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 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.

How to Get Your Website to the Top of Google to Increase Your Income

Over the past two years, I invested much time learning search engine optimization techniques. Making tweaks to my website and creating a content strategy, this work finally began bearing fruit three months ago. I'll now share the SEO knowledge I gathered in a little article series. In this article, I focus on how to rank on Google Search.

How To Make It Through The Hard Times as an Artist

The life of an artist is often romanticized as living a dream. But what often gets lost in that framing is that the road to happiness more often resembles a roller coaster than a straight line.

New Year's Resolutions That Photographers Should Make Going Into 2024

As we bid farewell to another year and welcome the possibilities of a new chapter, photographers around the world are gearing up for fresh challenges and adventures. In this article, we'll explore six New Year's resolutions tailored for photographers seeking to elevate their practice in 2023.

10 Essential Questions Every Photographer Should Ask Before Starting the New Year

Is your art good? Is it mediocre? Is it expected? Are you surprising yourself? Have you seen growth in your craft, or are you simply doing the same thing? Are you proud of your body of work in 2023? As artists, sometimes, we get so busy in art-making that we don’t take the time to evaluate our art. I’ve crafted these 10 questions as an evaluation tool for you to pause in the process of art-making and to congratulate yourself, correct yourself, and direct yourself.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (December 2023): Christine Kennedy

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 2023, 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.

2024: The Year of the Lens Revolution

The photography landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, particularly in the field of lens technology. As we approach 2024, two key trends have become increasingly evident: the emergence of revolutionary lens designs and the rise of high-quality, affordable lenses. This pivotal shift is reshaping the choices available to both professional photographers and enthusiasts, setting the stage for what could be a landmark year in photographic equipment.

Is Natural Light the 'Best Light'?

I've recently heard this statement confidently asserted, mostly by non-photographers, when talking about lighting. I briefly mentioned that it's a little more complicated than that without delving into a whole lesson on light and how it works, but it did leave me pondering the statement longer.

Using Gestalt Theory for Composition in Landscape Photography

There are a couple of composition rules for photography that often work great for landscape images. These rules are used for placing a subject in the best possible location in the frame. It can be difficult to find a clear subject, though. I believe Gestalt Theory can help in this regard.

Random People Guess iPhone 15 Pro or $5,000 Camera Using Large Prints

Every year, I compare the newest iPhone to my daily professional camera and always receive feedback that after compression and scaling, you lose too much detail to be able to tell the difference. So, this year, I've taken the next step by having the images professionally printed on metal and asking random strangers if they can guess which photo was taken with a phone.

Why We Should Get Excited About Landscape Photography 

When it comes to landscape photography, few other genres offer both the rewards and disappointments it can bring. However, we should avoid the easy route of annoyance and instead get excited about our landscape photography, and here's why! I understand the struggle – the elusive perfect composition, the uncooperative weather. It's easy to become frustrated, annoyed, and perhaps even consider giving up. But before you dismiss the excitement, I have something to share that might just change your perspective!

Gear Confessions: 7 Photographers Share Their Best and Worst Purchases

Have you ever bought a piece of gear that promised to revolutionize your work or be the exact tool you needed just to find that it was a total dud? We all have those pieces sitting at the bottom of our gear closet that irk us every time they come in view. Alternately, we also all have pieces that have become our indispensable go-to’s that we can’t image shooting without. I asked five photographers to share their best and worst purchases. These juicy gear confessions are sure to land some pieces on your blacklist and others in your B&H cart.

Photographer Finally Admits: 'Honestly, I'm Just Taking Pictures'

Portland, Oregon: In an unexpectedly candid turn for the new year, local photographer Jack Bennett has resolved to ditch the artistic jargon and admit he's simply "taking pictures." This straightforward declaration is causing quite the stir in a community known for its often grandiloquent descriptions of their craft.

The First 10 Things You Should Do When You Get a New Camera

Receiving a new camera during the holidays is a thrilling experience for any photography enthusiast. To ensure you make the most out of your new gadget, here’s a comprehensive, step-by-step guide of every important action you should take after you unbox that shiny new gadget.

At a Crossroads: Will Photography Diminish or Evolve?

Photography, a medium that has consistently reinvented itself, now stands at an unprecedented crossroads. Revolutions like AI have led to a profound reevaluation of photography's role and essence. Is photography evolving or diminishing as an art form in this era of rapid technological change?

How I Photographed a Model on My Family Vacation

I have a love/hate relationship with family vacations. I enjoy going away for a few days with my wife and daughter, but it is not something I am super excited about and looking forward to each day in the months before the trip, the way most people do. Truth be told, I’m happier putting my money into buying a new lens rather than using it to book a plane ticket.

Here Are the Less Talked About Features of the DJI Osmo Pocket 3

It seems like the whole world (or at least the photographic world) is buzzing about the new Osmo Pocket 3 from drone maker DJI. It's a portable, full featured kit for video makers, YouTube creatives, and even regular consumers who want to easily capture high quality 4K video with a gimbal mounted camera.

Three Things I Love About Photography

Regardless of my own personal passions, an objective man would say that all art is created equally. So, why is it that I have chosen photography as one of my main means of expression?