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.

Why I Love Photography

Our reasons for finding our way behind the lens of a camera are as various as the courses we choose to take with our lives. Here are just a few of mine.

The Most Important Skill in Landscape Photography

I love when a plan works in landscape photography and this was the way I was doing for more than 30 years now: planning and going to the spot, for "harvesting" the photographs. This led to fantastic results though, but there is one more way to get outstanding photographs, you had maybe never thought about before.

How to Improve the Fujifilm X-T4: A Canon User's Perspective

I picked up a Fujifilm X-T4 about five months ago to use primarily as a backup camera and for street photography, video, and family use. Although I shoot with a Canon system in my studio, I fell in love with Fuji’s cameras years ago when I acquired an X-Pro1 and a few X lenses. In this article, I offer a friendly critique and some suggestions for Fuji to improve an already great camera system.

My DSLR Is Broken. Is It Time to Finally Get a Mirrorless Camera?

It happened again. My DSLR has failed on set. While being used to it and calling in for repairs right away, I caught myself thinking whether the time has come to buy a mirrorless. Here are some points that I brought up while having this debate with myself.

Skip Social Media Advertising and Grow Your Business With These Tips

Growing a business can seem like a nebulous task. It can feel like there are too many ways to do it, with each way being a crap-shoot. Before I made the switch to being a commercial food photographer, I ran a successful marketing agency. Let me share with you some tips to reach your ideal client and grow your business.

The New Standard: Apple Displays

With the release of Apple’s new Studio Display, the new creative standard may be here. Are the specs and price good enough?

NFTs Are Terrible: 6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Them

Given the number of big name photographers and huge brands jumping on board the NFT bandwagon, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the plethora of problems surrounding the NFT market had evaporated. You’d be wrong. NFTs are a still terrible idea, riddled with problems.

Perfect Your Photography Using the Seven Elements of Art

Photography is an art, and like all art forms, seven basic elements comprise our images. Although, I challenge that number, I think there are eight. Understanding these elements helps us to take our creativity to the next level.

Should You Use a Human Element in a Landscape Photo or Not?

If you search the internet, you will find a lot of landscape photos that include a human element. Often, a person will be in the frame, sometimes the photographer themselves. In this article, I want to take a closer look at the reason why you should sometimes use a human element in your landscape photo.

How to Retouch Headshots Using Frequency Separation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Retouching photos is as much an art as a skill, and portrait photographers must understand the proper way to retouch images, even if they prefer to have a retoucher do this work for them. Although there are a variety of ways to retouch an image, using frequency separation is the most common method and is considered one of the best. In this article and the accompanying video, I detail the process I use to retouch my headshots and portrait work.

An Interview With Jordan Blake: Vulnerability and Strength Through Self-Portraiture

Jordan Blake is a black artist originally from Nigeria. He has lived in Baltimore, USA for several years. After finishing college, he made the move to New York to better figure out and explore who he is and what type of images he wants to create. Of course, it doesn’t go unnoticed that New York also offers greater opportunities for collaboration and sharing of work.

What It’s Like to Photograph the 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Covering the world’s greatest athletes at the Olympic Games is nothing more than a dream for many photographers. For Getty Images’ Bruce Bennett, photographing the Olympics is just another day at the office. I spoke with Bruce about his experience covering hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

Why There Is Nothing Wrong With Chimping!

"Chimping" is a term used by some photographers to describe the habit of other photographers who they deem to be looking at their rear LCD screen on the camera too much. But the information on the back of your camera can be really useful, especially if you are someone just starting. Here is my argument for chimping and some ways you can use your LCD screen effectively.

Tips for Managing Time and Location Data in Photos

Have you ever had to sort through a box of photos, perhaps from your parents’ collection of vacation photos? An all too common question is: “When was this photo taken?”

6 Pieces of Gear You Will Regret Buying in 2022

There is a lot of advice on what gear you should buy in 2022. But, if you look beyond the marketing of companies, is there gear that you probably don’t need in 2022? The answer is, yes, there is a lot of gear you don’t need. Here are my top picks on what you should not get.

Stop Making These Editing Mistakes (Part Two)

These are six of the most common mistakes I see photographers make in their editing regardless of skill level. This part will cover white balance, getting caught up in your histogram, and not spending enough time cropping.

How Believing in Yourself Leads to Better Photographs

You have checked the weather maps, you have a clear idea of what you could photograph to get a masterpiece, and then, things are different, and you have no idea what to photograph? That’s fantastic, because this is the best starting point to become a better photographer.

Using Flash To Change Your Photo From Day Into Night

If you like shooting your muse in a night-like environment, you might run into some difficulties. With flash, it is also possible to create the night during daylight. This way, it becomes much easier to shoot your muse, without all the difficulties you encounter while shooting in the dark. On top of that, it isn’t difficult at all.

Stop Making These Editing Mistakes (Part One)

These are six of the most common mistakes I see photographers make in their editing regardless of skill level. This part will cover how heavy your edit should be, controlling your saturation, and fixing halos in your images.

5 Productivity Hacks That Help Me Be a More Efficient Professional Photographer 

As a photographer, it is easy to get bogged down in creativity, without really thinking about how effective your process is. As time is the most valuable resource that you have, you need to use it most efficiently. In this article, I will break down a few tips that helped me become a productivity master.

Does Being Too Late Ruin Your Photo Day?

As landscape photographers, we are used to leaving our warm bed in the early morning, being on location, and also having a composition before the sun starts to rise. But what if we arrive after the sun has come up? Is there still a way to go home with strong photographs?

Russia’s War in Ukraine Will Leave a Lasting Scar on the Photography Industry 

A week into the war, many start to ask about the long-term impacts of the war. As a Ukrainian-born writer with family and friends in Ukraine, I am keeping a very close eye on the news surrounding the war. A war on such a grand scale will have a profound impact on most industries, photography included. Here is my analysis of how this war will echo in photography.

Haida Magnetic Filters Versus Square Filter System

I have been using a square filter system for many years. It proved to be a flexible system that allows one filter to fit on every lens I own. A magnetic filter system is a great alternative, though. I tried both during my recent travels over Lofoten, Norway and I want to share my experiences.

Storytelling, Layering, and Gutsy Setups: Tips From Top Women Photographers Today

When I watch events, and the cameras swiftly pan by the crowded photographers trying to get the cover shot, I can’t help but scan for women. I do it when the receiver runs full force out-of-bounds and accidentally crashes into the sideline photographers. “Was there a woman in that crew?" Or on CSPAN when the camera pans back to the counsel’s table and you get that quick glimpse of the photographers sitting like sardines on the floor with their cameras. At the Olympics, especially, I’m always eyeing women. I don’t see them as often as I wish.

Custom Shooting Modes: What They Are and Why You Definitely Should Use Them

One of the great benefits of using modern digital cameras is the high degree of customization options available. Menus, button configuration, touchscreens, and more can be customized for specific scenarios. In addition to programmable buttons and menus, all modern cameras include a feature called Custom Shooting Modes, which allow the user to save and recall personalized user profiles. In this article and video, I explain CSMs and how using them can greatly improve your photography and user experience.

How to Build Strong Relationships in Your Photography Business

We don’t talk enough about how relationships, or the lack thereof, will either make or break your career as a photographer. I’m not talking about the relationships with your clients. I’m talking about the needed strong relationships with all the supporting people that allow you to deliver the goods. These relationships are to be cultivated and nurtured.

What is the Best Camera You Have Ever Owned?

Forget technology updates, larger sensor capacity, and more dynamic range. If you could only choose one camera to shoot with for the rest of your photographic life, what would it be?

Five Keys to Working in the Adventure Travel Industry With G Adventures, Frontiers North, and Oryx Photo Tours

Wanted: Photographers to shoot in exotic, sometimes inaccessible locales. Needed: Photographer to set up shop and work with clients among the icebergs and penguins of Antarctica, the bears and icy tundra of Hudson Bay, the apex predators on the wide-open veldts of the Serengeti or Maasai Mara. If this sounds like something you yearn for, how does the position of photography guide sound?

Three Photographer Challenge: Sony vs Fujifilm vs iPhone

Recently, two photography friends visited the Fstoppers studio on the same day. Of course, this meant I needed to plan a friendly photography competition to see once and for all who is the best photographer in the land! This challenge video comes with lots of twists and turns, but at the core, we ask the question: "can an iPhone beat an expensive $12,000 medium format mirrorless camera?" Today, we find out.

Should You Still Be Chimping?

In digital photography, chimping is when you take a photograph, look at the LCD screen, and then adjust your exposure settings (ISO, aperture, shutter speed) if they are a bit off. In this article, I will tell you why you shouldn’t be doing this.

Creating a Night Sky 360 VR Panorama

Creating a 360 VR panorama (also referred to as 360x180 degree panorama) has been an interesting side-challenge to take on for photographers, but in the past few years, it has been simplified to the point where phones, such as the Google Pixel series, make taking a VR panorama practically a point-and-shoot affair. But shooting one of the night sky remains a worthy challenge.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (February 2022): Marieke Kemp

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2021, we're featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade: That Is the Question.

We are constantly pressured into buying the latest cameras. As the bottom has fallen out of the camera market, maybe it’s time that camera manufacturers had a rethink about what they offer us. Nevertheless, there are good reasons for and against both upgrading and changing your system.

Is There a Difference Between Agency Models and Amateur Models?

If you are a beginning photographer who has only worked with amateur models, it may be your dream to work with a professional model one day. Is there a noticeable difference between working with a professional model and an amateur model?