Tag Archives: Photography

Studio 5 Graphics Year in Review 2015

Bre Projector NSFW
Bre Projector NSFW

Studio 5 Graphics Year in Review 2015

 

I know I have not posted since April of 2015, but it has been interesting even if I don’t write amazing things every day about taking pictures. These year end reviews are important to me to help me bench mark where I am and what I have done over the year. One of the hallmarks of 2015 was the reduction in picture taking because of you know life and things like that. 2014 I took somewhere on the order of 28,000 pictures, 2015 saw about 18,000 pictures taken, but the pictures that are coming out are cleaner, brighter, and jacked up, I’m finding my signature now, and you can tell a S5G picture just by looking at it.

 

It is funny where my pictures end up, that will not stop I think.

 

The biggest changes that came this year was watermarking, with the sheer amount of appropriation and borrowing I decided in August to start watermarking everything and pushing up the low res images rather than the full high end images online. This caused no decrease in traffic, but a wad of name recognition that would do a porn star proud. It is just a simple watermark, easily removed by those who chose to do it, but with the amount of meta data in the images now a person has to be really dedicated to remove all the watermarks as they are embedded throughout the image and metadata now.

 

Now to the numbers, we know that was what you are reading this for; image views are how I am measuring success in getting my name out there. Sales are how I am measuring success in turning this into a full time gig.

 

Flickr, starting number 30,631,971, ending number today 53,726,372 comes out to 23,094,401 million picture views this year. Good times on that one seriously. I did not post to Flickr as much as I could have, and keeping somewhat steady with last years 20,408,331 million picture views is a small gain of an 11.64% increase in picture views with some 10,000 pictures uploaded. I also saw a sharp increase in followers, almost doubling going from 700 to 1,587 followers now. Flickr continues to be the top performing site I post at, with a great group of followers the community is strong on this one. We have won awards on Flickr this year, which was new and exciting to experience. As always we really honestly wish that we had a way to sell pictures on Flickr.

 

Smugmug, total for the year comes out to 11,092,337 million picture views, which is just a tad lower than last year’s 13,500,000 million picture views. A 17% decrease in picture views. This year we did not have the great Smugmug boudoir hack, but because of that hack, we have a small and loyal following going on for our work. We also had some sales on Smugmug this year that was nice to have. We posted almost everything into Smugmug this year and used it as a drop site warehouse as we have done almost since inception.

 

Deviant Art – meh, it’s dead, we still have it, but not really using it, we posted maybe a 100 pictures this year and got 17,520 picture views. Time to shut this sucker down. It’s not really an art site anymore, it’s a site where children post their crappily drawn My Little Pony Friendship is magic shit that would be better on their parents refrigerator. Seriously if you are 13 DA is probably awesome and edgy, but it simply is not a place for anything else at this point.

 

Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook – we really tried to use them this year and are seeing a little fame, just a few hundred followers and some likes. Most of what we do is not safe for work, so Tumblr really has been a key for us as we really do not want to spend time in limbo while having our Instagram and Facebook accounts shut down. We would dearly love to have a space that we could post our stuff without having to worry about the morality patrol. You know it is just skin folks. You are all naked under your clothes.

 

This years total, 34,204,258 picture views, with book sales going strong over the year and being a primary source of income. Not many new titles this year, it’s been one of those times where I wanted to cut back and try other things, but 2016 promises to be even more interesting as I have my ideas back and have some amazing photo shoots set up in my head. 2016 is going to be an interesting year.

 

 

Projektor Ebook Available

Projektor Ebook Available

 

I have been able to finish up a lot of the interior space for Projektor, the new studio art book using humans as a canvas for projected art. Personally I think this is one of the best art books I have done to date and I am really excited about seeing the finished PDF’s on the interior design.

 

The sample blurb for the book is:

 

“Welcome to Projektor, an art book using projected images upon human canvases. The idea of projected images goes back to the early days of photography, but saw a lot of use in the early 1900’s. Bauhaus images used projections, polarization, montage, collage, and other techniques to develop unique works of photographic art. Since then the use of this has gone somewhat out of favor, but is still an important aspect of early photographic techniques. This book recreates some of the techniques but using modern digital equipment as part of the process. “ Projektor Self Blurb

 

Personally I am very excited about this book, it has been long in development, and long in hiring the right people to do help with the project. As I tend to go more for project style art work, very organized photo shoots with a limited number of participants it is always fun when you hit the nail on the head right out of the gate. The link to the ebpub at 4.99 is right here. 

 

I hope you love this book as much as I loved doing it, and enclosed are some sample not safe for work pictures by the way so if you decide to go any further in the entry be aware that someone somewhere is going to get offended, and while we can’t stop that, this isn’t Facebook either. You can hit up my ISP, but my ISP and me have already talked about hosting this kind of content on the site.

 

I would really love to get your feedback on the book, and while the cost of production on this one was more expensive than I thought, you can order the hard cover book here (and sorry hard cover self publishing prices as well) for 24.95. Click on the Lulu link below to capture it and purchase it for your own fine art nude collection of books.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

We are thinking about putting the print editions up on ebay as well, see what we can do with this, we do so few print editions of anything anymore preferring to do kindle editions that it might just be worth taking the more popular kindle editions and doing a physical book of them as well. We will have to see.

 

Lillias Right – Projektor

 

Projektor Lillias Right
Projektor Lillias Right

 

Lady Aera – Projektor

 

Projektor - Lady Aera
Projektor – Lady Aera

 

Justine – Projektor

 

Projektor - Justine
Projektor – Justine

 

I hope you enjoyed the preview images, if you go get the book remember to do a review for us, that is super important to get your feedback either on Amazon or on Lulu, or in the comments below. We will listen and use it to improve our products over time. If you look at our first books and what we are producing now, there is a huge difference, and that is due to user feedback.

 

 

Kickstarter for your photography project

kickstarterPhotoKickstarter for your photography project

 

With the news today that Kickstarter was moving from Amazon payments to Stripe Kickstarter is back in the news. In the photography category there are some 1259 photography projects that have been successful, while there are 759 that have not been successful.

 

The good part about moving over to stripe is that the payments experience suddenly got a whole lot easier, and you don’t have to leave the Kickstarter web site. Stripe looks like a fairly solid company, and if my own experience with trying to use Amazon payments it might be time to review my application to run my own Kickstarter for Projektor. I got hung up in Amazon Payments, I am a company, I have my own EIN, but Amazon payments would not accept it, and not let me have access to it to make sure I typed it in correctly. There is nothing more fun than a logic loop in a program that says something is wrong, and then does not let you fix it. Since then my own Kickstarter has not been deployed because of that.

 

On the idea of running my own Kickstarter for Projektor I went and did some homework, you can pull up funded and non-funded projects on Kickstarter and review the ones that were successful or non-successful. From the initial data pull it looks like books, unique projects that have a value, and some gallery shows were successfully funded

 

What does not look like it was successfully funded were requests to purchase new gear, start a photographic company but there were also some really interesting projects in their like photography for breast cancer, 3D objects, and other items that would have been interesting.

 

I think that in a lot of ways what matters is how well you interact with people on projects. I know that in my history of backing Kickstarter projects the folks doing this are all doing the same thing.

 

Weekly updates.

Marshaling their friends to raise the noise level

Last week push (most projects get a lot of funds in the last 24 hours)

Develop a flash community of backers; get them to share on their social media

Show production work in your kickstarter

Offer exclusive content to your kickstarter backers only

Answer questions from the crowd

Keep the project alive by not being too annoying but every couple of days, checking it and seeing what is happening with it

 

Stripe payments are a good thing as it might open the door for more people who get suck in Amazon Payments like we did. But having a successful Kickstarter project is even better. If you want the list of successful projects click this link, if you want the list of unsuccessful projects click this link. Let us know if you are doing a kickstarter, we might just help you plug it.

 

 

 

 

Using Deviant Art for Stock Photography

Fantasy Couple Using Deviant Art for Stock Photography

 

Some photographers end up using a lot of stock photography, and sadly many of the stock photography sites out there can be pretty lame. The pictures are not what you want to use, the keyword system does not cough up what you are looking for, and in other ways they simply don’t have what you are looking for.

 

The good part is that there is an excellent alternative to stock photography sites for some of the work you want to do. One of them is Deviant Art, especially if you are looking for fantasy backgrounds for your images like the one we used for our cover picture for this article. It is a stock background from Shinobinaku from deviant art who left this beautiful arch for people to use for their stock photography needs.

 

Below is a short video on how to use deviant art for stock photography.

 

 

Some ideas though you need to be aware of.

 

Not all stock photography is free for any use, sometimes the people who make the images want final editorial approval of the image, other times they want to make sure you are not using it for any commercial purposes (this includes advertising on your web site if you use it). There are other restrictions that people put up that can kill off the creative flow.

 

While at times you want to just say screw it, it is better to ignore any stock photography that comes with any encumbrances to your creative output. If they want final creative say so, or no commercial purposes, respect that and move on even if it was the best background creative image you could imagine. In the longer run it is not worth the hassle.

 

I hope you like the video, the audio is a little weak, so you might need to turn up the volume.

 

Projektor – New art book

Projektor a Justine Nude in Texturenew art book

 

For those of us who have a deep love of what was happening in the 1920’s post      World War I as the world exploded in relief from the end of the first industrial        mechanized war, Projektor is for you.

 

There are main characters in the Bauhaus photography using sharp contrasting shadows, projected images, collage and other ways of putting together an image that would be of interest to the public. Add to that the graphics, graphic design, font design, and the influences through furniture, fashion, industrial design and you pretty much have a movement that influenced a generation between the two World Wars.

 

Projektor is a book that is focused on rediscovering some of the enthusiasm for the era, and the art that was produced by using models as a living canvas with projected images on them.

 

The same projector can be used if you followed any of Liquid Light processes that we had set up and talked about earlier in the year. You want a clean white wall, and you want to shoot only under the light that the projector gives out to the model. This requires a tripod, and exposures of 30 seconds to 60 seconds. Everyone has to stand really still, and the model needs to be nude to get the full effect of the image.

 

It seems like it is going to be a fun project to do that will end up as a book. We are thinking about doing this as a kickstarter, but probably won’t go in that direction, too many hurdles and too many unknowns for a project I can self fund if I have to, and see through its completion.

 

We will be talking about Projektor throughout the year and hope to have it done by midyear as a paperback and hardcover print on demand book. We are also planning on doing photography by project this year, specific projects that we will set aside time and resources as long as the project seems viable to do.

 

Welcome to 2015, as we try to expand where we are going to give it specific products that we can then turn around and sell, it is going to be one amazing year for us I think. Feel free to chime in, we have a lot of ideas, some of them are going to extend well into 2016 and beyond because the projects are so complex to pull off. We will give out all the details of the pictures as we take them so you know how to do the same thing.

 

 

So I am trying to win a Camera with Snapknot

And they really want us to help them market their service and site. The request is that I post this imbed code that you will see as a picture, so I can get 100 bonus points to win a Nikon D800 which would be awesome to have. It is my next camera anyways, but hey if I can win it, even better.

 

Here is the code, they are probably going to track how many times this gets viewed by the way. And by what IP address, so be careful out there.

 

 

SnapKnot
Courtesy of: SnapKnot

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When Shooting in Rapid Mode makes Sense or Why Spray and Pray can be an option

When Shooting in Rapid Mode makes Sense or Why Spray and Pray can be an option

Using Available Lighting in Photography

We all hear about spray and pray as a derogatory remark about when someone is simply clicking the shutter or shooting in burst mode on their camera. The implication is that the person shooting the shot is an untested noob, but the reality is when you need to shoot in burst mode, you have to shoot in burst mode.

Low light, lots of action, go burst mode, shooting wild life, go burst mode, shooting action anything, shoot burst mode, or as “photographers” will call it, spray and pray. Got a guy running towards you with a sword recreating a roman war scene, shoot burst mode, got someone dropping a bowling ball off a ladder in low light onto someone sporting a cinder block, shoot burst mode.

Sorry folks, not every shot can be carefully orchestrated so you only have to take one shot. There is always someone derping, there was movement on the hands, there were eyes closed, there was something that is going to totally invalidate that picture. Event photography like side shows, burlesque, darts, archery, maybe roller derby all means you can’t sit there and finesse the shot, you gotta shot when you gotta shoot and try not to over run your camera buffer.

Small children, animals, you name it where the event cannot be controlled and the process is unpredictable because of large groups because there is always someone derping with an eye closed or something else, shoot in burst mode, or as the “professionals” will call it, spray and pray.

We all know that spray and pray is not for every purpose, like in the studio where everything is controlled down to the lighting. Over time as you get more comfortable with your camera and the situation around you, you will know when to take the single right moment frame, or when to burst mode on your camera. That is part of the trick of knowing your gear, knowing where you are, and knowing what the situation calls for when taking a picture.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to take a picture, there are a lot of darn fine mechanics out there with a camera, but few artists. Not everyone is going to be Ansel Adams, we just can’t be, shoot the way you want to shoot, shoot what works best for you, you are the photographer. If you want to take 100 shots of the same thing do it, if you want to take one shot of the bowling ball landing on someone’s chest, that is your call, not some other photographer’s call to tell you how to take a picture. It’s just that simple, all the other photographer does is show he is a diva, and I think we have all had enough of prima donna photographers.

 

 

 

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