Digital Photography Tips – Get the Lighting Right

No matter how amazing your camera is, there is not much you can do about poor lighting unless you know what you are doing. I am going to show you a few lighting tips that will boost your digital photography skills to the next level and surely prevent some anxiety for you in the future. Placement is perhaps the most important factor in getting the lighting just right for your digital photos. If you are using artificial lighting, make sure that you never put the light behind the subject as this will cause a nasty glare in your pictures. The best place for lighting is either behind the photographer or on the sides and a little bit in front of the subject. Halogen lamps usually do a fine job, you shouldn’t need any more than five hundred watts.

When using a backdrop, it is probably the best idea to use a light colored one. Black and other very dark colors tend to absorb most of the light. White would be the best color, but other light colors work fine as well. You can achieve a white backdrop by simply taping a white sheet or blanket onto the wall behind the person or thing you are photographing. As long as the borders of it don’t show up in the picture, no one will be able to tell. However, your picture will look sharp and clear.

Be wary of shadows, too much light can cause overbearing shadows. If you have too little light, the photo will be too dark to see the subject. When it comes to digital cameras, most of the time the picture in the view finder looks brighter than the photo when it actually comes out. This is where testing and repetition come in. With digital cameras, you don’t have to worry about wasting money on film — you can simply delete the photos you don’t like and continue to snap away.

These are only a few things you can do to improve the lighting in your digital photos. On my blog, I review a guide that is probably the best digital photography resources around.

Blog Marketing To Bloggers – A New Online Business Niche Market!

Marketing aimed especially at bloggers who want to build a
readership: will this become a specific niche of internet
marketing?

Internet marketing is a generic term for the whole scope
of marketing targeted for online business owners and
webmasters which until now has rarely been very specific
in its application. But today, with the new widespread
interest in blogging and the wonderful social bookmarking
phenomenon, a new specific breed of internet marketing
is called for! And so I am advocating “Blog Marketing”!

What is Blog Marketing exactly?

Marketing specifically given to solving the problems facing the
blogger. Which are? Well, say you get your new blog up and
running: it is to be about cat breeds. You have two pedigree
cats and you want to tell the world about them and so you opt
for the general niche of Cat Breeds, with the intention of
sneaking in lots of neat amusing anecdotes on your two cats,
lots of interaction between cat-lovers, a directory of breeders,
photos of pedigree cats, and not least, to promote a few ebooks
devoted to cats.

You spend a little time creating your first ten posts, you add
some sidebars, you’re ready to roll out your blog to the world,
both cat-loving and cat-hating, and even cat-indifferent!
And what happens then? Nothing. No one visits your blog,
no one comments on your blog, no one knows your blog exists.
You want to cure the “nothing” scenario? So this is where Blog

Marketing comes along for you!

You need to communicate with cat-lovers everywhere that
your blog is up and running and requires readership! You
could start by emailing cat breeders and cat breed sites asking
for advice, material to post, a directory of breeders, photos.
Tell them your aims, ask them to get involved. Do they have a
list of cat-lovers? How can you tap into that list? Can you pay
to run a solo ad to the list? Can you swap anything for the use
of the list, perhaps free advertising or article posting upon
your blog pages?

Try a few simple small inexpensive ads offline: classifieds
in local and national ad newspapers, cat magazines and
similar. Proclaim your blog to be a meeting of the minds
for cat afficiendos! Have an opt in box at the top of your
blog page to capture readers’ names and emails so you can
build a list of cat-lovers, email them a weekly newsletter, say,
and occasionally promote ebooks and other services of interest.

You may even narrow this niche down to just one or two breeds!
I would prefer to target pedigrees in general so as to enjoy a
wider audience for my newsletter promotions. Have some cartoons
on your blog. Vet numbers. “How To” and “Did You Know” and
feature a breeder weekly. Have lush photos and cute stories!
Consider some low priced Google AdWords advertising which can
be very effective in this type of niche, especially if you
promote your blog as an authority: “The Balinese Breeders
Blog” for instance, or “Cat Lovers Get It Here Blog”!

Search online for other blogs, either devoted to cats or
something along the lines of Pedigree dogs, birds, fish
even! Rabbits, coveys: advertise and article swap with these.
Build a community of like minded blogs! Keep it interactive.
We don’t want closet blogging! Open your doors and proclaim
your blog to the world at large!

So these are some initial ideas I have for a very specific animal
lovers’ niche blog, and of course you can work along similar
lines whatever your subject of interest. I would like to say
especially: do keep posting regularly, at least twice weekly,
even if on random days and short posts. Keep up-to-date and
keep the flow going. Social bookmark a short synopsis of your
post to various web 2.0 websites. Take a few moments to read
other blogs and comment on them. Show an interest. Blog
marketing is interactive internet marketing! There are no hard
and fast rules: blogging is developing all the time. But be
imaginative, be innovative and be creative! Aim to stand out
from the crowd. Propel your blog onwards and upwards by
sheer courage, boldness, wit and ingenuity! Because
blogging is you! Blogging is you expressing your thoughts
and ideals to the world. And we love you for it!

Enjoy great success in your blog marketing!

How to Start a Fine Art Photography Business

The definition of fine art, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “art concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects”. With such a “wide” definition of “beautiful objects”, the beauty is in the eyes of the photographer. Virtually anything can be fine art, a simple household item such as a fork, a nude body, travel, landscape, wildlife, a landscape. Not everyone will agree on what constitutes fine art, many years ago I was awed by the sight of the Sydney Opera House, and thought it was the most beautiful building In Australia. However I remember thinking that it perfectly complemented Australia, it would look pretty silly in the centre of Madrid. However if you don’t like the Sydney Opera House, then it does not matter how great the photo you are not going to like it. So whatever constitutes Fine Art photography is a pretty subjective decision. School of Photography give you a good idea of what will constitute in their view Fine Art photography.

For many photographers this is an ideal line of work, because it allows you to represent a part of your personality, through your work. It is possible to make a political statement by being a fine arts photographer. A clear analogy here would be the emergence of the acceptance of the gay male in photography, over the last thirty years. In it’s wide ranging definition it is possible to be more creative, and in this creativity be more personal.

There are a lot of resources on the Web regarding fine art. One of the better ones concerning resources and links is http://art-support.com/links.htm There are excellent links to photographers’ web sites, as well as grants available to the photographer. Because the definition of Fine Art photography is so wide, it has perhaps a more specific marketing need. Fortunately there are more ways to market them than just stock photographic galleries It may be advantageous for you to think about engaging the services of a full time sales representative. A sales representative will work with clients in the advertisement industry, the travel industry, and also graphic design firms. The advantage of employing a sales rep is that it leaves you free to create without the hassle of “cold selling”. If you are not a natural salesperson, it may be better for you to consider someone else doing the selling. That person should also be able to evaluate the true value of your work, be experienced enough to know where to get the prices, as well as having a proven track record in negotiating the best prices.

There are other advantages as well. Companies using a wide and diverse range of photographs, such as advertisement agencies, will have more time for a sales rep, who has a large portfolio of work, from different clients, than from one single photographer. By the nature of their work sales reps are normally found in larger cities and towns, they will have a large client base of their own, and will probably promote your work in specialised areas, such as food photographer, or portrait photographer. So how does the relationship work? Normally the sales rep will already have their own business, and they will work for you on a commission only basis. You will pay them approximately 30 percent of the assignment fee, that is the net fee, not the final figure with expenses added on.

How to work out if this relationship will be advantageous to you, balances many factors. If you have developed a highly personalised style as a photographer, then you need to target specific areas to sell the photographs. Perhaps you do not live in a large city and have the right contacts. You have already made a portfolio of work that you would like to specialise in. It may not be cheaper for you to hire a rep, because you may still have to advertise locally to maintain your own business that you have developed, but you are paying a rep on extra sales that you did not have before. It will certainly increase the profitability of your business if you have no time to devote to increasing the number of your clients. You have decided that this path is for you, – how do you go about it. One idea is to investigate the names of the best advertisement agencies nearest to you, your local reference library can be of assistance here, as can yellow pages. You can phone them direct and ask them the names and the contact numbers of their reps. The Writer’s Digest publish an annual “Photographer’s Market Book”, this book now lists photographic reps, and it will also help you market your work with lists of fine art reps, as well as galleries and stock agencies.

However you choose to market your business, the essence of what you need to do is to widen your client base. There is certainly more work in the marketing of certain photographs. However in today’s market place communication is as much as an art as creating the photographs. Not only is it important that you keep abreast with market trends, but you have to be in constant communication with your clients. Certain photographers’ enjoy the “Cut and Thrust” of aggressive marketing. If you don’t, then consider paying someone else to do it for you. Never underestimate the power of marketing, it is a very potent tool to help get your work shown to the people who are most likely to purchase it.

Do you really know as a photographer what you have to sell and it’s value. As a freelancer you can learn a great deal from advertising clients, They determine a niche for the product and then work on it’s development to promote it. A product is always promoted with a very specific client in mind. You must know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. For instance if you have a passion for taking seascapes, then it is pointless to advertise yourself as a portrait photographer. You need to find a way of getting your unique photographs to where they are going to maximise your profit.

Ways to Improve the Way You Do Photography

There are many resources out there to learn and improve the way you do photography. Websites, books, courses, guidelines, rules, tips, tutorials, your name it, there out there and they are a good source of information. All this information is useless if you do not apply it and know what to do with it. In this article I want to share with you what has helped me improve and become a better photographer.

First of all get to know your camera. Your camera is your most important photography tool and if you do not know how and where to find the different settings that all those resources talk about then you will not learn how to use it. Learn where everything is, how to change the settings, and what the numbers in your camera mean, what to press and when to press it. The camera will not do the job for you if you do not manage it. So make the camera work for you, become its best friend, treat it right and take care of it. When you know your camera you will be on your way to improving the way you do photography.

You cannot take shot after shot in auto mode and expect great results. Learn new things. Try new things. Experiment with new settings and new guidelines that you read about in all the resources mentioned above. As you progress and try new things you will be learning and improving the way you do photography. In photography there is always something new to learn, when you do – try it out. Trying new things will take you to the next step and will also make you curious about learning more photography techniques.

One other step in your learning process is to shoot, shoot and shoot more. The more you shoot the more proficient you get at it. The more you shoot the more you learn about your camera, its settings and different techniques. Reading a book will make you learn something new, but if you do not practice it and experiment with it, soon you will forget it. Spend time capturing images of the same object over and over again from different angles and with different settings. After every photo shoot, go over your photos, see what you like, what causes an impression on you or others. Review what you did to get to those results and then practice even more with those same settings.

In any activity you do in life, before getting better at it your need to work hard on it. Why would photography be different? Figure out what you need to improve at, do some research and work on it. It is very good if you write a list of things that you do not feel confident about. When you have your list, concentrate on one item at a time. Spend time practicing, go over your results, doing research and learning from it so that you can improve your photography. When you think you have reach the results you wanted, scratch it out and go to the next item on your list. Practice makes perfect.

In the digital age of photography it is very easy to take many pictures of the same subject, review them and delete the ones you do not like. Hold on and do not do that immediately. Take a good look at the images that you do not like, analyze them and figure out what it is that you do not like about them. If you find things that repeat themselves over and over again then it is time to add them to your list.

Another great way to improve your photography is to give yourself homework. Challenge yourself, set deadlines and go out and make sure you practice more and work only on the topic that you assigned yourself. Define what you need to work on, set a topic and work only on it.

Another important point is to learn to receive feedback and positive criticism of your work. Let other photographers tell you what they think about your art. Either find photographers that are willing to tell you what they like or dislike about your images or simply post your images on the Internet and let people tell you what they think. There are some specialized websites that will criticize your photography and will give you tips to improve the work you are showcasing. Photographers are also doing the same thing as you so do not get feedback only from them, ask around, friends, family, co-workers, and others, ask what they think you will be surprise about their answers, but it will certainly help you improve.

Photography takes time and dedication. If you really want to improve, and not necessarily to become a professional photographer, do not give up, practice and learn, you will improve the way to capture images.