Alan Steadman

Articles by Alan Steadman

5 Toys and Tricks to Improve Your Light Painting

It's easy to plateau when you're experimenting with light painting photography, and as a result, this fun genre can often turn into a flash in the pan hobby.

And so, in order to help sustain your interest in what I think is a worthwhile endeavor and an under appreciated form of photography, I've decided to provide a few of the toys and tricks I've picked up in my experiences. These are things that have helped respire my interest in the past. Hopefully they'll motivate you to continue experimenting as well.

7 Photos that Every Photographer Takes

There are a few photos that every photographer takes in their lifetime. It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from, you've taken these photos or will take them one day in the future. They're mostly tired shots we're all probably best avoiding, yet none of us can. Even having read this, someday you'll catch yourself mid click, snapping off one of these photos.

Yes, much like the proverbial photographic flame to our poor, moth-like eyeballs, these photos have an allure we can't deny. No matter how self-aware or disciplined we are, we'll forever be incapable of escaping the seven photos every photographer takes.

Interview with Action Sports Photographer Gabe L’Heureux

Gabe L'Heureux isn't just one of the busiest men in the business, take one look through his work and you'll quickly realize he's one of the best. His photos expertly showcase stunning forces of nature and athletes brave enough to endure them. Yet, despite the rugged qualities of his subject matter, his work tends to have an ethereal quality to it, lending a particular brand of beauty to the harsh environments he captures.

It's this rare ability to capture the balance of violence and elegance that has earned Gabe jobs with the likes of Oakley, Target, ESPN and Red Bull, just to name a few. And this is all on top of his normal gig as senior photographer/team manager for Burton Snowboards.

We were recently lucky enough to catch up with Gabe during a brief break between trips to see how his year has started off.

Get Educated: Recommended Projects and Tutorials

As with most fields that are technology driven, in photography, if you don't keep moving you'll quickly find yourself dead in the water. This is why seasoned pros and amateur hobbyists alike should always be learning and expanding their abilities. It's really the only way to stay competitive. And I don't even mean that in a financial sense, I mean that just in terms of your skill set.

A Quick Word On Photography Etiquette

Let me start this off by saying that one of my biggest pet peeves is inconveniencing people, or being inconsiderate to those around me. I've always hated the idea of being a burden on others, and thus, I often go above and beyond to avoid being a nuisance to anyone around me.

As a result though, I also hate it when other people are inconsiderate around me, or to me directly. In my opinion it shows a serious level of self absorption that is often quite literally outright offensive.

All that said, as a photographer, it can be hard not to be invasive of people around you and thus this little pet peeve of mine can often be at odds with the job at hand.

9 [More] Adventure Sports Photographers You Need to Check Out

In my last post, I said that Adventure Photography doesn't get much attention; however, based on all of your feedback and reactions it seems I may have been mistaken. Perhaps it's just quiet attention? Regardless, I wanted to go ahead and compile a second list because, as I said in the first post (and as many of you pointed out) there were clearly some people missing.

This happened for a number of reasons, the most common being limited communication due to shoot schedules. But now, with a little more time for people to respond, I've been able to rectify the problem and include a lot of the great photographers that got left out the first time. So without further ado, here are nine more adventure sports photographers you should check out.

My New Years Resolutions: Simple Enough to Stick to, Helpful Enough to be Beneficial

New Year's resolutions can be very bittersweet. Everybody loves the sweet sensation of starting off a new year fresh, cleaned of your bad habits and motivated to charge in with high hopes and grand goals. But unfortunately there's that slight bitter taste as well. It's that knowledge that we often shoot too high and end up falling flat on our faces and that this year likely won't be any different.

We'll find reasons or excuses to cheat on our resolutions; or worse, we'll just forget about them. Often, our unrealistic expectations are to blame for our failure, so with that in mind I've listed some of my personal, photography oriented resolutions for the coming year that I think are simple enough to stick to, but helpful enough to be beneficial. Hopefully they'll provide some inspiration for you as well.

Finding the Silver Lining: Why It’s Actually a Great Time to Be a Photographer

Over the years I've tried to get better about reflecting on my work and life at the end of each year. Sure lots of people will claim to do this, but that usually just boils down to reviewing their Facebook page for a quick ego boost.

I'm talking about going in-depth. Go pull up those photos you loved at the beginning of the year and try looking at them again with a newly critical eye, do it when you're free of the fresh-born-photo sentimentality all photographer's (and really artists in general) suffer from. Try to figure out what went wrong in your failed work and what went right (purposefully or accidental) in the work that turned out good. Regardless of the conclusions you arrive at I can guarantee you'll be a better photographer as a result.

An Intro to Adventure Sports Photography: 10 Photographers You Need to Check Out

Adventure Sports Photography often doesn't get a lot of attention in the photography world. While street, portrait, and wedding photography seem to reign supreme, this small genre is usually only appreciated in the respective sports it covers.

Which is really quite sad since it showcases some of the most amazing photographers working today. Not only are they able to compose and capture stunning shots, but they often do so in the worst conditions imaginable.

How Important is Style in Photography?

First, I'd like to start this article off with a little bit of a warning. This post is primarily aimed at people just starting to get into photography or people just beginning to make the jump from hobbyist to professional. That said, hopefully there's something below that can be appreciated by photographers of all levels.

Now, lets talk about style a little bit.

How to Jump Start Your Motivation

No matter how much energy you have going into a project, it's likely that at some point you'll run out of steam. When you're hours in to editing your photos and are beginning to have an existential crisis about the real meaning of the words "tone curve," you'll suddenly stop and wonder why you're doing this in the first place.

Then the next day, when it's time to return to editing, you'll stare blankly at your computer screen or come up with any number of excuses or tasks that will prevent you from getting started.

The Eight Different Types of Photographers You’ll Find in the Wild

One of the joys of photography is the interesting cast of characters you meet along the way. I'm not talking about the subject's you're shooting here, I'm talking about the other photographers you'll run in to.

No matter how many different personalities you come across though, you'll eventually start to notice recurring themes. A cast of familiar characters if you will. Today, in order to lighten things up a little, we'll explore a few of those different characters. Here are 8 different types of photographers you'll run into in your life:

The Value of Reaching Out and Forming Photographer Communities

Being a photographer can sometimes be a lonely prospect. Even photographers that often work with people as subjects or on crowded streets will have to put in countless hours alone, editing their work. This fact only makes it even more important for photographers to actively reach out and form communities, if not for the sake of their work then at least for the sake of their social lives and sanity.

When Being a Good Photographer Isn’t Enough

I've met a lot of bitter photographers over the years, especially as high-end cameras have become cheaper and more accessible. They complain that Photographer A gets more work than Photographer B even though Photographer B's work is clearly better; or that Photographer C doesn't get any work even though their work is the best of the three (Side Note: often times the photographer complaining IS Photographer C).

What these people don't realize is that, sadly, success often has little to do with talent and a lot more to do with personality. I don't mean that you have to be likable either, there are a ton of successful people that could easily be described as horrible human beings. What I mean is that you have to be motivated, unafraid and adventurous.

When You SHOULD Do Work for Free

Whenever somebody asks me if they should take a free job I answer with a resounding, no. Don't do it. Just don't. It should be a hard and fast rule in your book: do not work for free! That said, everybody breaks the rules, especially their own. Case in point, I just came off of a job this past weekend where, you guessed it, I worked for free.

So since me sitting here and lecturing you about why you shouldn't work for free would be a big waste of everybody's time, especially having just taken a free job myself, lets instead go ahead and look at when, perhaps, just maybe, you should at least consider working for free.

10 Amazing Light Painting Photographers You Should Start Following Right Now

Light Painting goes as far back as Pablo Picasso, and since the true formation of the medium with pioneers such as Dean Chamberlain, Eric Staller and Vicki DaSilva, there has been a mass of people trying their hand at the world of light painting photography. The advent of the digital camera and the popularity of DSLRs has only made this number grow exponentially.

In this sudden growth and glut of people experimenting -- and I include myself as part of that "glut" so please don't be offended or discouraged -- it can sometimes be difficult to find those truly special artists who are expanding the medium and taking it to the next level. Luckily, I'm here to help. Here are 10 amazing light painting artists you need to check out:

6 Tips for Effectively Shooting Behind The Scenes

In my experience there seems to be a common misconception that shooting production photography and behind the scenes videos/documentaries are an easy task. While it's true that these sometimes don't require the normal spit and polish, photographers are used to, especially in terms of video work, I can assure you they're no walk in the park.

As is the case any time you're working around high level talent, or even low level talent for that matter, there's still plenty that could go wrong. A lesson I quickly found out as I started shooting behind the scenes videos a few years ago.

When Perfect Isn’t Perfect or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blur

Quite a few years ago I took a solo trip down to Key West, FL. It was the first time I had gone on a vacation by myself, and since I was free of the distraction of friends and family, I decided it would make a great opportunity to expand upon my photography skills.

You see, the trip was shortly after I had decided to take this whole photography hobby of mine seriously. I had worked with video for years but now I wanted to work on becoming a good photographer as well, not just one that took as many photos as possible and then looked for the three good ones out of the hundreds shot (seriously, it's a horrible method and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody).

5 People Doing Time-Lapse Photography Right

Every day it feels like there are another hundred or so timelapses posted online. While some of this is just the illusion of more exposure and access caused by the Internet, some of it is definitely real. The abundance of rapidly evolving technology and constantly dropping DSLR prices have created the perfect atmosphere for even the least experienced photographers to churn out a decent timelapse. And while some people will complain about this fact, it's really just the natural order of things.