Photographer Spreading the Word. Work is For Sale

It’s been a busy old week. Having spent three glorious sunny days last weekend catching up with the gardening, when the weather turned cool I came indoors and began  working on actually being found on the wonderful web. As we no longer have effective agencies to sell our work, us creatives have had to find creative solutions to the question ‘how do I get seen?’ Of course a WordPress blog and a website is a start, but experience has shown me it’s not enough to get you off the ‘starving artist’ income I’d like to avoid.

So I investigated Squidoo. The first day was a nightmare. This none techy person was alsmot driven to the point of baldness and rescued by advice from Zazzle people and my partner. The second day I mastered some of the technique need to build a Squidoo lens. Now I’ve got something to tell you about! I’ve made three lenses so far. (go on, cheer!).

Lenses are very specific. Apparently, the more focussed they are, the more successful they are. So I have one on Digital flower art, one on Photographic Flower Art and one all about hellebores, which I featured in a recent WordPress post. They are quite good fun to do, once you learn the system.

I’ve not stopped taking photos, needless to say! So todays offering is an arum lily. My partner brought them for me (yes, he’s a sweetie, though that might ruin his street cred). It’s not an easy flower to photograph, I’ve found. But I’m fairly satisfied with the result. What do you think?

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My Photos on Products

Just a quick post today to show off the products from Zazzle we ordered as gifts. I’m really pleased with them and can now vouch for the quality Zazzle produce. The mousemat is thick durable, and comfortable under the wrist. The mugs are great! I’m glad I decided to use some of my photos this way, as well as offering others as prints on my freshly updated website.

Here are photos of them, modelled by my partner Jon.

 

Shell Mug

Houseleek mugs

Pride Mousemat

 

 

Macro Versatility and Creativity plus Website Updated

How can I ignore the fantastic shapes and forms of flowers? They are beautiful, fascinating and better than anything humans could design!

Hellebore, seed pods forming

Hellebore, flower fertilised

Hellebore, freshly opened flower

Hellebore just opening

These last shots are as close as I can get with my equipment, and give you an idea about the creative us of macro. It doesn’t matter if the entire shot is not in focus. Throw some of the image out of focus and use it to create a softer, more artistic picture.

Hellebore macro creative 1

Hellebore macro creative 2

Who can resist such diversity on one plant? I think some of my friends believe I’m a bit strange as I wander around in my macro world. They miss it, busy getting to the next point (eg the car or the shop). What fantastic stuff they walk past and never see! It’s all there for free and beats a lot of entertainment you pay an arm and a leg for.

What can you see in your garden? Do you have a magnifying glass? Take it with you. Or get the camera out and have a closer look. There’s a miniature world waiting for you to discover it. Be careful, though. You might just find yourself buying extension tubes or macro lenses. Then you know you’re hooked.

PS I’ve cracked it! Sorted my website out, put lots of new images up, organised my prices and sizes and actually got PayPal to work so that my customers can get the image they want with minimum hassle to them. Whew! As a photographer and not a web designer, this was no mean feat, despite using a great web hosting service. I’m just not cut out to understand the logic of the silicon chip! It’s abstract and can’t be composed in a frame. You’re welcome to visit and let me know what you think!

Of course, there are some macro shots on there now, soon to be joined by more. I haven’t just been playing with raindrops. As you know, flowers attract my eye more than anything else usually.

Photoshop Tutorial Resources for Photographers

Watermead Country Park

Hi everyone. I hope you’re having a good weekend.  As  promised, I’ve been investigating some resources that could be useful if you wish to learn more about Photoshop and how to manipulate your images once downloaded. I’ve found some very interesting sites. Although it would take me weeks to work through all the information available on these sites, the tutorials I’ve read and watched seem very comprehensive and fairly straightforward to follow. So I’ll pass them onto you and you browse away to your heart’s content. The images I’ve posted today are from our walk yesterday at Watermead Country Park. For those of you who are interested, I’ve used a couple of waterfall shots from yesterdays post to create new products on Zazzle. I’m having fun building my shop there. Once I’ve finished photoshopping I enjoy seeing what products some of my shots would be suitable for then going and creating them. Now I just need more people to see them and like them. If you do pop into zazzle please let me know what you think.

Watermead Country Park

OK, here are the sites for your reference and a little about what each one has to offer.

http://www.russellbrown.com lots of video tutorials including creative masking without masking, green screen removal and clone painting. An interesting site with several sections. I’ve found the most useful stuff in ‘Tips and techniques’ and ‘Dr Brown Scripts’.

http://3rdelement.com/photoshop/a-letter-from-florence/ Very easy to watch video tutorials on all sorts of stuff including extracting an object from its background, masking and applying adjustment layers.

http://www.dpbestflow.org/ Find information on here about workflow, colour space, image editing, copyright registration, metadata and more. This is a very technical site but well laid out and with explanations that are easy to read an follow.

http://photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/pen/pen.htm loads of written tutorials, images are not very clear but info is good and directions easy to follow. CD/dvd tutorials available from author. Topics range from creating water drops on an image to using the pen tool.

http://designshack.co.uk/articles/css/create-seamless-web-background-textures-in-minutes written tutorials on subjects like creating seamless background textures in minutes and making reflections in Photoshop. There are weekly freebies inc free textured papers. A designers website with useful stuff for photographers. You’ll also find information about marketing and CSS. This site is well worth a look, although only some of the information relates to Photoshop and photography.

That’s it for now. If I find any more I’ll mention them in a later post. Of course, for those of you with full versions of Photoshop there is also the Adobe site itself. Happy Photoshopping! If anyone wants to add a cool resource they’ve found, please leave a comment. We’d all be more than grateful.

Fantastic. I’ve got my wish! Extension tubes for my Nikon on the way.

Well, yesterday was brilliant. After  a ropy start to the year I found on Ebay the set of extension tubes for my Nikon I never thought I could afford. It took an hour of nail-biting tension to get them, but I won at a price I can afford in the last few minutes and I’m thrilled. From what I’ve read, with my macro zoom lens and these babies I’ll have more than 1:1 macro at my disposal. A whole new world is about to open up to me and I simply can’t wait!!! How exciting!

The mind boggles. Eyes, details of plants, details of spiders and webs, insects and butterflies, frost and even fruit, all macro style. Of course I’ll share some of the results for you once I’ve had a play with them. You never know, I might even get something good enough to put on zazzle products or my website.

Zazzle has kept me pretty busy, and I’ve added today some fire art products that should be online tomorrow. It’s fun designing and especially using images I never thought I would find a way to share with the world.

The fire art is something we can only do when we’re camping on plenty of land. six feet of Kevlar rope is dipped in paraffin and set alight. My partner then whirls it around while I do long exposures and we hope for the best. It’s entertained many people and I’m hoping the images will be popular. Let me know what you think. If you look carefully you can just see a human form in the middle of the fire. Click on the image to enlarge it.

One of our fire art photos

Happy New Year! New Enterprise for 2011

Well, the bug that blighted Christmas has finally vacated my system. While it laid me low all the holiday, I did get a chance to think long and hard about where I go from selling images from my website. As this is my only income I’ve had to think of ways to increase business. Disenchanted with agencies I spent time surfing and talking over the holiday and it has sparked me into a new form of creativity. I’ve opened a shop at Zazzle. I’m busy ‘making’ new products that can be purchased from my own store with them. They do an amazing range of items from giftware to office bits and bobs, like mousemats and mugs, so I’ve started with them. the images in today’s post have been used on the products, and I’m going to be kept very busy building up the store with new designs.

It’s all rather exciting, and I feel invigorated by having found a new outlet for my work. I’ve lots of ideas for new pictures, but need to spend time with Photoshop to get some of the effects I’ll need for my designs. Some good may have come from the isolation we’ve had this holiday. I’m even considering entering some photographic competitions, something I’ve avoided so far as I’m not really a competitive person.

As this is my first post of 2011 I’ll wish you all a very happy prosperous new year. Good luck with your own visions and dreams.

What would you buy if you loved the design?

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