Best Black Friday Deals for Photographers

November 25 is “Black Friday.” Since the 1930’s, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the start of the Christmas shopping season. However, in the 1960’s Black Friday got its name from news reports of heavy shopping and vehicle traffic. It is one of the largest retail shopping day of the year.

But that’s enough history. If you’re a photographer who is always looking for the best kit, what you care about are the deals.

Fortunately, there are several websites who scour all the newspaper shopping inserts to find the best Black Friday deals. Amazon is great, but they don’t have everything.

Read more

Embed Copyright Information Inside Your Images with Exif Data

exit-4A client recently asked about strategies for protecting your images online. One of the ways is to add Exif information to your files. Exif won’t stop determined thieves, but it will give you some “ammunition” by storing your personal information inside your photographs online.

What is Exif Data?

Exif stands for Exchangeable image file format. It is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras.

Exif works by storing text inside a PSD, TIFF or JPG image in a standard format that can be read by programs that allow you to view an image. Since the Exif data format is standardized, you can add Exif data from your camera, Photoshop or Lightroom to an image, then read it in other image viewers.

Read more

Facebook’s New Panorama Photo App

grand-canyon-full-screen-panoramaYou can now easily share 360 photos on Facebook. 360 photos are Facebook’s name for panoramas – from wide angle shots all the way up to full circles.

360 photos and are easy to identify in News Feed: just look for the compass icon on the right-hand side of the photo. Explore a 360 photo on mobile by tapping and dragging the photo or by moving your phone, and on the web by clicking and dragging. Your clients can experience the moments you share in 360 as if they were actually there with you. You could use this for:

Read more

Drone Registration: What You Need to Know

droneIf you own a drone for aerial photography, you should be aware of the new FAA registration regulations. Basically, the rules are different depending on whether you plan to use it for a hobby, or for commercial purposes like photographing a wedding or home.

Read more

8 Great Christmas Gifts for a Photographer

Who wants another tie for Christmas? Below are 8 gifts any photographer would appreciate.

If someone asks you “what you’d like for Christmas” send them a link to this article and let them know you’d be happy with any of these 5-star rated gifts under the tree.

Over $100

GoPro Hero Video Camerago-pro-hero

If you do anything exciting in life, this camera can capture it. Have grandchildren? Give one to your kids for Christmas. Durable and waterproof, with over 60 mounts and accessories available for helmets, handlebars, or even the dog. Video and built-in microphone are surprisingly good for the price. $129.99.

Read more

2 New Technologies That Can Make Photographers Money Today

3D Selfies

modelHave you ever heard of 3D selfies? These 3D figurines are made by combining digital photos from several angles to create a 3D image, then printing it in plastic. Companies like Shapify-Pro and 3DSelfies have created programs that lets photographers take the photographs, then sell the figurines to their clients.

For example, the Shapify figurines are 3D printed in monochrome or color plastic. The small businesses kit includes a $999 printing credit—matching the initial investment of $999 for the Shapify program, and wholesale pricing. Base prices range from $40 for a 1:20 (small size) printed figurine, $80 per 1:15 (medium) figure, and $140 for each 1:12 (large) printed model. Suggested retail prices are $79, $129,  and $199.

Read more

Family Tech Support

What The DuckA friend’s camera started acting up on her the other day.

Of course, since I’m connected to a photo lab, I am perceived by my family and friends to be an expert on all things remotely connected to digital imaging including (but not limited to) camera repair, flash cards, computer operating systems (Mac & PC), Photoshop (including Elements), Facebook, email, and the entire Internet.

And I am expected to do this over the phone.

Read more

Cropping vs. Resolution vs. Print Size

I saw this question on Facebook the other day:

“When cropping in (Photoshop) post, how low will you allow the resolution/dpi to go? I have an image that I want to crop lots – it’s getting me under 200 resolution if I stay at original size. not sure what to do…”

My first reaction was to answer with a simple “don’t do it.” At under 200 dpi, the image may look soft when printed at the lab. Notice that the word “may” leaves some wiggle room, and depending on the situation, it might be possible to crop an image that small.

So here are the cases where an under 200 dpi image could make a good print:

Read more

Get Your Photographic Juices Flowing Again

first photograph taken

"View from the Window at Le Gras" by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. First photograph ever taken, 1826.

This 6-part BBC series called The Genius of photography follows the history of photography from the camera obscura to modern digital imaging by highlighting the most famous photographers of each generation.

If you’re an amateur, you will appreciate learning the rich history of photography and its transformation from a novelty – to documenting history – to an art form. If you’re a professional, the series will help remind you why you got into photography in the first place. The passion and art exhibited by each of the photographers is truly inspirational.

Read more

A Great Toy for the Professional Photographer

The problem with getting older is that no one buys us really cool toys anymore. That is why I was amazed to discover the StopShot, a widget that uses your camera and flash to capture images that used to require thousands of dollars of high-speed photographic equipment.

The StopShot works by taking inputs from an infrared beam, laser or a microphone, letting you adjust the sensitivity, then outputting a signal to trip a camera shutter or fire a flash. The unit is so sensitive that with the proper flash it can be used to capture a .22 bullet in mid-flight!

Here are some examples of images taken using the StopShot.

Read more