Archive for September, 2010
After buying the spiffy new camera, the first accessory most photographers want to get their hands on is a mighty new lens.
It ain’t necessarily so.
This is a list of things photographers should buy in order to improve their sales. It is in the order of our suggested priorities at fotoLibra.
Remember, as a picture library / stock agency we’re not necessarily reading from the same page as our photographer friends. Most photographers want to create beautiful, stunning images, and of course we want to see those as well, but above all we want photographs that sell.
And if that interests you, then here is what we suggest you need to acquire.
- A decent DSLR or large format digital camera. The make is unimportant, as long as you’re comfortable with it. One famous old tip to get comfortable is to put the camera in a bag, then put your hands in and spend days looking odd and learning how to use it blindfold. Feel your way round the apparatus. Learn to use it without thinking, so it becomes an automatic, natural extension of your eye. Nowadays the camera back should deliver a minimum of 12 mexapixels.
- Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Corel Draw, GIMP, Irfanview or some other photo editing software. This is your digital darkroom. You must always shoot in RAW and then post process. It’s no use having a digital camera without photo editing software.
- A tripod. Your hands shake, I promise you.
- A subscription to fotoLibra. “Yeah, yeah, what a surprise,” you smile, but this is where you get regular lists of the photographs that buyers need, hints, tips, blogs and newsletters. A huge amount of storage space for your images. And all your sales and back office admin taken care of, leaving you to get on with pressing that shutter.
- Lighting, unless you plan only to photograph landscapes by available light (a very small market). At the very least, a separate and moveable flash unit. The flash built in to the camera is strictly for amateurs.
- A large roll of white paper to act as a neutral background, such as this. Professional picture buyers like plain backgrounds and cut outs. Cut outs are virtually impossible to achieve successfully without starting with a plain background.
- And of course Goalposts, on which you put the paper. You get to move them, as well. Properly called a “background support system’. Here’s one.
- Books from the fotoLibra Bookshop. I like the intelligent and elegantly designed Rocky Nook titles. You will never, ever stop learning as a photographer. Even Snowdon, one of the twentieth century’s most famous photographers, admits he’s still learning at eighty.
- Photography courses, such as those offered by Nick Jenkins at Freespirit Images. You will learn tricks and techniques which would never have occurred to you on your own.
- Apple Aperture or Adobe Lightroom. Post processing taken to new heights. I know it will hurt to spend money on bits and bytes before lovely, smooth, hefty glass and metal, but would you prefer to collect kit, or make a name for yourself as a photographer?
NOW you can start to splash out on more expensive lenses, camera bags and all that other non-essential kit. But armed with the Top Ten, you will have what you need to take photographs that SELL.
And my lens suggestion for when you finally buy a second?
Go for the widest aperture you can afford.
And if you don’t agree with this list, please post your own in the Comments!
Geek stuff here: yesterday we bought a new 21.5″ iMac from the Apple Store in Regent Street.
It won’t print.
This morning we gave up and called Apple Care. We spent 2 hours and 10 minutes on the phone with them without any solution. The guy admitted he was completely baffled. We still cannot print from the iMac.
We have a Konica Minolta Magicolor 2450 and a Toshiba e-Studio 16s networked in our London office through AirPort Extreme. We have no problems printing wirelessly to these printers using a MacBook Pro on 10.5.8 and a MacBook on 10.5.8.
We copied data and settings from the MacBook to the iMac using Migration Assistant. The PPDs were not copied across.
We downloaded new PPDs from Konica and Toshiba and installed them.
The iMac will not see either of the printers which are on an AppleTalk Local Zone. The Add Printer option on the 10.6 iMac has “Default | Fax | IP | Windows” while the 10.5 MacBook Pro has “Default | Fax | IP | Windows | Bluetooth | AppleTalk | More Printers” and the two wirelessly networked printers appear under the AppleTalk window.
We connected each printer directly to the iMac using an ethernet cable. It still wouldn’t see them.
What are we doing wrong?
Apple’s Tech Support guy said that Apple only supported USB printing. From the great pioneers and advocates of WiFi (I bought an Apple AirPort 10 years ago) that comes a little hard.
We figured out a convoluted workaround. By checking Sharing Printers on the iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro, we can finally see the printers, but this means we must have two computers running in order to print. Not a satisfactory solution.
Anybody got any bright ideas?
We’re taking it back to the store this afternoon, because of the multi-coloured stripes across the screen. Apparently the graphics card has collapsed. Not an auspicious start.