Elia Locardi is Back

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.

Here Is How I Upgrade My Gear as a Professional Photographer

There are infinite ways of upgrading gear as a photographer. Moreover, camera companies market their next product as the next best thing in the industry. All this results in a lot of confusion, speculation, and simple ambiguity. If we could, we would all upgrade everything at once, but money is a limited resource that we need to allocate with a high degree of efficiency.

5 Secrets of Waterfall Photography

Prepare to dive headfirst into the world of waterfall photography! In this article, we'll uncover the five secrets that will make your waterfall shots as majestic as possible. So, grab your camera, put on your raincoat, and let's embark on this adventure.

Capturing the Essence: Why Dog Photography With Families Is a Golden Opportunity

In a world full of a little bit of crazy one thing remains constant – our unwavering love for our furry companions. Dogs hold a special place in our hearts, becoming cherished members of our families. They warm our hearts from being mischievous mutts to regal pedigrees, our four-legged friends bring joy, companionship, and a whole lot of slobbery kisses.

5 Essentials for Beginners To Start Their Seascape Photography Journey

Ah, the allure of the sea! The crashing waves, the salty air, and the breathtaking beauty of the coastline. If you're a beginner photographer looking to embark on a seascape photography journey, you're in for a treat. Seascapes offer a wealth of stunning photographic opportunities, but getting started can seem a bit daunting. Fear not! In this article, we'll explore the five essentials for beginners to kick-start their seascape photography adventure and capture mesmerizing images that will transport viewers to the shores.

The Crucial Role of Composition in Photography: Unlocking the Power of Visual Storytelling

Composition is the backbone of photography, the artistic element that allows photographers to convey their vision and create captivating images. It is the arrangement of elements within the frame and the deliberate placement of subjects, lines, shapes, colors, and textures that bring harmony and balance to a photograph. In this article, let's delve into the importance of composition in photography and how it serves as a powerful tool for visual storytelling to help your own photography level up.

Cracking the Code: How a Polarizer Unveils the Secrets of Rock Pools

Rock pools are captivating microcosms of marine life nestled along the coastline, holding a world of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. But have you ever wondered how you can capture the vibrant colors and intricate details of these submerged wonders? Let’s delve into the enigmatic power of a polarizer and explore how it reveals the secrets of rock pools along the water's edge, where the code to capturing the beauty of these miniature aquatic ecosystems is cracked.

One Critical Piece of Gear You Probably Don’t Have in Your Wedding Kit

If you’ve been a wedding photographer for any amount of time, you know that you are going to spend a lot of time in loud wedding receptions, and this is my public service announcement to please protect your freaking ears. All wedding photographers and filmmakers need ear protection as part of their kit for the long hours we spend in front of bands and DJ speakers at volume levels unsafe for our hearing, and so, I rounded up a few options for you to consider below.

AI-Generated Photos: Are They Art or Plagiarism?

The future of photography. Are we photographers in danger of being replaced, or is this just another fad due to pass us by? Who owns the digital rights? How much of a photograph that's generated by AI still belongs to the original artist, or does it belong to no one?

Surprising Ways That Bad Images Improve Your Photography

We all want to take better photos. There are countless ways of learning how to do that. Attending courses and workshops, watching YouTube videos, and reading books and articles such as this are traditional approaches. But there is one unexpected way too: embracing bad photography.

Unleash the Fun: Must-Have Tools for Pawsome Pet Portrait Sessions

Attention, all pet-loving shutterbugs! If you're a studio portrait photographer with a passion for pup photography, then you've come to the right place. We're about to let you in on a little secret that will have those furry friends wagging their tails with joy during your next pet portrait session. That secret? It's all about the right tools. So, grab your camera and let's dive into the world of pet-tastic props!

Saying Goodbye: The Hardest Images I've Ever Taken!

If you're an animal lover with pets, you'll know how hard losing a beloved furry member of your family can be. To some, they are like our children and they are a massive part of our lives for many years. Sadly, I lost two dogs due to old age in quick succession, and I was asked reluctantly to capture some last portraits of them before they crossed the rainbow bridge.

Small Scenes: The Natural Progression of a Landscape Photographer?

Small scenes landscape photography: the practice of photographing the little details within the grander scene. Is it simply a genre that some landscape photographers gravitate towards? Or is it the natural evolution of a seasoned landscape photographer?

Why You Should Perform Focus Stacking in Your Next Product Photoshoot

In my previous article, we talked about the technique and tips for performing focus stacking for e-commerce shoots. In this article, we will further expand into discussing the advantages of using focus stacking techniques, apart from the obvious reasons of getting the entire product to be in focus. There are a few more logical reasons and advantages behind focus stacking.

What Is the Right Skill to Succeed in Photography?

In the world of photography today, it is pretty common that the relationship between creative concept and photography skill is intertwined and very much expected from a photographer. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into this discussion between these two relationships to see how photographers can unleash their artistic potential and bring their work to the next level and how one skill affects the other skill. Everything from the spark of inspiration from the basis of creative concepts to the technical skills required for project execution will be discussed in hopes of achieving balance between creativity and technical skill to push a photographer’s work to a greater height.

How to Take Great Images in Bad Weather

Landscape photography is largely dictated by the weather you experience out in the field. Many times, we don't get the conditions we hoped for, which can be especially challenging after investing time and money into a photography trip. These are five things you can do the next time you're in unfavorable conditions to walk away with great images regardless of the weather.

The Platypod Handle: An Evolutionary Tool In Their Ecosystem

Most people don't understand what all the fuss is about when they see a Platypod for the first time. If I showed it to my mom, she'd probably feign excitement in the way only a mom can. If you've ever used a Platypod, though, you know how powerful such a little piece of aluminum can be. You can use them for anything from travel and landscape to toy and food photography as a way to show your audience a new perspective on the world. You can even use them to mount flashes in obscure spots for portrait photographers. Okay, I'm a Platypod evangelist, but their company truly has changed the way I photograph.

The AI 'Photography' Race Is Getting Hilarious: Enjoy The Show

AI is the perfect hype commodity for tech companies and social media shills. If you thought NFTs and crypto cults were full of hot wind, then strap yourself in for the AI movement, because it’s bigger, gassier, and truly inescapable.

The Pressures of Social Media on Photographers

For years, photographers old and new would enjoy sharing their favorite work across social media sites such as Instagram. Sharing your images was fun and would create conversation, engagement, and perhaps sales. Nowadays, the situation has changed.

My Three Wishes for Nikon

It’s the time of year again for my 100% non-scientific, not-based-on-actual fact, purely speculative wonderings about the future of my main camera brand.

The Best Images from GuruShots "Night Photography" Challenge

If you're a photographer and haven't participated in "The World’s Greatest Photo Game," hosted by GuruShots, you'll want to take a peek at their latest challenge. Participants submitted a wide variety of night photography to their latest challenge. Thousands of people entered and cast millions of votes. See the three winners of the challenge as well as hundreds of top rated images below.

One Easy Way You Can Film BTS of Your Photo/Video Shoots

Look, I think we've all been there, none of us want to have to bring extra stands, tripods/monopods, or even extra cameras just to get behind-the-scenes images (BTS for short from here on out) or video for our websites or social media, even though we'd all love to have that content. After some trial and error, I think I've landed on a fun and flexible solution by using a 360 action camera but there are some things to know before you get started so let’s get into it.

An Incredible Journey Shows the Power of Wildlife Photography and Conservation

Lara Jackson is an incredible wildlife photographer, conservation biologist, and children's book author. Over the last few years, Lara has had an incredible journey, becoming highly commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition to then becoming an ambassador with Nikon and Save The Rhino. I sat down with Lara to discuss this journey in more detail.

How Much Do You Value the Process of Creating Images?

Each week it seems, a new camera is released. And with every new release is the lure of new features promising to make the already easy image-making process even easier. This raises the question, do the benefits of easily creating images outweigh the potential benefits we might gain from taking a more challenging approach?

What Makes Us Click With Camera Brands?

Photography is an art form that allows us to capture moments, express emotions, and tell stories. The skill of the photographer is paramount to this, but the same can be said of the camera brand that they choose to shape their vision. We are all drawn to certain camera manufacturers for our own reasons, It can be said the right tool for the job applies here. So, why do photographers prefer certain brands over others?

Photoshop's Generative Fill: This Will Change Everything

The lead image doesn't exist. Well, it does now, but it is a sum of two photographic parts aided by Photoshop's new Generative Fill AI. The mountains in the background exist but not in their entirety. Stobb Coirre doesn't exactly look like this, as tiny parts are generated. My two dogs never pose for photographs.
Is Apple Vision Pro the Future?

Like many tech enthusiasts, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023. There had been wild rumors of a new Mac Pro, and a new AR/VR product which would be an absolute game-changer in the world of consumer technology. Is VR the future, just another gadget, or something worse?

Mastering Mobile Photography: Top Smartphone Cameras of 2023

Photography has become an everyday part of our lives, moving from the realm of professionals to the hands of amateurs and enthusiasts. With the continual evolution of smartphone technology, mobile photography has significantly transformed, delivering professional-level results that rival traditional DSLRs. This year, 2023, showcases some extraordinary smartphone cameras, pushing the boundaries of what mobile devices can achieve in photography.

Eight Tips for Preventing Camera Theft

The last few years have seen an explosion in violent thefts, especially near San Francisco, and recently, a photographer was killed in Texas. Taking expensive camera gear out on a shoot can be a scary thought nowadays, especially when in some locations, violent thefts are on the rise. In this article, I discuss some ways that can help you minimize the impact of such thefts.

10 Essential Tips for Scaling and Optimizing Your Business: Part 2 of 2

In this rapidly evolving world of photography, it's essential to take a step back and scrutinize how well we're reflecting our business in its current state, including growth in our personal photos, websites, and social media profiles. In the previous article, we discussed five actionable strategies to address commonly overlooked areas, from updating personal images to refreshing website content, and from leveraging social media to nourishing creativity through personal projects and continuous learning.

The Impact of AI on Wedding Photography: A Contemporary Perspective

Photography has long been an evolving art form, and the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has introduced a new wave of innovation. As in many fields, AI has begun to shape the landscape of wedding photography, changing how photographers capture, edit, and deliver photos.

10 Essential Tips for Scaling and Optimizing Your Business (Part 1 of 2)

Stepping into the world of professional photography isn't just about mastering the art of creating stunning images. It's about becoming a dynamic, evolving brand in an industry that never stands still. As photographers, we are visual storytellers, but often, we become so engrossed in narrating other people's stories that we overlook our own.

Toy Shopping in Ukraine: War Toys Founder Brian McCarty Shares His Vision

Brian McCarty, a self-proclaimed toy geek and an incredible photographer, tells the stories many people don’t want to hear in a way familiar to the world. He depicts children’s accounts of conflict and loss through toys as an advocation against the horrors of war.

Apple Vision Pro is Goofy

Monday, Apple made a groundbreaking announcement: the release of their Apple Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) headset, priced at $3,500. As an enthusiast, I can't help but feel a mix of excitement and skepticism about this new product.

Subject Separation: Fast-Track Your Photo Composition Skills With One Technique

Photographers spend their entire careers mastering the art of composition, gradually honing their skills over many years. For new photographers, learning compositional theory from scratch is a huge task, but you can fast-track your progress by focusing on one technique first: subject separation.

Create Captivating Portraits With an LED Light Wand

Over the past few years, LEDs have become a popular choice for still photographers, and with good reason. Although LED light sources do have limitations, there are many clear benefits to using constant light for portrait photographers. In this article, I will detail five ways I use an LED light wand to create captivating portraits, both in and out of my studio.