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Robert K Baggs
London, & Hertfordshire, GB

Articles written by Robert K Baggs

Bite-Size PS Tutorials: Using the Cinematography Technique 'Crushing the Blacks' to Improve Your Images

Generally speaking, losing detail in your image is a bad thing. However, there is a creative way to do so that is most commonly employed in cinematography, known as "crushing the blacks." I alluded to this technique in my recent article on creating your first Photoshop actions and I received a number of queries about this technique. This article will give you a brief overview of what the effect is used for, why you would use it, and how.

Bite-Size PS Tutorials: Quickly and Easily Create Your Own Photoshop Actions

Everyone and their Auntie seem to sell Photoshop action sets these days, as if they're the answer to something. I'm primarily referring to action sets which create entire "looks" for your image, but there are uses for actions which are less comprehensive and arguably more useful. For example, I use an action for sharpening my images which creates a layer I can lower the opacity of or mask until it is satisfactory. Actions like these are easy to create and can result in accrued time saved. This guide will ensure even people whom have just picked up Photoshop for the first time can create actions.

My Secret Weapon Lens

I remember when I first started photography, I'd try and find out what lens and camera had been used for every photograph I liked. I was convinced that if I had that combination of glass and mirrors I would be creating masterpieces. Unfortunately, that train of thought is closer to smoke and mirrors, and I soon knew better. Curiously, however, I now think there's some truth to it, and that truth was revealed to me by a lens that is now my secret weapon.

What is Your Best Photography Anecdote?

Us photographers are bizarre creatures. It is as if holding a camera exchanges the focus of your preservation instincts from yourself to the camera and lenses. The camera's tunnel vision sometimes appears to extend to its user and all that matters is what is in that frame. Perhaps we are brave and valiant artists capturing beauty in whichever obscure corner we find it. Then again, perhaps we are idiots seeking notoriety through the capturing of the unique and the rare; the jury's out. Whichever answer -- or anywhere in between -- this common mentality among 'togs yields entertaining anecdotes.

Fstoppers Teams Up with Getty to Discuss Image Trends for 2017

Every year Getty Images releases their forecast for visual trends in the coming year as chosen by "visual anthropologists" who have analyzed vast quantities of data. This forecast not only predicts trends that will influence every facet of the creative industry, but the forecast itself has immeasurable impact on design, advertising, and myriad other formats of visual media. On behalf of Fstoppers, I spoke with Pam Grossman, Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images about trends and the coming year.

NSFW: A Student's Hard-Hitting Trump Quote Photo Series Goes Viral

Ad hominem is often the type of fallacy rolled out when Trump has come under-fire for his misogynistic quotes in the past. The problem is, Trump's words about women and his political acumen are not easily separated out. This wide-spread difficulty has lead to backlash manifesting itself in a number of ways. One of the recent and most powerful ways has been Student Aria Watson's photo series.

'Whispering Iceland' - Further Proof that Iceland is Disneyland for Photographers

If I'm brutally honest, I felt as if I'd become a bit numb to time-lapses. There's a sense in which the bar has been raised so high of late, that it's difficult to create anything that's likely to capture my attention (not that anyone's trying to). However, if there's one place that can deliver over and over again, it's the frozen tundra that feels as if it has been designed by a landscape photographer: Iceland.

Joey L Covers the Oil Disaster in Qayyara, Iraq

2016 has been a year that has seen Joey L plunged in to unusual situations. His name is usually associated with is masterful lighting and portrait style of A-List celebrities. Then, in October this year Joey reached out to me about his work for the legendary Lavazza calendar which a more travel orientated series of portraiture. Now, Joey has gone one step further and taken his beautiful image style and applied it to a crisis in Qayyara in Iraq.

The Suicide of David Hamilton and the Debate Over Child Nudity in Portraiture

The arts — very much including photography — under the umbrella of expression and free speech can explore the boundaries of what is acceptable. Often these boundaries are harmless and prompt little more than a debate regarding the meta of the relevant discipline. Occasionally, however, the debate is darker in nature as the boundary being pushed is one of moral significance. The photographer and director David Hamilton was somewhat of a permanent resident of such debate and his suspected suicide recently has brought a number of questions to fruition.

Photos of the Anti-Trump Riots and the Morality of Photographing Such Events

The fallout from the recent election has been tantamount to a natural disaster and shows no signs of slowing down quite yet. To say that Donald Trump has had a mixed reception would be somewhat of an understatement, but as a positive person -- whose vote didn't see them on the winning side -- one might feel compelled to initiate Operation Silver Lining. In the face of adversity there is usually one opportunity for the (hardened) photographer: journalistic coverage of events.

Canon Offering Limited Time Only 15 Percent Off Refurbished Lenses With Coupon Code

I don't care much for Halloween; as a miserable Brit, it's all a bit odd to me. However, if Canon is going to offer a 15 percent off coupon code, I'll dress up in costume (read I'll wear a hat or non-matching socks) and celebrate with the best of you. The code is at the bottom of the page; please pretend to read my words while en route to it. I'll know if you don't.

How Facebook Groups Can Improve Your Photography

For as long as there has been business, there has been networking. If you read any book on business or entrepreneurship it's immediately apparent that people and relationships are the cornerstone of success. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that the merit of social media is huge; this is well-trodden ground and tiresome. However, I feel compelled to promote one aspect of online networking that has separated itself from the pack for me.

BTS of the 2016 Lavazza Calendar with Joey L

Since I fell in love with portraiture I've daydreamed about traveling the world to take pictures of people. It's not a unique dream and it's not an overly farfetched dream, but it isn't a job that often comes up. One of the ways in which artists get commissioned to do something along those lines, however, is the Lavazza Calendar. It has seen the likes of Mark Seliger, Annie Leibovitz, and Steve McCurry behind the camera for them in recent years and this year, Joey L got the nod.

LG's OLED Screens Will Change the Way You View Your Images

When LG invited me to their OLED exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, my ears pricked up. This is for two reasons: the first is that a couple of years ago, I wrote a piece on OLED lighting and how I think it will change how photographers light their subjects in the coming years. The second is because, well, I love technology. LG's OLED 4K TVs and monitors are the epitome of digital clarity, and while I suspected that to be the case, seeing it in the flesh did more than confirm my suspicions.

Is the Career of a Professional Photographer Getting Harder? Complete this Research Survey and Help Shed Light on the Question

Photography as a sector has been affected by shifting technology as much as – if not more than – any other industry. The biggest change is undoubtedly the availability of cameras compared to 50 years ago, with almost every human in the Western world having a camera within arm’s reach every waking second. This is met with nothing but doom and gloom by the commentators on the professional photography industry, but is all that negativity justified?

My Most Used Lens Is a Hidden Gem I Bought by Accident

Many people have interesting stories of how they started photography; I do not. One of my chief motivators for starting was being a part of a car community in which a few members used to take macro photographs of insects. I was fascinated by the detail and intricacies of things I'd previously ignored, and so, I bought a cheap second-hand DSLR with a kit lens and a macro filter. After establishing that photography was the expensive mistress I'd always dreamed of, I decided to buy a proper macro lens and sought out advice on the right purchase for me. Then I bought the wrong one.

Cyclops: The Pocket-Sized Interchangeable Lens Camera

The world's most popular camera is the iPhone. That isn't news anymore, but it does highlight a number of interesting points about how people consume photography these days. Firstly, if people have a camera on their person that's readily available, they'll take pictures. Although this is somewhat obvious, it does draw the eye to one of the drawbacks of DSLRs and ILCs: size. They are both invariably too big to have on your person at all times, but what if that could be overcome?