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 You Shouldn't Buy Canon's New Lenses

I am as big a fan of Canon's lenses as anyone; I resisted the temptation to switch brands for years simply because they offer certain lenses that I can't imagine not having. When it comes to the new RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM lenses, however, you should really think twice before you buy them.

My 4 Favorite Multi-Functional Accessories Under $30

While it’s always fun to window-shop $14,000 lenses, the best value for the dollar can be had from some simple $30 or less accessories. Over the last year, I’ve found 4 pieces of gear that have earned a permanent place in my bag — here are my favorite cheap and functional accessories that can all fulfill a variety of roles.

AI Skin Retouch Is Here and It's Pretty Impressive

Innovators and philosophers like Elon Musk and Sam Harris have been theorizing what our world will look like once artificial intelligence completely takes over our everyday lives. We aren't quite there, but if you've ever dreamed of a day when all your skin retouching might be completed using AI and neural networks, well, the future is a lot closer than you might think.

100 Sets in One Year: How a Passion Project Transformed Jada and David’s Photography Business

A few years ago, Richmond, Virginia-based visual artists Jada and David Parrish found themselves stuck in a creative rut. The daily grind of their photography business combined with the global pandemic had taken a toll, and their passion-turned-business started to lack a bit in the passion department as they found themselves consumed with projects that didn't challenge or inspire.

Why You Should Sketch Your Images When Planning a Photoshoot

Whenever you are preparing for a shoot, sketching your images should be a part of your pre-planning process. The sketches don’t have to be the perfect storyboard. But it should have enough details to guide a creative vision.

5 Ways to Improve Your SkyGuider Pro

So, you’ve gone out and bought an iOptron SkyGuider Pro. You’ve assembled it, read the instructions, maybe even watched a YouTube video on how to use it, and you’ve got the basics down. But you find yourself wondering if it could be better. Yes, it can be heaps better.

5 Tips to Radically Improve Your Headshots

Headshot photography is one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry and for good reason. With more people working from home and using technology to collaborate, our online personas have become more important than ever. Many people have started new careers and businesses due to the pandemic and need to update their branding images. This creates an excellent opportunity for aspiring headshot photographers, and in this article, I give you five tips that will radically improve your game.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro: The Best Camera, Is the One You Have With You

Sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you and at times it's not your DSLR or mirrorless one. This is difficult because there are pros and cons to both options. If you have a mobile phone with you, then that can be the best option. However, if you need a more professional or reliable camera, then your DSLR or mirrorless will of course be the better choice.

Why We Should Return to Places in Landscape Photography

Landscape photography brings us to the most beautiful places all over the world and there are so many of them out there, that it is impossible to visit them all in one lifetime. There is no obvious reason to return to places we have visited already, but as a pro landscape photographer with more than 30 years of experience, I do it again and again, returning to places for photography.

Which Program Handles Fujifilm Raw Files Better, Lightroom or Capture One?

Fujifilm cameras have long been praised for the colors they produce. Lightroom has often been criticized for being incapable of processing Fujifilm raw files effectively. Capture One is generally recommended. Therefore, in this article, we will be comparing Lightroom and Capture One to see which is best for Fujifilm raw files.

Shooting for the 'Gram: What Wins, Usage or Composition?

I’ve been in the game for a little while, and along the way, there have been a few "new" things. New flashes, diffusers, scrims, softboxes, continuous light panels, LED wands, animated photos, cinemagraphs, mirrorless cameras, the list goes on and on, not to mention Photoshop and Lightroom, which update more often than I wash my sheets. But the one "new" I was not expecting to face was a new photography usage that has made me have to think anew about composition: Instagram.

Planning the Right Place and Time for Astrophotography

Time flies by. We’re already into February. Have you got your astrophotography planned out for the year? For astrophotographers, knowing what’s up in the sky and planning is the key to getting an interesting shot.

Why Should Photographers Stay Up to Date With Tech?

Many of us spend hours of our lives reading gear reviews, checking rumor sites, getting excited about a new camera or computer releases, and generally keeping up to date with the technology behind modern photography. Some believe that by staying up to date with new technology we can make better-informed buying decisions and potentially get better at our craft. Some are simply interested in new technology. But how important is it for photographers to stay up to date with the bleeding edge of new technology?

3 Important Tips for Photographing Blue Hour

Trying to capture a perfectly balanced shot during blue hour has its challenges. These three tips will have you capturing more successful images for your portfolio.

Should You Use Flash for Indoor Photography or Only a High-ISO Setting?

Often, I read about natural light photographers who prefer a high-ISO setting above the use of flash. The latter is considered unnatural and unflattering light. Perhaps that photographer should consider the benefits flash can offer without the sacrifice of a natural-looking photo.

XXL Printing: What To Consider for Printing Bigger Than A0

How many megapixels do we need? What do we have to consider already out on location, that we are able to print big afterward? How do we choose the right printing material, and how can we be sure to get the best possible printing result in the end?

Is There a Difference Between Color Temperature and White Balance?

If you look at your camera, you will find a button to change the white balance. You can choose either auto white balance or one of the other predefined settings. But it is also possible to set the color temperature itself. Is there a difference between color temperature and white balance?

Your First 10,000 Photographs Are Your Worst

If you are first starting in photography, this quote by the famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson might seem outrageous or overly harsh. But as someone who has taken at least 10,000 photos, I can tell you that there is a lot of truth to this, and more importantly, this idea can be freeing.

I Found My Stolen Guitar By Accident

Warning: although Photoshop was used to identify the guitar, this isn't really photography-related, but this story is too good not to share.

The Importance of Taking Stock of Your Photography

Amid a busy week, I figured I’d share a few brief thoughts on why it’s important to keep moving forward and why it’s just as important to sometimes remain still long enough to see where you stand.

The Hidden Ingredient of Portraiture

When it comes to portrait photography, it is not uncommon for photographers to have a focus on the technical aspects of their craft. However, what if the secret ingredient of portraiture is more than just nailing a technically perfect photograph? Portraiture is all about the human subject and displaying their authenticity with each photo taken. The hidden ingredient that can take an average portrait to an exceptional piece of work has everything to do with the human connection to the subject.

Five Shots You Need to Get When You Are an Industrial Photographer

An industrial photographer is someone who photographs the people and the products associated with multi-million dollar companies that make machines and tools for industries such as power and electric, trucking, and construction. As an industrial photographer, you will photograph everything from a two-ton drill used underground to a two-inch screw that secures a safety harness used by workers from a state electric company.

Here’s Why I (Almost) Always Ignore My Light Meter

My first camera was a Minolta SRT-101. I loved that camera. It was an excellent tool for learning about photography and manual exposure. As it was completely manual in operation, the internal meter was my only guide for achieving correct exposure, outside of using an external source or just guessing. Fast forward 20-plus years and the way I use an internal light meter has remained largely unchanged. That all changed recently.

I Got Banned From Instagram, It Was a Good Thing

Creatives love and hate Instagram. While everyone is on it, very few enjoy being there. The platform is constantly changing the way it prioritizes work, as well as banning creatives without any reason. I was one of the unlucky many to experience such a ban.

How to Find the Best Landscape Composition in Small Steps

Photographing landscapes is easy. After all, landscapes are everywhere. Choosing a good composition is often much more difficult. It can be helpful to take small steps, slowly building up the most attractive composition. Let me show you how I often work for my landscapes.

How to Capture Amazing Detail in Your Drone Photography

In the last decade, drones have created a completely new genre of photography for the average consumer. Their biggest hurdle has been poor resolution and dynamic range but with these few tips, you can get a lot more detail out of your drone photography.

You Will Fail as a Photographer. You Should Try Anyway.

Vision and talent are often valued in creative circles as the means to a career in photography. Work on your craft and the jobs will come. This is true to some extent, but it is also a fair bit of rubbish.

5 Tips for Taking Awesome Portraits of Musicians

Capturing portraits of musicians is one of my favorite things to do. As a musician myself, I think that I have a unique perspective that helps me to connect with my musician clients. Working with other creatives always makes for an inspiring portrait session, and finding novel ways to incorporate an instrument into a portrait is a fun challenge. In today’s article and accompanying video, I will give you five tips that have helped me create engaging portraits of musicians.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (January 2022): David Garthwaite

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.

Kodak TMax 100: 10 Tips to Give you the Best Results

I'm going to provide 10 additional tips about using Kodak's popular TMax 100 that I learned from my experience with it. Hopefully, these set you up for success with your Kodak TMax 100 photos.

Stop the Scroll: 3 Tips for Mastering Your Use of Color

Have you ever seen those bold modern ads that just force you to stop and look? One got me this week. I was driving, and a billboard had a colossal burger, most likely shot with the 16-35mm lens, and a bold, canary yellow background with that primary McDonalds red. "I need that burger! Wait... I'm a gluten-free vegan!" I tipped my hat to the photographer and kept driving.

Renting Photography Equipment Instead of Buying

Photography as a hobby can be rather expensive, especially when you want a high-quality camera and lenses. You can spend thousands and thousands of dollars without blinking. But you can also rent equipment, and there might be a few good reasons to do so.

5 Tips to Master Using Filters for Landscape Photography

Many aspiring landscape photographers hit a roadblock when it comes to long exposure and filters. They may seem confusing and too technical, but the following tips should clear the path for you.