Last week we took a day out of photographing other peoples products to spend a bit of time on ourselves. Our aim being to create a series of photos that could be put out across our social media to highlight our creativity and raise brand awareness.
With our 2020 pumpkin we wanted to created an engaging image that captured the essence of Halloween, but not in a cheap, corny way. Instead of using spooky images we wanted to encapsulate the mode of Autumn and the transition to cold, dark nights.
Using a range of lighting techniques we threw shadows on different surfaces to create some interesting textures. We then used a long exposure to bring out and detail the flame within the pumpkin. In post production we accentuated the effects of light beams, to create the eerie shards of moonlight that drift across the shot. For more information on artworking and retouching have a read of our last blog post.
By cropping the image we were also able to create a new Twitter header; regularly changing your profile image is an effective way of keeping your page fresh. For a comprehensive guide to the correct size for different images click here.
The shots below help to illustrate how much time and effort goes into professional photography; from carefully chosen props through to using a selection of lights to create the exact look you are after.
A range of lights are used to create a intriguing final image.
Why are images for social media and web use so important?
People are increasingly busy and information moves at a faster rate than ever before. The old saying “A picture speaks a thousand words” is more prevalent now than it has ever been. People tend to skim read and browse news feeds, but a striking image can make people stop and engage them. A recent study which tallied a month of posts on the MIT Facebook page and then ranked them from most engagement to least engagment showed that 70% of the top 20 posts had images. The same study shows engagement is 37% higher for posts with images.
So you need some imagery?
There are a few options: You can take it yourself which will obviously be the cheapest option, but will be time consuming and although they might pass as stand alone images when they are put up against professional imagery they may well stick out like a sore thumb. So your next option is using bought stock images, this can be an effective alternative, but you will struggle to get personal images that are exactly right for you. If you are selling a product then imagery that features your product is going to be much more impressive than a generic stock image.
We have been helping one of our clients with personal imagery for their Facebook page. We tried to keep the photos simple, striking and focus on their branding. We’ve tried to capture different times of year and scenarios that people will be able to relate to. Here are some examples:
Are you struggling with ideas and quality photography for your online presence? We can help any business’ out there who are lacking in creative ideas and imagery for their Social Media or web pages. Please give us a call on 0113 272 0277.
Filed under: 2020 Perfect Vision
Great photography takes a lot of work and whilst we strive to get everything just right in the frame a lot of this happens in post production. Making an image fulfill its true potential takes careful behind the scenes work. A lot of people don’t realise the possibilities and variations they can get from just one image. We want to try and explain what artworking and retouching are, why they’re important and how they can make your precious imagery go the extra mile.
What is Artworking?
Artworking is the process of making a photo look as good as it possibly can. Although we go to great lengths to prepare shots before they are taken, there are always aspects of any image that will need cleaning up or correcting. Room set and furniture photography is where artworking is most prevalent. Small marks on the walls or floors are removed, along with folds or awkward creases in furniture. Anything that unintentionally draws the viewers eye to one point is resolved. Maybe a product has a slight scuff or crack in it which can be rectified in Photoshop. Then the lighting is tweaked to the optimum level to give a it crisp and clear image. White background shots can be clipped to give a perfect white which shows of the product to its maximum potential. It also enables us to ensure the product can drop into a catolouge or web with no tone. We include a certain amount of artworking as part of the price of a days photography to make sure that we give our clients the best possible final product.
How is retouching different to artworking?
Retouching although similar to artworking is a slightly different process. It involves manipulation rather than perfection. Common examples would be changing the colour of a product, or the adding or removing of a person or object. One process that our clients make use of a lot is changing the fabric colour on large pieces of furniture sure as beds or sofas. If a product comes in twelve different colour it makes much more sense financially and logistically to change one image rather than ship in lots of large cumbersome products. Sometimes you might want a shot with and without a model in it, shifting the emphasis from the use of the product to the product itself. You could even show a product in lots of different locations to help a potential buyer relate to the surroundings. One of our clients are producers of industrial drill bits and as we can’t create a quarry in our studio we instead manipulate the surrounding to give the desired effect.
At 2020, we have colour-calibrated monitors for careful colour matching. This is especially important when we are undertaking work for clients whose product photography has to match the product closely, such as tile photography, carpet photography, furniture photography, industrial or household paint photography and many others. By getting your colours right, we will help keep your customers happy and avoid costly returns.
Here we have an example of a multiple colour change.
The colours can be matched to any swatch and give just one shot endless possibilities.
Here we see a slightly more complex example.
The model has been removed and the colour changed. This gives a second option to the shot and doubles its possibilities.
Notice how to no detail is lost with the colour change, shadows and reflections remain unaffected.
If you would like to discuss our photography or post preduction service please call us on 0113 272 0277
Posted on August 27th, 2013 by Tom Girling
At 2020 we are passionate about food photography. We also run a Promotional merchandice department meaning we are always on top of whats hot in the world of PM. So when we saw these brandable herb grinders we had to have them!
Have you ever spent a frustrating amount of time chopping up herbs for a garnish only to find you’ve got it all over the kitchen? This herb grinder is the perfect soloution. It’s stainless steel blades are great at producing a fine even garnish. You can even try mixing fresh herbs in it to produce a more exciting garnish or rub.
It took some thyme but we ground out the shot and we think that it looks mint!
Using our creative side, a bit of patience and a lot of parsley, corriender, dill, chives, thyme and rosemary we came up with these fun photos to promote the grinder. Not only did it look and smell fantastic but it would make a great rub for a nice leg of lamb!
If you would be interested in making use of our food photography service then why not pop in and we can give you one of our new grinders and have a chat about your requirements. Give us a call on 0113 272 0277 for more information.
Why we work the way we do, what other people do and different schools of thought. It’s a hot topic in the studio right now!
At 2020 we offer photography, design and print, and output across the whole digital and print spectrum. This means we are constantly using both colour formats and in turn talking about how they relate to one another, conversion, and the results they produce. These discussions led to the blog you are now reading.
A bit of background first. For all the people out there who don’t have the foggiest what we’re talking about, I’ll try and keep this simple!
Colours can be managed and produced in different ways, today we’re talking about:
Which stands for Red, Green and Blue. This is the go to colour format for anything digital or screen based. This is because screens give out light in these three colours and use them to the create the vast spectrum of colours you are seeing in front of you now.
Red, green, and blue are the “additive colors ” – as you can see from the image if you combine red, green and blue light, you get white light.
Is the colour space that printers use. It’s made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The reason black is referred to as K is two fold. When printing plates are used black is the “Key” plate that gives the image definition. It is also the last letter of black and B isn’t used to avoid confusion with blue.
Cyan, magenta and yellow are “subtractive colors” – if you print cyan, magenta and yellow inks on top of one another, they ought to absorb all the light thrown on them. Your eye should receive no reflected light from the paper and perceive black. Well thats what should happen but because of impurities in inks you need a black or key ink is added to bring out definition and get a true black.
Looking at the above image you will notice that RGB can be seen within CMYK spectrum and vice versa.
Similarly to the impurities of black ink all digital screens will be calibrated slightly differently, meaning that what is supposed to be exactly the same colour may appear slightly differently from screen to screen. Which leads us to the important issue of calibrated screen, you would be amazed at how differently the same image can appear on different screens. At 2020 we use the latest calibration equipment to ensure all of our screens show the correct colour across the board.
Now there is already a lot about the two formats across the internet and I thought I’d bring to light some of the more interesting articles:
This article by Andrew Kelsall, makes for very interesting reading as he is advocating designing in RGB, which is standard for the web, but more unusual for print. He does make some very valid points and the discussion that follows covers this topic comprehensively with opinions of people who are involved in the industry have a read here.
One of the main problems occurred when going from one format to the other is a noticeable change in colour. The most prevalent example of this is when a photograph is taken then viewed on the screen in its RGB format, it is then converted to CMYK for print and the colours no longer look the same. This article looks at exactly this issue:
We hope this quick guide has helped to explain what people are talking about when they refer to RGB or CMYK. If you would like to know more we’ve found this fun video which brings the subject to life:
Colour and imagery are at the heart of everything we do here, so this is a really important subject for us. We hope you’ve learnt something, and please get in touch if you would like to know more. We would love to flex our CMYK muscles and do some print for your next brochure. Or let us use our skills in RGB to produce some photos for your website! To discuss any of this futher please give us a ring on 0113 272 0277.
The 2020 Streamliner will by flying out to our mailing list over the next couple of days! Here’s a bit about it…
After brainstorming ideas for a newsletter we decided we didn’t want to do a double sided A4 – the tried and tested format which you often see. Everyone does them and you can end up sending people long articles about subjects which are of little interest to anyone but the sender.
We’ve taken a different approach, we wanted to make people smile, and with any luck this will help them remember our name. We’ve used it as an opportunity to show what we can do – we’ve got a bit of design, print and photography all on show. Hopefully it also shows our creative side, the ability to think outside the box and do things a little bit differently.
It all started by trialing a number of aeroplanes, and turning the studio into a paper aeroplane hangar for a few days! Our final choice for the maiden voyage was this streamlined dart.
I’ts got a really strong, accurate, flight which makes it perfect for use with the provided target. It’s a little more complicated than some paper aeroplanes, but the reward is there in the end, and we think you’re all up to it! We don’t expect everyone to make the aeroplane, but hopefully the idea, and thought behind it will appeal to people.
Hit your target with 2020!
The plane has a few tricky folds so we’ve made a step-by-step video to help you out. Have a watch here and make the plane at your own pace.
If you’d like to build and fly the Streamliner at home you can download a version of the plane which you can print at whatever size suits you, it’s availble here. If you’d like a printed version along with the newsletter and target then drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to talk to us about any of our services: Photography, Design, Print or Promotional Merchandise then give us a call on 0113 272 0277. If the idea of sending out a slightly unusual newsletter appeals to you then maybe we could help? Why not call us to discuss some ways we could make your newsletter stand out.
New in the studio this month is our Apple TV. We’ve just about managed to resist the temptation of watching talking cats on YouTube! Instead we’ve linked it to our Capture One software so that clients can watch their shoot snap by snap from the comfort of our sofas – crisps and chocolate provided.
Linking the camera to our studio iPad allows you to either flick through previous shots or use the app to capture new ones, these are then relayed from the iPad to the Apple TV which displays on a 32” flat screen. Our photographers love it because it means they don’t have lots of people crowded around their monitors and they can fire a shot from anywhere and not just from behind the camera. Everyones a winner.
Dan from White Meadow was one of first clients to take advantage of it. This is what he had to say about it:
“Its great, it allows me to sit back and look at the photos from a comfortable position. I can then flick through them nice and easily and compare the different shots. Its me who’s got control and I can just skip through them while the photographer gets on. Sometimes the difference between shots is very subtle, just a slight change in lighting so it’s great to be able to see it on a big screen. You get a bit more space rather than crowding round a screen and its the flexibility that I really like.”
I also had a word with Leon our Photographer:
“Shooting off the ipad was good, in some ways it was a bit of gimmick in that you could show and explain what was going to the client without being next to the Mac. Its a real advantage being able to walk onto the set with a screen in your hand, and really pinpoint what you were trying to achieve with the lighting or whichever element you are altering. It also helped with an item that was being back lit from below; being able to fire the camera while adjusting the light, and it all being done in a matter of seconds was fantastic. Before you would have to adjust the light, then go to the camera, and then finally to the Mac to view it, and repeat that process many times. It really helps the client as well because they can see the journey you’ve been on, and they can go back a few shots and identify something they really like and ask you to go back to that”
If you’d like to find out more about the photography services we provide at 2020, call us today on 0113 272 0277 or email us.