Don’t Go to the Library

Don’t Go to the Library

We have talked at length about the importance of video for social media content. Quality photography can also really help to tell a story.  Whenever possible we will always take photographs than rely on stock imagery. Brands that use stock imagery are really missing a trick, and are not creating a point of difference.

A 2012 report by ROI Research found 44% of respondents were more likely to engage with brands who posted pictures on their social media channels rather than any other type of content.

Did you know that 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day? That’s 300 million just on Facebook. When you add Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest, that figure will rise even further.

Organisations that have visual content at the heart of their marketing mix will gain so much more traction. How often do you see a WordPress themed website with stock images? It’s quick to do, and it’s cheap to produce, but it’s not going to make you stand out.

Here are some photographs that our Photographer, Denis, has taken over the year.

Here are some of Denis’s tips for taking the best photographs:

  • Scout the location before the shoot, where possible
  • Consider how the sun directions and strength will affect the shot
  • Colour temperature match all the lighting to make sure there is consistent lighting throughout the images
  • A light-meter and lighting gels really help to get a great shot
  • Consider using a tool such as the Sun Surveyor app, that tracks sun and moon movement
  • Vectorscopes, False Colour, Histograms and Zebra exposure tools are great for getting correct exposure
  • A useful tool for pre-visualisation is Cinedesigner, this application allows the user to choose a wide range of lighting, cameras, lenses and sets
  • For some complicated shoots a model can be built with real time lighting to help visualise the environment.
  • If a location is too dusty, cold or rainy a zoom lens will prevent any dust gathering on the sensor when changing between prime lenses
  • If the situation requires the use of prime lenses then prepare compressed air and a lens cleaning kit to keep the equipment running right
  • A prime lens might be selected over a zoom because it is normally sharper, has less colour fringing, and produces a shallower depth of field because most primes have a wider aperture that allows more light to fall on the sensor

On a recent shoot for Ochil Fudge Denis had to shoot the Deanston Whisky Distillery. The best shot was across the River Teith, down a tiny footpath onto the bank of the river. Even then the tripod legs had to be placed in the water to enable the shot to be taken. The river was in spate as shown by Denis’ first photograph.



The final image was created using a Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Lens, which is perfect for landscapes because of the fast aperture he was able to create a photo that made the river look like a millpond, 4 separate Raw Files, this involved taking 5 images at different exposures to ensure he had the latitude to paint in each detail in photoshop as he had envisioned it during his initial research. As much as technology has moved on we are still not at the level where a camera can match the dynamic range of our eyes. For this reason he had to use 4 images to show the large differences in dynamic range between the water, building and sky. This can be seen in the layers image where he carefully painted in each layer into the final image.

Another technique used was  to include a 10 stop ND filter which allowed Denis to set his camera on a long exposure ranging from 10-30 seconds. Taking photographs of water at such long exposures allows the water to blur and creates a stark difference when compared to a normal 1/125s exposure time.

Great photography goes hand in hand with great videography nowadays. Make sure you don’t fall into the photo library trap!

Photoshop layers used to create the final image.