Here at Red Daisy we are always looking for inspiration online.

We love to see amazing photographers and websites visuals that take things to a new level, or even just show things in an easy to digest manner.

That is why in this post we wanted to showcase a bunch of visuals that we or our clients have used in the last year or so. (yes we have been quiet online).

Online Visuals

If you want to get a whole lot of information across, sometimes a visual is the best way to go about it.

Infographics have become very popular and we recently stumbled across a few we thought we would bring to your attention.

This infographic we found on Simplicity Small Biz shows the art of social selling. Something we all need to get better at online.

social-selling
As you know, this kind of information portrayal really helps people get the message. Far easier than if it was in words.

But there are also other great ways to do this such as the following example of a world map using visual. This was done actually using the Tableau Data Visualization software which is a great way for non-profits to get their message across. You can see the graphic here.

Our client has used it in this case to display the countries in the world where they are hosting this particular software. An imaginative way of using the data for sure.

Tableau Visualizations
But there are lots more ways you can convey something without using data or more complex visualisations.

image-visualizationI also love this post from NeoMam, a great agency in the UK that does content marketing and other things in this area. This blog post shows how music can be visualised and is a very impressive demonstration of what is possible with the right tools.

Some of the visuals are pretty cool, albeit a bit abstract for most I guess.

Photos Are The Best Visuals

Of course, we here at Red Daisy think photos are pretty cool as well.

That is why we want to show you some stand out photographers that we have stumbled across in the last months.

The first is a great resource if you need some absolutely free photography. Even though the taste of this whacky guy may not suit everyone!

The website is called, rightfully so, Gratisography and offers fee (gratis) images for use in any situation (business or personal).

Here is an example of Ryan’s work

229H

If you like such amazing visuals or images and want lots to use in your upcoming projects, another great source to check out is Death To Stock Photography. These guys know what they are doing and take themes and shoot photos on that theme every few months or so. Then, if you sign up for it, they will send you the photos and you can do what you like with them. Great idea, right?

Here is an example of their most recent photo shoot:

death-stock-photography

Again, you can clearly see the quality of their work in the visuals that they create. Something not everyone in the industry can claim, that is for sure.

Summary

So, next time you are looking to take your content to the next level have a think about how you can create some stunning visuals.

It could mean making a graphic or chart that is suited to the job and to the expected audience. Or, like with the last few examples it could mean using photos as the basis of a visual for your website, brochure or social media posts. Up to you.

But one thing is for sure, the bar is raising ever higher online, and it is up to your and your business to keep up.

If you need some help with your visuals online, be sure to give us a yell.

Trying to get ahead of the competition is one of the things that we constantly have to do online.

And when you hare dealing with a ever-growing niche like photography, this need is very high.

More and more photographers are entering the market on a daily basis, with the ease of getting into digital photography today. So I am always looking for ways to stand out from the competition online.

Appearing Different In Search Results

The problem with getting ahead of the competition is tha most people have the same information and drive to do so. Therefore, it was with great excitement that I read about Rich Schema recently, which is really a way to appear differently in search results.

That is not to say that all of us can use this method, but it is something definitely worth exploring. So I decided to take a look

What Are Schema

Schema comes from a joint collaboration of some of the bigger names online, and gives us a way of labeling our data and appearing differently in search results.

The main place to get information on this subject is to take a look at the specification which is at Schema.org.

These schema allow us to, in detail, say what exactly it is we are showing online, and how it should be interpreted.

The beauty is that many search engines are using this data in various ways which can help us stand out from the rest on a page of very similar results on say Google.

Of course, not everyone looks the same on search results, because some people are not taking advantage of basic on-page SEO. Which means they don’t look great in results anyway with a title and description that will lure people to click.

On Page SEO shown in search results

 

Examples of Schema We Can Use

If you are reviewing any products online and making money via affiliate links, then review schema could be something that you want to check out.

It basically adds simple data to your review such as how many stars you gave the product and your name. It also includes the standard meta description and title as shown earlier.

Here is an example of a camera review search result in Google:

Review Schema camera

 

As you can clearly see from this example, this stands out just enough from a standard result to make a difference in the number of clicks you might see to your review, and therefore the amount of money that you can earn as a affiliate.

I don’t believe there are any definitive results, but this article on the click through increase shows that it definitely can make a huge difference.

So it is worth a try.

Product Schema

Another area for the average photographer of photography shop that is worth looking into is Product Schema

The search engines can also use this data very easily to highlight products, comparisons, photos and more. So you should be using these if you have a shop. It certainly cannot hurt.

Canon EOS products on Google

 

As you can see above, the detail and images shown by Google can certainly be beneficial if you manage to appear like this in the results.

People, Organisations and Places

There are also some other schema you can use to highlight parts of your business so that they might appear better in a search result. But I have only seen this used on the side of Google when we are talking about really large companies. However, everything is worth a try when you are differentiating online.

Conclusion

Even for a photographer or photo shop you need to be looking into each and every way that you can use your website to your advantage and stand out online.

So give schema a go now!

mavsocial social media photography imagesAs a photographer you probably have hundreds of thousands of photos in your archive, I know I do.

And one of the best ways to share these images with the world, with your fans and with your potential customers is via social media.

But managing your images and your social media together is not as simple as it should be.

Sure there are a lot of powerful tools out there, but not all of them have the features to handle images and social media together.

That is why I was so excited to discover a new tool recently called MavSocial, that does both social media and image management.

What are the Features of MavSocial

These days on social media images are becoming extremely important. But not only that, as a photographer, sharing those images and managing them is critical.

So many of the features of MavSocial are very helpful to me in keeping up with both of those tasks.

Managing Images

MavSocial provides a single sharable repository for your media. So an individual like me, or a business, can share one place to manage and organise all their media online for social.

They are able to handle all of the following types of media:

  • photographs and images (jpg, png, gif)
  • audio files (mp3, mov, wav)
  • videos (mov, mp4, m4v)

So if I were to use other forms of media in the future, like video, which is very easy to do with my Canon 5D, then I could also manage those here as well.

This also makes it easy to re-use images on social media and in blog posts in the future. Rather than hunting for those images I have decided are worth using.

It is kind of like a best of, of my images.

Photo Editing Within the Tool

Although this is not as important to me, as an avid Photoshop user, it is very useful to be able to do last minute changes to images within MavSocial.

So for instance, if I wanted to add some text, to lure people to a specific blog post because of the content, then I can do this on the copy within the tool.

That way, I can change it at any time in, and for the different social media sites. Obviously this is easier than altering my original image, even if it has been worked on.

Stock Photography

Obviously not all of MavSocial’s customers are photographers like us, so they have also provided a couple of huge databases of stock photography too.

So a person or company could use the images they have, and also access ones they might need for a project or social media post.

This is a great addition to the tool, because most people will not have such access, and even if they do, it will be separate. So this eliminates yet another step in the social media process.

Socia Media Channels

Keeping up with all of the social media channels is hard work, so having the access to all of them from one place like MavSocial can really help me leverage my time.

That is another way in which this tool is really saving me time and therefore money at the moment.

They cover most of the important platforms such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Tumblr

Obviously Instagram and Pinterest are missing, which is a shame because they are big photo related sites. But from the reading I have done, I understand that they have not made it possible for tools like this. Time will tell I guess. Hopefully it becomes possible in the near future, as it would make this tool a real gem!

Campaigns and Analysis

Last but really not least, is the ability to manage your social media as campaigns and to see what kinds of results you are getting too.

This is really the icing on the cake because if you don’t know what is working with your audience, then you are firing in the dark.

Final Thoughts

Although not all the features are there yet, and there are some bugs, for a new tool that focuses on the areas I care about (photos, images, video etc) Mav Social has really impressed me.

So if you are looking for an alternative for your social media management and image use, give it a try.

video and photographyThere is a bit of a blurry line between photography and videography today. Partly because cameras do both. But also because visuals are the key to both of these areas.

They share many things in common, from the tools, to the techniques, but also their surge in popularity.

Popularity of Video And Images

As the internet has changed and people are getting more and more online, video and video production have become very popular.

It is very easy now to use a DLSR camera to create your own videos which you can use privately or increasingly in business.

Many companies are putting a lot of money into video and photography and improving their websites.

It has become well known that images and videos will help keep visitors on your website longer and increase your search rankings as a result.

So who can blame people really for investing both the time and money into improving and using video and images.

Using Photography and Video

Although video is all about motion. Sometimes stills are a great way to add emphasis to a video.

In fact in some cases, there are videos made up entirely of still photography. It is accompanies by either music or narration and has a huge impact on the audience.

In this way video and photography truly come together.

But sometimes there is also a blur between the too. Take for example Instagram. They host and display a huge amount of photos and imagery. But then they also display small videos as well.

This is also overlapping with websites like Vine which is now hugely popular!

Common Techniques in Video And Photography

So we can see there are a lot of common areas of video and photography, but it does not end there.

If you are getting into photography or even using the tips and tricks on this website, you will notice that a lot of these ideas adapt very well to video.

Both video and photography use cameras, lenses, lighting, tripods, filters and much more.

The only difference is that video is a series of frames (photos) which manage to capture motion.

So when you are learning one or the other, remember that it is in many ways, at least technically the same thing.

Software for Both

Both of these art forms also have a lot of software for post-processing that really helps to bring the final product to another level.

Take for example photography. Here we have a range of tools, with the most common being Photoshop, where we can post-process images and create things that were barely there in the original.

With video, there is almost another level to it. You can use simple tools like Apple’s iMovie, or even more robust tools like Adobe Premiere to create masterpieces that are almost worthy of an oscar.

Summary

So as you can see, there is almost a merger between photography and video, that is a result of shared technology and techniques that are becoming increasingly popular due to the growth of the internet.

Whether you are a video lover or a photographer at heart, in many ways you are always both!

One of the biggest issues people have is with low light photography.

There are so many options and settings that you can use, that it kinda gets a little confusing.

That is why I have found this great infographic (below) that summarizes all of the tips you need to take a great low light shot.

Below I have also extracted the most important information and presented it for your pleasure!

Low Light Tips

Here are the tips you really need to concentrate on:

External Flash

Sometimes you just have to rely on another light source when you are dealing with low light.

Great for people or objects, and always best to add a diffuser so the light is not so harsh

Consider a DSLR

Although you can do low light photography with other small cameras, a DSLR has the features to help

It offers the following useful features:

  • High ISO settings
  • Burst Shooting
  • Manual settings
  • RAW for lossless post-processing

Lenses

One of the keys to great low light photography is the choice of lens.

Look for lenses with a large aperture, preferably below f/2.8.

Built in image stabilization is also extremely handy.

Remote Shutter Release

Because camera shake is such an issue with low light photography (owing to long exposure times) it is a great idea to get a remote shutter release.

Tripod

Another great way to reduce shake is to mount your camera on a stable tripod. Obviously any tripod is better than handheld, but the better the quality, the less the shake.

Tips for Shooting

Here are some tips for setting up your camera for low light shooting:

  • Aperture Priority Mode
  • High ISO setting
  • Large Aperture (small f stop number)
  • Long exposure times
  • Off camera flash for objects/people
  • Exposure compensation to get best results

The infographic below has even more tips and details.

Here’s to awesome low light photography!

low light photography tips

portrait photography tipsTaking Portraits seems like a piece of cake when you see the results. But a lot of hard work and knowledge goes into taking a great photo.

So in this blog post we want to teach you some of the basics about the settings and so forth that you can use to make the most of your next portrait photo session

When Should I use Exposure Compensation?

Skin tones are often under exposed when shooting a portrait, so sometimes you have to consider exposure compensation especially when shooting in aperture mode.

This will help to brighten up your skin tones and make your portraits appear more natural.

The most common setting we have found that works is to add +1 exposure compensation as a default, and then work from there. It is not always perfect, but should give you a great starting point.

What Aperture Setting Should I Use?

Portraits work best when the background is mostly out of focus. After all we are focusing on the subject, right?

So with this in mind, the best settings for a portrait are a small aperture setting (ie. wide aperture) like an f/2.8-f/5.6. Larger than this and you will risk having too much of the background in focus.

To make your life even easier (presuming you are using the exposure setting recommended above) we suggest using Aperture Priority mode so that the camera will select the optimal shutter speed for the shot too.

But what about Shutter speed?

To avoid camera shake, you want to try to get a shutter speed less than 1/30th of a second as a ball park figure.

But you also have to take into account your focal length, so if you are using a 200mm try to use a 1/250 sec shutter speed or faster.

Again, if you are using wider angle lenses then you can also get away with a lot lower speed like 1/20th or less.

Such knowledge comes with experience.

Should I change the ISO setting?

Because your subjects will often not be sitting still or even just blinking, it is best to get the fastest shutter speed possible. And this can mean changing your ISO setting to a higher value as well.

So by moving your ISO setting to say an ISO 100-400 range, you can increase shutter speed and decrease the blur that might occur when the subject moves too much.

This is certainly not helped by the make that many portrait shots are done handheld and not on a tripod, so we have an even great reason to decrease camera shake.

If you are working in low light conditions you might need to increase your ISO settings to  a higher value yet like 800, 1600 or even 3200. 
A little bit of photo grain is way better than a blurry image in any situation.

What kind of lens should I use?

Lens choice plays a major role in portrait photos so don’t forget this when you are heading to your next portrait photo shoot.
Wide angle can be great if you want to get more than your subject in frame. Whereas telephoto lenses are better for focusing on your subject more and ignoring the background. It all depends on the kind of effect you are going for.

They also play a role in the depth of field, so keep that in mind as well.

I hoep these tips have helped you get an idea of what you need to keep in mind for your next photo shoot. If you have any questions feel free to leave a  comment or get in touch.

photographic techniques

There are a lot of ways to take a photo that is for sure. And we certainly love portrait photography.

But today there are a number of techniques that are in popular use, and for a reason. They work.

So in this blog post we are going to take a look at four of the most popular photographic techniques.

Panoramic Photos

Panoramic photography is a great example of a photographic method that has definitely become a lot easier as the technology has improved.

It used to be that you had to manually paste photos together on paper. Or stitch photos together in Photoshop. Not anymore. Now cameras can do this with a simple panning motion (even the latest smart phones are doing it).

Basically a panoramic shot is one taken over a very wide angle. There are no specific rules, but the results speak for themselves.

Macro Photography

Macro photography has been popular since the lenses that were needed became available. I mean who doesn’t want to shoot things close up and capture nature like it has never been seen.

There’s something quite crazy about seeing simple objects in a very close up kind of fashion. You are basically seeing things you have never seen before, or at least in a way you have not thought of. Things really do appear totally different when they are shot up close!

The best macro results are of course found when you use the right equipment. Some modern cameras can do a good job with a cheap lens, but nothing beats the real thing. So if you are serious about this, then invest a little money you won’t regret it.

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography has  taken off of late due to the improvement in technology that helps take the guesswork out of this kind of photography. Whereas before, it was the realm of experts, now almost anyone can get into it.

Basically you are holding your shutter open for long periods of time to capture a scene that either you could not in low light, or to freeze motion like in a waterfall. There are many different reasons for using this technique.

What you need to use is definitely a tripod to eliminate shake when your shutter is open for a long time. What also helps, if you are looking to shoot something that is not in low light, but you want a long shutter speed is an ND filter. This basically decreases the light in a neutral fashion

 

HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and is a reference to the large range of light and dark within a given scene. Before HDR techniques became popular, you basically could not capture all of the information in such scenes.

The problem arises from the fact that cameras do not have the dynamic range of our own eyes. Where we are able to see a much wider range of colors and light levels, a camera cannot.

But if you take multiple photos at different exposure levels, of the same scene, then you can recreate this effect with a camera. The final touches are obviously done in post-processing on the computer where the images are put together.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of fantastic and useful techniques available in photography today. Just a little thought, and you can use them to your own advantage and create some great photos too.

This is a quick welcome post to the Red Daisy Blog.

In this area of the website we are going to be talking about photography. What a surprise, right?

That is after all what we do!

We will go over lots of things related to photos, techniques, tools, tips and other related matters.

So stay tuned for the best of the best!