Personalise Your Photographs – Enjoy Your Photography More

Modern Digital Cameras are remarkable in that they can help you to take photographs that are almost perfect in a technical sense. The camera manufacturer has included software in the camera’s ‘brain’ which quickly analyses the picture you are taking, compares the result with it’s built-in library and then gives you what the manufacturer thinks is the perfect result. No matter who is taking the picture with that camera the result will be the same.

Digital cameras all over the world are producing millions and millions of pictures of an ‘acceptable’ standard based on the average results of the calculations of the camera manufacturers.

But, what if you are not content to be ‘average’? Perhaps you would like to capture images that are ‘your’ images alone. Unlike the images anyone else might take with the identical camera. You would like to be able to use your own creative instincts which would make your photography so much more rewarding than if you simply press the shutter button.

During my courses I have had many people say to me ‘I would love to be able to do creative exposures but I have only got a very basic point and shoot camera.’ There is no such thing! All digital cameras are just amazing in what they can do but most users just accept what they think are the limitations.

Exposure Value Compensation

I have yet to meet a camera, no matter how simple, that does not have this function built in to it. This is a fantastic, easy to use method of personalising your pictures and, judging by people I have had on my courses, I would estimate that over 90% of camera users have not even heard about it, let alone made use of it!

It allows you to adjust the automatic exposure setting of your camera to give you the type of creative exposure that you really want. Making your picture either darker or lighter than the automatic setting can make the world of difference – many times the difference between a snapshot and an excellent, creative image.

Being digital you can immediately see the result on your camera screen and re-adjust your exposure if necessary. This is all part of the fun!

There will either be a +/- button somewhere on the outside of the camera or else it will be easily accessible using the camera menu (read your instruction manual!)

It is really easy to use – if you want the picture to be darker move the pointer to the left and if you want it to be lighter move it to the right. Being digital you can see the effect immediately. It’s that easy to add your input to your pictures!

- = underexpose (darker)

+ = overexpose (lighter)

With some cameras you will have to turn the small dial from ‘A’ for Automatic to ‘P’ for Programme to be able to use Exposure Compensation. Nothing else should change.

Do not forget to switch back to zero!

The EV setting does not self correct when you turn off the camera. Otherwise you may get a lot of images tomorrow which don’t look as you expect them to look!

Don’t hesitate. Take out your camera and experiment with Exposure Value Compensation today. You will be so happy!

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Photographic Image Licensing Explained in 2 Minutes Flat!

So you are hiring a photographer to do some work for you and he/she mentions licensing. What is licensing, why do I have to deal with it and wouldn’t it be easier if we just forgot the whole thing and you just give me the pictures?

Well, the short answer is that there are countless way to use and abuse a photograph that you might never imagine in a 100 years, but U.S. Copyright law is there to protect the artwork’s creator when things get complicated.

Okay, so how do things get complicated?

Let’s imagine you made a lovely painting of your dog. You show your painting at the state fair and it sells for the princely sum of $20. You hear a couple of years later that the painting is hanging over the mantel at the new owner’s house, they love it and enjoy it everyday.

Now, what if you heard that the same couple, took a photo of your painting and shopped it around to the dog food companies, landing a big contract. They licensed your work to be used on dog food bags for 5 million dollars. Well, luckily for you that would be illegal, because you own the “intellectual property” of that painting. Even though you no longer own the physical painting. That is because the artist always owns the copyright to his or her own images. The couple could burn the actual painting or throw it away because they own it, but they cannot transfer the copyright because it was never theirs to sell.

Usually the dog food company would know better than to use an image that they don’t have the rights to use. So, let’s say the dog food company calls you up and wants to use your image, they want a very limited run of dog food bags and offer $500. Then, after you agree to the terms they decide to use your image for all of their products, a national ad campaign, billboards and every single dog food bag they make. They also decide that they already paid you so there will be no additional payment. Again, luckily for you, the dog food company didn’t buy the copyright. They simply paid for a usage license specific to their needs. If the company decided to use your image on a big campaign then you would license your image based on how much use the image will get.

So what did we learn? First, the artist keeps the copyright for their creative work, and as such, the artist can go on to sell prints or license that very same image. Second, if you buy an image there is no transfer of copyright implied, so you can’t share it with other businesses because it is not yours to give. Third, licensing is how you go about getting images for use in advertising, and the licensing is tailored to the way the image will be used.

So who wins when images are licensed for use? Everyone, the current system insures that images cannot be exploited by a third party, the artist gets paid for their work and the client pays only for what they need.

Promote Your Business With Professional Product Photography

Strong visuals lend an edge to marketing and advertising campaigns. An image can say a thousand words with great recall value. Catchy images can attract better than a tag line, offer visual cues and greater detail that can be seen and understood. Photography is all about being creative. Creativity really has no borders, different combinations offer opportunities for the best images. Here is how you can drive sales higher with creative images of your products.

Showcase details and finish quality of products
Photography offers businesses the option of showcasing the finer details of products. Of great importance to clients is the need to see up and close the finish quality of products that are offered online. For instance, a simple coffee mug, photographed with the right lighting and background will highlight the finish quality and create a desire in the minds of the shopper to add it to the cart.

The right backdrop can elevate image quality
Picture a genuine leather bag on a small rock beside a little creek of clear water flowing softly. The bag portrays many characteristics in one frame. It portrays through images that the quality of the leather bag will see it through different climates. The right contrast and backdrop makes products appear interesting. Contrast this with an uninspiring plain white backdrop, and you would understand the difference. However, it needs to be noted that e-commerce sites insist on a white background for products.

High resolution images that offer better images even when zoomed in
Photographs of products and catalogued listed in websites and e-commerce sites are expected to offer great resolution when zoomed in. This can only be achieved by relying on the right equipment to capture high resolution images. Without exception, customers choosing products online, zoom in on product images, regardless of brand and model. It is therefore important to capture images that offer zoom in.

Multiple angles for a better appraisal and appreciation
Products need to be ideally pictured in various angles. Shoppers look for clear pictures of products in various angles. A frontal view of a chair, for instance will tell very little about incline angle and depth. Therefore look for appropriate angles. Of great importance is the need for maintaining equal distance between camera and products. This is because two different images of the same product, from different distances will actually present a skewed image of the product.

Proper lighting to ensure closest reproduction
It is important that the lighting chosen for the shoot, should never affect the appearance of the product. Some products appear different when exposed to different kinds of lighting. While it is a fact that it is impossible to prevent change in colour and texture during reproduction through image capture, it is necessary to ensure that the captured images are as close as possible to the original artefact.

Product photography is an important aspect of promotion of products. Visual ads have been proven to be effective for most products as they actually need very little to explain a picture.