Smartphone Photography

Smartphoneography – Getting Smart with your Smartphone!

‘Smartphoneographer’ – is that YOU? Yes, it is. And you’re not alone. Around the world, people are turning to their smartphones to simply click – From portraits, fauna and flora, interiors or products. You name it – photography via the smartphone or mobile filmmaking has become quite the buzz.

Winna Efendi famously remarked, ‘When you take a photograph of someone, you take a portrait of their soul.’ Interestingly, smartphones can now capture that very soul effortlessly. Your sole task is to understand the elements of the correct angle, lighting, focus and post-processing. And there you are –  a solid image of Tibetan monk ageing gracefully with a silver tooth-cap and twinkly eyes!

But how does one make settle for nothing less than the best from an iPhone or Android? To begin with, Alfred Stieglitz’s mantra of ‘wherever there is light, one can photograph’ holds absolutely true. But in cases where light is almost nil, a ring light can solve the issue of inappropriate lighting in smartphones. In actuality, lighting turns out to be more of the decisive factor than the camera used, especially when it comes to iPhone photography. Another accessory that can fine-tune images is a good tripod. The face in the frame certainly shouldn’t be lopsided! So, get hold of the tripod, mount and keep the phone steady for unblurred images. Attachable lens too, such as Olloclip, offer superb telephoto and macro-lens that can be simply attached to your phone and enhance angles. Additionally, using apps such as Camera+ (more of such apps listed here) can separate exposure from focus and as a thumb rule, to get better focus out of smartphones, one should pick simple backgrounds and not clutter or crowds. Lastly, the focus on eyes is a must when it comes to portraits and majority smartphones score high on the that front. The process of click-and-delete as well as multiple, continuous shots is smoothest when using a smartphone – a simple advantage that most point-and-shoot and DSLRs falter on or have a slower process performing the same function.

Smartphone Photography
Smartphone Photography

As a totally different genre, wildlife photography with a smartphone is a winning case too. You’re perpetually on tenterhooks and are caught unaware when a wild bear decides to pluck a few berries from the bush. You don’t have a DSLR or perhaps it’s in the bag. But what you DO HAVE is an incredibly smart phone with a great megapixel. You reach out to your pockets and capture the event. CLICK!

When it comes to wildlife mobile photography, standing still, zooming in and sufficient lighting are all the three aspects worth understanding. While getting as close to the scene is enticing, it makes more sense to zoom in – in case there is a direct threat (beware of over-pixelating). If not, try getting as close to the subject as possible and click. When it comes to lighting, natural lighting i.e the day, is when most of your work should be ideally done. Smartphone camera’s usually require plenty light for a purposeful image. But one can get dramatic lighting effects at dawn and dusk as well, checkout some apps to help in this regard. With Snappgrip, one is fairly sorted when it comes to shooting in the wild. With hardware controls for shutter/focus, zoom and shooting mode, it comes complete with a tripod mount and works with low-energy Bluetooth. In addition the most precious moments are not lost if your battery dies out as it gives great standby. A dedicated shutter button and steady grip must not be undermined when it’s about shooting the wild. Events are quick out there and a smart app like Snappgrip can enhance the productivity of your smartphone – and only make it smarter!

Therefore, essentially, the rules remain the same as in a DSLR-  it is only the medium that is different. Knowing your smartphone’s capabilities well can go a long way in exploiting the phone’s camera to the hilt. And eventually you’ll agree, while apps, filters and accessories can be powerful tools to complement your work, they definitely can’t replace talent!

Got some great wildlife photographs to showcase? Use Pixpa to show them to your clients!

 

The Best Photography Portfolio Ideas for Students

You may have the perfect SAT score and impeccable recommendations, but your enrollment in a photography college depends on this single document. Your portfolio. You need to pay extra attention to creating one to make sure you do get into your dream college.

Here’s where you start.

Study the requirements

The portfolio you create can be beautiful in all kinds of ways, but if it doesn’t meet the college requirements, it’s going to end up in the rejects folder. That’s something you want to avoid at all costs, so your first step should be to go to your college website and study the requirements.

Don’t worry, most portfolio requirements are quite simple. Here’s what the School of Visual Arts requirements look like.

Source: SVA

Go to your college or university website, find the requirements, read them, and reread them. If you can’t quite get what the college wants from you, it’s okay to contact them and ask for clarification. It may feel frustrating, but your future relies on it, so you have to do it.

Showcase your best work

This is a no-brainer, but it never hurts to remind the basics. You need to include a couple of your best works to the portfolio. Choose the photos you love or the ones that highlight what’s your specialty. For example, check out this post on Lonely Hunter explaining different wedding photography styles and why you should keep the best photos in your portfolio.

If you’re aiming to become a professional product photographer, showcase a product pic that you’re proud of.

Source: lisova_jewelry/Instagram

Trying to get into fashion photography? Include a behind the scenes shot from a show you managed to sneak into. If you can do that, it’s going to make a good story to tell in the interview.

Source: Stan Gomov/Instagram

The most important advice here is to only show your best work. Leave the unfinished or mediocre photos for Instagram. A portfolio is a thing that has to impress the reviewers, so it should be on the edge of your comfort zone.

Diversify with lighthearted photos

While it’s good to showcases professional photoshoots, you can throw in a couple of photos that aren’t made on a set but still look good. Take a look at this student’s work. It’s not your typical professional photo, but it’s a great shot.

Source: Boo_mey/Instagram

A photo like this would show you’re always looking for a shot, not just when you’re on a job.

Bold set for the portfolio

A student portfolio should be on the edge of your abilities. If you haven’t pushed yourself to the limit just yet, it may be the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Come up with a bold idea for a photoshoot especially for the portfolio. Give it your best, and even if you’re not entirely happy with the result, you can show your creativity in the portfolio.

The student who took this photo was very critical of her work, but it does show good skills of working with outfits and generally indicates to the reviewers that the student is willing to do something unexpected.

Source: Natsu Vaszt/Instagram

This student’s work took a lot of waiting for the perfect shot, but the result is totally portfolio-worthy.

Source: sokursvetlana/Instagram

Here’s another photo that shows a photographer is ready to get out of their comfort zone and do something more creative than taking your regular wedding photography.

Source: Natsu Vaszt/Instagram

You may feel like the ideas you have are weird or stupid, but you shouldn’t worry about this that much. As long as your photos are well-made from the technical point of view, you’re good.

Story-driven photos

As much as showing your skills is an important part of a portfolio, you also need to include a couple of photos that tell a story. What’s a story-driven photo, you ask? It’s a photo that spurs your imagination.

It’s a photo that makes anyone who sees it go “I wonder what’s happening here.” It’s a photo that makes the audience think about the context and try to imagine what happened before the photo was taken or after it.

The best match for this is a photo taken in action. Take a look at this one, both the lighting and the color make you focus on the person doing the catwalk together with the audience.

Source: Natsu Vaszt/Instagram

This photo looks like it was taken straight from a pop music video.

Source: Hektor Klark/Instagram

This student’s work doesn’t only tell a story by following the model’s line of view POV-style, but also shows good lighting and space skills. Exactly what a portfolio reviewer at your dream university would want to see.

Source: Natsu Vaszt/Instagram

Now, this photo certainly intrigues. It has everything, the emotion, the outfit, the backdrop.

Source: sokursvetlana/Instagram

Doing storytelling photography can be tricky, but it’s great practice and will look amazing on your portfolio. Try to create a story behind your photo and find a spot in the story that would showcase it in the best way. That’s your start shot.

Can’t seem to create a story that would seem good on a photo? You can adopt a popular story or browse writer portfolios at ProEssayWriter to find a story you can depict.

Show editing skills

Creativity is always awesome, but the commission at your university is going to look for skills as well. One of the most important skills you can show them is post-production. It’s something many students shun away from, so when a reviewer sees you’re good at it, you’re almost guaranteed a spot.

One way post-production can enhance your work is by making a good photo even better. This student’s photo is good enough on its own, but the cloud of vapor added in post-production makes it much more interesting.

Source: sokursvetlana/Instagram

Another thing you can do in post-prod is to create a collage with your photo.

Source: Natsu Vaszt/Instagram

Here’s another example of a collage, this time not a digital one. If you decide to make a collage like this, you can present it in digital form as meta-photography or attach it to your physical portfolio the way it is.

Source: Alexandr Nesterov/Instagram

Here’s a simple post-prod trick that can look fantastic on your portfolio. Multiple exposure photos are easy to edit if you use a tripod to shoot.

Source: sokursvetlana/Instagram

Don’t use two portraits or a portrait and trees or skylines. It was done thousands of times, and stock photography websites are full of these kinds of pictures. It’ll only look trite.

Also, you can make your photos look more snappy with lightroom presets. It looks just as good as spending hours on fine-tuning your photos but saves a lot of time.

Location scouting

Not all great photos are done in a studio. Some of the best shots in the history of photography were taken randomly on the street. Most portfolio reviewers know that, so they’ll enjoy seeing some great location scouting shots like this.

Source: boo_mey/Instagram

The one piece of advice you need on making location photos is to avoid popular areas like the plague. What you need to be looking for are the backdoor alleys that are great enough to shoot a Joker scene. Find a couple of unique and cinematic places and a great photo of them to your portfolio.

Include camera settings

Here’s another idea that can make your portfolio look a bit better in the reviewers’ eyes. Consider adding the camera settings underneath the photos. Showing the aperture, the ISO, and the shutter you used to make a photo will let them know you’re not just taking random shots, you know what you’re doing.

However, it doesn’t have to be all done by the book. Rules are great unless you decide to follow them without any consideration and don’t give yourself a chance to experiment.

Show the portfolio the right way

When presenting your work, you should keep it within the guidelines your college imposes on you. This doesn’t mean you should go with the easiest way of presenting photos, just send them via email.

Working on the presentation a bit can earn you some extra points during the review. One way of improving portfolio presentation is to include a collage of your photo like the one mentioned in the part about post-editing skills.

If you have had the chance to get your work exhibited, don’t forget to take a pic of it hanging in a gallery. Even if it’s a small venue, this will show the reviewers you’re already accepted as a photographer.

Does your university accept website portfolios? Great! This is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression. A website is an interactive medium, so you can shape the way the reviewers see your portfolio. Take a look at these two Pixpa websites for a general idea of how this kind of presentation can look like.

Source: Sean Micah

Source: Indrajeet Rajkhowa

Ask for opinion

As artists, we’re often guilty of growing too fond of our work. This is why you should ask teachers, friends, and family to review your work. Don’t think your mom’s opinion is judging enough? Check if the National Portfolio Day has any events near you. You’re sure to get an expert opinion there, and the entry is free.

If there are no events near you, try getting your work on websites like 500px or Behance, or find a photography group on Facebook or Reddit and ask the visitors to give an honest opinion.

Wrap up

If you’ve made it to the end of this long read, it already shows you have the dedication it takes to craft a great student portfolio. Take any or all of these suggestions and include them in your portfolio.

Make sure you are working within the university guidelines and prepare well for an interview. With that done, you’re almost guaranteed a spot in the college you’ve been dreaming about.

How to Create Breathtaking Image Compositing in 5 Steps

As a photographer – amateur or professional – you have the power to stop time. The simple push of a button creates memories that are meant to stay with you forever. But what about image compositing? What is it about this particular type of photography that takes your breath away and does not only stop time but also teleports you into another dimension and helps you step into the world of awe? We will dive into this fascinating field today and try to understand it better to turn ourselves into the creators of our universes. 

  1. The two pillars – vision and imagination

When it comes to image compositing, imagination is key. Being imaginative is required because, unlike capturing a precise moment in time – which is photography, image blending involves the handling of multiple photos to create a final product. And the final product will always be the result of creativity.

Image compositing is all about freedom and imprinting your personality on a project, be it an ad or a fantasy book cover. It’s all about waking up that creative muscle and letting it loose. And don’t think for a moment that you do not have enough imagination. There are tons of examples you can use as inspiration – and no, research is not stealing. It’s a starting point for whenever you need a little boost to get you started. For example, if you are going to shoot a wedding at night you have to be prepared about the light being too low. This article explains the benefits of using wedding sparkles to capture the best moments.

Read More: Shark and Palm – Camera and Photography Tips

  1. Begin by matching photos

Having the ability to choose from a plethora of images might scare you and even put a project on hold. This is because it’s commonly known that when faced with multiple choices, people tend to back off, but you do not have to get scared. 

Professional photographer Rikard Rodin helps you with the first tips you need to create a breathtaking image compositing. The key words he uses are perspective, horizon line, and light source. These three have to match to create a coherent and cohesive final image. The thing is, after the composition process is over, your photograph, although fantastic, must seem realistic, must look like one single shot.

  1. The selecting and cutting process 

It is still Rodin that one who states that he spends 80% of the time on selections and cut-outs. Now that might seem a lot, but it isn’t. Even if you have a clear image of what your final photo will look like, finding what you are searching for will take time. This is because when you start searching, you have to take into consideration all the criteria mentioned above, like perspective and light source. Sometimes when the light source is not as you want it to be, you can use light bulbs while taking a picture or some advanced light bulbs for video recording.

Once the photos gathered, you must engage in the daunting process of image cutting. I know, taking shots is much more interesting than repeatedly cutting until all the elements in your photo are the perfect match, but if you want your image compositing to be breathtaking, you have to take your time. You also have to make sure the layout of the photo is managed at its best, especially when you are going to post the same on Instagram. You can also checkout this guide for more info – 10 Instagram Formatting Layout Ideas. So, grab that Quick Selection Tool and Magic Wand (which turns you into the Harry Potter of cutting), zoom in as much as you have to, and get to work! 

  1. Using Smart Objects is smart

You want your final picture to be the highest resolution possible. Hence, all your elements must have a high resolution and you are the one in charge of keeping that untainted despite all the moving and cutting. To get that uniform high resolution, you must start using smart objects. Cut your model, bring it into the project, rename the layer and convert it into a Smart Object. In this way, you can move it and resize it as much as you want without it losing its high resolution.

  1. Finishing touches for a realistic image

You selected the best photos, you cut all the elements, you were smart enough to use Smart Objects, and now everything is in place. But to create that coherent image that you want, you still need to follow with some footsteps. 

Because the sources of the pictures are numerous and different, they all come with particular colors, and for the final image, you want to make sure that all the tones come together. Choose from numerous methods for toning and use the one that best fits you – from Color Lookup Adjustment Layers, the Camera Raw Filter, and the Nik Collection plugins. Another aspect you should keep in mind is shadowing – make sure that the shadows are cast on the right objects and from the right angle. 

Are you breath-taken? 

Do you often feel that you are watching a single image? That every little detail is in place? But most importantly, does your first mental picture match the final result? If your imagination is jumping around with joy, you made it! The image compositing process has come to an end. All you have to do now is print it. Then buy a great frame to put up on the wall for everyone to see.  

A deal you don’t want to miss

But before you go, there is something we want to share with you to make your life easier. Improve your photography skills from “good” to “award-winning” with the Creative Composite Video Course, an instructional video series by Stephanie Stafford. There’s no better time than now and no better deal than this!

Read More: Tips to Improve Your Photography Skills

Common Mistakes Travel Photographers Make

With a single photograph, you’re able to take someone on your journey with you. That image will tell your viewers the story of where you’ve been and maybe even inspire them to visit the destination themselves. It’s not always easy to capture your subject and relay everything you saw and felt as you stood there, but it’s not impossible. By preventing the common travel photography mistakes mentioned below, you’ll have people really excitedly seeing your photos in no time. 

Being Too Shy

To capture great travel images, you need to conquer any shyness you may have. It’s as simple as that. 

One of the biggest reasons you’re unable to take an excellent photo during your travels is because you’re too shy to approach, talk to, and photograph people in public places. Shyness is common, especially when you’re first starting, and one of the hardest aspects to overcome is photographing other people rather than just objects or places. 

But really, what’s the worst that can happen if you approach the situation respectfully and sensibly? If you feel you must take a photo of someone, ask them. They might say no or cover their faces with their hands – heck, they might even reply rudely. Say thank you and move it along if that’s the case. Honestly, most people are flattered when you want to take their photograph and will go out of their way to pose for you. Put in an effort to get to know them since they will be an integral part of your visual story. You will capture a breathtaking moment forever – and to think you almost missed it because you were too shy to ask. 

Not Understanding Your Camera

One of the key differences between a general postcard-style travel photograph and another that speaks to the viewer with its angle and colors is that the latter captures something that an average tourist might miss. It could be a fleeting moment like when an overcrowded bus in India pulls away or when the waves at the beach hit the rocks just right.  There are only mere seconds to take that perfect photo, and if you’re not familiar with your camera, you’ll most likely miss it. 

Learn the bells and whistles of your DSLR so you can switch settings in an instant. Not knowing how your device works thoroughly is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a travel photographer, but it’s also one that is easy to fix.

Play with different settings. Practice and take as many pictures as you can – then compare the images to see how it changed. The more experience you gain, the quicker and better you will be at scanning your surroundings and picking the best camera setting for your photograph in seconds. Sooner or later, the camera will become an extension of your arm.

Traveling With Other People

We’re not asking you to go on your honeymoon alone, but if you’re dedicating time during your travels solely to taking photographs, we strongly suggest you go alone. The entire experience becomes more strained and complicated when you’re with a partner, friends, family, or a tour group, and that strain becomes visible in the result of your photo. 

This tip doesn’t apply if your group, too, has an interest in photography. They must also be there to capture images as well. Still, otherwise, most people just don’t have the enthusiasm and patience necessary to take a good picture. You’ll lose focus or feel rushed if you’re surrounded by people who look bored and are just waiting around for you to finish. In the end, they don’t enjoy your trip, and you don’t get the photo you want. Set aside some time where you can go off on your own and capture your surroundings at your own pace, or better yet, plan an entire solo vacation around your camera. 

Not the Right Time

Remember when elders used to tell you that “there is a time and a place for everything” – that’s never been more real than when you’re taking travel photographs. Say, for example, it’s cloudy and gloomy on one of the days you set aside to walk around with your camera. There’s no point spending that day trying to capture the perfect cityscape since clouds will cover everything in a blanket of gray overcast, and you won’t get the stunning image you want. Instead, focus on photographing close up objects and portraits of people so that the muted lighting and lack of harsh shadows will be beneficial to your result.  

Understanding how light plays an integral role in your travel images will help you maximize the time you spend. It will teach you how to adapt and make the best of the conditions you find yourself in. 

Small Details and a Sense of Scale

It is so easy for people to get caught up in the amazingly beautiful scenery that surrounds them and overlook the smaller details that make an impact. As a travel photographer, your goal should be to capture those itty-bitty details that are often missed and to make them the subject of your photograph for others to appreciate. It’s usually these specific features that enhance the feelings your photograph can conjure. 

That said, travel photographers also make mistakes when trying to capture the sheer and overwhelming size of a large subject. The magnitude of a tall building or statue will not be portrayed in your picture if no scale or reference point allows the viewer to distinguish size. To replicate the feeling you get when standing in the presence of the towering object onto a photo, you need to include something that a person recognizes the size of such as people, wildlife, cars, etc. To prove my point, look at a photo of the Statue of Liberty and then look at a picture of the same figure with a ship sailing on the water beside it – you’ll see the difference immediately.

The output of your work is guaranteed to improve by avoiding these common mistakes made when taking photographs. Like anything worth doing, taking travel photographs that stir feelings in the people seeing them takes time, patience, and practice. No better time to start practicing then the present, so book a cheap flight from one of the many resources listed on TravelSites.com and start now.

Additional Resources:

Travel Photography Guide: 12 Easy Tips To Instantly Improve Your Images

Best Laptop for Photographers Under $1000

A photographer without a reliable laptop won’t get far. With all the photo editing requirements – you will need to be able to edit photos & do much more when you’re on the go.

And we understand the struggle of trying to find the best laptop for photographers.

You can find your way around photo editing software such as Photoshop, but if you’re not totally comfortable with technology when it comes to laptops – there’s nothing to worry about.

 In this post, you will find:

  • Some of the best laptops for photographers
  • Reasons why we chose these laptops
  • Benefits you could experience with any of these laptops

Best Laptops for Photographers

Apple MacBook Pro 13”

Even though you can’t afford the latest and the largest 16” MacBook Pro under $1000, if you love working with Apple’s OS X – Apple MacBook 13” is an excellent pick at just a bit over $1000 USD.

As a photographer, you’d enjoy working on the quality Retina display, but the good news is this MacBook Pro has a decent amount of processing power. It combines dual-core Intel i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card – so you can even edit videos along with your photos.

We highly recommend using the Touch Bar featured in this laptop as well, as it could help improve multitasking or simplify actions such as tool selection when you’re polishing your photos.

The laptop itself is very sleek, featuring the well-known Apple minimalistic yet attractive design. Therefore, it’s a pretty lightweight laptop for such specifications – which means one thing. You will be able to edit photos everywhere you go.

Pros

  • Turbo boosted Intel i5 processor
  • Decent graphics card
  • Vivid Retina display
  • Sleek & lightweight yet durable design
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Keyboard has had some issues, and it might take some time getting used to it

Verdict

If you’re not a big Windows enthusiast – Linux operating system might not be as good of an option as Apple’s OS X would be. And if you are definitely going with OS X – the best Apple laptop you can buy is this MacBook Pro laptop.

Asus VivoBook Pro

If a tight $1000 budget does not strictly restrict you – this Asus VivoBook Pro is a great deal with a price that is a tiny bit over $1000.

Large screen size is one of the most critical requirements for photographers – and this laptop is ideal because it features a large 17” IPS display. You will never miss a single detail with this 4K UHD display.

While the latest 8th generation i7 Turbo-boosted processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics card. Combine this graphic card with the display, and you will benefit from the Wide View flawless visuals.

Editing photos and videos on the move is really not a problem since this laptop is thin and offers a portable footprint. You won’t have a problem fitting this laptop along with your DSLR camera in a backpack.

Pros

  • Large Wide View 4K display
  • Powerful performance
  • Slim & portable
  • Decent battery life
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Audio sound isn’t the best

Verdict

If you require a portable footprint and yet you’re all about the large display, so you don’t miss a single thing – Asus Vivobook is a decent choice at just a bit over $1000.

HP Spectre x360

Staying portable and having the ability to work the way you want, wherever you want, and whenever you want is something HP Spectre x360 laptop offers.

It is a decently sized laptop with a 4K 15” Ultra HD display, which rotates 180-degrees. It’s also got a touchscreen display that allows you to use this laptop as a tablet, draw, make sketches, or even help yourself with the HP Pen to polish your photos.

It runs on a Turbo Boosted Intel Core i7 processor in combination with NVIDIA GeForce MX150, so you have all the power you need – which is great for photographers who do video editing as well.

Offering exceptional versatility of use – this is a slim and portable laptop that’s very easy to carry around. If you’re trapped in a congested space – you can choose the way you want to use it.

If you only need the screen – use it in a studio or a tablet mode.

Pros

  • 3-in-1 versatility
  • Very light & portable
  • 4K 15” touchscreen display
  • Powerful configuration
  • Can be used with HP Pen

Cons

  • Delete key is right next to the backspace key

Verdict

If you are a photographer who determines the way he works and whenever he works – HP Spectre x360 is an ideal laptop to provide you effortless photo editing for hours and hours.

Microsoft Surface Book

If you’re on a budget, but you need a decent & powerful laptop that is reliable but won’t slow you down – the Microsoft Surface Book can be a perfect choice.

Every Windows fan has always wondered what it is like to use the official Microsoft laptop from the Windows-maker.

Well, this laptop is built for office work and has the accompanying software used with such a configuration. But if you look closer – you will notice this laptop is also crafted to last.

This particular Surface Book model is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, and it is augmented by a GeForce GTX graphics card.

Our favorite piece of this laptop is the display. The Surface Book features a detachable PixelSense display that can be used with a pen or touch.

Photoshop has never felt better!

Pros

  • Detachable PixelSense display
  • 2-in-1 use
  • Decent configuration
  • Rugged body design
  • Ideal for work & software use

Cons

  • Stylus pen doesn’t come included

Verdict

The detachable screen is a big advantage for photographers who spend hours editing high-quality photos and videos. It can take off the stress and make editing fun instead of dreaded  hard work.

Huawei Matebook 13

13” is a perfect size when you aren’t sure whether to go for a very compact & portable laptop or settle with a larger screen size that could be beneficial for reviewing photos.

Huawei Matebook 13 is a thin, lightweight, and very portable laptop that features one of the incredible displays within such a price range.

This laptop features an 88% screen-to-body ratio that offers 2K resolution and is even touchscreen. The thin bezel really adds up, and you will feel like you’re using a display that’s larger than 13”.

With plenty of ports and long-lasting battery life, you will enjoy working on a go as you’re powered by a reliable configuration that includes 8th Generation Intel i7 processor & NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card.

Pros

  • 2K touch display with a thin bezel
  • Powerful performance
  • Reasonable price
  • Innovative cooling design
  • Pretty versatile
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Trackpad isn’t as responsive as it should be

Verdict

If you don’t want to spend a lot, yet want the best features & configuration possible – so you can make your work easier, Huawei Matebook 13 is a perfect laptop. It is powerful and has a fantastic display that beats its competitors by a good distance.

Conclusion

Choosing a laptop for a specific use isn’t always a bad experience – but if you don’t know how to choose the right laptop, this can put you in a tough spot.

Luckily, any of these laptops are good enough for almost any photographer out there who needs to keep the business going by getting the work done on time.

All you have to do is browse through these five laptops as one of these laptops is the best laptop for photographers – and you just need to find out which one would fit your needs the best.


Guest Post

5 Mistakes All Creatives Should Avoid When Crafting Their Portfolios

As a creative with a long career path in front, you probably already dream about optimizing your photography business or running a web design agency. But when you’re tangled up in thinking long term, you may miss an important thing that you absolutely need right now to make that dream come true.

Portfolios are personal. Here are the most common mistakes all creatives can make when designing one.

Throwing in everything

Whether you’re a photographer, an illustrator, or a UX designer, you probably have tons of work. The unfinished side projects, the cute street photos that never got around to post-production, the student works.

It’s nice to have them to review your progress, but these kinds of works are far from the perfect portfolio material. Your portfolio should only contain the best of what you’ve got.

The thing about the portfolio is that it’s not a numbers game. Few clients, employers, or universities would hunt for quantity. After all, everybody can take a lot of pictures. Very few people can take one quality photo after another consistently.

This rarity is why your portfolio could be fantastic if you just included ten photos or drawings and up to five UX projects. Focus on the quality instead of the quantity, and you should be able to impress anyone who sees your work.

No additional work

Since you’re focusing on showcasing your best creations in the portfolio, it would be wise to produce something exclusively for the collection. Many creatives make a mistake and only show their current work.

You can take things a bit further and work on other creative projects to showcase. It may be hard for a photographer to come up with an experimental and bold work if all you do for a living is click wedding or event photos. If you want to really shine in your portfolio, you may need to experiment on your own.

The same goes for UX or UI designers who couldn’t manage to be a part of a genuinely creative team that works on the best projects on the market. If that’s your case, then you can pick a popular service and redesign it.

No context

While not every portfolio needs context, many do. Not including it would be a significant downside of your portfolio.

A photography student needs context to appeal to the reviewer. Mention the camera settings you used in the photos. This mention would show that you not only have the eye for a good shot but are also an expert on the technical side of things.

If you are a UX designer, logo designer, or otherwise involved in corporate-oriented design, you need to mention details. Talk about the company you’ve created designs for, what problems you faced, and how you reached the design that you ended up with.

That’s crucial for letting your clients know how meticulously you approach their business problems.

Poor presentation

Many creatives think that a portfolio is your work alone. The truth is, it’s not that simple. The way you present your work influences the way people respond to it.

The hard way is crafting a physical portfolio instead of a virtual one. It’s not the best fit for everyone, but in some cases, it’s necessary. If you’re a photographer who offers photo books, having a portfolio that is in the form of a hardbound printed album may convince your clients to work with you.

If you’re a book illustrator or a comic artist, holding a book with your works in it is priceless. You can show it during the interviews to let the employer see how your work looks like before someone puts it into digital form.

The same goes for student artists. Many universities require you to hand in a resume both in digital and in paper form. Experience with the way you present your works: put a couple of contrasting works on the same page, or put one great work in the center of the page to make it stand out.

The next option you have is to put your designs on a website like Behance or 500px. It’s something every creative should do. These websites allow you to showcase a portfolio without creating a website.

What’s more important, if your works are uniquely eye-catching, people will want them. A lot of likes on your design would act as social proof and show clients and employers why they should work with you.

These activities also give you more tools to experiment with the way you present your work.

The last option is to create your portfolio website. The best part about this is that you’re in charge of how you present your portfolio. Tailor the design to your taste, and you’ll be able to impress whoever visits your website.

You can also create multiple portfolios to show to different types of clients. Here’s what multiple portfolios on a website made with Pixpa look like.

Source: Anwita + Arun

Creating a website is rather cheap nowadays. For the small price you pay, you’ll be able to develop an authentic feel about your work that would get many clients hooked.

No contact information

Whether you’re creating a portfolio website or showcasing one on Behance, you need to make sure that the contact information is easy to find. Otherwise, you’d be missing out on opportunities with people who want to work with you.

Mention at least one social media profile and your email address. If you’ve made a website that has a lot of visitors, you can consider adding live chat. Integrate a chatbot there, and you’ll be able to talk to all people who approach you.

You can share your portfolio online for little to no money with the Facebook Messenger integration on the website.

Next to making it easy to contact you, you should also use photos to build trust, so your visitors know who they will be contacting. 

Wrap up

Avoid these five mistakes, and your portfolio will stand out. Don’t litter your space with mediocre works. Consider creating something original just for the portfolio. Work on the presentation, and don’t forget to include your contact information.

The most important thing you have to remember is to adjust each portfolio for the person who will be seeing it. 


Guest Post by Marie Fincher

 

Comparing Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro with Samsung’s Galaxy S10

 

Smartphone cameras have changed the landscape of photography. Typically taking pictures included bulky cameras and interchangeable lenses even for the basic photographer. However, smartphones have revolutionized photography thanks to their ability to compact high spec technology in mobile devices. 

Smartphones traditionally wowed their consumers with just one camera but as technology has developed the introduction of more than one camera on smartphones shows just how consumer requirements are changing. In a world fueled by social media and with apps like Instagram and Snapchat we begin to understand why cameras are vital and how consumer behavior has changed over the years. 

Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 both come with triple-lens cameras as do many other smartphones on the market today. The different cameras allow users to take a variety of quality images from different angles; something consumers were unable to previously do. 

Apple’s recently launched iPhone 11 Pro isn’t the first smartphone to have three cameras but its quite a contender. Heres a look at how the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera compares to its rival, Samsungs Galaxy S10.

Camera

Upon inspection of the two phones side by side, you will see that they both have three rear-facing cameras lenses. One of the cameras allows the phone to capture ultra-wide images providing the users with a larger field of view in comparison to earlier versions of the smartphones. Although they may look very similar on the outside, there is a difference between the two ultra-wide-angle camera lenses. Ultra-wide-angle allows users to capture a greater field. The lens has a much wider scope allowing users to capture more range. Both phones house the ultra-wide lense but are slightly different. Samsung offers a field view of 123 degrees, and Apple provides a somewhat narrower, but not largely different, 120-degree field of view. 

(Image Source: Samsung)

The Galaxy S10 also offers its users a 16-megapixel sensor with its ultra-wide-angle lens, while the iPhone falls slightly short and only provides its users 12 megapixels. Cleverly, Samsungs camera has a lower aperture compared to its rival iPhone 11 Pro. This means the lens can open wider, effectively absorbing more light providing the image with more exposure. The other two cameras on the phones are telephoto and wide-angle cameras. Apple and Samsung both use identical 12-megapixel cameras.

When comparing the devices concerning recording videos, they both come out the same due to their identical functionalities. Both the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can shoot 4K videos in 1080p at up to 240 frames per second. Still, their performance can only be genuinely measured if they are put to the test together for a complete comparison. 

The Samsung Galaxy S10 falls slightly short in comparison to Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro when comparing the specification of the front-facing camera. The S10 has a front-facing camera of 10 megapixels while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 12-megapixel camera. 

Display

Although smartphone cameras are essential the phone’s display is also equally important. The technology on the screen needs to able to mirror the high specification fo the camera which will help users capture breathtaking images. If the phone’s display is poor, it will automatically dilute the cameras picture-taking potential. A good camera without a good display screen is a waste of money. 

(Image Source: Apple)

The Galaxy S10 offers its users a 6.1-inch screen which in comparison to the iPhone 11 Pro is only slightly larger, which has a 5.8-inch display. The screen is also sharper than Apple’s iPhone due to the resolutions. The Galaxy S10 display houses a display resolution of 3040x 1440 which means it can pack in 550 pixels per inch of the display. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro, on the other hand, has a resolution of 2436 x 1125, meaning it can only pack in 458 pixels per inch. Although both phones do not sound that far off from one another, with just under a difference of 100 pixels per inch, this can cause quite a noticeable difference between the two devices. Samsung is well known for its bold and bright color display screen and this could be the reason why.   

Extra features 

Apart from the standard functions, the Samsung Gaxaly S10 offers a few extra features that users wouldn’t be able to find on the iPhone. For one, the Galaxy S10 has an in-screen fingerprint reader and an always-on display that can show users information such as battery life and the time while the screen is off. The smartphone can also offer reverse wireless charging which allows the user to charge accessories such as smartwatches or earbuds by pairing them and resting them on the back of the phone for wireless charging.

(Image Source: Samsung)

One of the benefits of owning several Apple products is that they can seamlessly work together. Apple may not be offering extra features like Samsung, but having many Apple products means you won’t have to worry about trying to connect them to one another. For example, Airpods automatically pair with iPhones as soon as the case lid is flipped open.

Overall, it seems on paper the specification of these two devices has minimal differences. Ultimately it comes down to preference and the user’s purpose of the device. Both devices offer great cameras and displays in comparison to other smartphones on the market. The Samsung Galaxy S10 does come out better in comparison to the new Apple iPhone 11 Pro. The camera and display are both better on the Galaxy S10, and the smartphone offers extra features. 


This is a Guest Post.

13 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Photography Website

 

Are you looking to create a photography website for your business? Well, just like any other business, there are tons of reasons why you need a website for your photography business in 2019.

From connecting with clients who are searching for you online to educating your target audience about your brand and giving you the social proof, it’s almost mandatory to have a website for a photography business. Despite the benefits that come with having a professional photography website, it’s never easy building one from scratch.

Don’t worry, though, because, in this post, we’ll walk you through the little but costly mistakes you should avoid when you create a photography website for free.

Forgetting About the HTTPS Protocol

Long gone are the days when switching to HTTPS protocol was optional. Today it’s almost mandatory to switch to HTTPS because of these three primary reasons:

Your site might not rank well among competitors. Google announced that it would be considering HTTPS as a ranking signal. Though it was reported that it would not be a major ranking signal, studies suggest that sites still using HTTP rank lower than sites using HTTPS.

It helps you secure the user data shared on your website. You don’t want to lose your brand’s reputation or get into losses due to fines for leaked confidential user data.

In case, if you are using multiple subdomains then, you can avoid installing RapidSSL Wildcard certificates to encrypt all the data shared on the site and keep them out of reach to eavesdroppers.

You need it to win your target audience’s trust. Today Google warns users from navigating to sites that have not yet switched to HTTPS protocol. It shows the sites are unsafe, making them lose the confidence of browsing or making any purchases on the site something which may not only impact your bounce rates but also affect your ROI.

Choose the right platform for your website

If you don’t want to get into the complexities of building a website, Pixpa is the platform for you. This DIY website builder will let you design your website any way you want. Pixpa is the ultimate all-in-one website platform for photographers to showcase, share, and sell their work online.

Pixpa provides you with all the necessary tools to run your creative business. It is updated constantly and keeps up with the latest design trend. Avoid making the mistake of choosing the wrong platform, and choose a website builder such as Pixpa, which will make your work easier and give your website a professional look. Here’ an honest review about Pixpa on digital .com

 

Do You Know: You get 1-year free domain name with Pixpa

(including SSL certificate)

Using a Slow Server

Using a slow server is not wrong, but it will negatively impact your photography website’s loading time and speed. This can be disastrous on your overall ROI, considering that web visitors barely wait for three seconds for a website to fully load before they bounce off. Find a hosting provider that serves your files with the best speed.

Not Having an About Page

When building a photography website, an about page is an absolute must-have. To make an about page that stands out, you must first understand your business’ unique identity.

From there, you can share the story of your brand with your audience to make them connect with you. A good about page should be direct and humanize with your brand and give context and meaning to it.

Using an Average Web Template

You need a website template to provide you with the framework that you’ll be using when setting up your site. The template should also have powerful built-in features to help you with web design and technical SEO aspects etc.

A good template should also come with timely updates and reliable support to help you minimize bugs and keep the site alive. To get a good web template and avoid the average ones, it’s prudent that you do your research before investing in a template.

Check its usability, aesthetic qualities, speed, and customer support to avoid compatibility and performance issues that may hamper the growth of your business.

Leaving Out the ‘Contact Us’ Page

No website is ever complete without a ‘Contact Us’ page. It may sound tiny but very important when it comes to credibility issues.

It’s an individual page you can craft on your website to make it easy for your web visitors to connect with you. A typical ‘Contact Us’ page should include; a contact form, a short description of your business, mail-to link for your email address, or any information on how your prospects can connect with you.

It’s also prudent to explain briefly why the prospects should contact you and give them multiple ways of communicating with you.

Not Having Social Media Buttons on Your Site

Did you know you can benefit from social media even if you’re not active on social media? Well, having social media buttons on your site allows your existing clients to share your content online, thus helping you to build your social media experience and boost your brand’s exposure.

It will also help you enhance organic SEO, boost your reach to the target audience, and improve the customer experience.

Using Dull or Hidden Opt-ins

When creating Opt-in forms, you must craft a good copy on it that will excite your site visitors and compel them to take a specific action. Don’t put them at the bottom of your pages only as some of your audience will not scroll down looking for them.

You can strategically place them in between contents with powerful Call to Action buttons (CTAs). To hook your audience, be sure to explain some benefits they’ll get by opting in.

Don’t forget to set realistic expectations though. You can also use a mix of different fonts or color schemes to grab attention.

Having a Complicated Web Navigation

Web navigation plays a crucial role in the overall user experience on your site. Right off the bat, your goal should be to ensure that the site is easy to navigate.

To avoid complicated web navigation, it’s advisable that you stick to simple web navigation and keep off the fancy web navigation templates. Simple navigation will make it easy for your site visitors to land on target pages quickly. It will also make the site look professional.

Completing Your Website with a Photography Portfolio

With the competition so tight today, it’s essential than ever to have a photography portfolio on your site. It gives you a professional way of showcasing your work to the target audience or industries. It also helps you enhance your online visibility while at the same time still allowing you the freedom to edit or add more videos and photos to beef it up and stand out as one of the best in the business.

Not Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Phones

Failing to optimize your website for mobile phones is one of the foolproof ways to lose leads. It would also impact your organic ranking due to high bounce rates, especially when web visitors land on your website then navigate away immediately because the page is not mobile responsive.

Avoiding this mistake is as simple as installing mobile-friendly themes on the site, and templates.

Having Broken Links

Broken links refer to hyperlinks, which lead to missing or error pages. They usually result when the URL you linked to on your website has been deleted, changed, or you missed something when typing the URL.

Broken links can weigh down your photography website by destroying its navigation, lowering its ranking, or even reducing the traffic. To avoid such mistakes, it’s recommendable that you use special tools like BrokenLinkCheck.Com to locate the links then remove each of them manually.

Having Low-Quality Visuals

Low-quality visuals are one of the significant factors which will turn off your web visitors right away. When displaying graphics on your site, it’s critical to ensure that they’re top quality.

To avoid the low-quality visual mistakes, optimize the images for your website before uploading, and add filters when necessary. You may also let an expert do this for you if you have lesser time to spend on the site.

Bottom Line

Your website serves as your business’ ambassador. When the design is weak, your prospects may not hold your company in high regard. To give them the best first-time experience, be sure to avoid these mistakes, especially the security aspect since they won’t come back again if they suspect that the site is insecure.

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