G’day – thanks for visiting our travel info and photo blog

Nick Katin - Photographer

Nick Katin

This is Nick the primary photographer and blogger for katin images. I hope that you will enjoy the stories and images on this site.
They have been accumulated from visiting 38 different countries from all the continents in the last eighteen years

All images and text are copyrighted however if you feel you have to share any images or posts please give me credit.
Alternatively you can licence an image to aid your project or publication by contacting me via our contact form.
Prints are also available via galleries
If you are looking for a travel destination image or for some info or advise send me an email .

Hope you have fun reading and viewing my posts!

If you are a small business you need great images to help sell your product or service.
I help people like you create your own to stand out in your marketplace so go and visit Stock Photography Coaching for more info.

 

7 Ways Good Photography Equipment Can Help You Create Great Marketing Images

7 Ways Good Photography Equipment Can Help You Create Great Marketing Images

I’ve said in a Why selecting a new camera is like selecting a new date (or TV) that it’s not the camera but the person with their finger on the shutter button that makes or breaks a great photo.

Well just to contradict myself, sometimes it is the gear.

Having certain equipment can give you shots that you may not be able to get without it.

A sports action photographer won’t get some of the shots he would like if the auto focus in his camera is slow.

Fashion photography requires excellent lighting.

Top quality landscape photographers usually use a tripod and high resolution cameras.

Cameras with more settings will generally have more flexibility and therefore give the photographer choices.

Let’s look at what equipment can give you:

 

1 Artistic opportunities.

It gives opportunities to create something imaginative.

For instance, with some of the filters that are part of almost every camera today, including smartphones, you have options to give your image a Grainy Film, Pop Art or Sepia old worlde tone look.

The image below is a combination of a couple of filters.

7 ways good photography equipment can help you create great marketing images

 

2 Freeze motion

When you are taking images of an event that has motion you generally need a high number of frames per second (FPS) to capture several images at a time.

Some cameras have high FPS and some lower and that can make a big difference.

 

3 Blurring motion

Conversely if you wish to blur motion then you need a camera that will allow a slow enough shutter speed.

That may not always be possible especially in bright light. So, a ND (neutral density) filter can be added so that the amount of light entering the camera is reduced.

 

4 The ability to take images in low light part 1

There’s no doubt that modern cameras can almost see in the dark.

However not all cameras are created equal. Even though there are cameras that have ISO rating in the 100’s of thousands they may not give the crisp clear images you want.

Why is ISO that important? Well to give you a personal example; when I was first learning photography, back in the film days, I was on a gorilla safari in Uganda.

The forest we were in was dark and as we got a view of the gorillas I snapped away not understanding that I should have had a film with a much higher ISO.

The images were developed some time later and were so disappointing.

7 ways good photography equipment can help you create great marketing images

Blurred because the camera had a slow shutter speed due to the lack of light.

A priceless experience that was never properly recorded!

Before digital, the ISO rating you had on the film meant that you were locked in for however many frames there were e.g. 36. Now you can change the setting per frame.

Film also only went up to around 1600 and even then, you got a grainy image which is OK if you want to depict a moody grainy photo but not so good if you wanted something crisp and clean.

So, yes, some cameras will give you some great images and high ISO negating the need for tripods or other ways of holding the camera still but not all.

My wife’s camera (granted it’s a few years old now) is ok up to 1600 after that the grain is quite noticeable.

On the other hand, the Olympus OMD5 I have is great up to about 6400.

 

5 The ability to take images in low light part 2

Image stabilisation can really help if you need to take images in low light or with slow shutter speeds. In some cases, that can eliminate the need for a tripod.

I first saw image stabilisation in Namibia on safari. A photographer had a lens with image stabilisation and he could take images without the need for a tripod in fairly low light. This was 20 years ago when I was first learning photography and that blew my mind!

 

6 The ability to take images in low light part 3

I’ve always hated carrying and using a tripod but now with these lightweight models and the fact that the cameras are now a lot smaller and weigh less it’s not so much of a burden to carry one. Using it – well that’s still another matter but I will say if you are taking images of products especially in low or artificial light then it’s a valuable tool.

With a tripod, you can take yourself out of the equation and with a wireless (or wired) remote you can take images of subjects reasonably stress free and creatively.

 

7 Bokeh

Bokeh is the term used for making the subject stand out from its background by ensuring that the subject is in sharp focus and that the back ground is blurred.

The right equipment can allow you to create an image with great Bokeh.

The equipment for this is a little more complex. If you have a full frame camera, then it’s relatively easy with even the package lens to get a reasonable bokeh.

Where it gets tricky is with mirrorless (there is the odd full frame mirrorless but for this purpose, we’ll cater to the majority).

Any none full frame camera is very much dependent on the lens and couple of other factors like distance and zoom.

So, that was my alternative view on the importance of equipment.

Do you agree?

Let me know in the comments section below.

As you’ve got this far why not sign up HERE now to get a free guide on how to start improving your stock and marketing photos.
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How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie

How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie

In Why You Need a Professional Selfie I talked about having the need to have a decent self-portrait or ‘selfie’ on your website, social media or publication to show the human face.

Maybe you’ve decided to get this done but don’t want to use a professional photographer or Uncle Eric who has a good camera.

In which case read on.

So just to refresh. In Why You Need a Professional Selfie I suggested that you need to

Decide what sort of self-portrait you think represents your brand best

A financial adviser or lawyer may want a more conservative head shot.

Or they may want a full-length portrait with business like clothes like jacket and trousers.

A social media site may wish to convey a trendy relaxed image. So, it may decide that, rather than have a headshot, an image of its employees being active may be better.

Whilst I have concentrated on websites and maybe social media you may also wish to use it for some printed marketing material or even billboards.

And that’s when the capability of the camera and printing become important

The four most crucial factors to getting a professional self portrait

  1. Equipment

I’m going to show you on a smartphone but any camera should do the job provided it works 🙂

  1. Light

Light is everything. If the light is dull or too bright the image can be too dark or ‘blown out’

(a term for images that have the highlights way too bright).

  1. A way of mounting the camera.How to take a selfie

A tripod is undoubtable the best way if someone e.g. an employee, is not taking it for you

  1. Staging

Make sure you select the correct pose. You may have to take several different images at different angles to get one you want to use.

Incidentally there is no rule that says you must use the same image across the all platforms and marketing material.

Set the camera up;

  1. Regardless of what the use is, make sure you have the biggest resolution. Much better to size down that attempt to upsize.

On the Samsung S series smartphone cameras for example you will find picture size next to the settings icon.

Select 16M or 12M or whatever the largest number is.

The resolution on the IPhone is set to maximum and has no adjustment from that except with the use of a third-party app.

Some other brands only give you the option to select large or high

Note: The front camera usually has a much smaller resolution than the main camera so avoid using it for this application

  1. Find the timer and set it to 10 seconds
  1. You can usually just leave the camera on auto if the light is pretty good. But you can change the settings on some smartphones. The only ones I recommend is possibly the ISO or exposure compensation.
  1. Mount the camera on a tripod or any other way you can find to mount.

I use the Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand a great little find that has a mini stand. It can also be fitted to a standard tripod head.

Set the scene

  1. Find a well-lit position. You can be creative by sitting or standing near a window and allow the light to be strongest on one side.

Alternatively, if you want to light up both sides, use a whiteboard on the side away from the light.

  1. Think about the background. Make sure it’s not cluttered and distracting to the eye.

Again, a whiteboard is handy. White (or off white) backgrounds are always the best way.

  1. Think about your position. Ideally you want to be slightly lower than the camera if possible to avoid unflattering distortion.
  1. Now comes the tricky bit. Unless you have someone else helping, you are going to have to focus the camera on your final position, be it a full length or head shot.

The easiest way to do this is to put something in that position and then focus on it.

  1. Just press the shutter button and then get into position.
  1. Take plenty of images trying different poses and maybe different locations. You can’t take too many!

How to take a good selfie

Review

  1. Review on your phone and add a filter if you wish. There’s plenty of them out there.
  1. Load the images onto your computer.
  1. Look for softness (slightly blurry), unwanted distractions or items and light
  1. Crop if required. You may need to crop for different applications.
  1. Upload to your website, social media or another platform.
  1. Discuss requirements with your printer if you are using hard copy marketing material.

Finally

Rinse and repeat if need be.

You may think you’ve got it right but there’s always room to improve.

Is there anything else you want to know? Did you give it a go?

I’d be really interested in any results that you wish to share.

Let me know in the comments below.

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