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Patrick Hall
Charleston, SC
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Articles written by Patrick Hall

Color Casts, Vignetting, and Sharpness: Which Neutral Density Filter Is Best?

Color Casts, Vignetting, and Sharpness: Which Neutral Density Filter Is Best?

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.

How to Achieve Fast Autofocus In Low Light Situations

How to Achieve Fast Autofocus In Low Light Situations

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.

Creep Poses As Reputable Photographer and Lures Bikini Model 7 Hours Away

Creep Poses As Reputable Photographer and Lures Bikini Model 7 Hours Away

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.

Follow the Fstoppers Swimwear Tutorial Live in Curacao

Follow the Fstoppers Swimwear Tutorial Live in Curacao

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.

Photographs of Americans and Their Christmas Guns

Photographs of Americans and Their Christmas Guns

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.

The Best Commercial of 2015 Was Produced By Two Art Students

The Best Commercial of 2015 Was Produced By Two Art Students

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 Portable Light Modifier Is Back In Stock!

The Fstoppers Flash Disc Portable Light Modifier Is Back In Stock!

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 Photography Related Cyber Monday Sales: UPDATED

The Best Photography Related Cyber Monday Sales: UPDATED

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.

Can This Body Positioning Technique Really Make You Look 10 Pounds Less in Photographs?

Can This Body Positioning Technique Really Make You Look 10 Pounds Less in Photographs?

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."

How to Photograph a Headshot With Clam Shell Lighting

How to Photograph a Headshot With Clam Shell Lighting

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.

Flash Disc Europe Sale! Add 3 to Your Cart, Pay for Only 2!

Flash Disc Europe Sale!  Add 3 to Your Cart, Pay for Only 2!

Today we are launching a great deal on our Flash Disc light modifiers for those of you living in the European Union. If you add 3 Flash Discs to your Amazon Cart, you will get a special sale price for only 2 (basically buy 2 get 1 free). The Fstoppers Flash Disc is basically a small softbox that folds up and fits into your pocket. It's perfect for photographers on the go who need soft light without the hassle that comes with using a large softbox. As we mentioned before, selling the Flash Disc in Europe has been a huge pain in the butt and once our current inventory is sold out we will not be replenishing any more in the Amazon.co.uk store.

Critique the Community Episode 12: Swimwear with Dixie Dixon

Critique the Community Episode 12: Swimwear with Dixie Dixon

A couple weeks ago, we asked the Fstoppers Community to submit their swimwear images for a special episode of "Critique the Community" with Dixie Dixon. Patrick met up with Dixie and went through 20 images of the submissions to give their thoughts on the quality of each image according to the Fstoppers rating system and how the images could be improved. Check out the image selection below and add your thoughts and ratings to the comments below.

Most People Cannot Tell The Difference Between Nikon, Sony, and Canon High Res Files

Most People Cannot Tell The Difference Between Nikon, Sony, and Canon High Res Files

Last month we had the three highest megapixel cameras by Nikon, Sony, and Canon in our office, and we filmed a pretty polarizing review pitting them against each other. Many viewers pointed out an unfair bias in our studio test so we redid the test again using the same lens on all three cameras. We then asked our readers to pick the best looking image from the 3 cameras without telling them which camera took which photo. The results from this test were pretty alarming.

Critique the Community Episode 11a: Headshots with Peter Hurley

Critique the Community Episode 11a: Headshots with Peter Hurley

A few weeks ago we offered to critique a handful of headshot photographs from the Fstoppers Community. I was able to sit down with professional headshot photographer Peter Hurley for his advice on how you guys can help improve your own headshot photos. Since there were so many submissions we were only able to get to about 18 images, but don't worry because next week Lee and David will tackle many of the images that did not make this episode of Critique the Community.

Gregory Heisler Talks Film, Medium Format, and the New Canon 5DsR Cameras

Gregory Heisler Talks Film, Medium Format, and the New Canon 5DsR Cameras

Today marks the end of a full week at Photo Plus Expo in New York City. In the mayhem that comes with such a large expo, one of the stand out presentations for me was hearing Gregory Heisler speak at the Canon booth on Saturday. I've had the privilege of hearing Greg speak many times and even the chance to interview Greg at Gulf Photo Plus, and each time his presentations absolutely blow me away. In this extended video from BH Photo, Greg discusses how the Canon 50mp 5DsR camera holds up against medium format and large film cameras of the past.

Dixie Dixon Explains How and Why You Should Be Filming Video On Every Photoshoot

Dixie Dixon Explains How and Why You Should Be Filming Video On Every Photoshoot

Dixie Dixon has been a good friend of Fstoppers over the years, and she even came down to the Bahamas with us for the first Fstoppers Workshop. Lee and I have been preaching since the start of FS that photographers need to film behind the scenes videos their own photoshoots. I was absolutely thrilled to see that Dixie has produced this short video outlining exactly how you should incorporate video into your own business.

This Beautiful Photoshoot Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Back to the Future's 2015 Time Travel

This Beautiful Photoshoot Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Back to the Future's 2015 Time Travel

How many times have you seen that popular meme that inaccurately says today is the "Back to the Future" day? Well today, October 21, 2015, is in fact the true date Marty McFly set as his future destination in his time traveling DeLorean from "Back to the Future II." To help celebrate this iconic date as well as the 30th anniversary of the original film, the production company Full Frame did this awesome photoshoot where they explore the capabilities of time travel. Check out the full behind the scenes video in the post below.

How to Take a Portrait With Shallow Depth of Field and Studio Strobes

How to Take a Portrait With Shallow Depth of Field and Studio Strobes

Many photographers rely on their 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 lenses to give that dreamy, narrow depth of field look to their portraits. These two lenses have become a staple for portrait, headshot, wedding, and boudoir photographers who enjoy the soft look that comes with a narrow depth of field and natural lighting. But what happens when you want to create a similar effect in the studio, where your strobes are often too powerful for shooting wide open? Today, I'm going to share with you a fairly unconventional lighting technique that will allow you to shoot your lenses wide open in the studio.

We Tested the Sony A7RII AGAIN for All the Sony Fanboys

We Tested the Sony A7RII AGAIN for All the Sony Fanboys

UPDATE: Results from our reader's poll can be found here! Last week we released our head to head competition review between the Sony A7RII, the Nikon D810, and the Canon 5DsR ultra high megapixel cameras. Our test put all three cameras up against each other and compared their performance in terms of ergonomics, HD video, auto focus, ISO performance, Dynamic range, and overall image quality when used in the studio. Unfortunately a bunch of Sony users complained that our final studio test wasn't up to snuff, so we did what any respectable review site would do and brought back baby turtle. The new results might shock you.

DJI Announces the First Fully Integrated and Stabilized 4K Camera System

DJI Announces the First Fully Integrated and Stabilized 4K Camera System

Lately it seems that DJI has been releasing innovative video tools every single month. Known primarily for their ultra popular Phantom and Inspire 1 drone systems, DJI just announced today that they are releasing their own handheld 4K camera and gimbal called the Osmo. Together with the Ronin DSLR stabilizing system and the Micro Four Thirds Inspire 1 Pro, the Osmo is yet another product that will change the way photographers and videographers can capture stabilized footage on a budget.

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