I’ve seen a lot of articles recently about charging for your work. There was a write up on how to sell your images online on the DPS site, a bit of a discussion in my local Flickr group and an article on PetaPixel about why you shouldn’t under-charge. But it can be difficult to know what to charge if you’re not a professional doing this all the time.
There are a couple of resources I usually turn to when I want to get an idea of how much a photo is worth. These are:
- The UK’s National Union of Journalists site, and
- The UK Freelance Fees Guide
(Obviously costs may vary slightly depending on where in the world you’re based)
If you’re ever approached by someone wanting to use your images, make sure you ask the following five questions as the answers can have a huge impact on your price.
- The final image size to be used
- The type of publication (magazine, online, etc)
- The geographical area the image will be used within (globally, US only, etc)
- How long they wish to use your image (6 months, a year)
- Do they want exclusive use (you can’t sell that image to anyone else for the license period)
For a pretty amazing story about how a wedding photographer was originally going to quote just US$1,000 and ended up getting US$18,000 check out this story on the Photographer’s Business Coach site. The moral of the story? Don’t under-sell yourself!
After the previous huge Craft & Vision book last month, complete with its own tutorial files and Photoshop add-in, this month’s offering is scaled back and simple but still a great little resource.
Nicole Young’s book “Finding Focus” is 37 pages illustrated with some clean and sharp images. On hearing the title you might think it just covers how to get your photos tack sharp but it goes well beyond this.
To begin with Nicole talks about aperture. Something we immediately think of when people start mentioning focus, especially depth of focus (which is the second subject she talks about!). She then moves on to lens compression providing some great information illustrated with good examples. I personally found this section very interesting as I admit it’s not something I consciously think about often. However it does affect your final image.
The topics then shift from technical skills to the equipment you use and how different lenses – pure tilt-shift lenses and the more commercial lens baby are covered – and your camera’s features can help you focus. This includes use of the AF-On button (which I rarely use) and the depth of field preview button, before moving to soft-skills around composition and story-telling through selective focus.
The final section covers methods you can use to improve the sharpness of your images once you’ve got them out of the camera and covers Photoshop and Lightroom techniques. Again an interesting topic covered, that I’d heard of but didn’t know too much about, is focus-stacking.
All in all a handy little book. Some of it I knew, but other sections such as lens compression and focus stacking provided useful information and tips for me. You can buy the book on the Craft & Vision site for just $5. If you use the code FOCUS4 when you check out you can get it for only $4 or use the code FOCUS20 to get 20% off then you buy 5 or more books at Craft & Vision. The codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) August 19, 2012. (Check your timezone here).
Finding Focus by Nicole S Young at Craft & Vision
It was Leeds Pride last weekend and I wandered down to photograph the parade and see what was going on. Unfortunately the weather turned atrocious with thunder, lightning and extremely heavy rain so I didn’t hang around for too long as I didn’t want my camera gear to get wet. The photo above is one of the few I managed to grab before the heavens opened.
In case you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, its a site where people can post information on projects they need funding for and which the general public can then pledge an amount to with each pledge level having its own benefits should the project proceed. The sort of projects offered cover everything from book production to Android watches to films and there have been a couple of high profile cases of projects getting way over what they asked for (one project had a goal of $100,000 and actually raised over $10 million!). However I’m mentioning Kickstarter here because there are some very interesting photography projects on the site.
First of all I should make something very clear. Pledging money is not like purchasing an item. You don’t know when you’ll get the item (if that’s offered) or even if the item will have the same features and design. Its a fluid process and pledging should be viewed in a similar way to investing with the same sort of risks.
Right – now that that’s over here are some of my favourite Kickstarter projects related to photography hardware at the moment. They are all based around timelapse in one way or another (as that’s an interest of mine) but there are plenty of others on over on the site.
Way back (longer than I care to remember!) I used to take photos on film and develop then myself. So when people complain that digital tools like Photoshop are cheating and that you couldn’t do that with film I enjoy pointing out that you could actually do most of the things with film. I’m not saying it’s easy but it was possible. One of the simpler things to do was dodging and burning – essentially over or under exposing parts of your image to draw the viewer’s eye to a particular place in the image you want them to look. Sure enough, these tools also exist in digital tools like Photoshop and Lightroom. So it is interesting to see the latest book from the Craft & Vision stable looks at how to dodge and burn your images. However this time, rather than just a simple eBook giving you inspiration, Piet van den Eynde’s Dodge & Burn is a “how to” tutorial complete with custom Photoshop panels and exercise files to follow along on.
To begin with the 90 page guide (it’s far more than a simple book this time) explains what we mean when we talk about dodging and burning and why you might want to do it. This is followed by a very clever example of the options available and how additional elements in a scene can restrict these. The options start with the most basic global adjustments, changing something across your whole image, through Lightroom tools such as graduated filters or the adjustment brush, to specific plugins and finally to Photoshop.
Once these five methods of dodging and burning have been outlined the rest of the chapters take each one and in turn and go into detail about how they can be used. These are accompanied by example images and step by step adjustments to show how Piet arrived at the final image. Depending on which package you buy (see below) you can follow along using the same exercise files as shown in the guide.
As mentioned, this latest Craft & Vision release is far more than their usual inspirational books. It’s more of a full on master-class in how to dodge and burn. It also comes in two flavours:
- Dodge & Burn “Lite”
- 90-page Dodge & Burn book
- “Lite” version of EasyDodge (custom Photoshop panel)*
- Dodge & Burn “Full”
- 90-page Dodge & Burn book
- “Full” version of EasyDodge (custom Photoshop panel)*
- 10 exercise RAW images
* Obviously Photoshop is required for the panels to work. You can see them in action in the demo video on Piet’s website.
As Piet says in his introduction: We all know that there are different reasons why the image we have in our mind is not always the image that comes out of our camera: for one, we’re always growing as photographers, and so is our skill at capturing difficult lighting situations. but even if you are a true “conquistador of light,” there might still be reasons why your capture does not completely reflect reality or your vision. Personally I think mastering your ability to dodge and burn your images well is a great skill to have.
As always there’s an offer for the first few days. There’s no discount on the Dodge & Burn “Lite” option and you can get it for $5. However if you buy Dodge & Burn “Full” you can get it for US$8 (normally $10) by using the code DODGE8 or buy 5 or more books at Craft & Vision and use the code DODGE20 to get 20% off. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) July 22, 2012 (check your timezone here).
Click below for:
Dodge & Burn “Full” or Dodge & Burn “Lite”