Over the past several months, we have laying down the foundations for our photography business.
It is quite a leap to consciously set up and start running a small business – suddenly all the legal and financial considerations start to matter. Once they are all in place, building your profile and getting your name out there becomes a priority. The time behind the lens may actually have to take a back set for a while.
The world of small business has changed considerably over the past decade. Social media now plays such a major role in our professional and personal lives … in some ways this is ideal for professional photographers. Many of the social media site rely on visual communication and photographers are most interested in the visual. On the other hand, the social love affair with smart phones means that as photographers our images are now competing with millions of images generated by people who would not even regard themselves as photographers. However, we firmly believe that there still is a place for high resolution, quality and professional images.
Sometimes it seems that the world has gone mad for visual communication. Research strongly suggests that visual communication is more powerful than verbal … that we are more likely to remember what we see and do … up to 80%. That is powerful stuff.
What does all this mean to a small photography business that is starting out?
This month, we started our “share the love” campaign. Setting up the first advertisement was a daunting experience but also exciting. We are eagerly tracking the results and happy to learn as we go along. The social media networks can be fickle beasts! We know that this will be a long term investment and to expect overnight results would be crazy.
It is while since we blogged but want to also take this opportunity to thank all those people that have come on board and shown their support these past months.
Hello people …
Okay so here is something for those who have and love to use long lens’s …. My favorite is the Canon 100-400mm EF . At first I only used it mostly for taking street candid shots, until one day when I saw a butterfly at a distance and thought to myself ” no way will I ever be able to get it ” and well…. I didn’t , not in focus anyway … but it sure got me to thinking of how I could manage to shoot small subjects in motion .
Here’s what I’ve been doing, with some fairly good success if I may say so …
1- iso should be at 100 … keeps much of the noise down.
2- spot metering … you want to be targeting the insect and nothing else … the rest should just be background or bokeh .
3- Try to get to see a pattern in the flight …or it’s landing times ( I will take a few minutes to study that and have found it helpful) … AT TIMES ….
4- Manual focus … very frustrating at 1st …. but much worth it in the long run
5- Start shooting… Good luck and have fun
It won’t be easy at first you may get 1 shot out of 25 attempts …. who cares …. but it does get easier with practice
And of course if anybody out there who is reading this and would like to add some hints and feedback, please feel free to do so
Thank you … and click on people
Images of black objects against a black background can be stunning and very artistic – especially when the black is rich and glossy and the light is minimal. Subtle changes in your camera’s manual settings can have a huge impact on the end result. Experimentation with your light sources, ISO and shutter speed as well as a good dose of patience is required in order to get the desired result. Although adjustments can be made in post processing, the satisfaction comes from achieving a good result with the original image to begin with.
An example of the effect of shutter speed in black on black photography is shown above. The subject was the felt tips of a black marker against a black background. Both images were shot as hand held macros, ISO 320 which is higher than we would normally shoot at but the light conditions were low to reduce the light reflections on the glossy black of the marker pen. In the first example, the shutter speed was 1/20th of a second and in the second, the shutter speed was 1/30th of a second. The slower shutter speed resulting in more details in the photo but an overall bluish tone. The first image is great … if we had wanted a blue image. The slight adjustment to shutter speed provided the desired result, with sufficient details to define tip of the felt pen and to keep the blacks rich, deep and glossy. With a shutter speed slightly higher than 1/30th of a second, the object became lost in the black background. The best shutter speed for each black on black shoot will depend on the ambient light sources, ISO settings and other factors.
We know that no one will believe us when we say we have no idea how “the star of our canon family” suffered such trauma. The nature and extent of damage to the 5D’s body would suggest that the poor thing had been dropped onto concrete from a high height or had been thrown out of a speeding car. Neither had occurred. Whatever caused the damage resulted in an expensive repair with most of the external body and some of the internal parts replaced. It is a complete mystery.
The camera had only been used in a few studio shoots the past couple of months. During those shoots there had been no indication of camera malfunction or loss of image quality. During our last shoot, we discovered the crack from the front of the camera just above the lens mount, across the top and along the back. There were no scratches, dints or other signs of impact. We know that the camera had not been dropped or mishandled. Other members of our canon family have survived more difficult circumstances – extreme temperature conditions (up to minus 40 degree Celcius), the occasional bumps, minor mishaps and scratches without damage, so this kind of damage was surprising, baffling and traumatic.
A visit to the original store of purchase brought no relief, and neither did the visit to the Canon Emergency Room. The injuries were classified as impact damage, and therefore not covered by warranty. We understand that shops and repair centres have heard it all before with stories of “no fault” claims, but it is frustrating that genuine cases are readily dismissed and the assumption is that you have abused the camera in some way. Unfortunately, we have no explanation at all.
The only good news to come out of this story is that our star was repaired and returned to us much quicker than the Canon Service Centre had suggested and with a new face and body she is ready for action.
In the last couple of months the steps to set up our new business, at times, has been a daunting experience, from all the paperwork needed for business registration, to new bank accounts, to creating an online presence through our website, this blog and facebook presence. Thankfully they are coming together, slowly but surely. There is still lots to do but the basic foundations are now in place. One of the real delights amongst this endless stream of paperwork and online development has been giving our studio a facelift … and we are not talking about post processing images in photoshop but actually upgrading some of the equipment for our home-based studio.
Like most photographers the dream of turning professional started out with small baby steps. The passion for taking photographs took on a new meaning as we both added to our kits with different lenses and cameras. For some time we were content with our “makeshift studio” – it was a great place to experiment although sometimes the set up time was longer than the actual shoot. The time had finally arrived for us to invest in some studio equipment that would make it more versatile, durable and workable.
With wonderful customer service from Dragon Image Australia we gave the home studio an overhaul. After an informative discussion about options and a day or so of reconfiguring the studio space, we invested in some new studio lights, soft boxes and a backdrop arrangement that lets us work out of our home studio with greater ease but also provides the option to take our equipment offsite as and when required. Our studio space is small and intimate but works well for the type of portrait, macro and product photography that we are keen to do.
We are no saints … but we are canonised. If both us were not avid canon fans then our relationship may not have gotten off the ground, let alone the idea of starting a photography business together. It also makes sharing of equipment and learning from each other a lot easier.
Thankfully, our photographic styles are quite different, so there are few arguments over who gets to mount which lens on their camera for a shoot. Just as we came from different ends of the planet, our lens choices are at the opposite extremes of the lens spectrum.
When out and about, Marty likes to strap on his 400mm zoom lens to get close to the action, while keeping a respectable distance from his subjects. Palo, on the other hand, will get into weird positions (dubbed the palo pose) for that up close and personal touch using her 60mm macro lens.
It is those different choices that lets us build a diverse portfolio of images even though we may be shooting at the same location. It also keeps the arguments down to a minimum!!! But it does beg the question … does size matter? The simple answer is that Marty does tend to get more comments about his camera with the 400 than palo does with the macro … you can be the judge 🙂
Marty and Palo welcome you to our blog – Dragon Papillon Photography – where we will share our world with you through our camera lenses.
We are two freelance photographers based in Sydney, Australia. Several years ago we met each other through a mutual passion for photography and respect for each other’s creativity. As life would have it and although we used to live on different sides of the planet, that connection led to friendship and eventually to marriage. As our relationship evolved, so did the way in which we approached photography. We discovered that collaborating on photographic assignments to be even more rewarding than the days we were alone behind the lens. We would find ourselves often discussing how to take our photography to another level and dared to dream about running a home-based studio.
Well the days for wishful thinking are behind us as we launch our business – Dragon Papillon Photography and begin to share that next chapter of our live through our blog and website.
collaboration || passion || creativity We are two freelance photographers based in Sydney Australia. Our photography spans a number of genres from studio portraits to candid photography, macro product photography to conceptual photo-art. We met each other through a mutual passion for photography and respect for each others' creativity ... the only problem was that we lived on different sides of the planet. However that connection led to friendship and eventually to marriage. As our relationship evolved, so did the way in which we approached photography. We discovered that collaborating on photographic assignments to be even more rewarding than the days we were alone behind the lens. As we began to collaborate more and more on our photographic work, we would dream about running our own photography business. Dragon Papillon Photography is turning that dream into a reality.