Blog

Archive for April 2018

5 Tips For Better Autumn Photos, From Snap to Print

5 Tips For Better Autumn Photos, From Snap to Print

Autumn is the golden season for photography — with colourful leaves nearly everywhere you look, finding a colourful subject in autumn isn’t hard to do. But capturing all those autumn colours can present its own challenges, from nabbing the exposure to getting those colours perfectly saturated in the final print. Here are five autumn photography tips to get you started.

Try filters.

One of the trickiest parts of taking an autumn photograph is getting an even exposure between the sky and those colourful leaves. Often, that perfect exposure is impossible without a filter. Filters are relatively inexpensive yet can make a dramatic impact on the final image. A circular polarising filter will make the sky appear more blue and control reflections — and those qualities also tend to help the filter make foliage pop. A graduated neutral density filter is another filter for fall — placing the darker portion of the filter over the sky can help make sure it’s not overexposed into a boring white mass.

Choose the right lens.

Often, the autumn foliage is impressive because of the expanse. If the scene inspires you because there’s colour everywhere you look, try a wide angle lens to fit it all in. Wide angle lenses allow you to shoot that impressive expanse.

You don’t need to leave a wide angle lens on your camera all autumn, however — swap lenses to fit your vision and the part of the scene that inspires you. A macro lens can capture the details of those colours up close. When shooting an autumn portrait, a mid-length telephoto can capture both the subject and the colourful background.

Experiment with backlighting.

Autumn leaves are spectacular — but add some golden sun behind it and autumn leaves look like magic. Two big things happen when you stand so that the sun is coming in from behind the leaves. First, the leaves are thin enough that the light makes them appear to glow, creating an even more vibrant colour. Second, when light hits any leaves that are out-of-focus, those leaves will create circular bokeh. Just make sure to watch the exposure and look out for lens flares when shooting with backlighting.

Try exposure bracketing to get the perfect exposure.

Getting the exposure just right for autumn pictures can be tricky.  If you are having a hard time getting the exposure just where you want it, turn on exposure bracketing. With this setting, you’ll get three images all with small exposure adjustments between them, increasing the odds that you didn’t loose too many details to over or underexposure.

Play with paper.

Once it is time to put that image on a physical print, don’t just stick with the default paper. The paper type will play a role on how the colours appear in that final image. Fotospeed says that glossy type papers will make those colours appear more saturated, while papers without that sheen give the colours a more matte feel. Try printing the image on two different types of paper to determine which paper type presents your particular shot the best.

The autumn season is often bursting with photographic inspiration — but to make sure those shots are just as colourful as in real life, make sure to try a few autumn photo tips.

3 Creatives Share How Canon In-House Printing Drastically Changed Their Business

3 Creatives Share How Canon In-House Printing Drastically Changed Their Business

Canon’s Pro line may be known for its stunning images — but that doesn’t mean the printers are used solely for images. So what do non-photographers have to say about in-house printing with Canon’s line-up? An illustrator, prop designer and videographer recently shared insight on printing with Canon — and how the tech changed their business.

Megan Hess, Illustrator

Megan Hess, an artist known most for her illustration on the cover of Sex and the City, uses the imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 and Pro-2000 from the Canon Pro series for printing her fashion designs in-house. The illustrator, which has worked on canvases from postage-stamp sized to graphics that cover the side of an entire building, says that printer her work allows her to control the details in the graphics.

“The benefit of printing in house is that I can keep a close eye over the detail, which is a fundamental aspect of my design process. Partnering with Canon gives me the peace of mind that the exact colours, the line work, and detail is reproduced precisely as I envisioned it,” Hess says.

The artist added that prints create more value than a digital art piece.

Captain America – Winter Soldier, Prop Master Russel Bobbitt

Canon’s ProGraf IPF8400 even had a hand in creating Captain America – Winter Solider. Property Master Russel Bobbitt says that the printer was used for several aspects of the film. Since a single prop could cost up to $200,000, the art team created detailed illustrations before manufacturing and the Image ProGraf IPF8400 printer created large-scale images of those ideas.

Prints even made it into the film, when the scene required art on the walls. The printer handled a life-sized version of a weapon and even Captain America himself in a life-size reproduction. Having an on-site printer also helped to bring down costs and the ability to put 18 different types of files on a USB drive and print them right away also helped create a more convenient workflow for the prop master.

“I seek out the best tools that I can find,” Bobbitt says. “I’m a firm believer that you are only as good as your tools.”

Ori Media, Videography Studio

So how does a videographer use a large-format printer? Ori Media produces both video and stills, a versatility that owner Michael Ori says has helped to build the business. In an hour, the client can walk away with 4K video and high-end prints using teamwork and a Canon ProGraph IPF8400.

“When you are building a small business, shooting a hybrid is the only way to go,” Ori says. “Pulling stills from video saves time and helps make more money.”

Ori says that the printer look so nice that they set it up in the entry way — which often prompts customers to ask for prints and helps drive up sales. The printer offers the versatility to work with a number of different papers and offers excellent print quality with “unreal” clarity, he said.

Outside-the-box thinking and an in-house printer can help many different types of creatives explore new possibilities. Ready to explore yours? Ask a Photo Direct specialist to assist you on your creative journey today.

4 Unexpected Ways Having an In-House Printer Boosts Photography

4 Unexpected Ways Having an In-House Printer Boosts Photography

The decision to move photo printing in-house comes with several different expectations. Costs will be lower. Speed will improve. But along with the advantages of in-house printing that spark that decision in the first place, many photographers find themselves finding unexpected advantages to have quick access to that printer. Elke Vogelsang, a pet photographer from Germany, recently shared her experience using Fotospeed papers — and the unexpected perks she’s picked up along the way.

Many clients may never print images.

If all you hand over to a client is a disk or USB drive of digital images, they may never take that final step to get those images printed, which means they never see the image as it’s meant to be seen. Vogelsang explains why she includes prints eloquently: “Your client will be gobsmacked by the prints and know the investment was worth it.”

Clients that do print the images may not understand exactly how the paper you choose and the printing company you choose plays a role in the final look and feel of an image. Many non-photographers have trouble understanding just the difference between glossy and matte, let along the different whites, textures and finishes available today.

Find the flaws faster.

An image on screen is much different than the printed image — and having access to a printer on-site can help photographers find, and fix, any flaws faster. Sometimes, it’s a missed spot in Photoshop, or a shot that’s just a touch soft.

“I used to order the prints online, but now I print them here at home on my own printer,” Vogelsang wrote. “This saves time, reveals flaws immediately and gives me the opportunity to choose the right paper for each picture.”

Find the best medium for that shot, quickly.

All paper is not created equally — different types of paper will influence the colour differently and give the image a final feel. Once Vogelsang could easily print out the same shot on different types of paper, she found the medium that worked best with her different styles (and with a test pack, it was an affordable experiment). The pet photographer found she likes the finish of the Natural Soft Textured Bright White 310 for the formal shots because of a finish that resembles a painting. For the colourful, quirky pet shots? PF Lustre or Metallic Gloss.

Stay in love with photography.

For Vogelsang, printing images isn’t just about the convenience or the ability to choose the appropriate finish. “Printing your pictures is a great way not only to improve your photography but also to stay in love with photography,” she says. “In print, pictures have more depth and life than on a screen. The difference can be astonishing.”

Gaining access to an on-site, professional-level printer, on the business side of the decision, is about saving time and money. But on the artistic side of the decision, the change offers more control, a chance to make corrections, and a way to continue to be inspired.

Need help finding the best type of paper for the job? Or ready to add that in-house printer? Chat with a specialist from Photo Direct today.