Lenses and Purpose

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There are different tools and ways to build a house. The same goes with creating beautiful pictures, not every lens fits all occasions. I have narrowed it down to two of my favorite lenses when it comes to creating custom content for clients. This researched is based on the Canon platform, and what I have done with past clients. If you have the opportunity to buy them, without a doubt one of the best lenses if you’re a photographer or web designer.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

I cannot emphasize this lens enough. One of my favorite lens in capturing a wide angle. This lens is considered a “ultra wide angle” lens because it can be used from daily vlogging to real estate images where you want to make rooms and properties look larger than life. If your constantly on the move and need to engage with an audience this lens is perfect to allow your face to be focal point of your videos, by allowing a good amount of background space in ratio to your face. Although this lens is one of my favorite go to lenses, it does have some limitation such as low light and low ISO’s. This lens is used for places that have a great amount of light.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

What another great lens, I consider this lens as my favorite of all time. The reason being is that not only does it have a great price point but it’s versatility is almost endless. This lens is considered the “Nifty Fifty,” and for a great reason. It gives you that beautiful background blur, almost creaminess to the back ground that all photographers love. That background blur is so loved that Apple even created software rendering in their iPhones to give that effect on their photos. Not only is this lens great for pictures, but the blur gives it that cinematic effect when it comes to videography. Pair this with some nice color correction and you can shoot the next greatest film of our time.

 

In conclusion, there are many lenses for many purposes but these two take the cake. They are my favorite go to lenses because they are effective in capturing the emotions I want. Even before we glorify lenses and expensive camera equipment, none of that is necessary, all you really need is cool idea and a smartphone, and that will beat any high end production. At the top of the pyramid lies story, story is king, and everything else is below. If you can capture the story, you can capture emotions!

Pro Tips for Generating Traffic

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, I found it necessary to come up with a couple pro tips on how to increase your traffic of your business. They are in no specific order, but general tips on producing real organic growth searches and queries to have your business start ranking.

Social Media

I can’t help but keep bashing this one in the head. I have seen businesses be transformed from social media exponentially. In fact I have a quick story of a business I personally watched and gave advice to. They work in the car industry and I have watched them grow from one location to expanding country wide to about 5 locations in the span of 3 years. As I watched them grow, so did I watch their social media grow, it started out with 1 Facebook post, then 1 instagram post, then next thing you know they have a 1 YouTube video. Fast forward to today, they release about one YouTube video a week consistently, and 1-3 Instagram posts a day. With that said, social media can really transform your business with consistency. The consistency over time becomes exponential.

Blogging

What better way to update your website with some blog posts about your craft. Google has a web crawler and it has no eyes. It cannot tell beautiful websites from other websites, but in fact it can read. It reads code, h1 headers, h2 headers, and anything written in html. In fact, its very smart and capable of knowing if your trying to run an exploit on trying to become number 1 in its searches. The best way is to upload quality blog post for your page to let Google your website is still functioning so it can index it properly. The more content you produce for your business in terms of blog posts, the larger your online foot print becomes. As your online foot print grows, so will your ranking. Google will not rank un-updated websites.

Other Platforms

Lets say you’re a restaurant, what other areas could you focus on that will help your restaurant flourish and succeed besides food and service. Other platforms like Yelp can definitely increase the traffic in your business when they see great reviews. The better your food tastes, and the better the customers feel happy, the more inclined they are to leave great reviews. What follows great reviews, more people coming into the restaurant eating your food. It’s a great cycle, and cycle that is a win win situation for both the business and the consumer.

These are a few from the top of my head, not all topics are covered, but enough for you to understand that there are many areas to increasing traffic to a website. It’s like a game of chess, there are many avenues of attack. Not one solution fits all, more like, an infinite amount of solutions for one problem.

Photoshop Tutorial

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I was rummaging through some photos I took this summer while I was playing with my new camera and lens. I stumbled upon this picture of one of my friends and wanted to master the picture for fun! This brings me to creating a small tutorial on how to photoshop pictures and master them.

People who hear the word photoshop sometimes cringe at the fact that the software is so hard to use and navigate that they are completely turned off by it. I understand that feeling especially when you fire up a software and you are introduced to a gauge of clusters and buttons that you have no idea what they do.

I created this small tutorial to show you some basics of photoshop to get your images looking clean and professional. This is just a basics as of now, where we touch on general ideas to get you to understand the fundamentals of photoshop and how a little knowledge and application can make your photos from wow to absolutely stunning.

I’m using Adobe Lightroom Classic, once you import the picture you want to edit, look on the right side, you will see your histogram and all the tools to manipulate your photos. For the sake of this photo itself, I increased the contrast. If you look at the original image, the original image looks over exposed and washed out.

By increasing the contrast, you are making the colored colors brighter and the darker colors, dark, it’s almost like HDR, minus the array of pictures taken. Next since this picture was washed out with color, I wanted to enhance the colors that are not in the darker spectrum such as the red sign on the left, and his muted skin tone.

To do that we need to play with the HSL/Color section, there we can manipulate specific colors one at a time rather then enhancing the picture as a whole. This can be useful because, sometimes we only want to enhance specific areas, such as the skin and the sign, why enhance the whole picture?

I went ahead with the red for the sign and the orange for the skin tone. I chose orange because it is the closest color to brown, which is his skin tone. By using the saturation slide, you can intensify the specific color you choose. In this case, the sign is now more red, and the skin is actually brown.

To finish it, I made the picture look more sharp by increasing the grain. The sharpness tool is great for any pictures that have a heavy front face to it. The details in the face can really bring the picture to life and give it that realistic viewing photo effect as if the person is right in front of you!

Stay tuned for part 2!

Creating Original Content

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Creating custom content can be difficult for your business especially if you are brand new. Here are some tips to create awesome original content for your web design projects.

1.Invest in a Camera

I cannot emphasize this more, the reason being this is the most important tool in creating original content. It’s like trying to build a house without a hammer. How else are you going to get content? Buying individual pictures and their rights over time can be expensive. This is the perfect way of bypassing the need of paying someone else for their work. By creating your own.

2.Understand the Fundamentals

It is easy to lose yourself in the hype of creating content, but what happens after you snapped those awesome pictures. The next step is to understand how to master the shots and use a program called photoshop. By using photoshop it allows you to take your already great shows and make them even better. They can become better by highlighting the shadows, increasing the contrast, and brightening colors in a certain area to get an exaggerated look to your pictures.

3.Practice

Consistency is the key to making all your dreams come true for your website. The beginning is always the hardest but as long as the pictures keep coming, and the website continue to get updated, Google will index your page more and more consistently.

 

The next topics we will cover will be some more advanced topics that deal with Google’s web crawler as well as data schemas that can provide rich data for analytics, which everyone can read

Most Important Photography Tips

Being a web designer is more so having the creative eye to be able to know what pictures go with what pages. Half the battle comes from taking pictures and creating content on your website. If you can conquer those steps, the remaining steps are much easier.

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Here are some general tips given to me by a successful photographer that I recently met. Very basic and easy to follow instructions.


Shoot What You Love

Often times what starts off as love becomes a chore in the long run. When the action you are trying to create becomes a hassle and you feel “forced” to do it then it slowly starts to lose it’s meaning. Everyone has different perspectives on life, and that can be transposed to what you shoot. Shoot what you feel is unique to you and only you, your perspective on what you shoot matters the most before anyone else’s opinion.


Learn The Technicals

This in my opinion is the most over looked. People expect to provide good original content but do not even understand the fundamentals of proper shooting. In order to advance to the next step and be able to do more with creating content. One must understand the basic fundamentals of what ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, and specific lens for specific tasks. Doing so will allow you to take your photography to the next level. When you can learn the basics, you can then move to the intermediate levels, then advanced, hopefully to full professional.


Learn Photoshop

Every image that gets published or put on any platform to be seen by others will always get photoshopped. You need to learn how to use Photoshop or any photo editing software that can enhance and edit your pictures. It is a must to be able to edit because it gives you complete control of your image after you have shot it. Whether it is to change the color gamut, remove smudges, or even basic picture brightening of a dark image. Learning photoshop is a must.


Like all things, this is a skill and involves a lot of time. The more time you spend the more you’ll learn and your skill asset will increase.