Monday, 26 October 2009

A big soft box and the latest news!

The other day it was like walking into a studio when I stepped outside my house. It was a very nice thin layer of clouds covering the whole sky, well at least all I could see that is. The light outside was perfect for portraiture. Unfortunately I didn't do any that day but it would have been nice to have the weather on my side for a change compared to harsh sunlight glaring down which we normally have here in Egypt.

Latest news:
Yesterday I sent 9 photographs for printing they will be ready for me to pick up in a few days, they will then be hanging in a hotel as part of a  Photography Exhibition. I am very excited to see what kind of response my pictures will get.

Yesterday I delivered a new DVD Presentation to a company. Its a promotional presentation that promotes their various activities. You should never underestimate the value a TV has in any public space. Most people do not stand or sit and deliberately watch it but when they are waiting for something they do or in passing so you should always make sure that you are showing what ever it is that you have a service or a product in its best light. Potential customers are all around you either they or you know it or not. If you do not have a shop space where you can show case your products I would recommend that you team up with a company that caters for the same clientele but are not a competitor but the both of you rather complement each other so you both see the benefit of the venture so that it is not one sided.

You should always try to find a uniqueness in what you do its always easier to succeed if you have a nish rather than go mainstream where you have to battle with so many others trying to do the same thing.
For instance if you are a child photographer team up with your local baby or kids clothing store. I bet they would love to have great photographs of their new stock in their windows. You take the photographs for them and in turn you get perfect exposure in their windows with your photographs and get to keep marketing flyers in their shop, since they already have a steady clientele coming in you take advantage of their clientele data base. You can even go as far as to do night events together well since this example was for a kids store I'm guessing it would actually be a coffee morning or something similar when the mum's can attend, nights they will be busy tucking their kids into bed. But I hope you understand the idea I am getting at. The possibilities are endless once you brainstorming. Figure out who in your nearest proximity that can benefit from your talent or products that you think can help you in return.

I am also currently working on advertisement for Taba Heights Golf Resort. They have asked me to produce a poster for them. I have already gotten the layout ready in my head I just need to get it down on paper, or should I say in Photoshop... anyway once I sit down it should not take too long for me to finish it.

Last friday I went to El Wekala Street Festival and took photographs of the festivities. I have a client that are looking for photographs of Taba Heights Night Life and its not much happening in Taba Heights in general so when the Street Festival is on its best to be there. But I think I will need to gather some friends to model for me in one of the bars to use as Night Life shots as well.

The other week I received a Thank You card from a wedding that I went to earlier this summer and the couples photograh gave me an idea that I think will work very well for me here in Taba Heights. The photograph is the same size as a normal postcard (15x10cm) it is printed on normal fuji photo paper the same kind that I can print on here in Sharm. The photographer had added a white border and had her signature on it and looked very elegant. Since they are so small they do not cost much to print and therefore does not have to be so expensive for the client to purchase them. So rather than going for a limited edition type then go for quantity but still of course quality you should never cut corners when it comes to quality and photographs it will come and bite you in the but sooner or later. Since you as a photographer will always be relying the most on word of mouth and peoples experience with you. So a bad experience with a print or anything can harm you long term.
An artist friend of mine that often has gallery exhibitions said that his best seller of any exhibition he did was always the post card photographs of his work. They are more affordable for the clients to purchase almost everyone feels obliged to buy one when they go to an exhibition and through selling many he gets his name out there and still makes money on the post cards still of course he wants to sell his larger paintings but at least he is selling and his reach to more potential clients are a lot larger thanks to his postcards. So it is definitively something I will look into to maybe do something similar myself.. we'll see I'll keep you posted of how it turns out.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Retouch an image in Photoshop.

Final image ready for delivery to Client.
As a Photographer you get commissioned to take photographs according to the clients needs. What the client often forget or do not think about is that the dates that you are booked to do their photo shoot the weather might not be to the photographers advantage to take the particular photographs that you are assigned to do.  I have below made some or maybe some of you would say a lot of changes to the original picture. But to be honest it does not necessarily have to take to long to do as long as you know what you are doing and that you have the photographs that you might need available. Here I have added another photograph to the picture that I was assigned to take. I have added a photograph with clouds on to make the sky a bit more interesting. I have also warmed up the picture a bit as well to make it look like the sun is shining through the clouds on a sunny afternoon.
When you do something like this to a photograph for a client you do have to remember that it does take you longer to make and deliver the final image and that you need to incorporate that time into your pricing so that you do not end up working and not getting paid for all the work that you have done. But I can guarantee that you do get a happier and more satisfied client because of that little extra time that you took making it. So if you do not feel that you have enough Photoshop skills to make changes like these I would suggest that you find out because it will pay you back in the end tenfold. 
The original image.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Twitchers on the prowl...

A King Fisher.

This week I was inspired by a couple of twitchers that was walking around here where I live. I had seen them around for a week and spoken to them a few times, their enthusiasm for birds were a bit contagious. They spoke so passionately about the different kinds that they had seen and I on occasion could add a few birds that I had seen through out the year that are not here at the moment like the beautiful eagles that we have had here all summer that sadly now have moved away. But I must admit that I am very novice when it comes to bids and their names. So I was very keen on learning a few new ones from the twitchers. It was a couple that was here solemnly to bird watch! They were staying here for two weeks. They did think that the weather was a bit hot and I can imagine that it was for them since they were out in the sun all day walking around and sitting still waiting for the birds to come to them. They had proper twitcher gear so they did come prepared with tripod, binoculars, camera with a proper zoom for those far away birds, and of course a bird book so that they could double check what it was that they saw at every turn. They showed me some beautiful photographs that they had taken throughout their weeks here and it got me inspired to go out and take some of my own.

So I geared up one afternoon with my camera and my 70-200mm IS f.2.8 and headed to hole 3 that has a fresh water lake. While playing golf I have seen that birds are there feeding I had also seen the twitchers there a few times earlier in the week so it should be a good place I thought. I had before in the week also been thinking whiles driving by in my car that, ah that would make a great photograph. But of course I never had my camera with me at the time.
What I had seen was several swallows sitting on a rope all in one long row. So I headed towards this rope and sure enough there were several swallows sitting on that rope and also sure enough once I got close they all flew away! I was not too surprised and thought if I scout out a good vantage point for me to take my photograph and then I just sit down and wait till they feel secure again with me there to come back. I sit down on the grass and wait after what feels like a life time, I get bored and start to think that this is not for me I do not have the patience. As if the birds felt that I was about to go they started to come back and my boredom was gone in an instance and I started to shot frame after frame. The swallows came and went a few times while I was there so I got a few different shots I was even brave enough to change vantage point a few times. After a while my new twitchers friends arrived to the same lake. I was happy because I was just about to go I had had enough, the birds were not to overly exciting they came and went a few times and all I saw was swallows so not too exotic really but still very beautiful in their own right. I walked over and joined them and from where they were they showed me both a king fisher, hawk and herons that are all the birds that I remember the names of I am quite sure they mentioned a few more that I had not heard of before. I must say without them showing me these different kinds of birds I would never have been able to take a picture of them because I could not see them. I guess you have won half the battle when you know what you are looking for and at. My first pictures of the swallows I took only because I could see that it would look very nice esthetically and I was not thinking at all of what kind of bird it actually was in the picture only at that they were sitting in a row on a rope with many different lead in lines going in the picture.
I must admit that even I did not think it was for me taking pictures of birds since I do not really have the patience but I thoroughly enjoyed it but I also think half of it was the company that I had it was great to listen to their knowledge of the different kinds of birds.
Here you can see some of my bird photographs, keep in mind this are the first bird photographs I have taken. I must say that from viewing them in the office later I have learned a lot so for next time I will take a slightly different approach towards which aperture to use while photographing birds especially several in a row. Who knows maybe I will start to take more bird photographs… well I am not promising anything but it is definitively not impossible that you might see more bird photographs here so stay tuned to see my progress.
Part from my dabbling as a twitcher this week I have also taken pictures at ahHotel and sent some photographs to a local magazine that should go to print some time in Nov.
A Heron.