There is a lot of confusion about what Image Stabilization means and actually does, and UK-based photographer and writer Brian Worley (one of the leading voices out there teaching Canon-based photographers) has a fantastic article on the topic, and I wanted to share it today (it’s linked below). But beyond that – if you’re a Canon shooter and you’re not following Brian, you are missing out. I think he’s probably the single best resource out there for really getting to know your camera, and his blog (p4pictures) is outstanding.
Make sure to follow Brian on social (I do) and you’ll get a wealth of info (plus, he does in-person workshops on a regular basis). Also, a very cool guy (had dinner with him in London right before the pandemic).
Have a great Monday everybody – it’s going to be an awesome week!
I get this question a lot, and so I thought I’d share how I think about the two; how they are different, and when to use them. NOTE: these same two sliders are in Photoshop’s Camera Raw as well).
Both of these sliders enhance or bring out detail in the image, but they do it in very different ways. One isn’t really better than the other, because depending on the image, Clarity might look better on one, and Texture might look better on the next, or maybe a mixture of the two. It’s great to have the flexibility of having both, but here’s a look at how using them can affect the overall tone of your image.
When I want to bring out the texture in my image, but I don’t want it to mess with the overall tone too much (or mess with the fine detail areas of the image), I reach for the Texture slider. For example purposes, here I’m cranking up the Texture amount up way higher than I normally would (to +100). In the image you see above, the ‘Before’ photo is on the left, and the ‘After’ photo on the right has the Texture cranked up to +100. You can see that even though I cranked the Texture all the way up, the overall tone of the image is fairly similar. The medium-sized detail has been enhanced throughout the image (a bit hard to see at this size, but very obvious when you see it full size on your own images). That enhanced detail is especially visible on the buildings in front. Everything has more definition and detail, but nothing looks too crazy.
When I want to bring out detail, and I want things like metal, glass, or water to really “pop” I grab the Clarity slider. Here’s the Clarity slider cranked up to +100, and you can see how contrasty the image has become. The dark areas are much darker and the brighter midtones are brighter, too. The overall tone and color saturation of the image has changed quite a bit, and that’s because the Clarity slider enhances Midtone contrast (well, it does if you drag it to the right, anyway). The glass on the buildings looks much shinier and it really “pops” but look at the road to its right, and the sky — they’re all pretty dark and a bit grungy. If I increased the Shadow slider by the same amount, you’d swear it was an HDR tone-mapped photo.
The big takeaway here is how much Clarity affects the overall tone of the image (great when you want to get a gritty effect, or make metal, glass, and water shinier), while Texture doesn’t tend to mess with the tone nearly as much, but does a great job bringing out detail. Look at them side-by-side just above.
I also find that I don’t need to add as much Texture amount to bring out detail as I would with the Clarity slider. I don’t want to say it’s more powerful — maybe it’s just more sensitive. I also often use the two together by dragging the Texture up and then adding about 1/2 as much Clarity (so, if I were to drag the Texture amount up to 50, I would only add 25 or so Clarity if even that much). They do work nicely together.
Hope you found that helpful, and here’s wishing you a relaxing, fun weekend. Stay safe (it’s COVID-y out there).
P.S.I am super psyched – I’m getting to speak in front of an in-person event again! Next month I’m one of the speakers at the big NECCC Photography Conference up in Amherst, MA. The conference is July 15-17, 2022, and I’m teaching all three days, and a pre-conference session as well. Lots of great speakers, and tons of classes and events. Here’s the link to sign up (hope I’ll see you there)!
I cover all the different things to consider when choosing cameras and lenses for music photography. The biggest thing to consider when choosing a camera is ISO to noise quality ratio, meaning you want your photos to still look good even at super high ISO settings (like 6400 and above). Most shows will have less than ideal lighting, so you’ll be cranking your ISO up quite a lot to capture photos that aren’t super blurry. There’s also megapixels (you actually don’t want too many because it’ll slow you down!), frame rate (higher is better), mirrorless vs DSLR, and other considerations.
When looking at lenses, you want fast lenses (like f/2.8, f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4) if you can get them. Primes are going to be your best bet to get started on a budget, then you can consider upgrading to zooms that are f/2.8 or f/4 (but not above!).
Next, I cover breaking into your local music scene and practicing to improve your skills. The key here is building relationships with others in your scene, and finding ways to collaborate to make great photos. Once you establish yourself as part of the scene, you can build your portfolio! This is the key to the next step…
UNLOCKING THE GATE
Once you have a solid portfolio of images, you’ll want to build a website that you can point people to when you start requesting photo passes! Photo passes are your key to gaining access to photographing bigger shows. You’ll also need to be working for someone like a media outlet to give them a reason to grant you a photo pass. I cover who to request photo passes through, how to find them, and what to say in your request.
Lastly, I cover a variety of ways you can start making money with music photography! Top priority though is to be a good hang, and a kind, courteous person, even when you get “no” responses. Your reputation is key in this industry as everyone knows everyone!
I talk about considering all of the different audiences within the music world that you can offer your services to, as well as some different services you can offer. The key is being able to add value through your photography to their business and help them make more money, which makes it easier for them to say yes to paying you. I discuss licensing, stock sales, promos, prints, NFTs, and other topics as well.
I hope this post alone has been helpful, but if you’re interested in finding out more, check out my class and all of the others that were part of the conference right here!
It’s becoming increasingly more common to see people talking about having a side hustle on social media posts. The methods range from real estate and crypto, all the way down to paid surveys and affiliate marketing. As photographers we have the ability to create amazing content, telling stories through our images. Having this skill makes us valuable and it means we can cash in on our photography. Here are some ideas for side hustles in photography.
Social Media Influencer
Focusing our attention on social media to build and sustain an engaged following makes us valuable as an influencer in the world of marketing. My new book, The Eiffel Tower Effect, (register for release information here) is all about how to make photos that stand out and details how the algorithm works. We can all, with a distinct, consistent style and quality content, can convert our engagement into revenue. Social media posts on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube can easily make us a side hustle income with a little work in our free time.
Every photo we see out in the wild, such as those on news websites, magazines, advertising and in books, comes from somewhere. More often than not these images come from stock libraries, such as Adobe Stock or Getty Images. We can make a side hustle income with only a little work by shooting specifically for stock, or by submitting our ‘spare’ images the didn’t quite make the cut for the intended shoot. We all have lots of photos on our hard drive, and while they stay there they aren’t doing anything for us. All the images in our library that didn’t make the cut for the portfolio or the original client can be making us money.
Having a back for portraiture and building up a portfolio can make us side hustle money. Renting studio space and booking time slots for individuals or groups that cover the cost of the rent and add a little profit is a win-win for us and the client. Lots of people are looking for up-to-date headshots and portraits, and a few hours back-to-back shooting using a replicated lighting set-up not only makes us some money, but it also builds our brand through testimonials and referrals.
With these ideas to work from and plenty of other options out there, I’d love to see you all monetise your skill and talent as a photographer. Learn more at the conference or class I’ve linked above, and have a great rest of the week!
Here’s the scenario: You get back from a gig, download the images, go through the take, mark the selects, do your editing, and deliver the photos. The client loves them… But you don’t. Sure, they’re okay, but… They don’t quite inspire you.
Sound familiar? If it does, I have some good news for you… You’re not alone.
I would guess that most photographers go through this, even the best ones. No matter how much we try to make the best possible images we can, not every production is going to result in a new portfolio image. You can plan all you want, put together your image list, research the location, research your subject, make inspiration/mood boards, clean your lenses and sensor, and carry your lucky rabbits foot; but when you do the job, the photos are decent but not great. The client is happy, so you’re happy that you’re getting paid, but you wanted to come away with better images.
Sometimes your subject just isn’t great. Or the location you picked days ahead of time fell through on the day of the gig and you had to quickly find something else that worked. Or you were unexpectedly battling the harsh sun on what was supposed to be a cloudy day. Or you just flat out had an off day and don’t know why.
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I’m in rural England putting together the final pieces of a few projects before I head over the channel to mainland Europe again in a couple of weeks. One of the project is a new book all about shooting differently, so keep an eye on my socials for news about that.
Today I want to talk a little about how we can grow by forcing ourselves to be limited, and it’s all about using our phone.
When we’re working on improving composition it can be incredibly helpful to pick up our phone and challenge ourselves with it. The key is to not use the zoom feature but to move and walk around, employing the prime lens technique of ‘zoom with your feet.’
Having this easy method to experiment which test our capabilities and offers us a large image preview give us the opportunity to really open our eyes whilst having the limits we’re putting on ourselves. Being a great photographer relies so much on a combination of elements, including light, depth and composition, and it enables us to think differently and develop skills in the areas that are important to standing out and shooting differently.
When we have these skills that we acquire from pushing ourselves to think differently, thereby shooting differently, we can quite easily transpose these skills to apply to our regular photography. Standing our from the crowd is a huge factor for our growth and, if it’s the direction we want to go, in monetizing our photography. There’s also a lot of opportunity to grow in mobile photography that’s certainly worth exploring!
Give it a go – go set yourself a target and shoot some images exclusively with your phone that push your limits of creativity. And with that….