There are all kinds of photographers out there. Those who shoot fashion, products, street, editorial, and all manner of other genres. There are those who trust Canon, those who worship Sony, and those who swear a Leica is the only camera you need. We all have our different gear and varied subjects, but there is one thing that unifies us all. We all make photographs. What is it that makes all these different photographers with their myriad gear make photographs? Why do they release the shutter?
Articles written by Dylan Goldby
CalDigit, a company known for its high-quality devices aimed at working professionals, have just released the latest update to their popular Thunderbolt Station line of products. Fstoppers took a look at the last iteration, the Thunderbolt Station 3, in August of last year and it was a good device that lacked a few simple things that would make it a great device. I’m glad to say that a lot of that has been fixed with the new release and there have been some exciting additions as well. Let’s dive right in and check out the new CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus.
Photography is complex. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll state it again: it is not easy. There’s so much to learn in order to become proficient in the art. Cameras, composition, light, and subject interaction. These are just some of the things that will decide if you’re able to do well. The key to learning each of these things is time. Time, and a sprinkle of perseverance, will get you so much further than any new gear purchase you can make. Today, I’d like to take a look at how we can learn some elements of our photography and further our craft.
It seems that every time I close my eyes, Godox releases a new product. Their array of hot-shoe flashes, portable strobes, modifiers, and other flash gear seems to have no end. The great thing about a company like this with a fast product cycle is that technology develops very quickly. Starting with basic flash triggers just a few years ago, Godox now offers multiple solutions and supports TTL and HSS technologies for all major brands. Their new Godox XPro trigger series is no exception, with versions for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm already on the market. Let’s take a look at the Fujifilm version of the trigger today, the Godox XPro-F.
With the advent of digital cameras, drones, the Internet, and social media, video has become much more a part of every facet of advertising and our general content consumption. Even Fstoppers began by sharing behind-the-scenes videos of photographers at work to inspire and educate people all around the world. Everywhere you look, now, video is always present. Today's behind-the-scenes video comes to you from Parker Walbeck, the guy responsible for flying the LG V30 on top of a Red Weapon to compare the video output. In this video, he takes us on a real-estate video shoot and walks us through his gear and process.
As I head into the new year of photography, I’ve taken the opportunity to think a lot about composition and how it relates to my photography and to photography as a whole. It is true that every picture has a composition, whether the creator intended it or not. Some spend much of their time thinking on how to compose, others do it instinctively, and others pay very little heed to it. Whatever your approach is, your photographs do have a composition, and it is worth considering how it affects the way your images are interpreted.
Earlier this week, Fstoppers creators Patrick Hall and Lee Morris posted a tongue-in-cheek video that mocked photographers’ very real lust for the perfect bag. I hope you all got a great laugh out of that just like I did. We’ve all been in Hall's position, watching a seemingly endless pile of gear come out of someone else’s bag. Today, I thought I’d go through the five bags I use on a regular basis for both my work in Seoul and my travel work.
As photographers, a common rhetoric we hear is about finding our style. We are to consider so many technical aspects like lighting, lenses, color grading, and choice of palette. On some platforms, these aspects have become more important than the content of the images themselves. However, there are so many other aspects of photography, and every genre of photography has its own set of considerations. In this talk for TEDx Chattanooga, Photojournalist Billy Weeks discusses the role of the photographer in an area of photography that is often thought to be objective in nature.
Food photography is ever present in our society. From billboard advertising to culinary magazines and, let's not forget, Instagram. Of course, the photography found in these mediums varies in style and quality depending on its intended audience but, in general, the goal is to make food look pleasing to the viewer. In this concise clip, LensProToGo gives us a long list of actionable tips to improve our food photography.
Today, I’d like to take a look at the X1T trigger from Godox specifically as it pertains to their Fujifilm version. The unit is also offered with compatibility for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus cameras. I have experience with the Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm versions of this and will give my experience with it on Fujifilm cameras today.
Over the past few years, Zhongyi Optics have introduced several lenses in their Mitakon “Speedmaster” series of reasonably-priced, well-constructed, super-fast manual focus lenses. The 35mm f/0.95 Mark II lens falls straight into that category. We’ll be looking at the Fujifilm mount version, but this lens is also available for EOS-M and Sony E cameras. So, let’s get into it and look at sharpness, build quality, and, of course, bokeh.
We have a lot to be thankful of as photographers. We make our livings doing the things we love. Clients hire us to create images because they love what we do. They entrust their most precious moments to us, and believe that we will deliver. Personally, I have photography to thank for the fact that I am able to live in another country, travel the world, and meet everyone from farmers in remote villages to presidents of entire countries. The diverse work that I do gives me experiences that not too many people have. So why is it that every winter I dig deep into the recesses of my soul and question who I am and why I do what I do? Why do I always want to quit?
As a newcomer to drones and drone photography, it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning. Learning all there is to know about maneuvering your new toy through the air is enough to give you a few grey hairs before you even get it off the ground. Once you’re up there, you better believe there’s some extra tension in your muscles the first few times you fly. Once you finally get the hang of this element, it’s about time to start learning how to make great images or videos from this new perspective you’ve gained. That’s a whole new set of complications for you to deal with. It might seem cool just to have that new viewpoint for a while, but you’ll soon be wanting more. Thomas Heaton addresses that in this video about composing from the sky.
Import and culling have always been two of the most time consuming and, frankly, annoying parts of Adobe Lightroom. Despite all of its improvements over the years, the process of getting files into Lightroom has remained a huge bottleneck in an otherwise swift workflow application. With Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe finally made a full attempt to address this by allowing us to use the embedded previews from our raw files as previews for culling within the app and improved the overall speed of adding files to the catalog. So, what’s changed, and just how useful are those changes?
I’ve written before about the elements of a good image for the sake of the image, and just recently about how pouring yourself into your own development will result in stronger photography. There’s one element that both of these fail to touch on. There is one element that strongly separates those who produce lasting images that their clients love and those who produce a one-off hit that gets forgotten days hence. That element is a deeper connection to the subject, a knowledge of it, an ability to express it that nobody else has. This is a connection between yourself and that subject, a mutual understanding that results in unique and beautiful images.
Reproducible photography started with forms that would produce a monochromatic image. For a large portion of the history of the medium, this was all we had. Color photography brought about a choice as to which you would like to use, and over time it became the dominant choice of consumers and professionals alike. Even so, in the art world it persisted for much longer as the choice of the artist and right up to the overwhelming force of digital, dozens of different black and white films were still in production. As digital photographers, we have the choice, most of us after the fact, to make a black and white conversion of our files. Today, I’d like to talk about my thought process when it comes to making the decision to go black and white.
A near-ubiquitous access to digital photography and a connection to the rest of the world has given this generation of humans unprecedented ability to share a heavily curated lifestyle with the world and vicariously live the lives of others. Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms offer a way to share only what you want with the world. Nobody needs to see anything outside the frame you present. The image and the story you tell are all that matters in a world where people cannot see outside your post. But just what is happening outside that post? What impact does it have on the world at large?
Photography, as with any creative pursuit, requires the creator to have their hand in the process for the results to shine. Countless Facebook ads, online workshops, and even our camera companies would have you believe that they if you just buy that next magic bullet, everything will change for you. If they are to be believed, swiping your credit card just one more time is the key to making great images. Rubbish. It’s time to break away from that thought.
The concept of a portrait lens has always baffled me. When I first started out in photography, reading the Internet and listening to other photographers would have led me to believe that I needed something around the 85mm or 135mm focal lengths if I wanted to photograph a person. Anything else wouldn’t work. Well, that simply isn’t true, is it? Any lens can be used as a portrait lens. In fact, the moment you photograph the likeness of a person with it, it becomes a portrait lens. So why not experiment using different lenses in your portraiture?
Two weeks ago, I wrote about using the Fujifilm GFX 50S as a travel camera. As part of that article, I touched briefly on using it for portraiture. I also touched briefly on using the GF 110mm f/2 lens and a few autofocus issues that I had. Today, I would like to dive a little deeper into using this camera for portraiture and my experience with it. We’ll take a look at focusing, sharpness, skin tones, working with flash, and handholding the camera. Finally, I’ll wrap up by giving you my personal feelings about the camera and whether or not it could be an effective portrait camera.