Tips and Techniques of Digital Photography Pros





Preserving special moments

For many people, getting sentimental means sitting down and flipping through a photo album and looking at the pictures which depict things that happened in their lives; and it must be clearly understood that these pictures are not merely pieces of colored paper with images. On the contrary, they often trigger deeply-seated emotions which can vary from happiness to feelings of warmth and sadness depending on the memories attached to such preserved images which we all cherish.

Of the moments that many individuals and couples often take careful steps to preserve is the schedule of events on their wedding day; and for this reason, some couples even go to the expense of hiring one or more professional photographers to capture the important moments of their lives. These photographers, however, may not always advise the client of how to strike a pose, but rather, are expected to wait patiently for opportunities to spontaneously capture natural postures and activities that can be transformed into memorable moments reflected in portraits of the event.

Fully prepare for the event

Most photographers, when preparing for a wedding engagement will often hire on assistants – if they don’t already employ such help – so that they will be able to maximize their strategy to create an album that will not be considered one they will live to regret. That having been said, however, what if your friend was getting married and you wanted to take your own personal pictures of the wedding from your own perspective, and as your own gift to that friend for later reflection and a few laughs? One concern you might have would probably be about the quality of your pictures; and perhaps the best way to address that concern is to use a digital camera to capture those special moments of your friend’s wedding.

Obviously if you don’t have a digital camera you’ll have to go out and purchase one for the occasion; but you may also need some pointers on using it and how to get the best quality pictures. So with that in mind, the following few tips, techniques and style points, while basic in nature, were designed for anyone who wants to capture the best quality photos of any event while using a digital camera, and they are provided here in the hopes that they can be of some help to you with your digital camera.

A few tips and techniques

Take a look:

  • Make sure that the background is good and the environment is not very crowded when taking a picture of a couple or any intended target;
  • If the background is nice but it is hard to focus on your target (couple, relative, guest etc.) you may shoot them from shoulder up;
  • If some of the guests are wearing glasses, you may advise them to stand and tilt their heads a little downward or sideways to avoid glaring which normally results from using the flash;
  • Use the zoom – in or out – to include a couple (or group) in the picture or exclude them;
  • Avoid shooting a couple or guest against the light to avoid dark images from appearing;
  • Since candid shots tend to be very dramatic, as they reveal more than the quality of the picture itself, a few such shots might enhance your photo album. Many professionals do this to capture intimate and memorable moments;
  • Be alert at all times since you can seldom ask individuals to pose again for you;
  • Make sure your digital camera is equipped with the appropriate memory cards or sticks to ensure that no great moment is missed.

Shopping for memory

The last tip above, while seemingly routine and straightforward, can easily be overlooked while making preparations for such an important event, so you have to make sure to carry an extra memory card for more reasons than one, but especially when you want more moments to preserve. And while we’re on the subject of memory cards, it is crucial that the following suggestions be considered before buying a memory card:

  1. For 3 mega pixels, buy a 256 MB memory card;
  2. For 4 mega pixels, buy a 512 MB memory card;
  3. For 6 mega pixels, buy a 1 gigabyte memory card.

Please note that it is not advisable to use low resolutions if the images are to be displayed and hung later. Just always remember that the higher the resolution utilized, the larger the size of prints that can be made. Make sure to keep a copy of your best works so you can use and reuse the techniques that made your viewers smile and appreciate your creative approach even more. If you haven’t saved digital photos before you’ll be pleased to know that entire albums can be on your personal computer to free up space in your memory card; but you may also use other software to enhance the quality of the prints to be made.

The art of photography

Photography is truly a wonderful activity and a great profession which many consider to be awesome beauty, excellent craftsmanship and wondrously orchestrated art. And when photography is combined with an event such as a wedding – memorable, authentic and wonderful as it is – the staging of this craft and event will trigger emotions and memories in the long run; and more so if images are well captured and preserved. Ultimately the capturing and preservation, in order to be properly done, will depend on your camera as well as your love for this art and the couple or target you’ve taken photos of.


Free Blogging Platforms: A Few Pros and Cons





To start blogging

For first time bloggers, a free blogging platform is a great way to get started in the blogosphere in the sense that, popular free blogging platforms like Live Journal, Blogger or Eponym allow users to set up and host a blog without paying any fees at all. This encourages people to start blogging, because the fact that one of these sites can provide you with all of the tools you’ll need to get your blog up and running without spending any money means that you have nothing to lose by starting a blog. The fact that it is so easy to find a way to blog for free is one of the reasons why so many people who have never had any other kind of web presence before find themselves drawn to blogging.

By signing up with a free blogging platform, you may find it easier to get listed in search engines than you would if you were starting your own blog from scratch. For example, Google runs a free blog hosting site known as Blogspot and crawls its pages on a regular basis looking for updates; so if you have your blog hosted by Blogspot you are almost guaranteed to be listed on Google’s blog search engine. This easy access to search engines can take some of the work out of promoting your blog, and can help you gain a following with a minimum of marketing effort.

So utilizing the tools and resources provided by established free blogging platform to do your personal blogging will provide plenty of advantages; for the blogging newcomers as well as some seasoned bloggers who started with such a platform and find no reason to move. Keep in mind also, that platforms which host many different blogs often provide very useful tutorials about building and updating a typical blog, and most newcomers to blogging will likely encounter very user-friendly software interfaces at most of the established blogging platforms like those mentioned above. In addition, these platforms provide a kind of instant community of fellow bloggers who are capable of providing advice, insight, and feedback.

Advantages and challenges

Furthermore, some of these free platforms often keep directories of their members, a practice which can be of great benefit for your traffic logs since it means that other bloggers on the platform will find out about your pages and probably take steps to learn more about your topic (or niche), your writing style and your personal views, among other things. In short, users of that particular blogging platform will want to get acquainted with each other and improve relationships, thereby strengthening common bonds and making the platform stronger and better while supporting each other as well as the overall platform.

That having been said, it is important to understand that participation in one of these blogging platforms, while advantageous in most instances, can also present some challenges which often come with linking up with any large blogging platform. One example of such challenges is, posting within existing templates of a platform like Blogger, would likely result in an individual blogger – presumably like you if you are an active blogger – running the risk of having your blog look and feel like that of every other blogger on the platform, so that we lose some of the uniqueness and individuality which would otherwise identify your specific brand on a platform of our own creation if we possessed the skills and resources to create it.

Deciding when to move

In other words, if your blog attracts a large readership, you may want to consider moving your site. In fact, you might agree with those who feel that being hosted by a free blogging platform gives a blog kind of an amateur flavor that is fine for a new member of the blogosphere, but is not appropriate for a high-profile blog, and if so that maybe even more incentive to move. Having your own domain can help you make your blog sound, look and feel professional, and finding a company that will host your domain is not difficult or expensive. Once your blog takes off, you will probably be able to sell enough advertising space to be able to financially afford a domain and pay for a hosting package, and still have money left over. However, it does not make sense, in most cases, to invest in these glossy luxuries before you have a sizable readership.

It is no secret that the blogging movement is very much about the creation of distinctive sites which feature, represent and promote the development of individual voices, so it makes plenty of sense that many bloggers would shy away from so-called “cookie-cutter” look and feel that blogging platforms like Live Journal, Blogger or even WordPress (the non-self-hosted variety) often promote. Many bloggers feel that the content of a blog is what makes it distinctive, not the look of the blog, but many members of the blogging community feel that the visual impact of a blog should match the originality of the writing and individuality of the writer.

The fact remains

Nevertheless, starting your blog on a free blogging web site is a great way to build a following before you spend any money on your blog; but if and when your blog becomes popular and you are ready to take the next step and purchase your own domain, your readers will follow you to your new home. The fact that it is possible to use a free blog host like any of those mentioned above, or one of the many o0ther platforms available on today’s Web, as a kind of incubator for your blog is great news for bloggers everywhere.


A Glimpse Into the World of Professional Blogging





Attraction to pro blogging

Professional blogging is very attractive as a vocation with a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who have a basic understanding of today’s innovative Web technology, as well as discipline, motivation and insight into one or more topics about which to write. The number of so-called pro bloggers who earn reasonable sums of money from their blogs are small; and still smaller is the group of bloggers who make a living entirely from blogging. Kimberly Palmer, a senior editor for U.S. News Money and author of the book, The Economy of You, citing a Pro blogger survey in her How to Earn Money as a Professional Blogger article, wrote:

“…most bloggers earn less than $100 per month, and 3 in 10 earn less than $10 per month. Only 16 percent of the 4,000 respondents say they make more than $2,500 a month.” That having been said, however, the number of bloggers who have managed to monetize their blog enough to supplement an existing income have increased since 2009 when Ms. Palmer’s article was written; and the pro blogging community is growing at a rate which can be described as moderate, but it is difficult to say whether this trend will continue since competition for online advertising dollars has increased at a much faster rate.

Many Web users and marketers dream of entering the sphere of professional blogging, even while there are some who happily devote an hour or more each day to their blog with the ever present wish that they could earn some kind of financial reward for all of their work. But those who yearn to monetize their blogs must know and utilize existing models for making money from their blogging activity, the most popular of which is to sell advertising space through Google’s AdSense program, or the less popular method of selling advertising space to one or more companies that wish to reach the bloggers’ audience.

A self-supporting blogosphere

Indeed, the number of people who do make a comfortable living just by selling space on their blogs comprises a very small percentage of an otherwise vibrant online marketplace; but this has not been a deterrent to aspiring pro bloggers, simply because the attraction of this vocation and the lifestyle it it supports appeal to many. Aspiring pro bloggers need not be dissuaded as they will find it comforting news that bloggers – pro, amateur and blogging hobbyists – are very supportive of each other in the sense that most of the people who read weblogs are bloggers themselves.

The self-supporting characteristic of this blogosphere is due – in part – to the fact that people who use blogging technology on a daily basis are most likely to be interested in what other writers are doing with the medium. And this is a fact that begins to explain why those who succeed in the world of professional blogging are mostly individuals who have devoted themselves almost entirely to learning about, talking about, and writing about blogging. More than any other topic, pro bloggers turn their attention to the phenomenon of blogging itself; and a lot of pro bloggers make their topic of blogging the stunningly self-reflexive focus of their blogs on an ongoing basis.

Of course, professional blogging is destined to become much more complicated in the future than it is today; but it must be said that pro bloggers who attract the largest audiences and make the most money are mostly concerned with investigating the blogging movement as well as offering advice to amateur bloggers. However, as the kinds of people who regularly read blogs change, and the demographics of bloggers expand and diversify as blogging software becomes more user-friendly, it is very likely that the world of pro blogging will begin to reflect these changes.

Pro blogging in flux

Indeed, it is very difficult to predict exactly what kinds of blogs will be reaping the greatest financial rewards five or ten years from now; but the world of pro blogging is one of constant change, and continues to be in a state of flux – not unlike the overall blogosphere and the larger Internet community – which is part of what makes it so exciting, appealing and inviting. If you are an aspiring pro blogger, it might be helpful for morale to heed the words of pro blogger Jim Wang, who is quoted as offering this advice: ‘Be patient. “It takes years to get to the point where you can earn a living off the site,” a sentiment which echoed by other successful pro bloggers who know what it takes to achieve pro blogging success.