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RAWtalk Episode #073

Jared Polin February 17, 2014 Comments Off

Screen Shot 2014 02 17 at 8.24.29 AM RAWtalk Episode #073

Click Here to check out this weeks RAWtalk.

Simple Product Photography Tips: 5 Min Portrait

Jared Polin February 16, 2014 Comments Off

The reason I use the word “simple” in the title of this post is because this is a very basic setup that just about anyone can do.

12579027823 b58765bc57 Simple Product Photography Tips: 5 Min Portrait

Product photography does not have to be overwhelming. You don’t always need fourteen different lights, reflectors and assistants to capture a product shot. Of course in some situations where it is called for, you may need a more intense setup.

If your goal is to simply get a product shot captured and online to help you showcase a something than the tips in this video will come in handy.

When I am shooting photos of products on my kitchen table I like to use the natural light from outside and sometimes some continuos lights inside. In this case my main light was the daylight with a little bit of fill come from a continuous light that was meant to light me for the video.

My goal was to capture a product shot of the Canon lens that could be used for an article, a sales page or just for practice.

Lightroom Quick Tips

Adam Lerner February 14, 2014 Comments Off

Here’s some Lightroom quick tips to enhance your workflow. Going thru images can be daunting. Trying to make quick picks shouldn’t be something that is time consuming or complicated and in this video I demonstrate how I like to expedite that process using keyboard shortcuts and some hidden gems in Lightroom.


Nikon D3300 Unboxing and Sniff Test

Jared Polin February 14, 2014 Comments Off

The Nikon D3300 is Nikon’s latest foray into the entry level market. Replacing the D3200 the D3300 does add some major changes from the prior model.

One of the biggest changes is the new 24 megapixel CMOS sensor that removes the OLPF. It is quite possible that the sensor in this camera is the same that is in the D7100. If that is the case the images that come out of this camera are gong to not only be sharp but they will pop.

In terms of build quality this camera is feather light. Yes that means it is all plastic and cheap feeling. But again this is a very low end entry model and they try to keep the price down.

If you are just starting out in Photography and you want to capture stills and video this camera has plenty to offer. But like I say all the time it is more about the glass than the body. You can have the best body in the world with the worst lens on it and get terrible results. Or you could have an entry level camera with better glass and get quality results.

So if you are just starting out my advice is learn the basic functions of your camera as well as the fundamentals of the exposure triangle.

Or on the flip side if you just want to take pictures and video and not really dive into anything else, just have fun.

Check out AllensCamera.com or call 215.547.2841 for more information.

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Right before we jump into this video, if you haven’t signed up for the froknowsphoto e-mail list, you could do so over at froknowsphoto.com. Just look for this orange box. If you click on it, it takes you over there. Put your name, e-mail address and hit send it, and I’ll send you a free guide to capturing motion in lowlight situations.

Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, welcome to Allen’s Camera where I have the Nikon D3300 with the new 1855 VR II. That’s right. It’s a new kit lens. It’s lighter, sharper, faster and it sounds like a what’s that bands name? What’s that bands name? Lighter, quicker, stronger, faster, you know, they have their helmets on. Anyway those guys, anyways let’s on boxes give it a sniff test and see what we think about it. Let’s just go over the specs real quick.

I wrote them down because there are some major just key specs that I want to hit first. 24.2 megapixel sensor with no OLPF, what does that mean? It’s possible that this has the D7100 sensor in it, which is cranking out some really sharp, colorful contrasting and boomfied [Phonetic] [0:01:12] images that I so far like. Now Nikon couldn’t verify whether it is the same sensor, or most likely it is. You have your 3-inch LCD screen which is fine, 11 point AF that’s a big deal. Remember back to something like a D70 and you had maybe 5 and then a D40. You had 3 11 points focusing 11 point focusing system in this, and 5 frames a second is pretty darn quick for a base bottom of the line entry-level DSLR camera. ISO upto 25,600 so no longer can anybody ever complain that they can’t shoot at higher ISOs, but remember better glass is always important to get better shots. And it does not have wireless built-in that’s something that you can add separately. It would be nice if they did add it in.

And what do you get this for? Under 650 bucks out. Now that it is an unbelievable price. And for a beginner, anybody just starting out, looking for their very first DSLR camera this is going to do everything that you need from still images to HD video at 1080P. So that’s what you’re looking for, and this could be it. So let’s unbox to sniff it, and tell you what else I think about it. Boom, oh this is the Version 2 lens. Let’s see if it’s 25% lighter and sharper. Oh yeah it’s definitely lighter. It now has a button on the side to lock it and unlock it. It’s a kit lens. For anybody just starting out the kit lens is going to be very, very basic. It’s going to do a fine job. It’s not the end-all be-all, but just starting out get to learn your camera, get to learn what you’re doing, then you can upgrade to something else in the future so you got that lens, let’s get out the body, let’s just feel what it’s like and then we’ll wrappy make wrap us in it up.

So it’s wrapped up in the Styrofoamy popping buttons, no Styrofoam. Oh yeah, South Beach smell, because it has that suntan lotion oil smell go into it. Yeah you like that so smaller camera, extremely light without a battery in there. But again you got to remember baseline camera right off the bat if you’re just looking to do some basic still images, it’s going to do a great job. You’re looking to make little short videos and you’re starting to figure out how to progress as a videographers it’s a okay place to start. What makes it better for a video camera now is that Nikon has finally included a mike input meaning you could get something like I’m wearing or you could get a road Smart Lab [Phonetic] [0:03:43] which is going to give you a better audio. Very simple, you’ve got your on/off switch. You’ve got your record video. The back is very easily or very well put together. Everything is where it should be and you’ll take your one SD card right there.

Other than that this thing is the lightest thing I’ve ever felt. I can’t believe that this is a camera and I can’t believe that it’s not butter, but it is extremely light. It’s all plastic, but it is what it is for 650 bucks just a little less than that to get into the game with DSLR video and photos. This is going to be a nice option. So that is what we have this time. That’s an Unboxing and Sniff test of the Nikon D3300 from Allen’s Camera. If you’d like to pick one up or anything that Nikon offers check out allenscamera.com. Give him a call. The phone number is on the screen and they will help you out, and there you have it Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, see ya.

Live by Your Slogan or Don’t Have One: Rapid Fire Photography Website Critique

Jared Polin February 13, 2014 Comments Off

What do I mean by Live by Your Slogan or Don’t Have One.

In the latest Rapid Fire Website Critique I took at a look at Jonathan Tate Photography. On his page he has a slogan “the world is black and white through my eyes”. The only problem with that slogan is he had color images on his website.

This is where he has to make a decision, does he live by his slogan or does he get rid of it. In my opinion if you’re going to have a slogan like that you better live by it. Every image on your site should be black and white and that is what you should be marketing.

If people want color that is something you would give them but not post on your page, on your page you live by the slogan.

On the other hand I think the page is laid out pretty well with some minor tweaks needed.

One thing I pointed out was the domain name. You can simply purchase a domain on your own for around $12.99 a year and at that point you can drop the squarespace from your address. Squarespace has some very simple tutorials on how to do this.

If you would like to have your photography website critiqued please use the submit photo section above.

If you would like a FREE 14 day trial of Squarespace please CLICK HERE. If you decide that it is for your, use code “FROTUBE” to save 10% off your first order.

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, and yes my voice is slightly a little raspy after three days of shooting the froknowsphoto video guide the next guide that’s coming out. And today is the snow day so I would figure I’d catch up on making a Squarespace Rapid Fire Critique. And this time we’ve got Jonathan Tate photography and this is what his website says. It says the world is black and white through my eyes… so we will see if that is the case. So first things first his Squarespace page I believe the template that he’s using is called Wells. That is similar to the one that I use on mine, so that’s something that I definitely, definitely like. So one thing I first noticed up here, oh I want to turn off desktop icons for the time being.

One thing that I saw up here is its Jonathantatephotography.squarespace.com. Now that’s very difficult to send somebody to Squarespace I believe when you signup for a year gives you a free domain name. Now you don’t have to use them for the domain name. I use a company called Aplus.net. I believe it’s 12.99 a year or 10.99. I think it went upto 12.99 a year for a domain. I would purchase my own domain name separately so that you know in case you leave Squarespace one day you still have your domain. I don’t know how they do it, whether you get to keep it or you can transfer it, maybe they do. I’m sure they make it easy, but in this case, I like to purchase it on my own so I control it so I would like to see that you do that. Get Jonathan Tate photo probably opposed to photography that way it’s not so long. You got to look at how long domain names are. You got to try to make it easy for people to find your site and to spell it out, especially on mobile devices.

You would end up losing the Squarespace. Squarespace makes it really easy for you to map your domain name to wherever you have it. It’s just really simple. That’s what I did so that you can go to Jonathantatephotography.com. If you own that and get right to your website even if it’s stored on Squarespace’s server. So first things first, we’ve got or maybe second things second, I don’t know. We got Sacramento’s streets. We can pump through here boom. . I like how we rotate. I like how the images are huge. Remember that you can always drag look you see how drags in the screen resizes that is one of the major things I love about Squarespace that it does because no matter what size screen you have, you have a captive design here. It’s always going to change, and it makes it work.

You may not do it small like this, but hey, we’ve got it like this. One thing that I didn’t like about this you can arrow left, you can arrow right, and I just did it backwards, but you can’t arrow up and on my site let me show you what I like about arrowing up. You see how you have left, you have right, but you also have up that shows all the thumbnails. I love being able to see all of the images on the screen because that way I can be like, oh I want to see this picture and boom. Now again my website isn’t perfect. It’s not the best. It’s just an idea, that I love having the ability to see the thumbnails. And I think a lot of people do as well so as we go down here we’ve got. What does one say? It says Sean this guy Sean, you go through you got two, three pictures. Couple actually not bad, so not a bad set. Up, up, what is this, why is there a color picture on your site? See, this is one thing you either going to have to do or not do.

If you say that the world is black and white through your eyes, then every single image on your page you got to live by that. That needs to be your thing. If that’s your style and what you’re going for then everything on your website Jonathan should be black and white especially with a tagline like that. I don’t think that’s too much to say especially if you’re going to say it then, then own it. Then be that guy that sees the world through black and white, so I like this scene. I like what’s going on here. What I would consider doing on the site here is maybe making these more bold so that you can see them and not just when you highlight them. I like it bold so it stands out and I can see it from a distance. Also maybe have a section called photo stories or portrait stories where you put this guy, and then this Relic 45 which is a band I believe. Same thing have that under photo stories or portrait stories or something along those lines, but I know that I went through here as well, and started to see color pictures and that throws me off, especially with the tagline, so that’s something that I would consider doing.

Automotive, let’s click on automotive and see what we have. We’ve got one picture alright so it’s not a portfolio with one picture. It’s just a picture maybe you should have a miscellaneous section for certain images if you’re not ready to put up more about automotive because it kind of is like if somebody is coming to your site to hire you and they’re looking at everything else so they want your portrait so they come up to automotive and they see one shot. It’s like why? Why do I only have one shot here? So either hold off on putting this up yeah I wouldn’t even put it up at all until you have more automotive shots, or have a miscellaneous section of my personal choices, my fun shots where you just have a miscellaneous area where the images go. So we’ve got the Homeless Project, which I went through earlier. I think its some very nice images on here.

Again I would like to see the thumbnail. This is great. Very nice in black and white. I’d move this up higher, maybe under Sacramento stories. This is or personal stories or personal projects. This is really – it’s very powerful and there’s not that many images here. I’d like to see at least 15 to 20 pictures in a portfolio that you put up here. I rather see less sections, but more solid images. These are solid images, but I want to see just a little bit more of them before you put other things up so we click on animals. And again, we just have one picture. It shouldn’t be here like this, you need to get that into the miscellaneous or have a set of animals. I could say 10 pictures alright. I wouldn’t say go less than 10 pictures, when you’re putting up a section.

Through the looking glass blog, I like that you have a blog on here as long as you update it more often, and you just keep people coming back for more. Blog posts are very important on a photo website. People come back, what do you think I started? When I started Jaredpolin.com it was with a Squarespace at the time and I had it in a blog style, and I put up my portfolio, and I put up my images, but I also had a blog and people started to follow it for whatever reason. I don’t know why I wasn’t very good back then, with making videos, but people just they came back because there was a place to see content and so updating stuff like this about your personal stories or hey look, I went photograph the homeless guys and I did an interview or here’s my story, and here’s what I feel. People start to get a personal appreciation for that and they feel attached to what you’re doing and then they’re going to come back for more, so then we’ve got shop.

And shop when we click on it is empty. There’s nothing here so because there’s nothing here, you got to turn it off on your end. You don’t want the public facing side to show a blank page, especially like this, where it says shop or you – if you’re going to sell something, put it in there. If not nicks it, get rid of it. Then we click on contact and you have your contact form. I like contact forms like this. I also don’t mind sometimes leaving the e-mail address in there. Maybe it’s not linkable or clickable, but it gives people the ability to see it and send an e-mail if they would like, but this is very simple to use very easy to put together, maybe have more of a bio. I don’t see an About Me page. It’s always nice to know more about you instead of my name is Jonathan Tate, a local photographer from Sacramento.

Well, let me ask you something what makes you a – yes you’re local there, but you’re not local to me because I’m in Philadelphia. Own it, drop the local, you’re a photographer from Sacramento, California willing to travel the world to go take the photos that you want to see in black and white. I don’t know I just came up with that off the top of my head, but if you see the world through black and white you know my name is Jonathan Tate, a photographer from Sacramento, California, capturing images of the world in black and white. If you need me to travel around, if you need me to travel anywhere I am fully capable and ready to go, so contact me here or leave your e-mail address and things like that. So those that’s marketing, that’s a little bit of salesmanship right there.

You’re selling yourself. Don’t sell yourself short as just a local photographer that comes across as saying well I guess you’re not global, you’re not able to go anywhere else and I’m not saying you’re not. I’m just pointing that out as something that I would work on. I would come up with a saying, you know you have your slogan about the black and white, but be you know be more open to – you’re a Photographer and capitalize Photographer by the way. Capitalize the P in photographer. You are a Photographer. You are from Sacramento California, but I am traveling, I will – I do travel the world and I’m ready to go when you want me to capture your black and white images so I think I spend enough time on that, but I hope that helps you guys out there. You’ve got your link to your Facebook and Twitter. I love seeing that. You probably should have an Instagram as a photographer these days, so that people can follow you there. The more places people can follow and engage in what you’re doing, the more they’re going to want to come back for more. That’s how you start building the brand and the brand awareness and people are going to start seeing your work and talk about it, and share it out there.

So the photos are very nice and black and white. I like what’s going on. This is a very clean theme. There’s not much that I would change as of right now. I’d like to see drop-down menus of sorts if you have got multiple photo stories. I would see a little bit less here because once you get rid of automotive, once you get rid of animal, and once you get rid of shop it kind of condenses down and is much better than where it’s at now because those just clog it up, and they don’t really show you anything. Your photo stories are pretty cool. I like them, but let’s work on this left hand side and maybe have some drop-down menus where you put miscellaneous projects, animals and just put the photos in there, so not bad at all guys. This is a Squarespace Rapid Fire Critique. If you haven’t checked out squarespace.com yet go to squarespace.com/fro and if you well, you could signup for a 14 day free trial. And after that, if you decide that you want to signup for a subscription use the code fro tube at checkout, and that’s going to give you 10% off your first order so that means if you signup for one month you’re going to get 10% off for that one month or if you signup for a year you’re going to get 10% off that entire year which is I think something like $84 for the year that is not bad, and that includes the hosting and all of the customer support 24 hours a day. I like it. Check it out for yourself, for those 14 days free trial.

If you want to submit your rapid fire critiques you can do so, leaving them here underneath this YouTube video as a comment. I will see those links, and there’s only so many of these I can make, but I will keep trying to make them and leave some comments with what you want to see me do with some of these critiques. So there you guys have it. Go to Squarespace.com/fro use code fro tube to save 10% off and that is about it. Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, see ya.