Friday, June 29, 2007

Sports Photos

Sports photography is not something that I have had a lot of experience with. I am used to shooting still and macro subjects therefore action and moving subjects has created a new challenge for me.

I have a 70-200 Sigma zoom lens for my Sony A100. Shooting a sports event was the first time I have really used this lens, and I must say that I am not impressed with it. It produces soft images even with a still subject.

I changed over to my trusty Tamron 90mm lens, and I was able to get some decent sports photos with it - although I would have liked to be able to get closer to the action as with the zoom lens.


Lacrosse Front Line


By the time the next sports season rolls around, I would like to have purchased a Minolta 70-210 f4 zoom lens. From all the reviews I have read, this old-timer has great glass for sharp images - one of the higher quality lens next to investing thousands of dollars in the APO or Zeiss glass.

Looking forward to the next spring Lacrosse season to capture some better images. Perhaps a few football games this fall if I can save up for the new lens.







Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Daily Comic

In a forum a couple of weeks ago, I came upon a link to daily online comic - photography related of course.

colored rocks and stones texture


The authors write a strip each day, and they are then posted for the online community to come up with a title for that day's strip. The author then picks the most appropriate one that fits the punch line. It is interesting to read what some viewers come up with for titles.

The strip is titled, What the Duck, and most photographers can relate to its daily humor. They have a feed enabled which makes it easy to view each day.




Monday, June 25, 2007

Time Out


It has been all work these last few months, and now that the summer has arrived, it is time to unwind and enjoy the days that will go by much too quickly.

A day trip here and there thrown in with some quiet moments walking in the woods should yield some new experiences and images to capture.

Hopefully we can avoid the crowds and traffic on the day trips and go at our own pace. Looking forward to some relaxing time - it is much needed!





Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Networking


Networking on the internet is another recommended way to get more exposure for your website. I have been treading along the edges of networking since I started my website two months ago.

In effect it puts links to your website on other websites, forums, and blogs. It requires you to be more social, which has never been one of my strong points. In the photography world, part of it requires giving advice and critiquing other artist's work.

I enjoy viewing other's work and leaving comments on some of their beautiful images. The advice part, well that is something I try not to give too much of unless I am absolutely sure of the subject. I would hate to give someone incorrect information

Once again it is a time consuming process and one that must be done on a regular basis. I pick up a lot of helpful information and tips along the way so it is worth the time spent for that reason also.




Monday, June 18, 2007

More SEO Work

These last few days have been spent on more SEO work for my Photography by KML website.

White Globe

I have been learning the code to use for the header that directs the search engines to the title of the website. I have also added an alt description to the banner image.

I have written a short description for the site. I read that it was recommended to use under 250 characters as the search engines prefer descriptions of that length.

I have also been registering on various photography forums and putting my website link in the signature of my posts.

Once again a time consuming but necessary part of establishing a website on the internet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Directories


I have been reading about directories and how to submit your website to them. Submitting to directories is used to increase the links you have coming into your website.

There are several different ways of submitting to directories. The first is paid inclusion - you pay to have your website listed with a certain directory. They will list your site usually within a couple of days and the link will stay in their directory for a certain amount of time.

Another way to submit to directories is by using a link exchange inclusion - they will list you in their directory once they see a link to their directory site posted on your website. It can take a couple of weeks to get your site listed with them, and when they check in the future and see that you have removed their link from your website, they will also remove yours from theirs.

The last way is to have your link listed for free in a directory. They encourage an exchanged link, but it is not required. It can take months for them to add your website to their listing. It is usually the lower PR (pagerank) or newer directories that offer this. They can be good, but it is hard to gain exposure for your site if they are too new and not yet known themselves.

It is wise to check some of the other listings already in the directory to see what kind of website content they are listing. There is a lot of negative content on the internet that you do not want your website associated with - it hurts your business and your popularity with the search engines. It can even get you banned from the search engines.

Information about your website needs to be on hand when submitting to directories - they are all different and they require different info when submitting. Automation is not an option - most have the coded letters that need to hand keyed.

This is a very time consuming part of owning a website and I can understand why most people hire SEO companies to do this kind of legwork. This back-end work takes away from the time spent on photographing and processing images. But once it gets done, you only need to do updates every few months for the new directories you may want to be listed in.






Monday, June 11, 2007

Keywords


Keywording images is a time consuming part of the image processing. I use Pixvue to add the keywords to my photos.

After processing the images in photoshop, I usually log into one of the microstock agencies that I belong to, and I do a search for the subject in my images.

I get some good ideas for adding to the keywords that I have already come up with. It does take time to organize these lists, but once I have a list it makes it easier the next time I shoot the same subject.

I have always keyworded my images and that info goes along with the file when it is uploaded to my website. I have found that I also need to keyword the galleries that I have created. All of this keywording is necessary for the search engines to find my images - the search engines on each website and the search engines that crawl the web.

I like to have at least a dozen keywords per image, and I try to keep it keywords as opposed to key phrases. I have found that many sites separate each word with a comma when they are uploaded, and it takes the phrases apart which doubles the keywords.

Keywording really does work, and when looking at some of the many images available for sale on the web, I can't understand why some owners complain they are getting no views or traffic and they only have one or two keywords. It is monotonous work, but it does pay off and the only cost is the time invested to do it.





Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Pollen

This is the first morning in almost a week that we have had no rain. It was a joy to see the sun.

The yellow Day Lilies and purple Columbines had been beaconing me to take their photos and I was afraid they would pass before the rain stopped.

I made it outside this morning and spent about 15 minutes with them before the clouds began rolling in again. The air was crisp and the wind was blowing through to dry everything up from the rain.

I was putting my lens cover back on when I noticed it had picked up a lot of dust and I tried to blow it off before placing it on the lens. That's when I discovered that every inch of my camera was covered with a fine layer of pollen.

I was not impressed as it was even in the lens barrel that moved in and out as I focussed the camera. Trying to brush it off only made it more "static", and it was clinging in clumps now and not coming off.

Using a dampened lens wipe removed most of it but I cannot help but think of all those little pollens that are still clinging to the inside of the lens barrel as it is impossible to get in there no matter how many times I bring it in and out.

Mental note made: Check on windy days for the blowing pollen and try to shelter the camera from it - especially this time of the year.



Saturday, June 2, 2007

Still Life Composition for Stock


Arranging still lifes or single objects for photographing is an important part of stock photography.

Placing the objects on a pure white background, or sometimes a black background, gives the object an isolated appearance which is very desirable with the designers who purchase the images.

It is not an easy thing to keep the background pure white. I have found that overexposing the image a bit seems to help with the "gray" that tends to seep into these isolated backgrounds.

Also in post processing, it is easy to remove some of the flaws in the background. This takes time and experience to master.

The lighting needs to be just right also, or shadows will be cast by the objects. The designers do not want these shadows, so moving the lights around will help eliminate them for the most part.

The lights can create glare or overblown highlights on some objects, so you need to be careful where the lights are placed to avoid this problem also.

It is all a big experiment to get all the technical aspects right, and it is something that takes time and lots of practice to learn correctly.

Digital cameras are an economical way of practicing and testing compared to the film and processing methods of the past.




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