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Media Services Photo Shooting

Which is Better Between Photoshop and Lightroom?

A common question for new photographers is “What program should I use to edit my photos”, and the decision may seem humungous. There is a plethora of choice, with several free options, such as Picasa and GIMP. However, Photoshop and Lightroom are the most used and trusted photo editing programs.

Adobe, a creative software company, has two major image editing programs: Photoshop and Lightroom. Although both softwares have seen many changes over the years, they’re still widely used and provide various processing and editing features.

If you’re sizing them up, there are obvious differences between these two software packages. Lightroom is well-known for its non-destructive editing features and advanced batch processing. It’s worth noting this is useful mainly for photographers and image editors.

On the other hand, Photoshop favours layers-based editing, which is useful for image editors, graphic designers, animators, illustrators, and many other creative types.

But which should you choose? And which is better? Luckily, we’ll be discussing that below.

Adobe Photoshop

In the world of image editing, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. Not only is it used by both passionate professionals and amateurs alike, but it gives artists, digital designers, product photographers, and other professionals complete creative control.

Photoshop also allows you to transform images pixel by pixel using powerful image editing software. You can retouch photos or merge illustration and photography to create contemporary art.

Adobe Lightroom

It’s well known that Lightroom was designed with photographers in mind. It offers a combination of light editing tools and organizational capabilities. Photographs can manage their workflows, retouch images, and create easy-to-use catalogues of images for specific projects.

One interesting feature is the ability to rate photos on Lightroom to make it easy for others to find them and give stars to their photos.

Similarities

At the core of the debate, both programs can edit images. However, the way they approach and perform this task is different. If you’re looking for software to edit, tweak, or enhance your photos, either choice will suit you. Both options can handle multiple file types, including JPEG and PNG. TIFF is also a particular favourite among many photographers.

Photoshop and Lightroom use the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) processing engine to work with RAW files. When working with these files, you can expect the same controls and editing options, such as adjusting saturation and working with curve or correcting lens distortions.

Both programs offer a wide range of editing and manipulation tools that allow you to make basic edits such as cropping or adjusting exposure. You can also use brushes, tone curves, and graduated filters to alter your images.

Additionally, each program has a number of built-in effects that allow you to apply black and white, sepia, and other artistic styles instantly. It’s undeniable that both programs can be used to edit images in powerful and countless ways.

Differences

Now for the meat of the article. The most crucial difference between Photoshop and Lightroom is their intended purpose. Lightroom is a photo editing program that allows you to edit your photos quickly and efficiently, while also making it easy to edit any image file. Photoshop can be used for incredible image manipulation and edits. However, large PSD files may require a more powerful computer.

File Handling

Lightroom differs from photoshop in that it doesn’t actually edit photos or move images around on your computer. The changes you make are instead saved in a separate file called Catalog.

Catalog servers as a recipe book of sorts, with instructions on processing each photo. Lightroom records all the changes you make to a photo, for example, a radial or adjustment filter. However, the original image remains unaffected, and this non-destructive editing technique is quite different from Photoshops approach.

Photoshop works by editing JPG, PNG, or RAW files in Photoshop, unless you save a copy of the Photoshop PSD file, which is often several dozen megabytes. Ouch.

The PSD file is a list of all changes to the photo. To share an image, it must be saved in a file format like JPG, PNG or other similar types. If you want to make non-destructive edits in Photoshop, you’ll need three files: the original camera RAW file, the PSD, and the final copy, which the PSD sharable as a format.

It’s safe to say that Lightrooms technique is much more streamlined, with fewer steps and a more integrated application.

Workflow

This is another difference between the two softwares. Lightrooms end-to-end workflow solution is what sets it apart from its bigger brother. Namely, it was specifically designed to meet the needs of professional and amateur photographers.

It handles everything, from import to editing and sharing to printing. Lightroom supports keywords and virtual folders, which can be used to organize and share your image. You can also use it to create slideshows or photo books. Lightroom is the perfect sidekick and handles everything for the professional photographer.

On the other hand, Photoshop doesn’t allow you to transfer files and won’t organize images. It also can’t create slideshows or photo books. Photoshop is the only program that can offer as much editing power a skilled photographer or image editor needs, but it’s important to recognize what it lacks compared to others.

To make up for this difference, Adobe Bridge can be used to manage workflow-based tasks such as importing photos or organizing digital media on your computer. This Lightroom-esque workflow experience works well with Photoshop but remains less efficient.

Editing Tools

Lightroom can be described as an all-terrain toolset akin to your photo workshop. It’s agile, fast, and can complete a wide range of tasks.

Adobe recognized that Photoshop wasn’t for everyone. This was especially true for photographers returning from events with numerous images that needed quick editing. Lightroom was created to provide this type of essential editing.

Photoshop offers a wide range of tools, including brushed and filters that can be used to make all kinds of imaginative edits to your images. It also allows you to create layers that can be edited independently.

Unfortunately, Lightroom is more linear and has fewer editing tools, no layers, and much less flexibility. While both Photoshop and Lightroom have a history panel that allows you to go back in time and review your edits, Photoshops layers give you infinitely greater control over your images.

Advanced Retouching

Lightroom’s latest version includes basic tools for retouching images and removing blemishes. Photoshop offers even more options, and you can make someone look slimmer, whiten their teeth and even remove small objects.

While Lightroom can accomplish this, Photoshops retouching tools make it much more manageable. Although it may take some time to find the right Photoshop tools and learn how to use them properly, you’ll be rewarded with a more efficient means to enhance your photos.

Conclusion

Photoshop and Lightroom both have incredible features, but they differ in their photography and image editing approaches.

If you’re in need of a recap, Lightroom is better than Photoshop for professional photographers. It has more functionality and is better equipped to handle image-related tasks.

If you’re a beginner, Lightroom is absolutely the best photo editing software for you. However, Photoshop can be added for that extra boost if you need advanced photo manipulation techniques and can handle a learning curve.

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Media Services Photo Shooting

13 Reasons to Hire a Professional Product Photographer for Your Business

A decade ago, online shopping was virtually unheard and untrustworthy. When it did begin to take root, the experience wasn’t user-friendly, nor did it provide the same experience level as shopping in a physical store. In addition, static product photos made purchasing products online more difficult. Clearly, and thankfully, it’s different now. Professional product photographers have transformed eCommerce into a visuals-first environment and helped propel online shopping to its current state.

The strength of product photography can have a considerable impact on consumer behaviour and sales. No matter how big or small your business is, targeted photography campaigns help establish and develop your brand.

We’re aware that product photos can be expensive, but if you plan to invest time, energy, and money into building your business, why not show off what you’ve done and what you have to offer?

Here are 13 of the top reasons to hire a professional product photographer so your business can grow online.

They Have a Creative Eye

Professional photographers improve their artistic and creative skills through practice. Therefore, the photographer possesses a deep understanding of the rules and regulations within photography.

Over time, these professionals have received feedback and continued to improve their skills. As a result, they become masters at manual adjustments such as shutter priority mode and aperture priority. They’re also able to change the appearance and feel of an image by using special effects that the average layperson won’t consider due to inexperience.

Quality You Can Trust

Most likely, you’ve seen your fair share of poor product images online. Unfortunately, they’re often everywhere, and poor-quality photos are the fastest way to create a negative impression on your audience.

Grainy images and distracting backgrounds characterize poor-quality photos, and these images harm the product and the business.

Thankfully, professional product photographers create quality images that are honest and accurate, meaning customers can place their trust in the product and the business.

Product Photographers Capture High-Quality Photos

Clear, high-resolution photos are what attract customers. Displaying your products online with compelling images will encourage your customers to stay on your site longer. The longer they remain on your website, the more likely they are to buy the products they’re viewing.

Professional product photographers are well known for producing high-quality images. However, while some amateur photographers might have the right technical skills, they likely haven’t spent the time to perfect them the same way product photographers have.

They Use Professional Equipment

The equipment in a product photographer’s camera bag enhances his skill and expertise.

Compelling product photos are almost impossible to achieve when using cheap cameras, poor-quality lenses, and other subpar equipment.

You may have seen evidence of amazing photos taken by cell phones and consumer-grade DSLRs. However, this isn’t possible regularly and is based more on luck than skill; hence, you can find flaws if you look at them closely.

The type of equipment used directly affects the level of photograph quality. But, at the same time, it’s also true that equipment doesn’t make you a professional. Therefore, a strong balance between the right equipment and the right photographer will guarantee an excellent result for your product photographs.

They’re Skilled at Professional Editing

If you hire an inexperienced and unprofessional photographer for your business photos, they likely won’t edit the images professionally. This is especially unfortunate, as it takes much editing to produce successful product photographs.

Some of the adjustments included in the basic editing process include:

  • White balance
  • Exposure
  • Colour adjustments
  • Contrast

Advanced editing techniques also include portrait corrections and special effects, and you can even remove elements from the images. These and many other enhancements will make your product stand out in a crowded marketing environment.

Where Possible, They Use Models

This is particularly important when showing the accurate size and measurements of products such as clothing. For example, an image with a model can visually display the length instead of providing often meaningless measurements.

Customers are more likely to buy a product that visually demonstrates the sizing, rather than checking written dimensions. The product photographer you hire will keep this in mind, and where they can, will include models to improve the draw and attractiveness of your photos.

Better Resolution via Zoom

Low-resolution photos are no longer acceptable in modern-day eCommerce. The poor resolution means you’re unable to zoom in for a better view, and you can’t determine any material texture. So unless it’s part of a branding style, grainy and low-resolution photos should be avoided at all costs.

Professionals specializing in product photography will help you include a zoom for products with a pattern. This will show the quality of the design and improve the lasting impression potential buyers are left with.

Product Photographers Boost Social Media Presence

It’s become quite apparent that social media platforms are growing in popularity. High-quality images are a powerful digital marketing tool for many platforms, especially social media, if your target audience is on the younger side.

Not only that, but social media makes your business accessible to a worldwide audience, increasing your page views and potentially your conversions. Product photographers will be able to adjust your images to take advantage of potential social media exposure.

Product Photography Encourages Sales

Simply put, product photography exists to drive sales and encourage customers to buy products or services.

You can convince your customers without saying a word by using compelling images to highlight your products’ best features. Conversely, it’ll be challenging to convert potential customers into paying ones if a brand’s visuals are poor.

Selling Online Requires Product Photography

Brands looking to publish their products online must make them look appealing, as many online customers buy based only on the quality of the photos.

Since customers cannot view products in the flesh, e-commerce sellers need to have excellent product photos to increase sales and reduce returns. You can enhance your client’s online shopping experience by adding product photos that accurately show the customer what to expect when they purchase.

Your Sites Look Will Improve

Content is the king of e-commerce. However, you mustn’t drown your customers in text. Instead, use captivating images to describe products and break up the text, since images increase website traffic, visits, and conversions. Additionally, images will help keep your customers engaging in the content.

Product Photography Helps Customers Narrow Their Selection

Due to the scale of online shopping, customers can choose from many similar products available on Amazon and other online shopping sites. The key to success in this competitive climate is to attract customer attention away from your competitors through exceptional product photography.

If the photos are of poor quality, your products will be skipped over in search of those with better images. So to remain ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to create product photos that are hard to miss and draw the attention of customers away from other similar products.

Product Photography Drives Traffic

If other websites share product images and provide links to your website, additional sites may also share them, especially if they’re very high quality. As a result, your product pages will get a lot of likes and shares, which means they reach more customers and direct more traffic to your site.

This cycle of engaging with and sharing your site will expand your business’ scope and is possible thanks to appealing and impressive product photos.

Conclusion

Professional photography is the perfect tool for generating sales and earning more business profit. Because of the strong impression your images can have on potential customers, you risk a significant hit to your success if you decide against using product photographers.

To get the best result, we suggest hiring professional product photographers so your business can stay ahead in a competitive market.

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Media Services Photo Shooting Uncategorized Web & Mobile Development Web Development

Four Reasons Why Photographers Need A Website

A photographers’ website is meant to either attract clients or demonstrate your photos. But it can easily do both.

The thought of starting a new photography website can be daunting, especially if you do not know much about the process. It is easy for anyone to have an account on Instagram or Flickr, but you may be wondering what the benefits are for a photographer to have his own website. Let us take a quick look at some of the key reasons.

 

#1 The Internet Was Made For Photographers

Okay, it was not literally made for them, but the internet is a visual medium that runs on beautiful imagery. Photographers naturally have the best images to use, so their websites can clearly stand out from the monotonous crowd of stock footage.

As Instagram has proven, people love to see beautiful pictures. Your website will naturally draw in clients and customers, which gives you an unparalleled opportunity to engage them with your unique story. However, ensure that you only publish your best images as no one wants to wade through over 1000 pictures, no matter how beautiful they are.

 

#2 Take Charge Of Your Own Portfolio

It is about having the control to define your own style. Whereas many photographers have accounts on Instagram, 500px and SmugMug, these platforms have technical limitations. With your own website, you get to decide which pictures to show in the order and context you wish to show them. There are no links or thumbnails encouraging visitors to go check out a competitor’s work.

Your website may soon be the principal way that you present your portfolio to potential customers. It helps you look professional, allows them to easily promote your photos and reflects your general style straight away. Make sure you research some examples of the best photographers’ websites for inspiration. We can recommend a few.

To capitalize on the amazing qualities of your photography (such as in the above examples), we recommend getting your website designed by a professional. But make sure that you understand the basic technical requirements for your website. You should be able to add and change the website’s content by yourself 90% of the time.

 

#3 The Marketing Angle

Having your own website becomes one of the greatest marketing tools you can ask for. You might be a portrait photographer in Discovery Bay and a potential client Googles ‘where to get a portrait shot in Discovery Bay. I bet you can see where I am going with this. A professional website allows your brand to be available to prospective clients 24/7.

Clients can get access to all the necessary information such as descriptions, pricing, and services immediately. Done correctly, your website will help to make your operation effective, as you do not want to spend your time on people that do not understand what you do or does not have the budget required.

 

#4 It Helps You To Branch Out

You do not only need to stick to usual photography services, as a website also helps you to branch out into other areas like selling your stock prints or photos. Though it may take some work to get properly established, setting up a business this way is entirely feasible. Your website can help you create a sustained income by becoming a hub of commercial activity that brings in the revenue you need to make a living.

If you wish to educate people on photography, you can offer in-person tuition or even online courses. Hong Kong is home to a host of eager and keen amateur photographers; your website can be a great way to showcase the capabilities of a tuition course to clients.

 

Conclusion

A photography website may sound like a lot of work, and in many ways, it absolutely is, but the benefits you will reap are vast. Once your website is up and running, it will be the best form of advertising you can imagine, and you will undoubtedly have a lot of fun crafting your own unique vision and story.

If you are keen to get your own website built, feel free to get in contact with us, and we can help guide you through the whole process or give you a bit of advice on where to go next.

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Media Services Media Studio Photo Shooting

Five Basic Steps For Setting Up Studio Photography

In Hong Kong, photography is prolific. One can see fashion shoots by the harbor, on the streets, and on top of mountains. And yet most enthusiasts tend to find the prospect of working with a photography studio to be a daunting experience. We are here to demystify the experience and break down the five key points to keep your eye on if you are just starting to learn about using a studio.

 

#1 Think About Your Backdrop

White is typically the assumed colour of choice but requires a heavy amount of lighting to truly make the backdrop appear white, otherwise it will appear as a dull grey. Darker colours tend to work best when doing studio photography as they require less set-up and provide much more contrast to your subject. Obviously ensure that you are using a green screen if you are looking to mask out your background in Photoshop afterwards.

Always think about the context of your photo and what you are trying to achieve. And make sure that if you have a White background that you do not trample all over it with dirty shoes!

 

#2 Select Your Light Sources

This will depend upon what you are using the studio for. Soft-boxes diffuse light so that the shadows on your model feel soft and more natural. For photography, these light sources are typically attached to triggers connected to your camera such that they only go off when the photo is taken. For video however you will want to use continuous lighting so that your subject is always illuminated throughout the video. Strobe lighting is less common and is typically associated with fashion shoots.

Arrange your lighting to avoid any areas of intense shadow. For example, in a portrait shoot you would have two lights set up facing forwards on either side of the camera, these should be slightly higher that eye level to illuminate the subject from above. A reflector panel low down can help to fill in some of the shadows under the nose and chin.

 

#3 Figure Out Your Model

Remember that studio photography is quite different from landscapes, interiors…etc. In a studio you are in control and you must design all aspects of the shoot. Make sure that you get to know your model as this will help to break the ice and get them to relax, showing that you value them as a human being rather than a canvas.

Then ensure that you are clear and specific about the pose and the outfit that you want but be open to collaboration. And lastly make sure you choose the correct model for the shoot, if you want specific poses or shoots then make sure you get models that are experienced / comfortable in those shoots.

 

#4 Using The Camera

Now that your scene is ready you must set up your camera and work out the composition of the photo. Remember that most photos work best on a rule of thirds, where key elements are placed on the intersections of an imaginary grid of thirds. If you have several subjects in the composition, then ensure you provide a sense of depth with foreground and background.

Ensure that you camera is set to the correct settings. You will want to save RAW formats for post-production later (never undervalue that). You can set your camera on a tripod for more consistent images or do it by hand to get more creative. But for level shots it is best to position your camera such that it is at the same eye level as he subject.

A good starting point for the rest of your settings is an aperture below 6, a shutter speed of 1/200 and an iso of about 100-200. The shutter speed is important here as it will have to sync to your studio lights if you are doing portrait photography, 1/200 tends to be a good level to keep them in sync.

 

#5 Get Creative

Disregard all the previous advice if it does not work for you! This is just a starting point and the fun of photography / videography is adding your own style to your work so feel free to explore different ways of using the studio.

Conclusion

With the above tips you should be well on your way to becoming a professional studio photographer! Try making a home studio on a weekend and trying out some of the tips above. When you feel confident, book out a studio for a couple of hours and drag along a friend to act as a model. You may find that your services may quickly become valuable.