Yep, it’s that time of the year again where you need to reset your blog actions and the copyright on your site if you have components that have the year 2019 attached to it. For me, it’s the plugin Digimarc which applies an invisible watermark in my photos. Every year that plugin has to be changed to have the current year in it. Actions are very easy to change and should be done regularly as the equipment and skills you acquire grow.
Every photo tells a story but a print keeps that story alive. Having a large library of images is great but if you don’t find a way to share those images and tell those stories to others so that they live on, then the images become worthless. A recent shoot I did lead to 23 prints needed to keep that day alive. The clients said they were “giddy” when they were going through them, reliving every moment. That’s the power that prints can have.
Printing is a science. It takes time and practice to know which images look good on what paper and under what circumstances. There are many great resources out there that can help you learn but the best teacher is to just print and keep printing until you run out of ink and paper and then you print some more. For this purpose, I rely on Epson Surecolor P400 and Epson Papers.
This is a really important but simple thing to do. At the beginning of the year it’s important to update all copyright elements with blog and website elements. It’s kind of tedious and time consuming but it’s an important element to protecting your photography. One thing that I have always done is use a hidden watermark in my photos that includes a copyright year. It’s in most of my actions so going back through and changing each one can get annoying but there’s an easy trick to it. Simply go to your actions, turn off button mode, select the action that you need to change and delete just the items that need changing. Simply run the action with those steps deleted and then you can start recording where you left off and make new changes. It doesn’t take too long and you don’t have to rebuild everything.
Moving forward in photography comes in many forms. One of the hardest is letting go of what is not needed anymore. We spend a lot of time collecting photographs, expanding our digital libraries, coming up with more and more stories. The gear locker tends to expand as we make those photographs but the locker has a hard time of being reduced as time goes on. It is important that we keep it cleaned out.
Camera gear represents an investment and if that investment isn’t producing anything anymore then it’s best to get rid of it. It can be hard to let go because it’s cool having that gear locker! You look around the office and you see all the tech and it’s awesome. I’ve been there. But in the end it’s just stuff. If it isn’t helping you then it’s best to find something that does.
Adobe Portfolio has been out for a while now and having used it for my own personal gallery, I can honestly say that it’s pretty cool. Creating a gallery for any website is a pain in the butt. It’s difficult finding a way to showcase lots of images that are not only safe but is also easy to change as time goes on. Adobe has made this possible for us.
Adobe Portfolio is available for free to anyone who is already a Creative Cloud subscriber. If you’re not then you can purchase it for $9.99 a month. One of the best parts of the app is that Adobe uses it’s own servers so you don’t have to use up your own space uploading photos. For any of you that have gone through this process in the past then you know how valuable that space is.
Customizing the portfolio is pretty simple but can be a little clunky if you’re used to WordPress. It’s not the same coding which takes a little bit of playing around with to get used to. Scott Kelby did a course on Adobe Portfolio if you’re a Kelbyone member then it’s worth your time watching.
So why is it worth your time? Well not only is it easy to integrate it into your website but once your Portfolio is published a separate unique URL is created which can be very useful.
For a while now I have been testing out Peak Design’s Anchor Links and I have to say they are awesome! This very inexpensive camera accessory is a great time saver. The anchor attaches to the camera body and the other end attaches to your favorite camera strap. That’s it! If you have multiple camera bodies and multiple straps, like I do, then this might be a good tool for you. If you need to know more about straps head over to the Tech Talk page.
These are the Straps I use:
Domke Gripper Camera Strap 1.5″ with Swivel Quick Release – Black
Vulture A4 1.75″ Camera Strap with Aluminum Quick-Release Adjuster (Heavy Duty for Air to Air work)
Everything about this business changes gradually over time and we have to adapt to those changes if we want to stay in business. It’s really easy to just nod along and say, “well yea that’s obvious.” Well actually putting it into practice is a lot harder. A blog or website is a great example for this practice but beyond a face lift why is it so important to update?
In today’s world an online presence is a must. It’s not even a must, it’s basically a death sentence to not have anything. Over time the internet changes and eventually everything that was good slowly degrades. The standard for a website or blog is to do a facelift every three years, partly because it shows you care about your online presence but mainly because that’s how long it takes for coding to degrade. Coding does change everyday but at three years you’ll really see a difference. When I updated my platform the difference was night and day. The speed and versatility makes a huge difference. Another great example is the use of flash. A few years back that was a big deal but on a blog today it’s a dead tool. That right there is something that if you used it you have to change it. I did.
So besides the technology part of the update there’s the increase in content both in need of and desire to show off. In theory as time goes on you will be shooting more, the digital library will grow and a need to show off that content will expand. Themes change daily and the ones today are far better then yesterday. This provides more options to display your content and grow your audience.
Next up is the fact that your preference when you launched your site might be very different then versus today. As we grow as photographers are tastes generally change and thus our results change. That’s part of experiencing more and more as we go out and bringing that back with us. This goes the same for how we want to display that change.
Lastly I must reiterate what I said in the beginning. You have to care. It can get very hard at times, feeling that constant need to create content but it’s always rewarding in the end.
Welcome to my new website! I have had the great joy of being able to share my knowledge of photography with others. I started my blog in 2008. It has been ten years in the making and there is still much more to do. Over the course of the years I have changed my themes multiple times but this time is a much bigger update then just the theme. The .org site is no longer functioning and a redirect is in place bringing everyone here to the .com site. Beyond that big change there is now more areas of content to explore.
The headers still redirect to all blog posts I put up, with the current blog posts being shown on the bottom of home page. While I will continue to blog, the big new areas are these seven categories. Each one will have content specific to those areas to help improve your photography. Over time they will gradually be updated with text, photos and videos. There is also a video slider now with all the current videos I have done up on home page.
I have done my best to inspire and educate others throughout the years and my hope is that this new platform will continue to do that.
I have the privilege of going on many adventures with my Dad over the years as we went from one project to the next. To this day we are still working on projects together. Some have asked for a podcast with Dad and I together to discuss not only how I got started in photography but how I have been successful. Click here to listen to the podcast.
It’s a new year which means it’s time to review all those old settings and presets that you have which contain the year 2017. One plugin I use all the time is Digimarc which adds a hidden watermark in my photographs. If a photo of mine is going on the web then it has to have that watermark. It’s just safer. With Digimarc you have to include the year into the watermark so that you can track it. Each image gets its own code and that’s part of it. This means that every year I have to change it. Actions are great time savers and when it comes to blogging it helps to have all those steps prerecorded. Nice thing about Photoshop actions is that they are easy to change.
This is what my action panel looks like in Photoshop CC 2018. There’s a bunch of different ones that make life easier for all the occasions that pop up. This panel is how you activate them. In the top right are three lines which allows you to switch to button mode.
Once you check button mode you can rerecord, delete or alter actions.
If you use actions and you need to alter it, there is a really simple way. Simply delete the steps that require a date and any after it and then rerecord the new steps. Then if you have multiple computers you can always save the actions and transfer them over. Of course if you use the save as command you will have to designate the folder since that varies between comps. It sounds like a pain in the butt but once it’s done, it’s done. Get the chores done early in the year so you can focus on projects throughout the year.