Recently I was ask by Amos Struck of “My Stock Photo” – a leading blog about news & guides in the microstock photography industry.
An extra hard drive with all current shoots & documents like model releases are simply a must! Cloud back works for most people but not for high volume shooters with terabytes or gigabytes of data. We tried an Cloud service once, after backing up 1 terabyte of data that took weeks and at the same time shooting stock the Cloud would never catch up.
It’s so simple to copy all your data to a extra hard drive & keep it at your friends or relative’s house. Easy to get too & it does not cost any monthly service, simple.
Recently we had a major fire at our home studio – please do not let this happen to you! And yes we had an off site backup!
Sometimes we have one chance to capture an image & cannot afford to have mistakes. No re-takes. The concept is “robbery”, a robber breaking the glass of a retail store front door and making an entrance. As in most shoots we try to always capture both still & video to cover all markets. We are using a Sony FS700, Canon 5D MKlll & Canon 1D X.
I’ve been re-thinking my backup strategy & have come across a simple solution – removing all my older RAW files from my main working hard drives. Why do I really need these old files on my main hard drives anyway? Copy them over to independent external hard drives by using a simple hard drive cradle – the cradle is USB 3.0 – you can use any brand hard drive in it, you can make two copies at the same time & is cheap storage. I also found these hi quality holders for the hard drives.
Just one of the reasons a hard drive fails in a standard external hard drive – like lacie, g-tech or many others is not the drive itself but the controller board within the external hard drive or the firewire/usb ports, power supply etc…
This simple system eliminates 50% of what can go wrong with an external hard.
Cost: StarTech usb cradle which can support up to an 4 TB hard drive: $60.00
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY – WE NEED REAL PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU! ALL SIZES, AGES & SHAPES!
*Only inquiries submitted through the casting form will be reviewed* http://tinyurl.com/axgq2l8
Dates: Friday – Sunday, April 12-14, 2013
Location: multiple locations as the shoots will be different each day. One will be a state park which will be very versatile.The others are not yet finalized but are being planned to be around the Midtown Atlanta area. The state park however, will likely be around 30 miles north of Atlanta.(Winder, Ga)
Themes: Concentrating on sports, fitness, outdoors, lifestyle and business.
Final Usage: images are for stock photography
Pay Rate: To be determined. Will be monetary+ images.
Females – ages 21+
Males – ages 21+
Mature Adults both male and female
Models will be engaged in a variety of activities. For example for sports/outdoors: kayaking, riding bicycle, jogging, back packing, picnic, walking the dog, basketball, etc… real life, real everyday activities
The goal is to create high end lifestyle commercial photography for stock use in the variety of themes indicated above.
You will be working with professional photographers and most are traveling to Atlanta to work and play for the 3-day event. Your talent, timeliness and professionalism is required.
*Only inquiries submitted through the casting form will be reviewed. Thank you for your interest.*
How many creative shoot ideas are floating around in your head? How much stock revenue are your ideas producing? How can you turn your ideas into pixels? Simple! Write them down. Make a storyboard. Your ideas are the door to your success and writing them down on paper is the key that opens that door. Set goals on when and how to achieve them. Every shoot we do, and I am going to repeat this, every shoot we do is written and sketched on a storyboard first, organized down to the location, props, models, camera angle, lighting etc. Once you start this process you will not only benefit by being organized and more productive, but will find that once you start putting your ideas on paper your creative ideas will flow freely.
As you already know Keywords are the life of your images; here is a technique we use here at our studio for adding Metadata to images. Download a demo of: Photo Mechanic here.
Download My Keyword List Here (copy & paste this list into your text editor)
You can use my Keyword list & modify it to fit your needs with any Text editor, this keyword list is simply to be used as a starting point. For you Mac users I highly recommend you download a free copy of Text Wrangler to edit my list or make your own. If your are tech savvy you can make your list with a spreadsheet & export out a .txt file. Use my List as a go-by, notice your Main subject Keyword is in [Brackets] then your related keywords are Tabbed under your main subject keyword. Download a Video Screenshot here of my technique using a combination of Light Room and Photo Mechanic.
- First import my custom keyword list into Photo Mechanic: Open Photo Mechanic > Menu > Image > Structure Keywords Panel – At the bottom of the Structure Keywords Panel click on “Load” & select your keyword list
- Select one of your images from Photo Mechanics Grid view
- Click on the little “I” which is located in the bottom left hand corner of your thumbnail
- Enter your Caption, Object Name (which is the same as the Title) & then use the Structured Keywords tool to enter Keywords (click on the drop down arrow to the right of the Keywords field)
- Double click on which Keywords you want to add in your image – Click Apply
- Now the cool part, click on the drop down arrow to the right of the Keywords field & select Edit Keywords
- Edit Keywords will show your Keywords in alphabetical order, you can also delete, add or change keywords here > Click OK
- Now the second cool part – if your next image is similar just Copy, select the next image & Paste. If there are minor changes to be made you can quickly edit the Caption, Object Name & Keywords
- Light Room – In Light Room your metadata is automatically populated, if it is not simply select your thumbnails > Menu > Metadata > Read Metadata from files – Done!
Every now & then we all have to deal with Morie’ patterns. Usually Morie’ patterns show up in shirts or models apparel & it is due to interference between fabric texture and the grid pattern on the digital camera’s sensor. I have tried several ways of getting rid of Morie pattern & here are two that work.
Photoshop: Method “A”
- With your image open choose the Eyedropper tool from the photoshop palette & select a color sample of the fabric
- Select the “Brush” tool from the Photoshop toolbar then change the size of the brush to suit your needs
- Change the “Mode” from Normal to Color
- Brush away the Morie
- You may still have some darker lines within the fabirc but at least the color is gone – you’ll have to clone these darker lines out or leave them alone depending on how they look
Photoshop: Method “B” – A little better on the original color accuracy of the fabric
- With your image open: Duplicate your Layer
- Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur – adjust this filter to blur just enough to make the Morie’ color go away
- Go to the History palette > Make a Snapshot – name it Blur
- Apple – Z to undo the Gaussian Blur from the original photo
- In the History Pallet: Click just to the right of the “Blur” snapshot to Set the “Source of the History Brush”
- In the Tool pallet select the History Brush & adjust it to your desire size
- Change the “Mode” from Normal to “Color”
- Now simply erase away the Morie pattern – You still may end up with some darker lines from the pattern you may have to clone out
These two methods are the best I have found so far.. If you have another way feel free to comment!
Strobes or continuous lighting? (tungsten, HMI, LED, flashlight etc…) I personally hate strobes. I prefer tungsten, or any other continuous lighting source. I always start with natural light whenever possible, then add lights from there of course. Try this you strobe shooters, pick up your tungsten light or other continuous lighting source & use that just that for a couple of shoots. Now you can forget the sync speeds, radio slaves, sync cords, flash recycle etc… You can actually “see” what your getting, move around, don’t wait for the strobe to recycle, shoot at 1/2000 sec. if you want. Yea, yea, I know strobes have their keep, but for most of my shoots tungsten or continuous lights are the way to go. You know by now I’m talking about studio & indoors location, for that outdoor portrait shot then a simple fill flash would be the way to go, or even a simple reflector.