Product Shot

How To Take A Good Looking Product Photo

In six simple steps I will go over with you how to save time and money on product photography and enhance the look of your photography.

1. Camera – It is always important to use a nice camera. Since digital cameras have come down in price over the years you can acquire a nice digital single lens reflex camera at a very reasonable price that will do the job. Using a DSLR camera was usually the norm when taking product photographs but with the change in the smartphones today, it has totally changed the game. Since the iphone 6 has an 8 megapixel sensor that can give you professional looking shots, with proper setup and lighting you may be surprised. Before spending a lot of money on a DSLR it may be worth taking a close look at what your smartphone can do.

2. Lighting – Good lights are very important when photographing products. A good light kit should include at least two lights, tripods and diffusers that are attachable.

3. Tripod – Photographing a product will require taking a longer exposure. Trying to do this hand held will only give you a blurry image that will not be acceptable. Make sure and purchase a good tripod that will fit your camera specifications.

4. Setting Up Your Product Shot – many product shots are done using a continuous background in a white or light gray color. It is easy to set up and will give you a professional look to your photograph. All you need is a roll of craft paper, metal clamps and a sturdy table. Take the paper and attach it to the wall. Roll it down from the wall to the table creating a smooth curve in the back. Put your product on the paper where it comes in contact with your table. Now is the time to adjust you lighting to create the look you are after.

5. What Aperture should be used? If you are using a DSLR camera it will have an aperture setting that you can manually set. Using a wide aperture will give your product shot a narrow depth of field that will make your photo look more professional. A good setting to try would be F1.8 or F/2. Your camera will need to be set to manual to make this adjustment.

6. Watch Out For Shadows. Try to avoid any over saturated backlighting and other setups that can create shadows on the product. It is always best to keep the lights on the same side of the product as your camera.

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Web Video

What Type Of Video Can I Add To My Website?

There are many different types of web videos you can add to your website to increase sales, sign ups, or phone calls.

1)A How To Video is very popular for websites and blogs which can bring a lot of traffic to your site. The how to video can go into great detail explaining a product or simply demonstrate how to use a product like refilling an ink cart.  

2) An Information Sharing Video can show the willingness to help others by providing information about a product or service that can be placed on a blog or social media site. Educating your customers with an information video is good for your business and also acts as a public service. An example of an information sharing video would be an accountant that shares important tax tips or a financial advisor recommending certain investment options.

3) A good produced Promotional Video does not need to break your budget with expensive production techniques like you see on television. Your company promotional video should simply explain the services you offer and what the benefits are of using your company. When a company can get across that they are passionate about the work they do it demonstrates a strong message to your customer which ends up in successful sales.

4) An Outreach Video is a great way to share specific information or an upcoming event that might be going on in your community. Video is a great way to create a buzz about an event and get people excited to attend.

5) A Testimonial Video is a good way to promote a service or product. By using actual customers who have had a good experience with your product is an excellent way to reinforce your message out and create more sales.

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Photo Repair

Useful Tips When Restoring Your Photos

There are many programs available to help you preserve and correct your old photographs. The advantage of a restored photo is once it is restored digitally it will no longer be subject to fading and distortion problems again. If you have the time and patience to restore your old photos it can be a very rewarding experience. It also allows you to share your restored photos with family and friends. Below I have listed a few tips on how to restore your photos and get the best results.

1) Make sure and use a good scanner
When scanning your photos it is very important to use a good quality scanner. Before scanning your photos you will want to make sure and set the proper setting in the scanning program. It is always best to set the resolution and color depth to maximum. Make sure you scan each photo in color mode even if they are in black and white, since scanning in color gives you more detail from each photo.

2) Use a duplicate layer for washed out photos
This little trick works great for photos that are washed out and need to be darkened. Your photo editor will need to be able to support layers in order to use this technique. You will want to duplicate your photo into two layers by using the multiple layer blending button. This will darken your photo. You can also adjust the photo contrast also to help darken each photo as needed.

3) Sharpen your photo
You can apply an Unsharp or Sharpen effect to help adjust between dark and light areas in the photo. Test each setting to see what will work best for you.

4) Take out any blemishes
If your photo suffers from dirt, dust or scratches you will want to remove them for a better restoration. There are several photo editing programs that have filters to remove these unwanted blemishes.

5) Clone your image
The best tool you can use for black and white photos is the clone stamp. You can use it to lift background or skin information, then copy it and cover the imperfections on your photo. This works great when you need to remove a date stamp on a photo.

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Slide Projector

Protecting Your Slides and Photos From Natural Disasters

Whether it is fire season, tornado season or any other natural disaster that can be a threat to your family history of slides and photos, they need to be scanned and saved onto a digital format. A natural disaster, fire or flood will be unforgiving and has the potential to destroy your family photos and slides forever. When something like this occurs there is no warning when it is about to happen forcing you to react quickly and head for safety. That is why it is so important to take the time and have your family photos and slides scanned and put onto a digital format to avoid loosing memories that cannot be replaced. If you have hundreds or even thousands of photos or slides it is a good idea to prioritize what pictures are the most important and start with those.

This is going to mean going through and selecting what pictures you should start with. This is also a good time to weed out the pictures that have little to no meaning. There is no reason to scan a photo or slide of a plant if it has no significant value. When having your pictures scanned there are a few options on what to have them saved to. You can back them up on your computer, put them onto an external hard drive or thumb drive or save them to disc. What ever your choice may be always create a second backup for safety reasons and store it in a different location. You also have the opportunity to save your pictures on the cloud which is stored online with a service and is accessible at anytime. By using the cloud service if anything were to ever happen to your original digital files you could access them through your cloud account.

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