How To Create The Optimal Design For eCommerce Website Conversion

How To Create The Optimal Design For eCommerce Website Conversion

eCommerce has, over the last few years, grown exponentially due to its convenience and ease of access to products and services. However, in saying this, no-one could have foreseen the jump in popularity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

eCommerce stores globally saw unprecedented amounts of traffic, conversions, and sales, with some stores actually comparing most days in hard lock down to Black Friday!

Online retailers have had to rapidly evolve their services, offerings, and processes in order to cater to the increased demand. Even traditional brick and mortar stores have been seen to pivot their operations to remain competitive and relevant during these difficult times.

So, if you are currently running an eCommerce site, and looking to grow further, starting a new site, or you are one of the millions of companies taking their offering online, we thought we would help.



We took a look at the key ways that you can ensure that your website is optimally designed to increase conversions and appeal to your customers.

Choose A Website That Suits You

If you are just starting off, you will need to decide what type of website you will be launching. You usually have several different options here. You can either buy over an existing website, which usually comes with the full business offering, create a website from scratch, or use a website template like WordPress to create your site. There are also various other platforms that you can choose from to sell your big idea.

Options like BigCommerce or Shopify allow you to easily start reaching customers and selling your goods with their full-service offerings.

Each option has its pros and cons. Creating a site from scratch, for example, can take a lot of time, but it can also be expensive. The advantages come in where you will have a custom-made site built specifically for your unique brand.

An option like BigCommerce can get your idea off the ground much quicker, and start reaching customers quickly. If you are really stuck for time and need to get your online empire going, consider employing BigCommerce development services. Not only can you rapidly increase your market reach and customer base with them, but their expertise will heighten your conversion rate and promote engagement on your site.

Create A Customer Journey

Now that you have your website chosen, and have started adding your elements, you will need to map out your customer journey on your site. Keep in mind that your customers can enter your site from several points. They can enter your page from organic search, and land on your home page or from any social media platform and go directly to your product pages.

It is important to get the basic elements on each page right. Your brand will need to be reflected at every step of the journey. From the landing page, all the way through to checkout and payment, keep your colors uniform, and your imagery standard.

The rule of thumb for modern sites is to keep it as simple as possible. Cluttered websites are not user friendly. Keep as much white space as possible, with the necessary content, images and CTAs your customer needs.

The customer flow is also incredibly important. Map it out so that they can go from the product page, through the forms and payment in a swift, effortless motion. Placing CTAs in the optimum areas can help you direct your traffic to where you want it to go, and that is to payment and shipping.

Optimize Your Product Pages

Product pages are your sales pitches to your customers. Remember, unlike brick and mortar,  your customer cannot physically touch and see the products, and will have to be convinced from your page to make the purchase.

Product page design is vital in encouraging conversions, and there are a few rules to help you get those sales in.

Images

Your images need to be high-quality, yet compressed to not impact your page load speed and SEO. We recommend that you take various pictures of your products from various angles to close-ups so that the customer can get a good idea of what they are looking at. Remember, this is your visual aid sales tool.

To heighten your conversion rates from your images, consider watermarking them as well. You can add text or your logo to images to increase their visibility and sales reach. Remember to add keywords into the name of the image for them to be found in search engines. By adding this watermark, you can help increase your brand reach.




Content and Description

The next aspect is to spend some time on all of your product descriptions. This should detail everything the customer needs to know about the product. Keep your descriptions simple, and to the point. Although some sites do well with quirky, eccentric texts, spend more time on actually giving the customer what they need about the product. This is also your chance to heighten your SEO and get the product ranked on Google. So make sure you get the right keywords in,

CTAs

Your CTAs are a vital component of your site. It is important to keep them uniform throughout the customer journey and over your site. Similar coloring, text, and shapes are important. Again, quirky text is great for some sites, but a simple “Buy Here” or “Tell Me More” is as effective. Your customer could be confused with anything else and not go through the sales funnel.

Extra Information and Assistance 

Pack up your page with as much information about the product as you can give. Other customer reviews are vital for potential customers to gain peace of mind about the product that they are looking to buy. Add shipping costs and other potential costs on your product page to lower cart abandonment at the checkout stage. Payment safety and instructions are also key on this page. And lastly, ensure that you add a live chat service to the page to assist with any further questions or for troubleshooting.

Design For eCommerce Website
 Image Source: Alvaro Reyes

Measure, Monitor, and Test

Our recipe for success is to implement something, monitor it, and see how well it does. This is a guaranteed way of ensuring that you are appealing to your customer with all of the right elements.

A/B testing is a great method to ascertain what works and what gains more conversions on your site. And the great thing is, you can test absolutely everything. From your CTAs to your images and to text. Create two versions of it, and watch what converts more. Just keep in mind to not index one of the versions as Google will pick this up as duplication and penalize you.

Other tools are handy too to see how the customer behaves on your site. Hotjar allows you to see behavior like how far your customer goes down your page, where the optimum place is for your CTA and what buttons are more popular. Google Analytics tracks the traffic and bounce rate of each page, so you can ascertain what pages are working and what is not.

All of this data will allow you to plan your layouts for the future and have an insight into what your customer is looking for.

Wrapping Up

Our last piece of advice is to go through your website like your customer. Where would you want to click? What information do you want to see? Which images appeal to you? Bring in ideas and concepts to try out, but consider how you behave and what piques your interest on other sites.

Watermark Defined: 9 Valuable Things to Know About Watermarking

 

Why should you add a watermark to your images? 

It should come with no surprise that anything you put on the world wide web can be ripped-off. Some people seem to think that if they find an image online, they are free to use it as they please without paying for it or even giving it the right credits. If you’re reading this, you might have already experienced this issue yourself, and you’re looking for a solution, or you want to know how to create a watermark.

A watermark is important to protect your photos from theft.

There are usually two approaches that you can take: watermarking all of your images or using the software on your website to try and secure your pictures on the fly. Securing your pictures on the fly is apparently less of a job, but it is usually a lot less secure; watermarking is a much better option.

Why It is Important

Simply put, the main reason you need to watermark your images is for branding. You don’t watermark ALL of your images, but definitely watermark those that go to your blog or memes that you create. These are the two types of posts that are shared more than anything else. When people share things, they should provide credits, but 75% of the time, they do not. Or maybe they do it, but the person who shares it with them may not. If your images are watermarked, you will at least get some recognition that work is yours, even if no one tags you or mentions you.

Are You At Risk for Photo Theft?

The freedom to share photos on the Internet comes at a price. Everything you display online is up for grabs. Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr – these and some other social media sites are ridden with thieves.

If you don't watermark your photos, you are at risk for theft.

Want to see how freely you can grab the photos and claim it as your own or use it commercially without consent? Go to Google and look for pictures on any subject — say, “Landscape Photography.” You will find millions. Some of them were taken by professional photographers, and by amateurs. Anything that is not watermarked tends to get stolen.

Who Uses Watermarks

Anyone who posts their work online should use watermarks. Even if you are a seasoned photographer or just starting, you need to keep your work out of pirates and thieves’ hands. If you are a professional in the industry who likes to sell your images online, you will know the protection you get by creating watermarks. Your photographs are your intellectual property. Hence, not only do they represent you, the artist, but your career as well.

Your Livelihood

If you are a novice photographer, that is the same deal. Your images could end up anywhere. The photos you are taking now require a suit of armour, watermark protection before they are shown to the world.

Demons of the Digital Age

Where would we be with the world wide web? And more importantly, where would your images end up? Sure, they are going to look amazing on the walls of your apartment, but your work is intended for greater things. Art is love. It is about sharing. You want people to know what you are doing.

And, come on, you want them to know how good you are.

Wonderful as the Internet is, it is a pirate’s treasure trove. Social networking and file-sharing mean that pictures are tossed around like treats with no regard for the poor blighter who looked for the best angle and pressed the shutter button. With no watermark, your hard-earned masterpieces are at the mercy of everyone who wants them.

Aren’t Watermarks Ugly?

You may be uncomfortable at the idea of sticking an unsightly icon on the front of your beautiful photograph. The last thing every photographer wants is to distract the focus from the subject of their image. That is not the case for an application like Watermarquee. Watermarquee creates a personalized signature that draws a line between the average from the amazing.

It Adds Value

What is in a name? If you are an artist, it is all in the name. Digitally signing your name to your art signifies it’s worth – not just to your portfolio, but also to potential buyers. Picasso’s drawing is worth millions only if Picasso signed it!

Using a Watermark Maker

Lucky for you, adding watermarks now is easy; you don’t even have to download and install anything on your computer. Watermarquee, an efficient and free watermark maker, is online-based, so you can do all your watermarking needs in your browser. Easy peasy, right?

Don’t Forget: A Watermark is An Invaluable Investment

Whether your image is your livelihood, a hobby, or just a passing interest, it is still your intellectual property. You did not pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars on photography tools so that an internet troll could just steal your product, did you? You did not spend hours learning how to use your DSLR and going through the regiments to create your profile as a photographer only to have it snatched from under your nose. Learn more about how watermarking is relevant in today’s world.

Photo Wall Tips: 16 Best Ways to Make an Amazing Gallery Wall

What is a photo wall, and how can you make one for your home?

A bare wall is akin to a blank canvas. There are a lot of great ways to decorate it and among the most popular methods is making a photo wall. There are practically limitless ways to display photos on your wall. Making an eye-catching photo wall using various-sized frames or adding your favorite artworks and portraits into a photo wall collage could quickly become a challenge.

How to Create a Photo Wall

The next thing to do is to set how high you want to hang your photos. Photo wall height is the notion that often goes wrong. The rule of thumb is to arrange photos at your sight line; hence, you do not need to look too low at it or up too high.

A photo wall can spruce up your home.

When you have already decided on a general spot, you could frame out that space with some painter’s tape to help you visualize the area. Look at it carefully and see if you’re happy with where it sits on your wall. You could get creative with this; perhaps you want to put your photo wall a bit off-center for a laid-back vibe. You could also create a vignette, where the photos are part of the grouping and a bit off-center.

There are actually a lot of ways you could create a photo wall and here are some tips:




Choose a Theme

Select a theme like friends, family, or vacations—and make sure your photos blend in well with the theme. Just like making your pictures the same theme, the frames must likewise share a feel even if they do not exactly match. For example, choose wood frames in different finishes, or arrange antique-looking metal frames in various shapes.

Make Photo Ledges

Place your artwork and framed photos on a set of shelves. Layer your design with different shapes, sizes, and colors to create maximum visual appeal.

Build Columns and Rows

You can arrange pictures in your photo wall in columns and rows.

Create a family photo wall with a variety of photos. Add candid shots of the children laughing, playing, and enjoying their time outdoors. Evenly place your photos in columns and rows so you could creatively turn your cherished memories into wonderful photo wall designs.

Use Foam Board

Using a wide foam board as a base, a photo wall could capture many favorite memories: watching a sunset with the kids and playing in the leaves or your baby learning to walk. Designing your layout ahead of time with the foam board enables you to organize your pictures in exactly the order you prefer.

Repurpose an Old Window

Repurpose a window with panes into a unique frame for several photographs—from snaps of your family sunbathing on the beach to travelling together. Create coherence within your design by selecting pictures in the same color palette. For added flair, outline each window pane with a similar shade of paint.

Create a Minimalist Black and White Spread

Black and white photos can add flair to your photo wall.

You can use simple photo editing apps and tools to edit your chosen pictures to make them black and white. Use the two-toned theme complete with white matting and white frames. To add personality and charm to the photo wall, arrange your pictures at varying heights, instead of in a single straight line.

Gather Your Panoramic Shots

Great for panoramic photos—like picturesque landscapes from your tropical vacation or fan-filled stadium views from your latest sports outing—shots like these that capture the whole scene can make your photo wall truly stand out. Line up a few panoramic frames for a gallery vibe. Mix and match the style and width of your frames for contrast.

Go Antique

Create an antique-look family photo wall with ornate wood and metallic frames. Try mixing shapes, like square and circular, on the same wall. Make sure to leave some open area for easy viewing.




Build A Timeline

Display your pictures in chronological order. Arrange your photographs to show your family’s growth over the years. Pick family snapshots from travels and vacations to breathe life to your photo wall.

Mix It Up

Create a mix of styles and designs in one photo wall: photo clipboards and framed art. Add in an array of photo varieties, too, like a picturesque landscape and a close-up portrait of your favorite people.

Add in Individual Shots

Create your family photo wall with blown-up photos of every family member. They could be dancing, singing or just a great candid shot of them doing anything. Bring the design together with a full family picture. Make sure to print your pictures on quality material, so the photos look clear and sharp.

Brighten Your Photo Wall With White

Select white matting frames and finishes for your photo wall, which could include a variety of family photos and candid shots from a recent holiday vacation or a walk in the park. Frame your photographs on your photo wall in a somewhat asymmetrical style to build visual diversity.

Design A Diverse Composition

Diversity can add a touch of spice to your photo wall.

The best photo wall concepts are mapped out ahead of time. This is particularly true when you add in aa variety of pieces—such as photos, hanging baskets, and clocks. Complement your wall with a central color like black or dark brown.

Have Fun Mixing Your Colors

Although a lot of family photo wall concepts are designed with similarly-colored accents and frames, you can also create a photo wall that uses a palette of neutral colors. It is made complete with unique and charming pieces like a wooden arrow, a DIY artwork, and framed family photographs.

Create A Heart Shape

Create a “lovely” collage with a heart-shaped design. Choose photographs that show ‘love,’ whether they snap a memorable vacation place or a favorite person. By organizing your pictures close together, your visitors would be able to appreciate your favorite memories easily.

Try A Non-framed Photo Wall Concept

Pictures in a photo wall do not need to be framed. Select your favorite photo styles, such as metal prints or canvas and print your pictures in the same size. Mix a range of close-ups and moving shots for a diverse design.

First Online Photography Portfolio: 5 Crucial Things to Remember For Your Success

What should you remember when making your first online photography portfolio?

In the past years, we noticed more photographers are living their dreams, showing off their photographs online with stock images and the like, and making a living out of their photography. However, if you want your work to be noticed, you should start thinking about making a portfolio.

Looking at several of the bigger and more seasoned photographers out there–or even some of the smaller ones you’re following on Instagram- there’s one theme that’s quite evident. It’s the fact that they have sleek, fancy, minimalist websites that promote their greatest works, contact information, and sometimes a little bit of personal information.

 

You see, an online photography portfolio combines branding, self-marketing, and staying behind the camera. The portfolio of a photographer must first and foremost show off their work. It’s almost like the age-old adage that “a picture says a thousand words” is actually true.

With all that said, it is not all that hard to create a decent and cool online photography portfolio. You just need a little guidance, and you’ll be good to go.



Hosting

Every cloud needs a silver liner, and every website requires a hosting platform.

There are free platforms out there that are much more advanced and technologically adept than they were back in the day, and we are not talking about Picasa or Flickr either. Likewise, there are also simplistic paid services that you do not need to know HTML or CSS to make an excellent online photography portfolio.

Hosting Options for Your New Online Photography Portfolio

If you’re looking to expand your photography into a career or a business, you might want to think about transferring your site to a hosting platform.

There are a lot of hosting sites you can host your online photography portfolio in.

A lot of hosting providers, like HostGator, 1&1, and BlueHost, have WordPress integration capabilities. Squarespace, as you’ll know if you’re listening to podcasts, is a magic brand of its own.

That said, larger, community-based websites like Flickr also have their SEO benefits.

WordPress

Easily the most widely used hosting platform around these days, there is a WordPress template and plugin for just about any type of website you are looking to create. You don’t need to learn a little bit of code. Although if you are looking for a simplistic photo portfolio, it might not be worth $4-or-so to buy a hosting and a domain name.

Once more, having a domain name will always be a benefit to you and your brand.

Price: Free, although you will have to pay for your hosting and/or domain name through a hosting provider.

Squarespace

Squarespace has a grip on the current streamlined, high-end aesthetics that most brands and individuals are on the lookout for these days.

Their layouts are straightforward, elegant, and easy to put together. Their themes have been actively stunning as well. If you need a luxury theme that gives a deluxe touch to your site without having to put a lot of hard work into it, then Squarespace may be worth checking out.

Price: $12/m for up to 20 pages, $18/m for countless pages, but this comes with a domain name and discounts if you pay yearly.
online photography portfolio to boost their brand.

Wix

Less known than WordPress or Squarespace, Wix is a platform that is easy to use and features designed exclusively for professional photographers. Wix offers an abundance of modern templates and an incredibly easy platform to use.

Recently, the company has also implemented AI to help you build the website you want, simply by answering a few questions.

It’s a simple builder for busy people who still look great and work great. On top of that, you could use tools to make it difficult for anyone to steal pictures.

How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out

Once you’ve sorted your website and layout, it’s time to think about how you want your online photography portfolio to look. Even though it is ultimately your choice, two of the things we really like to stand by are that you need to watermark your work. You ought to keep it as minimalist as possible, too.

Most photographers prefer only a few of their outstanding photographs to show on their online photography portfolio; collections that say, “This is my style, this is what I want to do, and if you want to see more, employ me.” However, even amateur photographers also do this, so this is not exactly the best way to separate your art from the crowd.

Do not get people to look for your best shots-give it to them!

Make your online photography portfolio stand out by optimizing it.

As for watermarking, it’s amazingly important to ensure that your photographs are linked back to you. With sites out there, like Pinterest and Tumblr, the purpose of royalties go down the drain. Having a watermark on your job is a distinct, upmarket way to say, “I’ve taken it, doesn’t it look amazing?”

What to Put in Your Portfolio

  • ABOUT Section: Give a quick summary of you, yourself, and what you’re about.
  • Choose PHOTOGRAPHS: Choose photos that highlight your photography style and expertise.
  • CONTACT Information: Put your contact information, e-mail address, socials, etc., are important for networking. How can someone tell you that they would like to order you to do some work if you don’t have any contact information available?

Everything else, even the blog sections, can be read as static.

How to Know Which Photos to Highlight

We’ve got it. It’s as hard to pick one photograph in your collection when they all look good. That said, the images you prefer to show off as part of the online photography portfolio should be those that show off your expertise, skills, or even your vibe.

You should know which photos to highlight in your online photography portfolio.

A great way to select shots is to look at it as if you were putting together an exhibition. Technically, you are, although this may be an online exhibition. Your online photography portfolio is your exhibition, and you want photographs that will always be associated to you.

An Online Photography Portfolio in a Nutshell

The great thing about owning an online photography portfolio is that if you are proud of it, you do not really have to visit it again unless you want to. Like if you are updating information or gearing up to switch an older shot to a newer one.

All that means is that you have more time to do what you love: actually, take the photographs.

Watermark Maker -Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best 1

 

How to choose the best watermark maker might sound difficult. It will require some effort on your part. Knowing what to look for in a watermark maker is half the battle. The other half is how easy the watermark maker works.

On top of knowing what to look for in a watermark maker, you will need to have an idea of what type of watermark you are going to use. That may require a little more time and effort on your part. It depends on what your business is, what type of product or services you offer, and how often you watermark photos, images, or other products.

For example, a realtor will use watermarks more often than a business that sells products or services. Every photo a realtor uses on the web should be watermarked; preferably with their logo at least.

What to look for when choosing the best watermark marker

Do you know what to look for when choosing the best watermark maker? Let’s discuss some really important things you need a watermark maker to do for you.

Ease of use

You want to find a watermark maker that is easy to learn and use. Do I need to install specialist software? Life is too short to spend hours having to become qualified in a particular software program.

Batch marking

Seek out a watermark marker that allows you to watermark more than one photo or image at a time so you can get the job done faster.

Features

You want to be able to change fonts, colors, opacity, and other features – easily.

Upload

Look for a watermark maker that allows you to upload multiple images or photos. Can I create the watermark directly in my browser – or will my photos be stored on a separate server?

Saving and downloading

Saving and downloading should be easy – so I can come back at any time and retrieve the watermark I have created.

Support

You need to make sure that good support is available.

Price

Depending on your budget the price is an important consideration. Can I trial the watermarking service for FREE –

such as with Water Marquee and upgrade later to a paid service should I need additional features?

Is it a subscription service – or can I pay a one-off lifetime price – providing unlimited use?

If I choose the FREE service will I need to give my email details – enabling a flood of emails I don’t want?

If you look for these 7 points, then you will be able to find the perfect watermark maker for you.




Finding the best watermark maker online

There are several online watermark makers one such online service is Water Marquee.

Water Marquee offers a batch watermark, support, a free and paid accounts option, it is easy to use and has many features. You can save your watermark and download it easily.

There are also templates that can be used. It allows you to change your font, the color, and the amount of opacity you wish to use. Start out with the free service to try it out and then you can go to the paid Pro’ Account which is extremely reasonable; just a one-time fee of less than $20.00.

Many of the online watermark sites will charge a monthly fee and while they may not be all that much per month in a year you have spent far more than $20.00. Most online watermarking sites will offer the same features and tools. Some are a little harder than others to use so be sure to try them out before you spend money for a paid account to make sure that site will work for you.

6 Tips on making watermarks

Here are 6 tips on making a watermark for your photos and images that should help you design a watermark that fits you; one that will be easily recognized by others like yours.

  • If you are watermarking photos think about the composition of the photos you take; for example is it most people, nature, animals, cityscapes, etc. You want to come up with a watermark that fits your main composition and use it on all your photos or images.
  • Make sure that your watermark is one you will stick with; changing your watermark all the time will be confusing to your clients or patrons. Think of your watermark as your branding, so that when people see that they know it is your property, your work.
  • Watermark your images at their final size. If you watermark the full-size image then scale it down to fit the space you are putting it in, then the watermark is too small to be seen or read. If you are signing your name as your watermark you want people to be able to read it.
  • Make your watermark semi-transparent (opaque) this helps keep the attention on the composition and not on the watermark. Your work is what you want to be noticed, the watermark is only a protection device for your work unless it is your signature but still the composition is what should be noticed not the signature watermark.
  • The position must be considered. Position it in a place that makes it harder to remove. For example, place part of it on a person’s leg or foot that is near a color background. Let’s say it is a person sitting on a bench and the color under the bench is a dark shadow; place the watermark on part of the foot or leg of the person and the rest in the dark shadow area. To be removed the dark shadow area may be easy but not so easy for the leg or foot area without a program designed for photos and image editing. Even then the person needs to be a pro to make it look right with the watermark removed.
  • If your camera has a copyright information setting make sure it is on. Add that information to the metadata description and the title as well. While this camera’s copyright information can be stripped by some programs and social media sites like Facebook adding it into the meta description and title can help.

Following the above 6 tips on making watermarks should help you design a clear watermark that fits your company, photos, or images; one that will become a brand for you that your customers or clients will recognize immediately.     

help protect your images and photos from theft                                                            

Conclusions

Watermarking can help protect your images and photos from theft. It is your choice whether you decide to watermark or not. If you choose to watermark follow the above 6 tips and you will be able to come up with a watermark that will be your brand. Having a watermark that is your brand makes your work easily recognizable.

You can use online watermarking services like Water Marquee to make watermarks on your photos in batches so it takes less time. They offer free and paid accounts, have many features, and good support. The site is easy to use to make your watermark with and save it.

You work hard, spending hours taking photos or designing images why let them be lifted from the web or social media without a fight.

 

Culture, People, 10 Tips for Amazing Travel Photos

 

How can you make your travel photos better?

Whether you’re travelling around the world or to the beach for the weekend, taking photos is a fun way to document your adventures.

Sharing your journey on social media or planning on taking your photography to the next level?  Whatever you decide, these tips will help to improve the quality of your photos and protect your images using a free watermark maker.

It does not matter if you are using a phone or a fancy camera, just think about how you are going to make an image uniquely yours – to create better travel photos (and possibly monetize them in the future).

Snap the needed shots, but add a twist

I’m sure that anyone who goes to beautiful Paris is mandated by law to take a shot at the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and the iconic River Seine. These photos are the ones that shout, “Hey, I was actually there!” Nevertheless, if you are doing something unique and different, these are also the travel photos that people will jump over quickly.

watermark maker
My photo of the Eiffel Tower. Not bad, but not great.

 

travel photos
Finding a way to show off the scale of your subject, like this photo, is a good way to add a twist to your travel photos.

 

tips for travel photos
Placing a famous landmark in the background can force the viewer to do a double-take.


Know your exposure

To add a twist, take a shot from a different angle. Get high, get low, get close, get far, but don’t be boring. Placing a famous landmark in the background may force the viewer to do a double-take.

Most cameras have scene modes that adjust camera settings to suit shooting situations. For instance, the portrait mode tells the camera to set a wide aperture to blur the background, while in the landscape mode, it sets a small aperture to capture a lot of sharp detail. It is better to swap between these modes than to shoot in a fully automatic mode.




Shoot quickly

Candid photos of people are an excellent way to capture the vibe and energy of a new place. You want to capture people candidly when you are photographing someone. So do not linger on, get the camera ready, and shoot the scene quickly. If you are seen, and you are smiling, that’s alright: give them a  friendly wave and ask if you can snap another one.

Shoot themes

There are often small details that remind you of a particular place. In the spice market, for instance, it could be the vivacious colors, in the old Tuscan town, it could be the texture of the old walls. Whatever it is, make it a point to shoot a series of images of it. keep in mind that it is the details that you remember instead of the bigger picture.

Use selective focus

It is not enough to have a very interesting subject. It is our mission as travel photographers to make an interesting image of sometimes uninteresting subjects. We can do more than just click a picture; we can take pictures of what we’re thinking and how we feel.

We can use a wide-angle lens to overestimate what is closest to the camera or telephoto to compress the scene. If we have enough light or a tripod, we can decide to do everything in focus. Alternatively, we can choose to use a shallow depth of field and concentrate on just one element of the image, leaving the rest of it out of focus.

Shoot at nighttime

A lot of places look better at night since most attractive buildings are lit during that time. However, it’s best to snap photos while there’s still some color in the sky before it’s too dark; this will give you more stunning images with less dense shadows.

Keep the camera sensitivity (ISO) set low; this will guarantee the best  quality travel photos  with the most beautiful colors.

Use culture to your advantage

Take note of local customs and traditions. You should also study some of the customs and traditions of the location you visit. Some of the best photographs can be taken during ceremonies or on special occasions that are relevant to your destination.

A lot of experienced photographers say that this is one of the best tips for great travel photos because traditions and customs are specific to the site you are visiting, and memories are irreplaceable. If you take pictures of these special events, you’ll end up with unique photographs that show the true experience of your trip and the people you’ve met.




Silhouettes

Creative silhouettes can be shot at any time of day by looking for a camera position that puts the photo subject against a bright background and adjusts the exposure control. It is essential to have a strong contrast between the object or subject you are trying to silhouette and the background.

Do not forget the people

Make sure you get some photos of the people you’re travelling with and the people you’re encountering along the way. Many people make the mistake of just taking pictures of the scenery, and return home disappointed because they forgot to take pictures of themselves at incredible locations, or their family or friends enjoying the trip.

Travel photos.Don’t forget to take pictures of your travel companions.

Actively engaging in conversation with your chosen subject should happen before or after a photo-shoot — not during, doing so may result in unflattering images. It is better to share a quiet and tranquil human moment and let the lens peer into the window of your subject’s soul.

Environmental portraits

Photos of people in their surroundings add an essential human component to any travel stories. Professionals tend to use a medium to wide lenses for environmental portraits, with the aim of producing an image that conveys emotions and interaction with the subject.

Travelling is one of the most rewarding gifts we can give ourselves, and memories can last a lifetime. To help you remember those moments and share your experiences with others, use these tips for great travel photos to help make sure your photos that will help you relive the magic of your journey throughout your life.

Protecting your photos with a watermark maker

You’ve exerted effort and spent time taking those shots and making sure they look good—don’t let other people on the internet steal them and claim your works as their own. Protect your photos with a free watermark maker, like Watermarquee. Watermarquee is a free watermark maker that allows multiple watermarking of photos for added convenience.

Also check your relevant country for travel restrictions.

It also offers a pro watermark maker version for only $19, which allows users to upload bigger photo files to be watermarked. Check out our watermarking tips here using our favourite watermark.

6 Best HDR Photography Tips to Make You a Better Photographer

How can HDR photography help you take better pictures?

Have you ever tried to take pictures of a high-contrast scene (sometimes with your smartphone’s camera app), only to be frustrated when you find that the photos you snapped just don’t give justice to it? Don’t fret about it. It is not you; it is not your camera, either. Even with the ideal exposure, some scenes tend to get blown-out, flat shadows, or both. Although it is almost impossible to find a happy medium in such situations, there is a solution. This age-old dilemma can be resolved through the magic of HDR processing.

What is an HDR photograph? Here is a quick overview of what it is all about and how to get started.
High Definition Range (HDR) photography is popping up everywhere these days, generally with excellent results, but sometimes not.

What is High Definition Range (HDR) Photography?

HDR means “high dynamic range.” Dynamic range is essentially just the distinction between the brightest light and the darkest darkness you can capture in an image. When the subject in your scene surpasses the dynamic range of the camera, the highlights tend to be white, or the dark ones just become big black blobs. It is notoriously hard to snap a photo that encapsulates both ends of this spectrum, yet with advanced post-processing software and modern shooting techniques, photographers have formulated ways of making this happen.

This is primarily what HDR is: a particular style of photo with a remarkably high dynamic range that could not otherwise be obtained in a single image.



How Does HDR Photography Work?

Even the best images tend to leave out the details that humans can see with their eyes. HDR Photography lets you capture more detail in a photograph, so it appears more like what you would see in real life.

At the most primary level, HDR photography is actually just two or more photos taken at specific exposure levels and then fused together with the software to achieve a better image. It is a bit more complicated than that, but not a lot more — it is the short version of it.

HDR in Action

Halo effect as seen using HDR photographyHalo Effect in HDR Photography

Ideally, the photographer takes a variety of bracketed photos — that is, images of the same subject taken with variable shutter speed combinations to generate a set of images with different luminosity. (HDR photography performs excellent with a camera on a tripod and remains entirely still and with landscapes empty of moving objects.) Then, with the help of sophisticated post-processing software, the photographer can combine the photos and make a single photo of the most well-lit, focused, and colorful areas of the scene.

To sum up, it works by capturing the image three times-normal exposure, slightly under-exposed, and somewhat overexposed. The three photos are then combined into one, creating a mixture of details from all three.

Photos are usually paired with software that can lead to some impressive results. Most modern HDR photography software could handle this process pretty well automatically but typically leave some configurations to the user, and these settings can be adjusted to find exciting effects.

Here are some samples of cool HDR photography effects:

Comic effect in HDR photography

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HDR Photography can also produce a grunge effect.

When You Should Use HDR

HDR can help you take more stunning images, particularly in certain situations. Here is where you should give HDR a try:

Landscapes

Wide landscape photographs normally have a lot of contrast between the ground and the sky, which is complex for your camera to capture in just one photo. With HDR photography, you could capture the sky’s details without making the earth look too dark.

Portraits in Sunlight

We both understand that lighting is among the most critical elements of a good image, but too much lighting on people’s faces — like harsh sunlight — could result in bright glare, dark shadows, and other unflattering features. HDR could make everything out of it and improve the way yo

ur subject looks.

Low-light and Backlit Scenes

If your picture looks a little too dark — which sometimes happens when a scene has excessive backlight — HDR will illuminate the foreground without fading the well-lit parts of your frame.

LSD Effect using HDR photographyGrunge effect using HDR photography

When You Should Not Use HDR

 

Of course, as you have found out, sometimes, the HDR just makes the images look worse. Here are several cases in which you shouldn’t use HDR:

Moving Images

if any of your subjects move, HDR increases the risk of a blurred shot. Know, HDR takes three images, so if your subject changes between the first and second shots, your final photo is not going to look very impressive.

High-contrast Shots

Some of the images look better with a sharp contrast between the dark and the light sections of the picture as if you have a dark shadow or a figure that you want to highlight. HDR would make it less intense and softer, resulting in a less interesting image.

Vivid Colors

When your scene is too dark or too bright, HDR will put back some of the colors. However, if you are working with colors that are already really bright, HDR will wash them away.



Advantages of Using HDR

Nowadays, HDR photography has become a common option. If you are new to the photography world, it is worth looking at the advantages of HDR photography.

Using HDR technology, photographers can compile various photographs taken at variable exposures. Not only this, but also that technique helps photographers to produce photographs with outstanding light accuracy, which is not possible in a single shot taken by ordinary cameras. Using HDR cameras, photographers can capture excellent still images, overexposed and underexposed environments. While photographers have the freedom to add multiple effects to images, it is still recommended that the picture be kept as realistic as possible.

Photography is an art, and in this field, anyone with the best artistic skills will succeed. Nonetheless, to sweeten the pot, HDR photography can be used. While this is not standard practice, at times, the use of this technology may actually render some fantastic art (like these fresh photography trends). And, to get the ideal angle, one should be holding a tripod. You will need the right photo editing software to edit the picture and add the necessary special effects.

Pinhole Camera: 7 Best Things to Know About This Equipment

Why do some photographers use a pinhole camera?

People make pinhole photos for a variety of reasons; it is the most basic type of camera photography you can get. Taking a pinhole picture means you need to take a moment, to pause, and consider it; it is not fast-paced photography (like some new photography trends), but it can be hip shot, and you could get photos that capture movement and the passage of time (just not as you could expect.)

A pinhole camera, however, could not take detailed photos.

A pinhole camera is a basic box with a small hole within it. When the image is exposed to light, it passes through the hole and appears inverted on the opposite side of the window. It is as easy a camera as you could get, and the effect has been recognized for thousands of years.

It is hard to take a stunning and highly-detailed picture with a pinhole camera; you have to compare the size of the pinhole with the proximity to the object and the crispness of the resulting image. Nevertheless, after I have written about the Afghan Camera project, I have been fascinated by the amazing photos that can be produced with a humble pinhole camera.

Here are some stunning examples of images taken with pinhole cameras.

A pinhole camera could take stunning photos.

A pinhole camera also has advantages and disadvantages.

The pinhole camera is a simple piece of equipment.

What is a Pinhole Camera?

A pinhole camera is the simplest possible camera. It comprises of a light-proof box, some kind of film, and a pinhole. The pinhole is an incredibly small hole that you can create with a pin tip in a piece of aluminum foil.

How Does It Work?

The pinhole camera operates on a basic premise. Imagine that you are in a room-sized box that has a pinhole. Imagine a friend with a flashlight outside a room, and the flashlight shines through the pinhole at different angles. When you observe the wall at the opposite side of the pinhole, what you will see is a tiny dot made by the beam of the flashlight beam that shines through the pinhole.



The little dot will shift while your friend turns his flashlight. The tinier the pinhole (within limits), the sharper and the smaller point of light the flashlight makes.

Now imagine that you’re going to take your big and dark pinhole-equipped box room outside, and point it to a gorgeous landscape frame. When you take a look at the wall on the opposite side of the pinhole, what you are going to see is a distorted and reversed version of the scene outside. Through point in the scene produces light, and, like a flashlight, the light beam from that point passes through the tiny pinhole and produces a point of light on the back wall.

All the points in the scene do so at the same time, so that the entire frame, in focus, is produced on the back panel of the room. The pinhole camera photos are very faint because the pinhole is very minute, but you could see the images if the room is very dim.

Film and Photographic Paper

You may use either photographic paper or film with pinhole photography. If you are utilizing photographic paper, please do remember that the exposure period must be longer, because the paper isn’t really as sensitive as the use of film. Exposure time could take up to a few minutes on a bright and sunny day. On the other hand, the exposure time could take just a couple of seconds when using film.

Shooting Your Subject

For your shot to be effective, you need to make sure there is enough light entering the pinhole. If the image you are taking a picture of is about five feet or less, just tilt the pinhole camera up a little. This change is important for displacement, as there are a couple of lines of sight. On the other hand, if you shoot anything more than five feet away, hold the camera at a straight angle.

Experiment and Shoot then Repeat

Now the fun starts! When shooting, place the camera on a tripod if possible, or at least just a steady surface. This will guarantee that the camera will not move during most of the exposure time. Enable the light to penetrate the pinhole camera during exposure, but don’t forget to shield the dark-covered hole when you’re not aiming. The fun here is to play with the objects to shoot as well as the exposure phase.
Pinhole cameras likewise have their share of advantages and disadvantages.



Pinhole Camera Advantages

The benefit of pinhole cameras is their range of focus. All in a photo captured by a pinhole camera is in focus; it has infinite depth. Another great thing about this simple camera is that it is very easy to build and use.

Pinhole Camera Disadvantages

Although pinhole cameras are awesome and quick, they do have disadvantages. For instance, the pinhole camera has a longer exposure time than the standard camera. This likewise means that you need a tripod or a piece of equipment like a tripod to keep it steady. Another downside is the clarity of the images. Since there’s no lens, the images aren’t as bright. They’re not very good at taking action or moving photos, either.

Remember that you have to be patient since shooting with a pinhole camera is a learning experience! Since we’ve been talking about a piece of unusual camera equipment, check out some unusual types of photography that you can try.

7 Best Tips to Do Amazing Landscape Photography

How can you do amazing landscape photography?

Whether you love snapping travel shots on vacations or wandering around charming spots near your house, landscape photography is so much more than just pointing and shooting. As with other photography niches, a lot of practice (and a little bit of knowledge) can make your landscape photography a lot better. We can also help through this article that will give several tips for kicking your landscape photography up a notch.

Learn About Depth of Field and Focal Points

Landscape photography mostly covers a lot of space from near the photographer to the far distance. There could also be an array of subjects in the scene, like trees, mountains, architecture, people, etc. You first need to decide what would be the subject of your photos or your focal point. It would be best if you learned how to take the focal point of your subject or scene and ensure that the primary subject is in sharp focus.

Theer are tips to do amazing landscape photography.

Meanwhile, the depth of field concerns how much of the main subject is in focus. For landscape photography, this would be nearly the whole thing in sight. For you to achieve this, you would have to shoot a small aperture. Nevertheless, this would cause you to slow the shutter speed lower than what could be done hand-held in a lot of circumstances.

Use the Histogram

Histograms are arguably an indispensable tool in landscape photography. As a photographer, you should try to learn how to understand and use the findings to enhance your photographs. A histogram refers to a simple graph that displays the various tonal distribution in the photos. The right side of the graph denotes bright tones, while the left side is for dark tones.

For example, if the majority of the histogram finding is heavier on one side, this could mean that your image is too dark or light (underexposed or overexposed). This is not necessarily a bad thing, and a lot of other images work ideally well either way. Nonetheless, if you see that the graph ranges beyond the right or left edge, it means that you have portions of the image with lost detail. You should avoid this from happening, and by seeing the histogram findings, you can now rectify it by either compensating for the exposure or recomposing the photo.

landscape photography

Use a Tripod

You’ll never see a professional photographer shoot landscape photography that they would feature in their online photography portfolio without a tripod. A tripod is much more than an expensive toy. This piece of equipment serves one primary purpose and offers another benefit that you may not be aware of. The key advantage most people know about is that the tripod significantly reduces camera shake from your hand holding the camera. A tripod is especially crucial with the small aperture required for the depth of field you want in your landscape photography shots.

Another benefit of using the tripod is it compels you to contemplate about the shot a more. It is relatively easy to just walk around, raise your camera, shoot a few scenes, and then proceed to the next one.  Setting up and getting the tripod in the right spot takes some time. This would slow you down and oblige you to study and analyze what you can see in the viewfinder. It will also allow you to make the necessary adjustments in the scene before you capture it.

Use the Best Light

Lighting is one of the most crucial factors in any type of photography niche, but it’s even more important in landscape photography. Keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter how spectacular the location is or how well you compose your image – if the lighting does not do the scene justice, you can be sure that the image will not come out as excellent as you expected it to. The best lighting for landscape photography is late afternoon or early morning, while the midday sun offers the harshest light.

Early morning lighting is best for landscape photography.

Part of the landscape photography challenge is your ability to cope and adapt to various lighting conditions; for instance, breathtaking landscape photos could be taken even on cloudy or stormy days. The important point is to use the best possible lighting and influence your images’ overall look and feel with it.

Think About the Composition

As you analyze the frame through the viewfinder, ponder the elements that are there and not in the frame. Are there objects in the scene you don’t like that a few inches to the right will remove? Are there objects that are not in the scene that but a little backing up a bit will include? Find where your main subject is. Refrain from placing the main subject in the centre of the scene. Putting it a bit off-centre adds more intrigue to the image.

Don’t forget about the angle, too! If you have a gorgeous sky, you could tilt your camera up a little bit to include more in the frame. However, if it is blown out or dull, maybe you could tilt the shot down slightly and lessen the visible sky. Always walk around and consider the landscape from various angles, elevations, and positions.




Shoot in RAW Format

If your camera can shoot photos in RAW format, we recommend that you always shoot photos in RAW format. They show more detail and give you more room to work within post-production without diminishing the image’s quality. Keep in mind that you can always save RAW files in whichever formats you or your client needs, but you wouldn’t be able to save JPEGs as RAW files.

Experiment with Landscape Photography

One of the many good things about landscape photography is that even though there are many rules and techniques that exist to aid composition and improve the process of capturing the images, there is and there will always be room to test and experiment.

In digital photography, taking a photo is not wasting a negative (and money), so there are enough chances to use your own style and sometimes break the rules. Even though it doesn’t work most of the time, and the image doesn’t always look great, you might capture a gem every now and then.

Landscape photography has a lot of room to experiment.

One of the most typical genres that both amateur and professional photographers work on is landscape photography. With enough practice, hard work, patience, and dedication to your art, you could shoot striking landscape photographs that you can highlight in your online portfolio. These simple tricks and tips can help you master this photography niche. Now get out there and practice. It wouldn’t be long before you bring home magnificent landscape photos.

Black and White Photography: 10 Useful Tips and Complete Guide

Why is black and white photography still widely popular in our modern times? 

Black and white photography is just enchanting, don’t you agree? The classic beauty of the photographs, the various lighting contrasts that come to life, and the emotions and feelings they evoke. Black and white photography has been the sole medium available in film photography for the longest time.

Although color photography has likewise been around since time immemorial, it wasn’t until the 60s when color really started to take over the globe, and it’s been that way since then. Most people may think that black and white photography is antiquated and has no use in the contemporary world. Nevertheless, black and white photography is still widely popular for a reason.

The contrast is striking in black and white photography.

While capturing images in color is fantastic, black and white photos could bring a fresh perspective and a touch of class to your photographs that couldn’t be expressed through color use. Here are some tips that could make your black and white photography much better.

Find an Inspiration

Here’s an obvious tip that a lot of people overlook. If you’d want to excel in black and white photography, you need to look at old black and white photos for inspiration. Look at photos taken back when people were very limited with their coloring that they had to produce some striking shots to attract people. Check out some vintage photos and films to get your creative juices flowing. You can also look at modern photos in black and white and find inspiration from there.

Find an image that catches your attention. Why does it attract you? The texture? The contrast? Find those reasons and take notes.



Focus on the Contrast

Because black and white photography involves only limited shades like black, white, and grays, always highlight the contrast in the photographs you take. When capturing a scene, consider how it would look like in black and white. Bright backgrounds would look fascinating when contrasted with darker objects. Shooting a silhouette of an object or person in front of a bright background can create some striking contrast. The opportunities for creative experimentation are endless. Shoot a few photographs and find the contrasting elements. It could help you discover how you can take the perfect black and white photography shot.

Black and white photography can create dramatic photos.

 

Always Shoot in RAW

Your go-to format should be RAW if you’re shooting black and white photography. With RAW, you can tweak the photographs to your liking and change it back to color if the photos don’t look good in black and white.

Play Around With Exposure

With photography, you wouldn’t want to use “normal” exposure for all of eternity; black and white photography is a good niche to play around with exposure. Sometimes over or underexposure can add dramatic and stunning effects to your photos. This is also true with black and white landscape photography. Always try out with different levels of exposure and take note of which one produces the best images.

It's best to play around with exposure in black and white photography.

Black can Highlight White

When shooting black and white photography, the dark shades could never be too dark in a lot of cases. If you snap some dark dark’s, be it on your professional camera, or tweaking them in post-production, you can make the whites pop out more. As a matter of fact, the whites and the grays will stick out even if they are weak.

Making your photos stick out is crucial. You would want your audience to see a subject that sticks out, and then scan at the rest of the image for other details they might have missed. Black and white photos are good at popping, but you would need to take extra precautions.



Look for Patterns

A good photo usually has some patterns to it. It’s something that makes the audience’s eyes follow the pattern and look for more. Those patterns could be blades of grass, cars going from right to left, rocks and pebbles on the ground, and any other repetitive texture, objects, or even design. For instance, shooting patterns in black and white street photography could make your images well-defined and make the subject attract attention. Patterns work wonderfully in black and white photography since there are no other colors to distract the viewers.

When shooting a photo, look for a pattern. If your eyes follow a pattern, this could be a good sign that you click the shutter button.

Experiment With Filters

With filters, you could limit the amount of light that enters your camera. This could be a brilliant asset to apply in black and white photography to make the photos a little darker or put even more contrast. For instance, I use a polarizer on the camera and capture a black and white photo, the bright shades will become a tad bit darker, and this can emphasize contrast even better.

You can also play experiment with filters in black and white photography.

Your camera’s partial fillers can help out as well. If a corner of the image is too bright, you can try darkening it a bit with a filter. See what kind of photos you can produce with the filter on and without it. This would let you see what photographs would look much better with a filter and which wouldn’t. A skilled photographer couldn’t succeed without a bit of experimentation, so just do it.

Enhance Your Photos with Software

When doing black and white photography, you’d also need to consider post-production. Lightroom and Photoshop can help make your black and white photos much better, although there are actually tools and programs designed particularly for black and white photography.

Black and White Photography is about Conveying Your Emotions

There are photographs that you might think would look stunning in black and white because they lack color from the beginning, like a close up of a zebra. Or a photograph of a black and white tiled floor. Even a dark, grey sky can fit the bill. You might agree that these kinds of photos can benefit from a black and white filter. However, in reality, impressive black and white photography is about highlighting a subject, relating a story, and expressing feelings and emotions, without the interference of colors. It isn’t really about snapping subjects that don’t have colors to start with.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Flash

Flash is kind of a taboo when capturing natural photos, yes? Nevertheless, in black and white photography, using a flash may even be game-changing. Flash allows for more contrast by varying shades of greys when you turn those photos into black and white. Give it a try and see what you can produce.

To summarize what black and white photography is, it’s about looking for a fresh perspective and producing a visual that is better told without colors.

Conclusion

Black and white photography enthusiasts have produced visuals that extend over various photography niches, be it black and white landscape photography, black and white portrait photography, or even black and white pet photography. These niches have been fortified by photographers capturing from a different perspective and conveying their viewpoint without the use of colors.

Unusual Photography Niches: 10 Every Photographer Should Check Out

 

Why should you know about other unusual photography niches?

One of the most fascinating things about photography is the dynamic potential to demonstrate your creativity and artistic strength in a niche that best suits your skills and abilities. While you could experiment with a number of different styles, most professional photographers choose a particular niche and focus on their business and customer base. Here are ten different types of photographs to explore.

Food

Have you ever taken an image of a great meal and posted it on social media? Most of us have done it. A picture is clearly worth a thousand words in today’s digital generation. As more restaurants and food producers utilize social media for their marketing efforts, food photographers will gain more work and more creative licenses.

Lighting is one of the greatest skills to master when it comes to photographing food. Whether you’re trying to capture the atmosphere of a local restaurant or the brightness of a basket of products, experiment with filters, diffuses, and reflectors to see what’s painting your subject in the most delicious light.

Landscape

If a travel bug bit you, you might have had the urge to snap your fair share of landscape photos. Photographers in this niche have successfully sold their works as framed art to tourism websites, travel companies, tourism websites directly to clients.

When you get bitten by the travel bug, it's hard not to take landscape photography.

Landscape photography used to be restricted to wide-angle, horizontal photographs. As technology has changed, so are the possibilities for artistic methods. Some photographers use drones to obtain a unique angle to a well-known landscape—other experiments with vertical shots or full panoramic views. A great way to see what serves best is to take a picture of the same landscape with several lenses.

Sports

Sports fan will enjoy sports photography.

Sports photography is an interesting niche that requires the ability to shoot at high speeds to capture the action. With so many photographers crowding professional sporting competitions, it might seem difficult to break into this niche. As a first step, contact your local small leagues, sports clubs, or high school athletic departments and photograph games and events free of charge. As you become more skilled and experienced in this niche, you will quickly develop your reference pool and portfolio.

Macro Photography

Macro photography is another niche worth exploring.

Macro photography is one of the most distinct and unique niches in the photography world. It’s the art of making objects look much larger than they are in real life while capturing tiny details that the naked eye would miss. Macro photography could be done with a wide range of equipment, from a DSLR camera with a macro lens to a simplistic smartphone camera and a clip-on macro attachment. While it may be challenging to find a regular client base for this niche, many photographers trade their macro photographs as framed art or prints.

Wildlife

Wildlife photography is a unique niche that presents some exciting challenges. Wildlife photographers often operate in hazardous conditions and remote locations, depending on the subject. Because they have to capture crystal-clear photos without making the animal aware of their presence, these photographers need high-quality lenses and equipment.

Wildlife photography is a dangerous but exciting niche.

They must also take precautions to protect themselves from the animals and the environment in which they shoot. Despite these trials, wildlife photography is a well-loved adventurer’s niche, and assignments pay well.

Pets

Pet photography is also an increasingly successful niche to explore for the less adventurous animal lover. While subjects may be unpredictable, they are also highly acquainted with treats and praise. Like wildlife photography, pets demand a lot of high-speed photographs to capture a few exceptional shots.

You can practice pet photography by snapping your own pets.

To begin in the pet photography market, take pictures of your pets and your friends and family in exchange for testimonials. Don’t just limit yourself to dogs and cats – show off your talents by adding prints of some unusual pets to your portfolio.

Photojournalism

Photojournalists have captured some of the most compelling and memorable stories of society. This specialized type of photograph covers news stories and world events, including natural disasters and wars, as well as historical moments in time, such as gatherings and celebrations.

Photojournalism is an unusual photography niche.

Because these images are in high demand with newspapers, magazines, and online publishers, photojournalists tend to be well paid and receive a great deal of popularity. Photojournalists are experienced at capturing the essence of a historical event and not necessarily a perfect shot.

Stock Photos

Selling stock photos is becoming a lucrative business.

There’s a big stock photo market, and it is growing by the day. Organizations of every type and size use stock photography for marketing purposes and accompany the content, both in print and online. While it might be challenging for some to sell their “art” to someone for commercial gain, stock photography is a profitable niche for photographers who are just starting their careers. Unlike a lot of other types of photography, stock photos could provide a photographer with passive income by re-selling the same photo to various buyers.

Weather

Weather photography is likewise an exciting niche.

Weather photography is one of the most unusual types of photography that also produces truly beautiful images. It features different types of wild weather, including snowstorms, thunderstorms, and even sandstorms. While there is certainly a component of uncertainty that goes hand in hand with weather photography, the resulting images are often sold at a high price and can even win awards.

Architecture

Architecture photography is in high demand. It is not only utilized by architecture firms and design companies but also coveted by consumers for its clean, sleek styling and crisp photographs. It takes discipline to capture the right angles and avoid sun reflections and glare. Still, this niche is the perfect fit for photographers who like to blur the lines between artistic and technical photos.

Architecture photography is an in demand niche.

Whatever type of photographer you wish to be, practice is going to make it perfect. Try several different types of photography to get a feel for your strengths and explore the market before investing in special equipment. Above all, choose a niche that you enjoy, and your work reflects your enthusiasm.

Thinking about putting your photos online? Make sure that you protect your photos with a watermark.

Watermark Photos for Free! Best 5 Photography Hacks:

Why should watermarking be a part of your photography work?

A lot of people think that watermarks are only there to protect the copyright of their images. It is indeed one of the purposes, but it is not the only one. Watermarks could be a great marketing tool for budding, even seasoned photographers, so you need to know how to watermark photos for free.

This is something that young, inexperienced photographers frequently overlook.

Your watermark is your signature, your own personal image. And if you’re serious about photography, you need to know this: photos make a lucrative business.

It is just like you are wearing a great suit in an interview. It is great to have brilliant photos, but it is better to have a professional-looking watermark to catch complete attention.

Watermark Photos for Free! Best 5 Photography Hacks:

The Watermarking Process

What you want for your photography business is a branding process that includes generating a stunning watermark. Knowing how to watermark photos for free has two stages:

A. Designing a Watermark
B. Stamping Your Images

Let us get into the core of these phases.

Designing a Watermark photo for Free

Not every watermark is a good watermark, just as not every suit is good enough for an appointment. Visibility is not the only factor that matters when you create a watermark.

This design process needs attention to detail, like finding an interesting yet readable font. Here are a couple of ideas that will guide you to begin your photography branding process.



5 Essential Tips on How to Design Watermark Photos for Free:

  1. Use your complete name and the word “photography” below. This will ensure both professionalism and credibility as well as the brand.
    People will easily remember who took the fantastic photo they toppled upon.
  2. Apply a calligraphy font for the name and a simplistic font in uppercase for the word “photography.”
  3. Use white for the font color and have the transparency set around 40-60%. That way, the watermark will be unobtrusive but still visible.
  4. Place the watermark in the best spot. Most people put their watermark in the left or right corner of the lower part of the photo. That’s the right placement. However, if the colors of your photo do not allow the watermark to be visible, you can put it in the upper part as well. Never put your Watermark Photos for Free in the centre of the picture (unless you’re planning to sell it).

Bear in mind that the watermark must be out of the focus of the picture.

5. Create and use a branded logo. Using a logo that is identifiable to you will improve your ability to gain recognition as a photographer.

Using these five watermark designing tips, produce a transparent PNG file that can be easily applied over any kind of image. It is better if you make two PNG files: one with white and one with black colored font.

Stamping Your Photos

Before, the process of watermarking was difficult. You had to apply expensive software like Photoshop to learn complicated things like batch processing. Watermarquee is an online free watermarking service that is effective, yet simple and straightforward.

How to Watermark Photos for Free Using Watermarquee:

  1. Go to Watermarquee’s website.
  2. Click Select Photos to Watermark.
  3. Select the image that you want to watermark and uploaded.
  4. At the editor page, you can select to add a logo watermark or a text-based watermark which you will need to upload
  5. Click Save when you are done
  6. Repeat the steps above if you have various photos that you would like to watermark
  7. Once you are done, click Save to ZIP file and it will download every watermarked photo in a ZIP file to your PC.

You can then save the watermarked images on your computer. There is no limit to how many images you can Watermark Photos for Free, but the free watermarking service will only support a max of 5 images at a time.

Watermark Photos for Free

Those who do not want to complicate things can just write a watermark text and modify the size and position of the text. It is very simple with drag-and-drop options.

Watermarquee watermarking website also has a premium service that is not expensive. Water Marquee Pro users may upload any file size and any image file, such as JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, and PNG.

The major difference is that the Pro version allows users to upload unlimited photos, and there is no limit to the size of the file. This may be a highly important feature to consider for photographers working with much more substantial resolutions.

The Pro version provides users with access to premium templates if you like something a bit more fanciful, and even to a larger font library. The Pro version costs only $19 for a one-time fee.

They can also share watermarked photos on Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook. This is a great thing knowing that social sharing is generally the best way to promote your business and photography art.

Good equipment is essential and keeping them in excellent condition with accessories like this.

The pro version of this photo-watermarking website will help you quickly and easily stamp every picture with watermarks if you go into selling your photos.

 

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

 

So how do I use math to take a ‘GOLDEN’ perfect photo?

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

Although photography is a visual art form, everywhere you look, you can find Mathematics in photography.  There are a few simple, timeless principles of composition you need to learn about for photography and to find the ‘sweet spot’.

And if you want to completely forget that they’re numbers, yeah, that sits well with me.

Before you cringe and think that this article talks about the horrors of Math (i.e. numbers), let me stop you right there! You don’t need to add, subtract, multiply or divide big numbers; you don’t even have to find the value of x (or your ex, for that matter), but do you know that there is still some aspects of math that are involved in capturing the perfect, or “golden” photo?

Do you still recall when you were back in class, and your teacher would start discussing a subject you couldn’t believe you would ever need to learn again? I know that I do.  But sometimes it’s amusing how those subjects reappear later, even if it is in a way you least expected.

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

Rule of Thirds

This is possibly one of the first principles to be introduced to photographers, but that does not mean it is just for beginners.  A few of the best images ever taken follow this rule of photography and accomplished photographers take into account the rule of thirds without even a thought-it comes so naturally.

The idea is to divide the image into nine equal squares, dividing lines between 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way through and down the image.  In your photograph, you place points of interest along those lines and at the intersection of those lines.

Divide the image into 9 squares

Since this results in the focus of the photo being off-centre, you end up with a more engaging picture.

With the help of this technique to crop the image, even what would otherwise be a dull image can be improved and enhanced.

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo
       A photo cropped to follow the Rule of Thirds.

 The Golden Number and Golden Ratio

You may think of the Golden Ratio as an advanced form of the Thirds Rule, even though the Thirds Rule is a simple way to achieve the Golden Ratio.  Keep in mind that the two are not exactly identical.

The Golden Ratio is the figure you get when splitting a line into two parts so that the greater part divided by, the smaller part, is equivalent to the entire length divided by the longer part. I know this is a bit tough to grasp, but this may help you picture it.

Golden Ratio envisioned like a line 

The “a” to “b” ratio is an irrational number, around 1.6.18 (this is called the Golden Number). If you’re making a rectangle that has an “a” width and a “b” height, you get what is called a Golden Rectangle.

photography and Maths
The Golden Ratio visualized as a line.

Ironically, state of the art camera viewfinder and LCD screens are typically equal to the Golden Rectangle, so you are using it automatically for framing when you take a picture.

Mathematics photography
   The Golden Rectangle is          built using the Golden                           Ratio

Who discovered the Golden Ratio?

Mathematics in photography

The Golden Ratio was first defined by a mathematician named Euclid, back in 300 B.C., as what he termed the extreme and mean ratio after he observed the number constantly increasing in geometry.

Much, much later, a mathematician, Fibonacci, revealed to the Western world what we now know as the “Fibonacci sequence,” in 1202 A.D.  The Fibonacci sequence is the pattern of numbers that you get when you begin with 0 and 1, and then each corresponding number is the sum of the two numbers before.

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka                      Fibonacci

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka Fibonacci

Fibonacci was an extremely bright guy, noting that the ratio of sequential elements in the sequence asymptotically approaches the Golden Ratio (which means it never gets quite there but tends to get closer and closer).

By the time the Renaissance came along a few hundred years later, musicians, architects, artists, and many others began to pinpoint the Golden Ratio and the Golden Rectangle. They started to integrate it into their work, claiming that the Golden Number referred to God.  They thought that way, as they realized how it continued to happen in nature.  You will notice it in the honeybee family tree, in Nautilus Shells, and in a flower’s spirals.

Golden Spiral as photo composition guideline

The Golden Spiral that can be used in photo composition is created in Fibonacci tiling by creating circular arcs which connect the opposite corners of a square (which, together with its height and width, achieves the Golden Ratio themselves).   Fibonacci tiling is where you continue to create smaller Golden Rectangles within each other – the Fibonacci Sequence follows the ratio of one rectangle to another. Here is a representation of both Fibonacci tiling and Golden Spiral composition in photo:

Boat photo composed using the Golden Spiral
Boat photo composed using the Golden Spiral

Photography’s Golden Triangle

Mathematics in photography

There is also another law of photographic composition to be mindful of, to take it up a notch: the Golden Triangle.  A Golden Triangle is where two sides are of equal length (referred to as an isosceles triangle), and the other (referred to like the smaller side) is in a Golden Ratio with its side.  The Golden Spiral, Golden Triangle and Golden Rectangle all work together like pieces of a puzzle quite well.

Another excellent example of the Golden Spiral existing in nature is the pinecone.

The pinecone in this 
Mathematics in photography       The pinecone in this           picture is another great                      example
      of the Golden Spiral occurring in nature.

Thirds Rule vs. Golden Ratio

The Rule of Thirds, the most popular principle of design applied to photography, is known as reflecting the Golden Ratio of photography. Yes, the Thirds rule is said to have been developed as a simple way for photographers to locate the ‘sweet spot’ in the Golden Ratio, the point at which the human eye is first drawn to.

Whether this is how the Thirds rule came about or not, the simple nine-sectioned grid helps a photographer to make an image based on the simple-to-locate focal points at which to place the prominent aspects of a scenario.





Which is better?

Even though the Rule of Thirds fits well in photography for many cases, the Golden Ratio can often be used as a more appealing concept design. This is due primarily to the ratio allowing for a more balanced picture.

Often the Rule of Thirds, especially in landscape photography, may leave some elements of a scene in an awkward position, such as a horizon line. The simple splitting of a frame into thirds means that a horizon line will appear a little too plain.

Nonetheless, when using the Golden Ratio, the balance can sometimes seem more normal and less rigid. Application of the Golden Ratio as a way to help place attractions while creating a picture may help create an overall effect on the scene. It will help lead viewers through the scene to discover any points of interest that you choose to embed in your image. This will also provide the scene with a natural balance, something we are used to seeing in the whole of nature.

Which Photograph Rule to use?

The Golden Triangle is most useful if you need to take a picture that has a lot of diagonal lines in it.  And, as you can see, photos composed using the Golden Spiral are similar to those composed using the Rule of Thirds.  Each will lead you to push the subject of your image off-centre.

However, the lines drawn by a Golden Spiral are a bit closer to the centre of a photo.  If you’re wondering which to use, it’s usually a matter of timing.

  • If you have plenty of time to frame up your shot perfectly, use the Golden Spira
  • If you need to take the picture quickly, you can still get a great shot using the Rule of Thirds.

Using the Golden Ratio in photography

The composition can be dramatically improved by both the golden spiral and the phi grid. But how do you get a better photo of a spiral or grid pattern?

You can now learn how to use the golden ratio in photography by understanding what it is.

Step 1: Scene Evaluation 

The precise use you make of the golden ratio depends on the scene before you. There are compositional strategies to help you think about the scene, rather than just pointing and firing.

Now that you know three different techniques of composition, you have to decide which one is the right fit. To do that, ask yourself questions about the future picture that lies before you:

  • What is the picture subject matter? This is where you’re going to want your eye to lead.
  • What other elements do you need to add to the scene? Look at everything in the scene and decide whether it distracts or improves the subject.
  • Does the picture reveal any leading lines or natural curves? Leading lines work adequately for the phi grid, while essential curves merely suggest a golden spiral ratio.

Step 2: Assess whether to use the Golden Spiral or the Golden Ratio (or even the Thirds rule)

  • First, choose between the phi grid and the golden spiral. You can not reshape a straight object to fit in a spiral, so if there are great leading lines in your scene, try the phi grid.
  • If your scenario has more natural curves from a tree’s form to a cheekbone’s curve, then the golden spiral is probably a better match.
  • The golden ratio is known to be a more advanced version of the Thirds rule, but calling on the Thirds rule again is still ok. If that composition technique works best on the scene, apply it!

Step 3: Picture the overlay and shoot

  • Imagine a complex spiral placed above your picture may at first be tricky. This is a little easier to handle if you simplify the definition.
  • Next, by viewing the options in Settings, test and see which grid overlays your camera has built-in. If you have a phi-grid or spiral option on your camera, switch on that app. Most will have a Thirds rule. Even if that isn’t the guide to composition you’re using, allowing the feature is beneficial.
  • If you use an optical viewfinder (as opposed to an electronic one), when you aim and search with Live View, you’ll have to picture the map.
  • First, pick which image angle to use. You’re going to want to position the subject at the intersections of the lines with the phi grid, or in the smallest spiral part. Using the grid overlay of Rule of Thirds on your frame, approximate where the subject should be with the golden ratio technique.
  • If you have opted for the Phi Grid, position the subject closer to the picture centre than the intersection of the Rule of Thirds. If you’re dealing with that golden spiral, put the subject a little further out than the intersection of the Rule of Thirds.
  • Unlike Thirds rule, putting the topic at the intersection is not the end.
  • Modify your composition by aligning any leading lines or curves you’ve found on the available grid lines or along the spiral in the scenario.

The design is more than just using the viewfinder to crop

  • An alteration of your location will exaggerate the lines and angles. You can stick to a higher point of view, kneel or lay on the ground, step forward, move further away or move to one side.
  • Discover the possibilities of making up! Your aim is to place other elements of the scene in the phi grid, either on the spiral out of the subject or on one of the unused lines.
  • Then, shoot. If you’re uncertain (and don’t work with a fast subject) take several variations with minor adjustments in composition in between.

Step 4: Edit

It’s one thing to imagine the phi grid or golden spiral ratio as you fire, but what if you need that precise 1.618 magic number? Luckily Photoshop (and a number of other photo editors) have resources for that.

Photoshop Golden Ratio Overlays Use Golden Ratio in photography: Example photo editor context menu displaying golden ratio guide options Select the crop tool and draw a crop box over the image with the camera open in Photoshop.

  • First, press the overlay options and choose the method you want to compose: the golden ratio (phi grid) or the golden spiral (Fibonacci spiral).
  • To fine-tune your composition change the crop box. If the golden spiral is not in the right corner of the image, the cycle orientation choice can be selected from the same drop-down menu that you selected the composition tool type, or you can press Shift + O.

Then – you will have your perfect Golden Photo to watermark for free!

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