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Articles written by Kenn Tam

Seven Things Photographers Need to Know About Filmmaking

If you're like me, a long-time photographer with a new found desire for getting into filmmaking, then you undoubtedly have a lot of questions. There are so many new things to consider when a photographer makes the jump to filmmaking. Things that as a stills shooter we seldom, if ever, think about. Fortunately, Toronto-based, Finnish filmmaker, and creator of Travel Feels, Matti Haapoja, has seen more than his fair share of friends that have taken the plunge. They were lucky to have had Haapoja on hand to help them out. And we're lucky that Haapoja was inspired to share, "7 Things Photographers Need to Know About Filmmaking".

How to Make Stop Motion Videos With Ease

With today's photo and video tools at hand, and science in mind, filmmakers, and biologists Rob Nelson, and Jonas Stenstrom set out to teach us how to use our gear to their fullest potential. Every week, 52 Things (get it?), releases a video that aims to tell an engaging story that will not only entertain, but educate us on how to be better storytellers ourselves. I love this concept. It reminds me a little of Lee and Patrick's efforts to post 30 videos in 30 days (shameless self promo).

What is a Selfie and Who Invented It?

Producer, director, writer, editor, actor, and researcher, Sarah Burton has to wear many hats while working for BuzzFeed Video, but can she answer the question, "Who Invented the Selfie?" Spoiler alert, she can't but as the adage goes, it's the journey not the destination. Watch as Burton humorously struggles to discover who took the first selfie, and struggles even further when the very definition of selfie comes into question.

Watch as a Photographer Unnervingly Cracks Open a $6,000 Camera

Toronto-based photographer and filmmaker, Peter McKinnon, is a big jerk. You won't see me saying that very often as I truly do respect McKinnon as a content creator, but at the three minute, twenty-second mark of this video my butt clenched up and stayed that way for an entire six minutes and fifty-five seconds. If you're into that kind of thing then watch as McKinnon takes apart his very delicate, and very expensive Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

Peter McKinnon's First Video of 2018 Sets the Tone for Success in the New Year

It's 2018. A brand new page. For us creatives, renewed energy, and enthusiastic drive is what it will take to kick the new year off right. And who better to personify said energy than coffee fueled, Toronto-based photographer / cinematographer Peter Mckinnon? In his first "vlogtorial" style video of 2018 Mckinnon takes to the streets of Toronto with friend and sage-like video creator Chris Hau.

How to Film Yourself Peter McKinnon Style

Under mounting pressure from my peers and the industry at large, I finally tried getting into video creation. While filming myself in my first video ever (an unboxing), I ran into a whole slew of issues. How should I mount my camera? Where do I place it? Why does this look so gosh diddly darn boring? To say I struggled would be an understatement. To say I gave up would be spot on. But maybe it was for the best, because two days later, Toronto-based Photographer and Cinematographer Peter McKinnon came out with all the answers to my problems — well, my technical and inspirational ones. The rest I'm still working on.

The Secret to Blending Photos in Photoshop

In my early days with Photoshop, there were many timex when I tediously removed background from text by "magic-wanding" it out. If you've ever been inexperienced enough to do this, then you know that you then have to isolate the background that remained within the closed off section of each letter, like the inside of an "o." I've come a long way since then, but apparently, not long enough. Because when I saw LA-based digital artist, best-selling author, and founder of PhotoshopCAFE, Colin Smith, blend out the white background to isolate the black text and vice versa using only a few clicks, my $^@%*! jaw dropped and my face met palm.

1890s Candid Street Photography Taken With a Spy Cam

Using a thin, round, six frame, glass plate, "spy camera", a nineteen year old Carl Størmer (1874 – 1957) captured candid images on the main streets of Oslo, Norway. These atypical images are a rare glimpse into everyday life at a time when most photos taken were of well prepared, composed and stoic subjects. If you're interested in the three part documentary video, be sure to turn on "subtitles / closed captions" and switch to "auto translate" English.

Taking Professional Portraits with a Mobile Phone

Propelling Fstoppers into the successful community it is today and inspiring a slew of shooters to create without limitations, the iPhone Fashions Shoot was meant to prove that a talented photographer needed little more than their own knowledge and creativity. In these one minute spots for the Huawei P10 mobile phone, Chinese Malaysian photographer CY Wong continues to demonstrate the point: it's not the camera that makes a photographer.

What is Aperture and Other Camera Basics?

Everyone looking to be a photographer, or at least a good one, should understand their camera's functions and lens mechanics. This means understanding things like f-stops, depth-of-field, effects of shutter speed, ISO, fast lenses verses slow lenses, and of course, aperture. Fortunately, independent filmmaker Vincent Ledvina has created an ongoing, animated series about, "Camera Basics." As part of that series this handy little animation explains all you really need to know about aperture, in just five minutes.

Five Tips for Posing Couples

Their title may mislead you into think this is just another step one, two, three, posing tutorial but lifestyle and wedding photographers Rachel Gulotta and Daniel Inskeep along with Carlton Banks (a.k.a. Mango Street Lab) are quick to point out that it's directing, as opposed to posing, that gets results. If you follow the wisdom provided in these five simple insights you'll find your subjects falling into their own natural rhythms, resulting in more meaningful images with little to no need to tell subject "A" to put their hand here, and subject "B" there.