Sunday, 28 March 2010

Louise and Richard's Wedding PREVIEW, Rookery Hall

Just uploading my images now and cannot resist sharing this one with you!

Inspired(/ripping off!) a couple of beautiful photographs i've seen by other photographers recently I was desperate to take an image like this one with Louise and Richard, being drama teachers I knew they'd love it.

Fantastic day today and yesterday. I definitely don't want to give back the amazing D700 camera in the morning. But I need some rest now, keep your eyes on my blog for the portraits from yesterday and the complete selection of favourites from the wedding.

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Saturday, 27 March 2010

Salford Uni Nursing Graduation Ball at the Worsley Marriott

It's late so i'll be brief but I wanted to post after the ball because i'm photographing every day this weekend and want to keep on top of the blogging!

So i've just photographed my second ever Graduation Ball. It was for Salford University's Nursing course.

The organisers wanted every graduate to get a photograph, be it on their own or with guests or friends. So every ticket had a photograph which meant I knew exactly what to expect and could plan accordingly.

I really like this approach- if you're planning a ball and want to offer photography services include it in your ticket price rather than giving your guests the option to buy on the night. This leaves everyone with a lovely reminder and also means you can guarantee a certain number of images to negotiate a better deal with your photographer!

I had a fun evening guys so thank you, the pictures will be online to purchase from my photobox gallery asap. The below pictures are of the lovely Kevin who organised my being there this evening and the largest group!

I now have in my possession for the weekend a nikon D700. I didn't use it tonight because I needed to know exactly what I was doing the the quick turn around of a ball but i'm planning on having some fun with this special camera tomorrow.
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Sunday, 21 March 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Spring Time!

Doesn't a bit of sunshine just make a world of difference to your mood?

Signs of Spring in my house include attempting to grow things again! Last year was quite successful, particularly cucumbers and lettuce, but this year, because I'm hoping to move house, I'm keeping it simple with peppers, tomatoes and 2 types of chili.

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Another sign of Spring in the Craig household is that Tig stops looking like a massive fluff ball and instead piles of tumbleweed style cat hairs gather in corners of the house- boo! But I love her regardless.

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The little bit of sunshine has raised my mood so much that I've realised how lovely it is even just outside my front door so the following images were taken this morning in Mosley Common where I currently call home. I hope they can give you the smile that going out to take them gave me!

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Wedding season starts for me next week at Rookery Hall near Nantwich. I'm excited and nervous but it's definitely time to get back behind the camera!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sarah's Photography Tips: Fun Ways to Share Your Photos

I'm getting quite excited by this 'photography tips' blogging idea and it's getting me trying new stuff. Today I tried out Flixtime, a new video creating website that creates unusual photograph slide shows.

You have to sign up to use it but there's no charge. Then choose the images you want to create a video of, upload and create your video. Every mix is unique and fun to watch. You have little control over how it turns out and that is point, it's quick and fun, for photo sharing not film making!

You can share your film easily on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or embed it in your website like I'm doing here.

I think this is a great way to share images amongst friends. Much more exciting than trawling through Facebook albums and more importantly because it is a flash video your images are secure from being copied.

Try it out!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

New Self Portrait- Website Development

I really, really don't like pictures of myself! I can see beauty in almost all scenes, but not if i'm it, I just hate it.

But I need a good picture of myself for my new 'about me' page and many other things.

So yesterday I set up my home studio kit, put Chris in position, got everything perfect and then swapped with him.

It was very stressful for me (yes, now I know how it feels!) and out of about 60 pictures I liked 3.

Here is the 'chosen' image although I had to crop it portrait to look better with the text. If you fancy giving my new 'blurb' a read that'd be great, it's so hard to know how to sell yourself, although i'm reading a book about that at the moment.


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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sarah's Photography Tips: Free Online Image Editor

I read a lot of other blogs and the other day I learnt about a free web site called Web Resizer.

For those of you who enjoy taking pictures but don't have much experience adapting them to go online then this website is a gift.

Most people now have cameras that take images 8 MP or more leaving you with files ridiculously big if all you're going to do is share them online. Web Resizer is designed to take an image and optimize it for online use.

If you're using Facebook or uploading directly to blogger to share images then they do this automatically for you. But have you ever emailed or received an email from someone where the file size seems huge, takes a long time to send/open and can display too large in the message? Or do you have a website but find that the photographs you've put on it are the slowest things to load? Then this site is for you!

I believe its main usage should be for the downsizing and fast cropping, it displays a before and after so you can see you don't lose any quality, but it also offers borders and rounding of edges plus sharpening and exposure adjustment. All the changes can be seen straight away so you can play with your images to see what's best! When done you simply download your new version.

Here's my before and after with a picture of Hannah I took at the hen do I was at over the weekend. I'm uploading with blogger so it will make it's own adjustments too:
Before:
After (which was considerably faster to upload!):

I know it still doesn't look great. I'm cross about the weekend, I knew it would be dark but not that dark. I hate using flash so I didn't take it, just put my D80 on ISO1600 with a 50mm 1.8 but the photos were still rubbish. I'm trying out a D700 in a couple of weeks and I think the difference will be radical and then i'll have to find £3000!

SUMMARY

So, in summary, the free image adjustment website Web Resizer is great for taking pictures straight from your camera to be ready for emailing or put onto a website. I highly recommend inserting this step in the middle for those of you that don't already. Also stop using rubbish editors like Paint or Office Picture Manager to do it!

It's not great for working on lots of pictures as it only does one at a time but I will certainly be using it for the odd quick email turnaround as I hate crashing people's inboxes with 2mb files!

If you want to invest in some picture editing software I highly recommend Photoshop Elements.

Personally, for my wedding workflow I use Aperture, which is Mac only. Version 3 Aperture has just come out so if anyone knows if it's worth upgrading please tell me about it!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Website development continues... Ideas needed!

As part of the ongoing saga of me getting my website ready for official business launch, I've just added an FAQ page as this seems like a good idea!

Long term I'd like my FAQ's to answer the genuine frequently asked questions regarding my two main products, wedding photography and home studio portrait sessions, but also be a resource for my friends and acquaintances who ask me photography related questions like the best places to get images printed.

So tell me, what do you want to know?

What I've currently added is a little ahead of my whole website now, as it refers to things that are still to come in terms of service pages.

Also, whilst you're looking, any bad spelling and grammar I've done would be very helpful to know!

Visit my FAQ page here.