Learning how to properly light the human face can be a challenge for many beginner and intermediate level photographers. Sure, you can grab a single light source, your significant other, and turn a Sunday afternoon into an experimental test shoot, but what happens when you want to start playing around with multiple lights? Figuring out where exactly to place your lights can be a daunting task, but luckily there are dozens of common lighting setups available for critique right on your television!
Articles written by Patrick Hall
Mark Wallace is a great friend of ours, and also one of the leading photography educators on the planet (subscribe to his series on AdoramaTV). Mark has been traveling the world for over two years now, but in the beginning of 2016 he traded the trains, planes, and automobiles for a single BMW R1200 motorcycle. His latest journey will possibly take him 2-5 years as he trades the studio gear for a simple GoPro to document his travels across six continents. If you need a break from photography education, Mark on a Bike might be the perfect cultural experience to follow.
It's strange to think that I have been a photographer for over 10 years now, yet I have never printed my own work larger than an 8x10. Unfortunately we live in an age where sharing low res digital photos on social media has become the end all be all for the majority of our images. Recently I decided to celebrate some of my favorite personal photographs by printing them LARGE and installing them in the Fstoppers Studio. The resulting 60"x40" acrylic prints I made through WhiteWall.com has me wondering why it has taken me this long to install fine art on my own walls.
Think Tank makes some of the best camera bags on the market period. Their bags are so well designed that I've actually become a bit cynical when someone announces the "next breakthrough camera bag" because, well, there isn't really much more I need other than my Think Tank Airport. Today Think Tank has announced a new roller bag for everything that won't fit in your camera bag and it looks awesome! Welcome the Think Tank Production Manager 50.
Every couple of years Red Bull hosts one of the coolest photo competitions in the world called the Red Bull Illume. If you aren't familiar with this photo contest, the Illume showcases some of the most unbelievable sports photographs in the world. Many of the photos are landscape in a nature which give them an almost fine art feel but there are plenty of edgy closeup shots to grab your attention as well. The deadline to contribute to this year's Image Quest has been extended by 12 hours to April 1st 12:00 (CET) which I believe to be 6:00 PM Eastern if my brain is working correctly.
This week we released the longest photography tutorial Fstoppers has ever produced; Joey Wright - Swimwear Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Retouching. Our entire team headed down to the island of Curacao for 10 days to film a variety of photography lessons ranging from how to pose models, how to use scrims, reflectors, strobes, and how to create portfolio worthy images with minimal gear. During this incredible journey the behind the scenes cameras never stopped rolling, and each week we will be releasing a new episode of all our adventures. This is episode 1!
Is Alexa Meade a painter or is she a photographer? Alexa's unique take on both mediums has completely blurred the idea of what is real and what is imagination. Traditional painting attempts to take a two dimensional medium and make it look 3D while photography does the opposite by capturing a 3D space and translating it to a 2D surface. Alexa's work throws both of these ideas into a blender and leaves the viewer wondering what is real and what is simply paint. The results are fascinating!
We have finally made it to the end of our behind-the-scenes series of Elia Locardi's “Photographing the World” tutorial. In episode 18, we continue our travels through New Zealand as we hike out 4 miles to the base of Mount Cook for an interesting astro photography lesson, the team celebrates the end of this trip with a skydiving session in Queenstown, and Lee and I say our final goodbyes to Elia and Naomi Locardi.
Let's face it, you can never have enough memory cards laying around your studio. Today only, Sandisk is having a ridiculous sale on their U3 SDXC Memory Cards. The 128 GB cards are only $44 and their 64 GB cards are only $24. These cards are great for high megapixel cameras, shooting HD video, and can also be used as small hard drives to transfer files from computer to computer. Instead of having a half dozen smaller cards that might potentially get lost in the shuffle, I always encourage photographers to use a single larger memory card and only remove it from their camera once after each shoot. If you haven't upgraded to 64 or 128 GB cards yet, this might be the best sale until the end of summer.
Even though I am not a landscape photographer and I have never attempted any sort of astrophotography, I have always appreciated beautiful photographs of nightscapes. Recently, I borrowed the new Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens and tried to photograph an interesting night scene here in Charleston. Truth be told, it was quite the learning experience. In this video, I will share my first ever approach to shooting the night sky and hopefully give you a few things to think about when tackling this interesting genre of photography.
Neutral density filters seem to be all the rage these days. If you are a landscape photographer, ND filters are a crucial tool for smoothing out rough water and giving your skies a nice blurred effect. For portrait photographers, neutral density filters are great for maintaining wide open apertures in super bright situations while using strobes. Recently, we tested five different brands' filters to see which one produced the sharpest and most accurate color renditions. The results were pretty shocking.
Getting accurate Autofocus must be one of the most frustrating things an event or wedding photographer deals with on a daily basis. How many times have you been in the right place at the right time, taken a photo at the absolute peak of the action, and then found yourself cursing under your breath when you review the image only to find it wasn't in focus? This used to happen to me a lot at weddings, and I still see many of my assistants struggling with autofocus in extremely low light situations. Luckily there is a very simple solution that works everytime.
This story happens much more often than any of us would like to believe. A beautiful model receives a text from a highly respected photographer asking if she would be interested in doing a swimwear shoot at the beach. The model has heard great things about the photographer or maybe has even worked with the photographer before and jumps at the opportunity to shoot with him. The model, back home for the holidays, drives 7 hours across the country for an opportunity of a lifetime only to find out that she has been catfished by a creeper posing as a real photographer.
For the next 10 days, the entire Fstoppers staff is down in Curacao filming our next full length tutorial with swimwear photographer Joey Wright. Recently Facebook just added a new live streaming feature called Livestream which means we can live stream while we film this tutorial. Follow us on Facebook to watch all of our shenanigans and signup for Joey's mailing list for more info about this tutorial.
For the majority of people, the day after Christmas is usually filled with farewells to extended family members, house cleaning, writing thank you cards, and crashing on the couch to watch the final games of the football season. But for many Americans, the day after Christmas offers a unique opportunity: a chance to head out to the firing range and test the new guns and accessories they received from loved ones. This year, I decided to take my camera out to a local rifle range and document the people and guns who showed up the day after Christmas.
Many photography and film students fail to dream big enough during their undergraduate studies. The work they produce seems more like an exercise than a passionate project for their own portfolios. For German film students Daniel Titz & Dorian Lebherz this was definitely not the case. In what might be the most moving commercial of 2015, Daniel and Dorian crafted a touching mock ad for Johnnie Walker that shows just how effective you can make your personal projects if you take them seriously.
The Fstoppers Flash Disc has been out of stock both through Amazon and BH Photo for the last 2 months, but luckily we have received our next large shipment of inventory for the holidays. It's been pretty amazing to see and hear how many photographers are enjoying our portable, pocket sized soft box for off camera flash. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years and if you have any images taken with the Flash Disc, feel free to post them in the comments. Happy Holidays everyone!
The best shopping day of the year is upon us! Unlike the highly stigmatized Black Friday day of chaos, Cyber Monday allows us all to casually browse the best sales from the comfort of our homes. In this post I have gathered some of the best and most useful sales for photographers and videographers as well as some non photography tools that can be a lifesaver. Check back into this post throughout the day (or follow us on Twitter) as the Fstoppers staff will be updating it often.
Everyone wants to look their best when they are in front of the camera. Most people practice in front of a mirror to get their perfect "photo face" nailed down but did you know that your shoulder and arm positioning can actually make you look thin in one photo and fat in another? Headshot photographer Peter Hurley has released his latest photo slimming tip video and it is called "hold your sub."
Back in October I posted a portrait of myself that quickly became the most popular photo on my entire Facebook feed for 2015. The image was never meant to be anything other than a test shot for a few lenses we were reviewing but people kept asking how I created it. In this Fstoppers video, I will show you a common lighting setup every photographer should know and how you too can achieve this simple look with your clients.