Social Media Management For Images

mav social

I know quite a few photographers out there that are always complaining about the managing their images for social media.

Social media tools out there are focused on marketing people and not on people who have a lot of media, images, video and so on.

Clearly we have tools to manage our images on our computers, but promoting them on social media and the web is another story.

Mav Social: A New Social Media Tool For Images

Not too many weeks ago I read a review of a fairly new social media management tool called Mav Social. The great thing about this tool is that it helps you manage your images on social media.

Most of the social media tools out there are great for posting, or scheduling posts, or even campaigns and metrics, but none do the image management part.

So it was very refreshing to find this tool which can help us photographers manage our social media.

Mav Social Features I love

Now I have to say this up front, I am not getting any money from promoting this tool on my blog. I just use it in my daily live to do my social media so I wanted to share that with you all.

As a photographer there are quite a few features that I really enjoy, that I wanted to point out so you know what you are getting.

Image, Video and Audio Management

The main thing that we care about is the online media management that Mav Social provides. (They call it a digital asset management solution)

This is basically a repository of all of your media that you can leverage for all of your social media posts.

Some of the key parts of this repository include:

  1. Images in various formats  (jpg, png, gif)
  2. Audio files  in various formats (mp3, mov, wav)
  3. And videos (mov, mp4, m4v)

And probably not relevant to us, but if you have many people doing your social media, they can all access this one repository.

You can also add lots of meta data to your uploads so they are easy to find and reuse later.

Image Editing

As a photographer most of my images will be uploading in a ready to use state, but sometimes you want to quickly alter something or add text.

Mav Social also has a built-in editor that allows you to do this in the tool without having to fire up Photoshop.

Very handy for a quick manipulation or resizing for a post on Twitter instead of Facebook (yes we all know the sizes and allowed number of words varies and is a pain).

So although your image might be perfect to begin with, Social Media demands that we make things unique to each platform and this tool helps.

Stock Photos

And you might also be working on a project or with a client and need an image asap. An image of something that you do not have, but you have to make that social media post now.

That is where Mav Social’s built in stock photo libraries really help.

You just have to do a quick search and find the kind of image you need, might a small payment, and you are good to go.

So although as photographers it is not something we need very often, it can be handy for those times when our image is just not what we need!

Parting Thoughts

So if you are using various channels on social media a lot, and have to manage a lot of different images or photos, then this tool might just be what you are looking for.

It is certainly not the best for everything (eg. Buffer rocks for sharing content) but for a combination of social media and images, I don’t think it can be beat.

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 Photography Tips: Understanding ISO

Continuing on with our series about photography tips and understanding the settings, this week we are going to look at the ISO Setting.

In the last two posts, we took a detailed look at:

The last of this trio is the ISO setting.

What is ISO?

In days gone by, when we were all using film for photography, ISO was a standardized way of measuring the sensitivity of a film to light.

Continuing with that tradition, the makers of digital cameras wanted to keep the same idea and apply it to digital sensor technology.

So we can continue to use the same numbers and ideas as we used to, at least in essence.

Different ISO Settings

ISO Settings generally range from 50 – 1600.

Of course it varies from camera to camera, but these are the numbers most seen on DSLR models today.

The average value people use is 100. This is meant for standard light conditions and will give you the most detailed, least pixelated image (except for 50 which is slightly better).

Then as you need more light, but actually cannot get it, you can ramp up your ISO setting.

The following infographic from Digital Photography World, puts it all in context for you:

ISO settings

Examples of Using ISO

So to give you an example of how ISO can save the day, let’s take a look at a few situations where you might want to use it.

High Shutter Speeds

If you are shooting very high shutter speeds 1/1000 or less , or moderate shutter speeds (1/500) in lower light, you will have an issue in some cases.

The camera just cannot make a good shot (ie enough light) with the aperture your lens has, the shutter speed you need (to shoot action for example) and the standard ISO.

So when you face a restriction like this, you need to start ramping up your ISO in increments until you get the range you need.

Starting at 100 or 50, you basically move up one ISO setting at a time until you get the values you need.

Low Light

Another standard situation, briefly touched on above, where you need to play with ISO a lot is when you have low light.

So if you are shooting indoors, you might switch to ISO400 or 800 as a standard. Although many of the wide aperture lenses available with DSLRs today mean that it is not necessary.

The same can happen at sunset or sunrise, if you need to fully expose a subject, instead of just capturing the sky, which is normally light enough.

Summary

I hope you now have the complete picture on what all of the settings are that you can use in any given situation in your photographic shoots.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or shoot me a mail via the contact form.

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 Photography Tips: Understanding Shutter Speed

Another one of the mysteries of professional photography that I want to clear up, is shutter speed.

It is perhaps one of the most important elements of photography, and something that you really need to understand to get the most out of your camera and your photos.

camera shutter

A Camera Shutter

The most basic thing you should know is what a shutter is. At it’s most basic, it is an element inside the camera that moves up/down to allow the light to shine into the camera (through the aperture and onto the sensor). After a specific amount of time, that we will get into in a minute, the shutter then closes and the shot is done!

Shutter Speed

So the shutter opens for s specific amount of time. That is called the shutter speed.

This, combined with the aperture, controls how much light is hitting the sensor. So you can use these two settings (in manual mode) to ensure you have enough light for the shot.

At the same time, if the kind of shot you are taking is more shutter sensitive (action shots for example) you might also want to keep your camera on Shutter Priority and let the camera make the lighting decisions.

Using Shutter Speed

Camera shutter speeds are measure in seconds, and usually range from a number of seconds, to a fraction of a second.

In normal every day photos,taken during daylight, you will be shooting in the fraction of a second state.

But if you want to get a specific effect or the light starts to get low (night, sunrise, sunset, indoors etc) then changing the shutter speed to over a second becomes an issue.

Everyday Shots

When you are working with handheld shots with a lot of light, you want to try to keep the shutter speed at 1/60 second or less (1/50 and smaller). The 1/60th works well for a 50mm lens, but once you get to a 200mm or above, you will want to change this to 1/200th of a second. This helps you avoid blur caused by your hand or body moving while holding the camera.

It’s either that or you have to use a tripod, which is not always possible.

surfing action shot

Action Shots

If you are trying to capture action, then we are moving into the hundredths of a second realm. Depending on what exactly you are trying to capture, and how far away it is this could be something like:

  • 1/500th for general action shots
  • 1/2000th for something moving faster like a bird

Summary

So now you have the basics. What a shutter is, hows to set it, and when to use it.

i hope this comes in handy for you next photo shoot, whether it is just an outing or a trip to the forumla one grand prix!

photo credit: fstoaldo via photopin cc
photo credit: casch52 via photopin cc

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 Photography Tips: Understanding Aperture Settings

When you move towards the more professional end of photography, you want to have more complete control over what is happening with the camera.

And that means understanding all of the elements that can influence your shot.

So today I wanted to go over the perhaps least understood of these: the aperture.

What is an Aperture?

At it’s most basic, an aperture is just a hole. And a camera has one pointing towards the subject of the photo.

It is where all the light comes in and actually forms the photo itself.

So this hole has a large influence on what happens to the camera. And this hole, let’s call it the aperture now, is opened and closed when you take a picture.

That is then the shutter speed that affects exactly how much light comes through, when used in combination with the aperture.

Of course, the interplay of all settings on a camera is quite complex, and that is why I found this video which shows you how:

  • Aperture
  • Shutter
  • ISO
  • Light

can all be changed to work in harmony together to create an awesome shot. Take a look at this video and you will come out the other end a lot wiser!

 

F Stops in an Aperture

Still thinking of the aperture as just s hole through which the light passes, you now might ask yourself what all this f-stop stuff is about.

That is the way in which aperture sizes are measured, and give us an accurate way of understanding how far open or closed the aperture is.

It is actually more confusing because the numbers are kind of backwards. A small aperture has a large f-stop number. And vice versa.

So with a standard 50mm lens, you might find a larger aperture which numbers ranging in the 1s or 2s.

Here is a great diagram displaying some common aperture settings as found in Wikipedia

462px-Aperture_diagram.svg

Apertures and Depth of Field

Where this really starts to get interesting is in terms of depth of field.

You might have heard about this concept before, and even if you have not, I am sure you know about the effect.

Basically depth of field is the amount of the image that appears in focus.

As you know, depending on the type of effect you are going for and the type of photo you are shooting, this can come in very handy.

Let’s take a quick look at the two most common examples:

Landscape

When shooting a landscape it is ideal to have the whole shot in focus. Although almost impossible, using depth of field we can achieve a great results.

Generally what you want to do is the following:

  • Focus 1/3 into the shot
  • Decrease the aperture (high f-stop number)

This combination usually gives you a very long depth of field and should ensure your landscape is in focus.

Portrait

The opposite it more or less true for a portrait. Here you want very little in focus.

You have to be careful how close you are to the subject when making the determination, but generally you focus on the eyes and have a smaller depth of field (smaller f-stop number).

This gives that blurred background effect.

Of course the lens you are using, and the zoom have an effect on how much f-stop range you have. So this is something you have to play with.

Summary

So there you have it more or less in a nutshell. An aperture is just the hole that the light goes through, which you can control with a manual camera like a DSLR.

Then using this setting you can have a huge affect on the result of your photo.

Have fun!

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 Portrait Photographers I Love

As a keen portrait photographer I spend a lot of my time chasing my idols. At least online.

So I thought I would share with you all some of my fav portrait photographers so that you can get a glimpse inside my mind and theirs and learn what it is that makes a great photographer great.

My List of Portrait Geniuses

There are so many photographers in the world today, but so few that are really standing out.

Yuri Yasada

One of my favorite is Yuri Yasuda. He is a Japanese genius.

Simplicity is the key, or course, but with a little creativity his portraits have taken the world by storm. Below is one of my favorite images of all time.

yuri-yasada-portrait

 

Sarah Cheng-de Winne

Another of the starts in portraiture is indeed Sarah. She has a way with the camera, and Photoshop of course, that makes her photos pop.

If only I could get my portraits looking as amazing as hers I would open my studio in New York sooner rather than later!

Here is one of my favorite portraits from her that certainly will inspire you to shoot more often!

sarah-cheng-de-winne

Alessandro Rochhi

One of the few real life photographers out there, Alessandro manages to capture things as they happen. And he also manages to portray life as it is. Few frills are added.

His recent series of an Italian summer beach holiday really got my attention and the image below is very indicative of his style. Enjoy

alessandro

 

Simon Powell

Simon is more of a photographer of models, but I still think we can all learn something from him. His way of capturing the emotion of the moment really appeals to me, and perhaps will to you to.

Be sure to head over to his website when it is updated and see what he has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

simon-powell

The end

Those are four of my favorite photographers that deal mainly with portraits and style. So if you want to learn a thing or two about photography then I recommend you follow their latest stuff as well.

You will not be disappointed that is for sure.

If you have any other suggestions for photographers that I would be following too, be sure to drop me a line.

Yours

Kim

 

 

 

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 Why Photography is here to stay

portrait

I have heard a lot of people pronounce the death of photography many times over the years.

Whether it was because of the invention of the computer, or now because of the cameras in smartphones.

People always find a reason why something’s time is up, and now is the new time of the …. insert your favorite new toy here.

But I strongly believe photography is here to stay. Of course I have a vested interest in it, but here are a few reasons why I think it is not going away anytime soon.

Reasons Photography Won’t Die

The number one reasons I think photography is here to stay are:

  • people love being in control of their own memories and experiences.
  • reminders of life’s best moments will always hang on your wall
  • art is continuously evolving, but still photography is one of the number one mediums

So why would you want to get involved in photography or even use photography for yourself?

Reasons to use Photography in your life

If you have a big event coming up you might want to record that momentous occasion in one form or another.

Video is a great medium for such things, but the problem is that no one has time to watch the whole even again, live.

So then you need to hire someone to take the video and condense it into the best moments. That can work, but what if some of the other best moments are lost?

That is when photography comes into it’s own. You can always take pictures of the most important parts of the event and then select yourself at a later date. Unlike with video, you do not need an editor, you can just use yourself.

Portraits

One of the best ways to record a family’s growth is with the occasional portrait that you can hang on the wall.

Whether it is the birth of your chile, or an award or graduation. Portraits can be a fantastic momento that you can simply hang on the wall and remember forever.

I can help you remember

So if you need a professional to help you with your next life changing event or magical moment, you might want to get in touch and invite me to that event.

Not only will it be recorded forever, but I can portray you or your family at it’s best. Which is always something we want at such times in our lives.

Just head on over to my contact page, and send me a request. I will be in touch asap.

All the best

Kim

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