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Spencer Lookabaugh
Columbus, OH

Articles written by Spencer Lookabaugh

In Defense of the Profoto B10

Listen, I know what you're all thinking. "Whoa, it looks cool. The modeling light is even bi-color. But it costs how much?" I get it, but bear with me.

Have Canon and Nikon Lost Their Minds?

2018 has been quite a year for new equipment releases. We’ve seen Sony’s impressive a7 III, the Nikon Z6/7, and now the Canon EOS R, among many others. Specifically, these new mirrorless cameras continue to bring up one question for me, and that is: have we lost our minds?

What Will the Nikon Mirrorless Camera Mean?

All I’ll say, is that I owned the original a7 and it kinda sucked. Is Nikon going to get it right the “first” time? Or will next week's supposed announcement of the Z-series cameras begin a long cycle of trying to one up themselves while trying to keep up with the major mirrorless players?

Why a Video Project Might Make You a Better Creative

Way back when the Canon T3i was the camera to have, I dabbled in video just enough to get frustrated and quit. Years later and after a lot of trial and error, I’ve made the switch almost entirely to creating short films and commercial work. Here are the big takeaways from my experience.

Creating an Early 20th Century Style Portrait

With modern cameras having incredible resolution and dynamic range, we all obsess over sharpness and the tonality of our images and how flexible the raw files are. But when broken down, what really makes a good portrait? Is it the perfect focus on the eye or a subtle transition of highlight to shadow from a massive softbox? As with all things, what defines a good portrait can go out of style. This was an interesting wake up call when a friend asked me to create an early 20th century style portrait of him.

How To Create a Portrait Composite

In various forms of photography, being able to composite several photos into one final image is an important skill set. In the world of portraiture, composites are often used to create group shots in which the lighting situation is difficult or not every subject of the photo is available at one given time. Here I’ll show my process for blending several shots of people into a final image.

Planning and Executing Impromptu Location Portraits

I recently travelled to the local racetrack with my brother for an open track day and decided that while he was out riding, I would try to make a few portraits of the other attending riders. I spent plenty of time ahead of the trip planning lighting, gear, locations, and more. This is a step by step walkthrough of how I created this series of portraits.

One of the Best Wireless Flash Solutions for Fuji Shooters

Fuji is, at this point, the last major manufacturer to not have TTL, high-speed sync, and wireless control support from most major lighting manufacturers. Profoto and Elinchrom have now made wireless remotes specific to Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus. Fuji, even with their new medium-format monster, the GFX 50s, has yet to get such love from the lighting community. While I can imagine that something is in the pipeline from these manufacturers for Fuji, nothing is certain and many of us need something to work with right now. Enter the Nissin Air system.

Does Shooting Film Make You a Better Photographer?

The film versus digital debate has raged on for over a decade now. Digital cameras are so capable that it seems silly for anyone to go back to an archaic medium like film. Film is slow, expensive (sort of), lacks many game-changing features found in today's digital cameras, and has lower resolution (sort of). But it has some qualities to it that make it an entirely viable medium for working photographers and enthusiasts alike. One of which that I firmly believe in is that it will make you a better photographer.

Father and Son Project 'Small Steps Are Giant Leaps' Photo Series

Almost every photographer has created some sort of personal project in their time. In fact, many photographers’ work is comprised entirely of personal projects. Rarely though do I see projects that are truly personal. I mean that in the sense of their projects having a real emotional connection to the photographer that easily shows through in their images. Small Steps Are Giant Leaps, a father/son project started by photographer Aaron Sheldon and his son Harrison, is one of those projects.

PDN's 'The Look' Contest Is Now Open

Are you a fashion or beauty photographer looking to get your work out into the world? Well PDN (Photo District News) is at it again with their annual fashion and beauty contest. The Look is a contest, open to anyone, that aims to showcase the most talented fashion and beauty images from around the world. Entries are now open and running until June 8th, 2017.

First Impressions of Clay Cook's Fashion and Editorial Portrait Photography Tutorial

Fstoppers is at it again with another amazing tutorial. This time, Clay Cook is bringing his talent as an advertising and editorial photographer to the table. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Cook has worked for a variety of local, national, and international clients. However, his work all maintains a common visual style regardless of the end publication, whether it be printed in The Voice of Louisville or used globally by ESPN. Fashion and Editorial Portrait Photography brings you Cook’s start to finish workflow, including his process of working with a retoucher, to show you how you can create similar, amazing images using these techniques.

Creating a More Natural Looking Light With Flash

There’s no phrase I dislike more in the photo world than "I’m a natural light photographer." Believe me, I love natural light more than anything. It’s simple and easy to work with, and you don’t need to worry about bringing a ton of gear with you. But very rarely will just unmodified natural light work. It’s the unfortunate truth of photography (unless you’re a landscape photographer, you lucky bastards). Most photographers will use a flash to do what natural light can’t. Sadly, many don’t use it to great effect. If you want your portraits, or any image with mixed lighting to look better, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re on location.

Five Tips for Beginning Cinematographers

Like many photographers during the digital revolution, the idea of being able to capture high-quality video with my stills camera has always been enticing. Filmmaking is a different way to tell a story entirely, because of the addition of context. While a still photograph can certainly be moving, influential, and captivating, a motion picture allows for the beginning, middle, and end of a story to be shown in a constant visual style.

Fstoppers Interviews Dave Hill, Professional Commercial Photographer

I started my journey in photography back in 2011. Since then, there are only a handful of photographers that I have really paid attention to in terms of actively keeping up with their work. One of those photographers is Commercial Photographer Dave Hill. His work has taken a more drastic turn in just a few years than any photographer that I’ve followed. That’s one of many reasons that I reached out to Hill to chat about his work and photography.

Why Every Photographer Should Own a Light Meter

While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.

An Owner's Review of the Mamiya 645AFD

This is more or less the camera that started film photography for me. Since developing an appreciation for Joey L’s work, I wanted to shoot medium format. The focus falloff and rendering was just so surreal compared to full-frame and crop-sensor cameras that I had been shooting with. Unfortunately, the cost of entry was a little steep for a digital back. After doing some research I stumbled upon film 645 cameras. And so it began.

An Excellent Rant on Photography That Matters

Many of you are familiar with Ted Forbes and his popular YouTube channel, "The Art of Photography." Personally, I’ve always appreciated his candid nature and helpful attitude towards anyone and everyone on their photographic journeys. From his videos covering various film cameras to the philosophy of certain photographic pioneers, he has produced some incredibly helpful, honest content. Furthering that, his newest video tackles the idea of creating photographs or a body of work that has lasting importance.

Why I'm Starting a 365 Day Project in 2017

I’ll admit that I’m in a creative rut. And like any photographer that feels frustrated, there’s only one thing to do: go in a different direction. For well over a year I’ve been shooting hardly anything besides studio portraits. While I love that genre and the work that I’ve created in that time, I feel like my work has hit a wall creatively. After watching several photographers and filmmakers doing these a-photo-a-day projects, I decided to give it a go in 2017.