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Fred van Leeuwen
Cape Town, ZA

Articles written by Fred van Leeuwen

5 Reasons Why Filters Matter: A Review of NiSi's Long-Exposure Circular Filter Kit

When it comes to photography, there are a few fundamental basics one needs to cover before shooting. Besides needing a camera, decent battery life, and a reliable and solid support system, you need filters to combat the daylight sun's harshness, introduce contrast, remove the annoying infrared noise, and polarize the sky or any reflections. Some filters also allow you to create those beautiful, abstract, long-exposure, misty seascapes with streaky clouds overhead.

Anamorphic on a Budget? A Review of Sirui's 50mm f/1.8 Anamorphic Lens

During World War I, French astronomer Henri Chrétien developed a wide-angle viewer for tank operators, enabling the crew members to see a 180-degree view of the battleground. His invention wasn't used in the cinema until after the war in 1927 when director Claude Autant-Lara decided to use it for his film, "To Build a Fire." Sadly, this invention was only picked up again over twenty years later when Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the rights to the Cinemascope Widescreen Aspect Ratio technique.

What I've Learned From Starting a YouTube Channel

As photographers, it's vital not to keep all our eggs in one basket, but to expand our means of income by setting up different revenue streams, one of the most popular of those streams being YouTube. But is it still possible to make money from it in 2020?

How to Feel Fulfilled by Your Work: Shoot for Yourself First

Around four months ago, amidst a harsh lockdown here in South Africa, I moved from the big city to a small coastal town, Betty's Bay, nestled between the Overberg mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. There was no work coming in, and there was no budget to rent additional gear for any shoots. It was worrying, but on the upside, I had to do something to occupy my mind and pass the time, and luckily, I had my camera to shoot while I wait. What followed was two months of intense filming and editing for my first narrative short film.

Learn to Tell a Story Through the Use of Color

Since the introduction of color in film, photographers and filmmakers have been using it to subconsciously tell a story, to make the viewer of a photographer or film feel a certain way, or to further elaborate on a story. How do we, as photographers and filmmakers, use color to our advantage and utilize the full potential without going overboard?

Save Time by Creating a Time-Lapse in Photoshop

Creating a time-lapse can be one of the most time-consuming practices in photography. Due to the nature of time-lapse, you spend a while finding a suitable composition, set up your camera and wait.

Filmmaker Creates Inspiring Shortfilm by Himself During Quarantine

This year has forced many photographers and filmmakers to take an extended break from their day jobs and stay home. The newfound stresses that come with quarantine have left a lot of us uninspired, while others have used this time to pursue projects they couldn't find time for before. One professional filmmaker used his time during quarantine to create a beautiful Sci-Fi short film, from the comfort of his own home.

Getting Started With Macro Photography

The world of macro photography can become endless once you venture down that path. There are so many new textures, creatures, and plants to discover. You can quickly lose hours by photographing the miniature world, but how do you get started?

How to Edit Your First Video in Da Vinci Resolve 16

Da Vinci Resolve is a complete video editor with a full set of tools for editors of any level, which means you can build your videos for YouTube, or a feature film, right here in Resolve.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panoramic Image

I know a lot of us can't go outside right now to shoot panoramas due to quarantines and self-isolation, but perhaps you have some panoramic shots you took months back on a trip somewhere, buried away on a hard drive in the cupboard. Now's a good time to dust them off and get to work!

The Photographer's Guide to Buying Your First Dedicated Video Camera

If you're a photographer interested in exploring video, there is a plethora of options available for you right now. Since the launch of the Canon 5D Mark II around a decade ago, video functionality has been a growing part of every DSLR and mirrorless camera to date. But there's always a trade-off when it comes to hybrid cameras. Here's why you should consider buying a dedicated video camera if you want to diversify your work and make video a dedicated service along with your photography.

Using Lockdown to Improve Your Photography in Five Simple Steps

By now, most of the countries around the world are under full lockdown or about to undergo lockdown. At the time of writing, my country (South Africa) would be one of the latest to undergo lockdown. Tensions seem to increase the day before the actual event, as people question what they'll be doing with themselves while locked in a house for three weeks or longer. Luckily, it doesn't need to be as scary as you think, especially if you're a photographer.

Goodbye Adobe Premiere, Hello Da Vinci Resolve

If you’re a video editor working on Adobe’s Premiere Pro, you’re probably well aware of all the frustrations that come with using Adobe’s answer to video editing daily. The sluggish playback, the generic error issues, random crashes, and in some cases corrupted project files. We’re all well aware of how bloated and buggy this once prized piece of software had become, especially as of late.

How to Shoot and Edit Your Concert Photos

Concerts and events can either be exciting and fun or quite challenging for us photographers due to the low-lit environment and having to share the space with other photographers, all while being crammed into a tight space. Luckily, a little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way to avoid any disasters while shooting.

Is This The Ultimate Portable LED Light?

Light. We see it all around us as billions of photons pass right by us, bouncing against objects like "Punch-Me-Clowns." As photographers, we're obsessed and spend our lives figuring out how to manipulate them, and it could be an exhausting task to pursue, but that's about to change.

Build and Photograph Your Own Miniature Set Using Only Household Items

With the holiday season in full swing during December, I decided to put my camera down and focus on coming up with new ideas and concepts rather than just shooting straight away. Being a big fan of Felix Hernandez Rodriguez and the miniatures he brings to life through his photography, I decided to build my own set and photograph it.

Make Your Instagram Photos Pop Using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

Adjustment Layers are probably one of the most useful, and most used tools in Photoshop. It's one of the best ways to keep a non-destructive editing workflow in place and offers additional features such as blending modes to add exciting effects to your images. With all this in mind, why don't we see how we can use it to make our Instagram images stand out more?

Stop Stressing, Back Up Your Photos Now

When it comes to photography and storing photos on your personal computer, most of us experienced the pain and heartache when you lose some or in worst cases, all the images you've ever taken. It's undoubtedly one of the most unpleasant things we've all had to deal with in our career as photographers and probably the number one cause of heart failure for photographers. While it's easy to fall into the trap of just buying more hard drives as we fill them up, it's probably one of the worst decisions you can make as a photographer. So what exactly is the perfect solution to backing up your images?

Let Your Viewers Curate Your Images, Fstoppers Reviews Cinnac

On an early Friday morning, I receive a call from Dominik Scheffel, the inventor of the app cinnac to discuss the features of the app and how it would benefit photographers like myself. For those of you who aren't familiar with this app, it's an app for photographers, that allows them to upload a set of images for users to review and rate them by either swiping left to downvote or right to upvote. This handy tool makes it easier for photographers to see which images would perform better on other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook before submitting them to those social media platforms.