by Dave Newman Published 01/04/2004
Idea 4 Infrared Simplified
Over the years, I have found infrared photography to be a challenge. Focus was a problem, exposure was a challenge and the uncertain outcome was dodgy at best. Now, however, I have a much better feeling about the world of infrared since discovering this digital infrared system I'm about to unleash. This is fun stuff and, many times, adds the necessary excitement into the wedding or outdoor portrait session. Every exposure is now viewable on the cameras LCD screen. Everything seems to turn out with limited predictability and excitement. It's rather a challenge to see what the outcome is. To begin playing with infrared use a #87 filter over your lens (my experience stops with Fuji S2 and Nikon D1x...so this might or might not be a suitable formula for you and your camera), then set the camera ISO to 400. The camera must now be set to its black and white setting. The f-stop will vary so you might want to start with f-8 and go from there. Most often when using f-8 @ 400ISO I will be at about a 2 second exposure. Focusing is rather difficult since one can't view with the filter in place. Naturally, a tripod is necessary for such long shutter speeds. Vibrant green scenics with distant human forms, i.e., bride and groom full length at 50 ft, seem best for instant quality results. Infrared has always been well received as "funky", but now you don't have to wait a week to see if it really worked. Digital cameras have aided in the immediacy of results. Have some fun with this one!
Here's a super quick Adobe Photoshop adjustment for bringing an underexposed image into "healthy" range with just a click or two. The beauty of this quick method is the fact that it brings your underexposed image into a healthy lighter version of that image, without too great a loss of the range. Open your sick, underexposed, image file in Photoshop. Next, duplicate the background (do this in Layers tool panel) then, in this same Layers panel, go to the NORMAL drop-down menu and click on SCREEN, and POW! Wow, this is so cool, I can't believe it! If it seems to over compensate, go to levels and readjust the image. The beauty of this quick method is the fact that it brings your underexposed image into a healthy, lighter version of that image, with some optimum Photoshop magic, better than manually tweaking with levels or curves.
One of the dodgy areas of our business has been working with the "quick and dirty" head and shoulder only business portraits. This alludes to a salesman who wants the cheapest, fastest product you can hand him or her. The profit from this category of client is often questionable. Here's our recent profitable handling of this type of client. We attract this client with a competitive, low price. This is a brief, simple session with one 4x5 black and white retouched print. After the instant ULEAD selection session, offer the magic of a CD image as an option. They need a photo, but would crave a CD, which they would own. One image is then processed and retouched in black and white for a take-home CD. Color image would be at a higher price. You then explain that a CD can be used for many production areas and Is sold only with a COPYRIGHT release, sold at an additional price. Then explain that this is a very low resolution and suitable for web/internet use only and that a higher resolution can be purchased at a yet higher price. You total materials cost, for a digital image to CD, is now next to nothing. Now you have profit for your efforts. Handle this carefully and skillfully and you will see the profit you deserve and a load of satisfied clients.
Internet Website, worth the effort? How much do I love thee (websites) let me count the ways. Did you know that, other than third-world countries, websites, i.e., the internet, will create sales or at least influence buyers in about 30% of all sales in the years 2004 -2005? Wow! That's a whole lot of sales. But, does it work for a photographer? My answer is yes it does. Well, let's take a look at some positive reasons for owning even a small website. 1. Provides map/address information to your clients. They can now find you. 2. Establishes your hours of operation. 3. Provides insights into your photographic emphasis, i.e., children, families, weddings, etc. 4. Provides visual "show off" arena for awards and ribbons and degrees. 5. Allows a place for your "picks of the week" an area, which you are constantly updating for client interest. We call clients to inform them that their family is our staff's pick of the week family. Clients, then, in turn call all their relatives and friends with the news to check out Newman Photography's web page. What an inexpensive form of advertising and referral. (Note: I would place into your webmasters contract that he train you to change the photos in-house, to avoid webmaster charges for this revolving client section of your web page. ) 6. Website or WebPages are very inexpensive, since, web hosting companies offer free "do it yourself" website construction that your 12 year old son or daughter can handle. One studio I know gave the project to a local school for experience and now has a great little website. 7. Obtaining web addresses from your clients allows your to do web mails and email advertising of you VIP specials. 8. You can also present your Mission Statement for all to read.
Next issue we plan to feature some of the images created by Dave Newman along with his lighting diagrams showing just how he set them up. We have also received a review model of the Lite Balancer and will give you more detailed information on how we found it in the studio. A good time also to talk about lighting ratios, a topic that has not been covered for a while but is essential for quality work.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 255 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 15th March 2023