21 Photography Tips That Will Actually Make A Difference

I am going to give you 21 Photography Tips That Will Actually make A Difference in this post.  I am talking about things that really work and will genuinley help you. These are things that I have learned over many years as a photographer. These are not quick tips, some of these are ways of thinking about things differently.

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Slugs, and snippets done for Photos of Santorini

Sound like a a gardening theme this one! Anyway another job done on my website Photos of Santorini.

I have to say that I have found creating a Wordpress website a complete revelation - this last piece of work was an absolute doddle.

All I needed to do was go to the Snippet Preview at the bottom of the page and type in the text - the boxes went to green when there was the right amount of text, and if I put too much text then the bar went red!

This is what it looks like.

IMG_1420.PNG

 And with that I am done for now. Photos of Santorini is complete. My intention was to get this done asap and for it to not be a polished website.

So with that I am going to reminded the pages of the website, take advice on the ideal theme for this website and moe on to the next thing. 

Paxos Travel Guide

Following my experiences with this website I do not expect to complete my next website this side of Christmas, as this is following the Project 24 format strictly. 

I will get back to this next week, leaving me a bit of time to sort some other stuff. 

Rick McEvoy - Photos of Santorini

21 tips for photographers that will actually make a difference

This post was republished on Friday 8th March 2019 with a new title and introduction - 21 Photography Tips That WIll Actually Make A Difference.

Rick McEvoy Photography

How am I going to complete my new website - Photos of Santorini?

Photosofsantorini 03072018.PNG

I did a list of things to do a couple of months ago, but had to put the new website back until September.

And here is September 2018.

So a refresh of that post is in order.

I thought I would start off with a list of things to do – it has been a while after all.

The end point here is a brand-new website, Photos of Santorini. I am delighted that I have waited until now, as before I did not have a purpose for the photos I took in Santorini – and now I do. A website just for my photos of

And as I write this there is a late change in strategy following me thinking about this. I have decided that the content will be this.

  • My best 20 pictures of Santorini in 20 blog posts.
  • 10 posts about Santorini and my experiences of the island.
  • A few static pages.
  • And a gallery showing all the edited images.

And I am just going to get on with it. In fact I wrote 2 posts yesterday which are on the website now. I am going to try to get this done in the first two weeks of September - lets see how I get on.

Back to that original post. This is what I was going to do.

Go through the photos in Lightroom

Lightroom Santorini 03072018.PNG

"I am going to go through the images in my Lightroom Catalogue and see if there are any images that I did not select for the edit – I am now looking at these images with a different end in mind after all, so always good to have a quick look.

I took 2442 images, which equate to 763 images once bracketed images have been put together. I selected 108 images to edit last year – lets see what I come up with this time."

As far as I am concerned that is now down. I need to extract out the best 20 photos to write about.

I am liking my new plan!

Calibrate my monitor

Yes, I still need to do this – I keep closing the reminders when I fire up my PC in the morning, but I will behave and start with a freshly calibrated monitor.

When I edit the images that is.

Edit the images

"When I say edit the images I mean edit the images. Get all the images that I want to use fully edited. I started doing this over a year ago, but thankfully I can pick up where I left off just fine. To date I have edited 52 images. I will have circa 100 - 120 on the website, with the top 20 images being included in individual blog posts.

And I have to say that I am rather excited to be getting on with the editing – I have upgraded the RAM in my PC, and Lightroom has received significant updates from Adobe since I last worked on these images, so image editing will be a more pleasurable experience."

I am still excited to be doing this, although there is a time issue now as I have another two sets of images that I want to do even more with.

Rate the edited images

I need to assign a rating to the images in Lightroom – 4 stars. I am saying this as I often forget.

Add metadata to the images.

Very important. I need to make sure that I have added data to the following fields in Lightroom

  • Filename
  • Title
  • Caption
  • Keywords

I need to make sure that the metadata is correct, and to do this there is another job that I need to do. There is general metadata and very specific meta data - I expect I will do this for the top 20 images as I write the individual blog posts, and do the rest at the end.

At the moment I am syncing images from Lightroom to my Wordpress website using an App - I need to review this as great as it is I am not sure about file sizes.

Research the metadata

This is a big job on its own – not only do I need to research the metadata, but also research the content that is going to be added to my new website, Photos of Santorini. I need to do this before I start to construct the layout of my new website – this is all about getting the job done thoroughly, and once.

Once the images have all the metadata they are ready for upload – I need to make sure that the upload method puts the correct data in the correct fields on my WordPress website.

I have started on this and the outcome of the research will drive the titles of the blog posts. Again, rather than writing about it I have just got stuck into it.

But this is the biggest, and possibly most important job to be done.

Create a new collection in Lightroom

This is something that I do so I have the images with me wherever I go, on Lightroom Mobile. I must remember however that that images on Lightroom Mobile rather infuriatingly do not have the keywords attached to them, so I have to do all the uploading and posting from my desktop.

SANTORINI BY TRAVEL PHOTOGRPHER RICK MCEVOY.jpg

Thats the work on the images - now for the website

The website is live now on the internet with 53 images synced from a Lightroom collection, the pages added and four blog posts.

Things that I have done to the website are

  • Change the URL to https.
  • Tell Google Search Console about the website.
  • Buy a theme. I have returned the theme so need to sort this again.

I need to go back and see if there is anything else that I need to. I know that this is boring back of house stuff, but it is very important for a successful website. And still very important.

Other things that I need to consider with the website are these

  • Layout - how the website is laid out is rather critical
  • Theme - I tried a paid theme but hated it so back to square one on this
  • Page content - I think that is pretty much sorted
  • Number of images - see above
  • Blog - sorted
  • Ecommerce or not? Not - I need to focus on getting the website done and building traffic
  • SEO strategy - this is really all about the content - this is one of the main things I will spend time on.
  • Yoast and other plug-ins. Done. I have just done the Yoast SEO set up which was a very simple job.
  • Image upload – file sizes - to be determined but I need high quality images but file sizes that load quickly.
  • Target audience and market. Hmmmm. One for a separate post.
  • Google strategy -  I think that is covered elsewhere.
  • Analytics - sorted
  • Videos - will be added to each blog post
Santorini sunrise video 05072018.PNG

Blog posts

I have decided that I will be producing 20-30 blog posts/ pages on the website. For the posts talking about the photos I have taken I have come up with some headings.

  • Location
  • Intent
  • Image capture process
  • Gear
  • Settings
  • Image processing
  • Do I like the image?
  • Did it achieve what I set out to achieve
  • Do you want to buy this image?

I have also thought of a few pages about Santorini – these could be static web pages or blog posts. Possible things are

  • About Santorini
  • How to get there
  • About the caldera
  • Best photo spots in Santorini (done yesterday)
  • When you get there
  • Timing/ seasons
  • Costs/ Currency

The website will then also be a useful resource about Santorini, and not just about my photos. I want a website that is of interest to people, and also helpful – this is not just about me trying to flog advertising and images.

But not a definitive guide to Santorini. Oh no that is a different thing altogether.

Summary

The plan has eveolved and changed. I am now just going to get on with it. I can always add/ delete stuff later if I need to.

I have spent too long talking about this and just need to get on with it.

The photos are just a time thing. That I have sorted so I can just get on with it. The hard work here is still the website itself – the technical stuff and the pages and content on each page.

Once the website is done my plan is this – leave it. I will of course keep far too close an eye on the analytics, but to start with I am going to leave it for 6 months and see what happens. I will provide a monthly update on progress (or lack of progress).

I have scheduled a blog post for the middle of October (was September) titled “How I built a WordPress website” which will be a useful guide for anyone else wanting to do what I am about to embark on. Obviously, the title might change but you get the idea.

Photosofsantorini 03072018.PNG

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photos of Santorini

Where can I buy photos of Santorini from?

Photos of Santorini by Rick McEvoy

Well here. My new website - photos of Santorini.

This is very much work in progress, and will be a place where you can buy my photos of Santorini.

I will be writing about how I build this website using Wordpress - all a rather baffling process to me at the moment but I am sure it will be fine.

Join me in September 2018 and we can learn how to produce a great niche website together.

Rick McEvoy - Photos of Santorini.

 

Photos of Santorini - how is my new website going?

Santorini home 30072018.PNG

Not too well is the answer. Time is against me. My two weeks is ticking away here....

Themes in Wordpress are proving more challenging than I expected. Time to watch some tutorials....

I thought Wordpress was meant to be easy!

I am going to lock myself away for an hour with the tutorials for the theme I have bought and work this out - I have done my page structure now which is ever so simple, which is meant to be the plan for the whole of this webiste.

A new article goes out tomorrow on Improve Photography, so I will provide an update on my new website later on this week.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photos of Santorini

How to build a website in 2 weeks

photos of santorini wordpress 25072018.PNG

This is the plan. I need to do the following to create my new website, photos of Santorini.

This is the list of things off the top of my head, in an order that makes sense to me.

By the way, this is a Wordpress website - I have not made one of these before...

  • Decide on the pages I am going to have on my new website, photos of Santorini
  • Sort out the appearance of the website - I have a theme which I have already purchased
  • Add the pages to my website
  • Decide on the content for each page
  • Research the content
  • Add the content
  • Decide on how I am going to present the images
  • Decide if I am going to have videos of the shoot locations
  • Come up with a plan for the blog posts that I am going to add over a period of time
  • Oh yes and do all that back end stuff (the bit I know the least about!).

I have two weeks to get this done. Looks like I am going to be busy. On Monday I will begin this task and see how I get on.

I have decided to do this first, and then work on the rest of the images - I can add these to blog posts and upload to the gallery pages. I just want my website out there.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - photos of Santorini

 

 

How to edit images in Lightroom - photos of Santorini

OK. Things are not going quite to plan. I was meant to have completed editing my photos of Santorini by now but that is not the case. Recent publication deadlines, work and life have got in the way. 

Today I am back to it. I need to complete the editing my photos of Santorini in Lightroom. 

Before I embark on this task I want to explain how I edit images in Lightroom.  I have started work on a major new post, title to be decided but something like

  • How to use Lightroom
  • How I use Lightroom
  • My step by step guide to editing images in Lightroom. 

Back to last Friday I published this image last Friday. I posted the three RAW files in the blog post which you can get to here.

Santorini caldera by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

Santorini caldera by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

I am now going to edit this single image, and I will explain what I have done tomorrow on my photography blog.

Rick McEvoy Photography - Photography Blog

How I review my Santorini photo selections in Lightroom

This is an extract from Lightroom of my initial image selection. This is the Santorini 2017 folder.

Santorini Lightroom folder 1 06072018.PNG

2442 images taken. 762 separate image captures - these are bracketed sets of three images (with the odd exception). The 491 picks equate to 108 individual images.

I have decided to revisit my initial image selection now that I have my new website, photos of Santorini under construction

The initial selection was done 12 months ago, and needs reviewing as what I am going to do with the images has changed. It might be fairer to say that now I know what I am going to do with the images!

How do I revisit the images I chose to edit?

As you can see from the screenshot above, I organise my images into Picks and Rest. The Picks not edited folder is just that - images that I changed my mind about, which is fine.

Now I have potentially new images to select how do I keep track of them?

I start by creating a new sub-folder in Lightroom. Here it is.

Santorini Lightroom folder 2 11072018.PNG

And by calling it "New picks July 2018" I know exactly what the folder is for. Once I have completed the editing process I will get rid of this folder - it is just a working folder for now.

Lightroom Tip Number 1 - use Lightroom just as you would other folders in Windows - it works in exactly the same way and performs exactly the same functions. (For Mac users that would be Finder I believe).

Don't worry about the extra images - I will explain later.

How did I physically select these additional images in Lightroom?

In the Library Module in Lightroom, using the Loupe view (Lightroom keyboard shortcut E), I went to the Rest folder, and went though the images one by one. If I liked an image I hit P (the Lightroom keyboard shortcut for Pick) on my keyboard, and the image is assigned a little white flag.

Not surrender - a flag that shows that image that someone (me) likes them!

Once I have gone through the images I needed to reconcile the new picks with the old picks.

To do this I went to the Picks folder, used the Lightroom keyboard shortcut Ctrl A to select all the images, then hit P again.

Next I go to the Santorini 2017 parent folder, which has all the images from all of the folders. I want to view the images from these two folders only, and remove any duplicates or images that are too similar to the ones already selected.

This is where the filters in Lightroom come in, which are very useful.

In the Library Module, I now have the images in Grid view (Lightroom keyboard shortcut G). The keyboard shortcut for the filter bar is \. Next click on the white flag (remember - the symbol for a picked images?), and boom all the picks are there. And only the picks.

Lightroom filter bar 11072018.PNG

Lightroom is not just a powerful editing tool - it has a very powerful Library Module with excellent search capabilities.

The problem now is that there are some very similar images that I do not want.

Lightroom Santorini 11072018.PNG

All I do is zoom in a bit (moving the thumbnail slider bottom right over to the right), and use the Lightroom keyboard shourtcut U to "Unpick" the images that I do not want to spend time editing.

This is my benchmark for picking an image or not - am I prepared to spend the time editing the image, and do I want to publish this image on my website?

And here are the new images to edit.

Santorini new picks 11072018.PNG

If you are wondering why the thumbnails have a number 4 next to them this is because I forgot to do a screen shot of the images before I did the HDR Merge.

And finally a bit of housekeeping in Lightroom.

The important but boring bit. Keeping the files where they should be. I need to move the images that I do not want back to the "Rest" folder - to do this I click on the white flag in the filter bar, and then click on the flag in the middle.

The white flag is Picks, the black flag on the right is rejects, and the flag in the middle is neither pick nor reject. Click on that flag and the 4 images that I do not want are there - I just use Control A and drag and drop them in the "Rest" folder.

It is very important to keep on top of where images are - imagine not doing any of this and having to sort things out years down the line.

This is the big mistake that I amde back in the days of Lightroom 1.0. It is so quick to move things around in Lightroom these days, so best do it at the time.

Thats all for now - tomorrow less technical talk and more about the images that I have chosen.

Any questions please get in touch using the comment box - I always reply.

Rick McEvoy Photography - How to use Lightroom