much attention to video. With the help of the Apple ecosystem, I have found an accessible way to say yes to the question, "Do you shoot video?". This article discusses the quality and convenience of an all-Apple workflow, which begins with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Do You Really Need All That Gear?

Landscape photography, with its sprawling vistas and majestic scenery, often captivates us with its beauty and challenge. However, delving into this genre requires careful consideration of the equipment you bring along. In this article, let’s explore the essential gear for landscape photography, emphasizing the principle that less is more. Contrary to the notion that a vast array of equipment is necessary for capturing stunning landscapes, we'll discuss how a minimalist approach can lead to more focused and rewarding experiences in the field. Let's look at the essentials.

A Beginner's Guide to Shooting in Raw With Your Cameraphone

Shooting in raw with your smartphone is a simple tweak that can significantly enhance your smartphone photography. We're diving into how this feature can improve the quality of your pictures, offering more detail and better color accuracy. It's a practical look at how this tech can upgrade your everyday shots.

How I Built My Home Photography Studio

If you’re like me and live somewhere with out-of-control housing costs, finding somewhere with enough space to shoot in can be difficult, to say the least. Having built out a home studio in a major city, here’s why I did it, but also how.

Exploring Movie Locations for Photography

Hot off the successes of my local actor Cillian Murphy’s Golden Globe for "Oppenheimer," it reminded me of my trip last year to another iconic location that also swept the boards at the illustrious awards, "The Banshees of Inisherin." Movies have the extraordinary power to transport us to different worlds, allowing us to experience the magic of storytelling through the lens of a camera. But what happens when the magic extends beyond the big screen? What if we could step into the very locations that served as the backdrop for our favorite films? In this exploration, we delve into the enchanting world of movie locations, focusing on the rugged beauty of Achill Island's Keem Beach—the cinematic stage for the film "The Banshees of Inisherin," starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

Try This The Next Time You Are at a Beach 

Ever get stuck looking for photographic ideas when the conditions or timing of your shoot aren't right, or perhaps you are at a location for a day and need to find things to do and photograph after sunrise and before sunset? Try this technique to not only challenge your photographic eye, but to also help you learn something new should the situation arise again anytime soon.

You Don't Need To Constantly Change Your Composition

I begin with a story about a location nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Cork, Ireland, where there lies the ancient friary ruin of a monastic settlement—a scene that, despite its historical roots, breathes life through the ever-changing interplay of light, atmosphere, and clouds. In the pursuit of capturing the feeling of this timeless location, I embarked on a photographic challenge that spanned two hours leading up to sunset. The unique challenge? To take 10 shots from the exact same composition, without altering my camera position or perspective.

Why Photography Is the Perfect Hobby for Older People

Photography, a hobby often celebrated for its universal appeal, holds a special charm for older individuals. Embracing the art of photography can be a particularly rewarding pursuit for those in their golden years, offering a unique blend of creative expression, mental stimulation, and physical activity, all of which are key components to a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle in later life.

Do You Know Earth's Hidden Stories?

Photography, at its essence, is a pursuit that is more than the mere act of capturing images; it is a journey into the heart of the world's hidden stories. In landscape photography, the scenery before our lenses often serves as a subject for stories written not by pen but by the patient hands of geological forces. This exploration takes us beyond the actual beauty of landscapes, urging us to unravel the details of Earth's geological history.

This Photoshop Technique Will Blow Your Mind

In a recent article, I showed you how to create mist and atmosphere in Lightroom using a clever combination of masks, contrast, and dehaze. It worked great for woodland photos yet involved some manual masking. Today, I show you an even simpler technique for adding atmosphere in Photoshop.

Everything Has Changed: 4 Steps to Becoming a Fashion Photographer in 2024

I consider fashion to be one of the most difficult industries to break into. There is no clear pathway, and you are not really taught how to do it. Moreover, every photographer has to almost invent their own pathway. In this article, I will talk about my path as a fresh fashion photographer and give tips on how to succeed in the industry.

Photojournalists Aren’t Always in Lockstep With What They Photograph

There was an interaction I had at the bagel store on Martin Luther King Day, when I went to photograph a pro-Palestine rally in New York City, that most accurately captures my often conflicted view about what’s happening these days in front of my lens as a photojournalist.

Two Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Camera in 2024

I have set a number of goals for 2024, and one of those goals is to upgrade my camera. It won’t be a mirrorless camera, but it will be a better camera. During the decision-making process, I sat down and wanted to figure out what the right reasons are to upgrade in 2024.

Sleek and Modern: Here is why you Should Print your Images on Metal

Every photographer knows that moment when you realize you have created a special image. Those images deserve to be printed, and there are times when paper and frames just won't do. Metal Prints take the art of printing to the next level. In this article, we discuss why you might want to invest in Metal Prints.

Here Is How You Should Travel as a Photographer

In 2023, I traveled extensively, frequently visiting cities and discovering new countries and cultures. Despite all my travel being within the EU, I feel like I've learned a great deal. I will share all my travel insights in this article.

Hands On: Insta360’s Ace Pro

Insta360 has gone traditional. The Ace Pro is a feature-packed action camera that doesn’t rock the boat.

A Few Thoughts on Resolutions From Working Photography Professionals

As the year comes to a close and another begins, it’s a natural time to take stock. I like to look back on the past year and decided what lessons I’ve learned, and what I can do better next year. Perhaps it’s time to think about new habits – which immediately brings to mind the specter of resolutions. Do you make any? Want to share with us?

Using the Rule of Odds in Landscape Compositions

If there are multiple objects that make up the subject in your photo, it can be wise to consider the rule of odds. An odd number of objects makes the image more interesting compared to an even number. As always, there are exceptions to this rule.

Five Secrets of Studio Photography I Wish I Knew Earlier

Working in a photo studio can be very scary at first, as you need to set up a lot of different equipment. Indeed, when you have flashes, modifiers, camera settings, and then some on top, you can get lost very easily. I was lost during my first shoot for these reasons. That experience would’ve been so much easier had I known these tips, though.

Rediscovering My Grandfather’s Camera

Recently, as I've begun exploring the realm of film photography, my dad pulled out his father's old camera and passed it down to me. I never knew my grandfather, so this feels like a moment to connect where I was never able to.

Why I (Up)Downgraded My Camera Setup For 2024

I don’t usually like change. This is because I am disinterested in learning new tech every year, but also because I prioritize using the tools I already know how to use. After all, if it works fine, why change it? Well, for 2024, I am changing things up a little bit. Here is what’s staying and what’s changing.

Four Basic Types of Light Every Photographer Gets Wrong

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a creative photo weekend and showing a very green photographer some basics of lighting. While she was a darling and seemed to grasp every concept I explained, there were still quite a few misunderstandings that I had to clear up. In this article, I will explain the basic properties of light every photographer must know.

5 Pro Tips for Better Black and White Photography

One of the most appealing genres for photographers is black and white. Although we are long past the age of black and white being the only "real" medium of photography, there is still artistic appeal behind such images. In this article, I will share some of my favorite tips for better black and white images.

3 Ideas for When Skies Won’t Cooperate for a Photo

I'm envious of the fortunate people who live near Maine's beautiful landscapes. This proximity provides numerous opportunities to capture the perfect shot of some of my favorite lighthouses. But what happens when you make the trek and the skies simply don't want to cooperate?

5 Unusual One-Light Softbox Setups You Will Love

I consider myself a very lucky photographer. After all, I have a studio to myself, plenty of various funky lights, and plenty of lighting knowledge to rely on when I want to create something. This was not the case a few years back. At some point, all I had was a light and an umbrella. If you are in this boat, this is the perfect article for you. There is a lot you can do with just a light and a modifier.

Why Beginners Should Know The Overrated Impact of High-End Gear in Achieving Photographic Mastery

In the world of photography, the allure of high-end gear is undeniable. From the latest cameras to lenses with almost impossible specs, the market is flooded with equipment promising to elevate the art of photography to new heights. This narrative often leads to a common misconception: that the key to achieving photographic mastery lies predominantly in owning the most sophisticated and expensive gear. However, this perspective overlooks the essence of what truly makes a great photographer.

Why You Must Give Your Clients Proof Prints

I know it, picking the right print for your album can be a difficult task. There is only so much research you can do and information you can give to your clients without presenting them with real physical prints to look at.

Awesome Lightroom Technique to Add Atmosphere

In this article, I show you an awesome Lightroom editing technique you can use to add atmosphere to your photos. If you take this method to the extreme, you can even turn a normal day into a foggy scene. It works well for woodland photos.

5 Easy Speedlight Photography Setups to Take Your Images to the Next Level

Just like most photographers, my off-camera flash journey began with the purchase of a speedlight and some inexpensive triggers. Many photographers will tell you that as soon as you get a speedlight, you need to acquire proper off-camera flash units. However, there are still many things you can do with a speedlight, and in this article, I will show you some of them.

This Simple Flash Mistake Is Ruining Your Images, Here Is How To Fix It

In the past ten or so years, one of the most common features flash photographers started using is HSS. However, HSS can ruin your images when it comes to freezing ability, consistency, and light output. In this article, I will show just how HSS can be a detriment to your images and what you should do instead.

Four Simple Tips to Improve Your Art of Photography

In an era where image quality no longer serves as the sole differentiator among photographers due to advancing technology, having the latest and greatest gear no longer gives photographers a drastic upper hand.

Using a Modern 360 Camera as Your Wide Angle Lens

360 cameras have become jacks of all trades, but there’s a specific reason that photojournalists might want to consider carrying one in the field: to replace a wide angle lens.

Five Great Photography Ideas for 2024

2024 is here—can you believe it? I certainly cannot! It really felt like 2023 flew by, and the older I get, the faster life seems to go. In this article, I want to explore five photography ideas that you can try this year and see where the adventures take you.

'Psychotic' Photographer Edits All His Photos on the Background Layer

Tallahassee, Florida: In a move that's left the digital art world reeling with horror, local photographer Benny "One Layer" Johnson has confessed to a practice that's nothing short of digital heresy: he edits all his photos exclusively on the background layer in Photoshop.

Stop the Stress, Create for Yourself

As the year begins, people are making resolutions and setting goals. Add in the constant social media trends and photographer communities saying how things should be, and it can be overwhelming and a source of stress. Despite all of that, remember to create for yourself and be true to your vision.

The Perfect Trio of Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography?

What is the perfect trio of lenses for landscape photographers? This holy trinity of lenses is broken down into three main categories: a wide angle, a standard zoom, and a telephoto zoom lens. I’ve finally settled on what I think this trio is for Nikon landscape photographers.

Why Having a Bad Tripod Is Worse Than Not Having a Tripod

In the early days of your photographic journey, chances are a tripod will be among the first few pieces of gear you acquire, simply because it's the next logical thing to purchase to elevate your photography. Whether you get it for free or pay for it, you'll soon realize it's cumbersome, bulky, heavy, and frustrating to lug around on every photo adventure. You may eventually abandon it or opt for one of those lightweight and small travel tripods to replace the bulkier one you have, hoping it will still be able to deliver. Unfortunately, you might soon realize that having a bad tripod is worse than not having one at all.

Pro Photographers Watch Out! AI Is Coming for You. Or Is It?

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is about AI and my opinion on it. Being an artist puts you at risk of AI taking your job, or so it would seem. In fact, I believe that AI is creating jobs. Here is why you should not worry about AI and what to focus on instead.

The Easiest and Fastest Way To Create a 360 Virtual Home Tour

I used to think that creating virtual tours required thousands of dollars on gear and a subscription to expensive hosting platforms. In this video, I'm going to show you how to create one with a pocket-sized camera, a smartphone, and affordable software.

The Gear You Must Have for Low-Light Photography

Photographing in low light is one of the most challenging tasks you can encounter. This is a scenario where your setup truly matters. Not only should you know what to do with your camera, but also keep in mind which camera to bring for low-light photography. In this article, I will go over the essential gear for such work.

5 Pro Editing Tips To Make Your Photos Instantly Better

There is a lot of various advice on the internet. A large chunk of it is bad or irrelevant. Editing images is an art. It is an art that takes a while to master. Because there is so much bad info online, I decided to share some of my favorite editing techniques I use to get my signature look.

Setting Up Your Camera Menu for the First Time

Using a new camera for the first time is exciting. Before you take your first photo, it's wise to get most of the basic menu settings correct. After that, your quest for perfect customization can begin. The steps I describe in this article can help in this process.