So after only 2 weeks contributing some of my catalogue to Shutter Stock I made 25 cents form someone downloading one of my sunset pics.!
Its not amazing but its a start.!
Get stock images from my portfolio here.
You have to love the internet for the endless amount of opportunities there are now for making money online.
In an upcoming podcast that I was interviewed for I talked about the different avenues I have tried to make money from photography.
I thought i'd share two with you here.
1, Stock Photography.
I have work on Shutter Stock that you can see here. They currently are offering me an opportunity to earn an extra $200 by referring people to their site, signing up and buying not just my pictures but pictures in general. This then means that you will also get the offer once you have signed up. SO if you are looking for stock photography then click this link and we can all benefit from earning something a little extra.
So I have framed art for sale at Spreesy here.
A nice way they offer incentives to make money is on a comission basis.
For you the promoter/plugger whatever you want to call it, there are absolutely no outlay costs at all, its all done by me.
You simply have to promote art with a specific URL and if someone buys it via that link you get a generous % commission.
Currently I offer 7.5% - 8.5% on the work I advertise, so to put that into real money
Art for sale at £199.00
Promoter Commission Per Sale (7.50%)- £14.93
Not bad for just blogging,vlogging or tweeting about it.!
So if you'd like to get involved with this and try to get yourself some social media promoting cash then I go here.
So I received a message from Gareth at 1/160 photography podcast of which you can hear his previous interviews here.
Initially he was interested in my Lightroom skills which I found very complimentary and as a photographer editing your own work, it's subjective as to whether your edit actually work and looks good to others.
After a half hour phone call about the subject and talking about other aspects of photography it became more apparent that the podcast interview might be more appropriate to talk about trying to make money as an amateur photographer and all the options out there that you can monetize your work.
So we agreed to meet in Central Milton Keynes for a chat.
The interview went well I think and although we were in a quiet spot we did get interrupted by a noisy quad bike.!
We discussed a lot of aspects of trying to make money online with photography and i'm looking forward to hearing the finished version when it comes out.
So after a bit a faffing about with my web site provider, i'm now back online.!
The deals you get from these people, in my case Weebly tend to offer you one deal for a domain and several price breaks for the content editing. This is what had expired and unusually they didnt email me to say 'hey, you need to renew your plan..! awesome..'
So I usually like to add something to my latest work page so that anyone who follows me (and I get quite a lot of regular viewers ) can see what i've been up to and it was at this point of trying to add a picture that I found out I couldn't edit the site.
Confusingly it wanted me to add my domain name to a free plan which I had defaulted back to despite you being able to type in my website name and it will take you to it.!
I've no idea how these companies work sometimes.!
So I had to pay a 2 year deal to add the domain which I already had to the free plan I'd defaulted to in order to add content to the site that already existed.
Thanks for bearing with me and i'll be back to posting regular stuff from now on.
1: Use the Rule of Thirds
This rule helps you take eye-catching pictures by using one of the most effective rules of composition.
If you want to take pictures that have a “wow” factor built in them, the Rule of Thirds is the composition secret you need to take advantage of!
To use the rule of thirds, imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical creating nine even squares. Some images will look best with the focal point in the centre square, but placing the subject off centre at one of the intersecting points of the imaginary lines, will often create a more aesthetically composed photograph.
When a photograph is composed using the rule of thirds the eyes will wander the frame. A picture composed by the rule of thirds is usually more interesting and pleasing to the eye.
2: Avoid Camera Shake
Camera shake or blur is something that can plague any photographer and here are some ways to avoid it.
First, you need to learn how to hold your camera properly; use both hands, one around the body and one around the lens and hold the camera close to your body for support.
Also, for handheld shooting, make sure that you are using a shutter speed that is appropriate for your lens’ focal length. If you’re shutter speed is too slow, any unintentional movement of the camera will result in your entire photograph coming out blurry. The rule of thumb is not to shoot at a shutter speed that is slower than your focal length to minimize this problem:
1 / Focal Length (in mm) = Minimum Shutter Speed (in seconds)
So, as an example, if you’re using a 100mm lens, then your shutter speed should be no lower than 1/100th of a second.
Use a tripod or monopod whenever possible.
Are you confused by any of the terminology? Do you want to easily control your camera and finally get rid of the confusion about focal length, aperture, shutter speed and other settings?
3: Learn to use the Exposure Triangle
To get your photos looking their best in terms of exposure and overall appearance, you need to master the three basics: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.
You also need to understand the relationships between these three controls. When you adjust them, you would usually have to consider at least one of the others, to get the desired results.
Using Auto Mode takes care of these controls, but you pay the price of not getting your photos to look the way you wanted them, and often disappointing.
It’s a better idea to learn how to use Aperture-priority or Shutter-priority modes, and ultimately shoot in Manual mode.
4: Use a Polarizing Filter
If you can only buy one filter for your lens, make it a polarizer.
The recommended type of polarizer is circular because these allow your camera to use TTL (through the lens) metering such as auto exposure.
This filter helps reduce reflections from water as well as metal and glass; it improves the colours of the sky and foliage, and will help give your photos the WOW factor. It will do all that while protecting your lens. There’s no reason why you can’t leave it on for all of your photography.
5: Create a Sense of Depth
When photographing landscapes it really helps to create a sense of depth, in other words, make the viewer feel like they are there.
Use a wide-angle lens for a panoramic view and a small aperture of f/16 or smaller to keep the foreground and background sharp. Placing an object or person in the foreground helps give a sense of scale and emphasizes how far away the distance is.
Use a tripod if possible, as a small aperture usually requires a slower shutter speed.
6: Use Simple Backgrounds
The simple approach is usually the best in digital photography, and you have to decide what needs to be in the shot, while not including anything that is a distraction.
If possible, choose a plain background – in other words, neutral colours and simple patterns. You want the eye to be drawn to the focal point of the image rather than a patch of colour or an odd building in the background. This is especially vital in a shot where the model is placed off centre.
7: Don’t Use Flash Indoors
Flash can look harsh and unnatural especially for indoor portraits. Therefore, there are various ways you can take an image indoors without resorting to flash.
First, push the ISO up – usually ISO 800 to 1600 will make a big difference for the shutter speed you can choose. Use the widest aperture possible – this way more light will reach the sensor and you will have a nice blurred background. Using a tripod or an I.S. (Image Stabilization) lens is also a great way to avoid blur.
If you absolutely must use flash, then use a flash with a head you can rotate, and point the light to the ceiling on an angle.
8: Choose the Right ISO
The ISO setting determines how sensitive your camera is to light and also how fine the grain of your image. The ISO we choose depends on the situation – when it’s dark we need to push the ISO up to a higher number, say anything from 400 – 3200 as this will make the camera more sensitive to light and then we can avoid blurring. On sunny days we can choose ISO 100 or the Auto setting as we have more light to work with.
9: Pan to Create Motion
If you want to capture a subject in motion, then use the panning technique. To do this, choose a shutter speed around two steps lower than necessary – so for 1/250, we’d choose 1/60. Keep your camera on the subject with your finger half way down on the shutter to lock the focus and when ready, take the photo, remembering to follow them as they move.
Use a tripod or monopod if possible to avoid camera shake and get clear movement lines.
10: Experiment with Shutter Speed
Don’t be afraid to play with the shutter speed to create some interesting effects.
When taking a night time shot, use a tripod and try shooting with the shutter speed set at 4 seconds. You will see that the movement of the object is captured along with some light trails. If you choose a faster shutter speed of say 1/250th of a second, the trails will not be as long or bright; instead you will freeze the action.
Try shooting other compositions with moving objects or backgrounds such as waves on a beach, crowds of people walking, cars commuting, with different shutter speeds to either capture blurred movement or snapshots that freeze everything sharply in time.
Whenever using slow shutter speeds to blur movement, it is critical that the camera is stabilized to eliminate camera shake.
See image below.
Follow me on Twitter here for more tips.
Please click here for my YouTube channel.
Vlogs, gear reviews, photographer meet ups and lots more.
Take a look at my personal choice of the best photos from around the UK in 2017.
So its the build up to Guy Fawkes night, a celebration we have each year on the 5th November here in the UK.
Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James 1st had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.
As a photographer this gives me a yearly opportunity to take some great pictures of the fireworks themselves. You dont have to go far in England to find a decent display this time of year. Schools, community groups, young people all have fireworks somewhere around as they are easily available in the shops during this time.
This year I went out to a local school display. I say went there but rather than spend the entrance fee to see them up close I chose to stand in the next field which happens to be parkland and get a view of them from slightly further back.
Setting up the camera I followed the following points.
My camera doesnt have a noise reduction but a low ISO eliminates a bit of this need.
The main thing I realised would be an issue is knowing exactly where the firework is going to explode. This is a bit tricky.
Wanting to give a good range of fireworks, the display organisers would obviously choose different heights and explosive power to impress the viewing public.
Using live view on the camera was the best solution to this. Once I could get a rough area of the sky observed, a press of the cable release and wait 3–5 seconds on each exposure meant that 75% of the time I would get something in full frame and have interest in the image. The arm of the tripod quickly allowed me to adjust the camera up or down according to where the display was the busiest.
A few points I would add to the above list would be
7. Use manual mode and set your lens to manual focus.
8. Focus to infinity so that you dont have to worry about the lens being out of focus or hunting around in auto focus risking missing the shot.
9. Use BULB mode on the shutter speed setting so you can control the length of the exposure.
The lens used on the pictures in this article was a 50mm prime. On my Canon camera which isn’t a full frame sensor, made it nearer 80mm so going further away from the actual event was the best option.
Once over, I imported the pictures into Lightroom. The RAW setting on the camera gives me a vast palette of options in the software and I could reduce the glare in the sky by reducing the blacks slider and playing with other settings such as contrast a vibrancy brought out more of the colour of the explosion. There was a slight wind so this helped blow some of the smoke generated by each explosion away allowing the next shot to be clearer. With some smoke on the edges of the shot, I could bring out some coloured light reflection in Lightroom.
Overall I think firework photography is now my new favorite thing to photograph! Simple, random, effective and punchy, I look forward to taking better and better shots each display.
If you like any of the pictures you see here and would like a print, please contact me.
Email me email@example.com and follow me on Twitter @mikemolloyphoto
So after a meet up at the hotel at the end of the first night where the conversation flowed about all sorts of photography related chat and who we all watched on youtube, it was time to get to bed and a 5.30am alarm call for the next morning.
Waiting for us at the car park for North Hill around 6.15am, Andy led us up the very steep slope to the the summit area. The wind was pretty strong and conditions wern't great but we persevered.
We all played with a few combinations of shot and explored what we could and we all said that if we dodnt get anything it was ok. I think in general despite the conditions we all did pretty well.
After a descent and a breakfast at the local pub, we all split for a few hours to relax and get ready for the afternoon shoot.
A change of plans due to the weather meant that we thought it would be best to go indoors. A few more photographers had joined us at that point, each experts in their own style of photo. After a quick 10 min intro for everyone and waiting for Andy we then decided on a plan. Luckily across the street from where a couple of us were staying was Great Malvern Priory.
Wikipedia: "It was was a Benedictine monastery c.1075-1540 and is now an Anglican parish church. In 1949 it was designated a Grade I listed building. It is a dominant building in the Great Malvern Conservation area. It has the largest display of 15th century stained glass in England, as well as the largest collection of Medieval floor and wall tiles. In 1860 major restoration work was carried out by Sir George Gilbert Scott. It also the venue for concerts and civic services."
What a great venue to shoot in. The group all wandered freely and found their own compositions. One of mine is below.
Outside the weather wasnt good, the light was flat and fading and after a couple of hours shooting the obligatory curry followed.
Malvern is a great venue to shoot if you are in the area and please feel free to leave a comment if you want to know the best vantage points in the area.
So here it is folks, Day 2.
From inside Gt, Malvern Priory
Images from the episode.