Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Black and White - Conversion VS Infrared, See the Difference.

Digital Black and white photography can be created through many techniques.  You could use the Instagram app and click a pre-made filter,  use a more advanced software program like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, convert it directly inside your camera body, screw on an infrared filter to the front of your lens and convert it to black and white post production, or convert a camera to only capture infrared light.  Today I'm just going to explore my two favorite methods:
1) Using an infrared converted camera.
2) Converting images in Adobe Lightroom.

So what is the difference between the two methods?

A color image that is converted to black and white allows you lots of control over each color channel.  This is handy if you want to make different colors stand out by being brightened or darkened in your final black and white image.

An image that is captured from infrared light has much less control over colors as the only colors captured are tones of red.  However, infrared images are a one of a kind art form that the digital world has yet to replicate, which means you can make images in this method that you could never replicate with a color image that is manipulated to mimic it.

Yes, I know, Lightroom has an "infrared" preset.  It just isn't the same though.

So, what the heeeeck makes an infrared image so much different?

Light reflected off of vegetation tends to become white, even if it is reflecting off off dark green grass or trees.  Bright blue skies become very dark, and clouds tend to become very white.  This creates a very contrasty image that is almost a tonal reverse of a color image that is converted to black and white.  Infrared images also tend to cut through haze and humidity more than a regular image sensor, allowing you to make dramatic compositions even in less than ideal conditions.

Compare the two above images.  The first is shot in color and converted to black and white, the second is shot in infrared and then converted to black and white.  Please excuse the different settings of focal length and aperture, I wasn't planning this post when I made the images!  Anyway - notice the difference especially in the sky and parts of the tree that would be green.  The tones are very much different.  The sand in the background is also changed, but not quite as drastic as sky and vegetation.


 The photo to the left of this "S" dune is shot with the infrared camera.  The tell tale sign is the darkness of the sky.  The photo on the bottom is shot with a regular camera body and then converted into infrared.  The tell tale sign on this image is the sky being fully washed out.  If I would have made one of that spot with the infrared I'm positive the sky would have been very dark... but that isn't what I wanted, which is why I chose the other method of creating the image.

The final panoramic image at the bottom of this post is composed of several infrared images converted to black and white.  I chose the infrared camera to compose the image because of the way it shows off contrast of light.  Notice in the image how the sky is very dark on the right side of the frame while the mountain below that spot is very bright?  The reflected light bouncing off the mountain gives it a brilliant brightness, while keeping the sky dark.  At the same time, the reverse happens to the left of the image - as the camera was pointed almost directly at the sun, the skies are brighter (on a regular camera body, the entire sky would have been a solid white for this type of exposure).  Look below the brighter sky area, and see that the mountain has fallen into shadow, but you can still clearly see the details in the rocks.  This happens because the light is behind the rocks, back lighting them.  The infrared camera picks up the detail in the rocks very well, because there is enough reflected light for it to capture.  A regular camera body would have had a tough time representing the detail in those shadow areas because of the intensity of the sun above that area.

Next time I head out with the camera bag I will keep in mind a few locations to make another post about this topic in more detail with more clear examples by using the same exact setup and only switching between camera bodies.

Look out for a post about converting color images to black and white in Adobe Lightroom CC as well!

Please Like and Share.

Thank you!

-Tim

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Weekend in the Dunes

Over UAE's National day we took a trip to the dunes of Oman to camp, drive, make some photos, and relax a bit.  This was an excellent way for me to recharge my batteries whilst draining my camera's!

On day one I saw the epic dune that was just screaming for me to climb, just a stones throw from camp.  It didn't take much convincing for me to get my buddy in his Jeep to tote me half way up so I could hike the rest.  It was just starting to get dark outside, and by the time I hiked the giant dune with the tripod and camera, sunset was well underway.  I knew I wanted to do a full 360 degree pano, so I did a few quick exposure tests and got to work.

This was a trickier task than I had planned for, as the crest is so steep and slippery that it become increasingly difficult to keep the tripod steady whilst I moved to turn it.  I probably chose exposures that were too long - but I really wanted to get some nice depth of field with the smallest aperture I could possibly use.  I was shooting at f/22, ISO 100 - and that required a 4 second exposure - so a few frames I shot twice just to be sure I got it tack sharp.  I knew that as I shot the frames to build the pano the sun would go down a bit and the exposure would too - but I didn't think it would be quite as fast as it was.  In the image you can really see that it is brighter on the right side of the image than the left due to the sun setting.  *Best viewed by clicking on it and zooming side to side*  -  See if you can spot 1) our camp area, and 2) the jeep that brought me half way up!

Nikon D300s, Nikon 18-105mm VRII, Kenko 67mm Circular Polarizer, Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod.
18 shots at: ISO100, 18mm, f/22, 4 seconds

Infra Red Nikon D200, Nikon 70-200mm VRII
ISO200, 1/60th, f/16
Lesson learned:  Keep cleaning supplies with you whilst on a hike in the dunes.  I was carrying a Nikon D300s with a 70-200 f/2.8 attached and my Infra Red Nikon D200 with an 18-105mm attached.  I wanted to do a lens change to get the shot below.  I saw the lines in the dunes and it looked like a great composition.  I also thought it would like great as a black and white infrared image.  So I did a quick lens change.

Apparently the wind and dust in the desert made its way straight to the image sensor!  UGH!  I had nothing with me to clean it and had hiked for about 45 minutes, so by the time I would have gone back to clean up and returned the light would have changed.  I decided to just shoot it and edit out the dust later.  What a bugger!

To the left is the dusty image sensor, and below is the version with the sensor dust edited out.  Aside from a slight contrast adjustment and the dust removal on the bottom image, these are straight out of the camera.



I am planning a post about the difference between shooting in infrared and converting to black and white verses shooting in color with a normal camera and then converting it to black and white.  Just for fun - inspect these two images of the same scene.  One is an IR conversion, the other a Color to B&W conversion.  (and yes - I know there is dust on the image sensor of the top image.  Now ask me if I care?)




Both images are straight out of the camera, converted to black and white, and only have mild contrast adjustments.  The edge vignetting on the bottom image is caused by the polarizing filter, not post processing.




Above is a point called "Top of the World" - for good reason... and to the right is how we got there.  Talk about FUN with a capital F!  Usually I have more fun exploring with a camera than driving to the destination - but thanks to the Oasis Off Road group I had one heck of a good time!



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Photographing Like a Pro at Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque

So - I thought I'd be able to use a tripod at the Grand Mosque.  Turns out you can't (or at least I was specifically told "no" by security upon entering... and then saw some other guys using them.  I guess my beefy carbon fiber Manfrotto looked more ominous than the $15 Walmart quality ones).  So, I had to figure out how to still create great images without doing anything disrespectful.  I found there are many benches around the mosque area where you can tastefully sit a camera and use live view to compose the image - then set up a multiple second exposure.  Like this one!


Nikon D300s
18-105mm @18mm
ISO 125
2 seconds
f/11
Cropped in Lightroom
Hand Held - Nikon D300s, 18-105mm @ 48mm, 1/30th, f/4.8, ISO800
I prefer long exposures sometimes, even when hand held is possible, as it gives you visual opportunities that are otherwise not going to be captured.  By leaving the shutter open longer, I am able to use a smaller aperture and thus have more details throughout the depth of the image.  A second reason is that anything moving becomes a blur, or disappears.   Do you see the cleaning guy pushing his cart in the above image?  Nope - but he was there, in the frame.  Check out the water too - it appears to be as still as a mirror, allowing the reflections to shine beautifully.  If I had a shorter exposure, you would see more ripples in the water, which would change the mood of the piece (which is very much personal taste).

The image on the right is shot hand held, so I obviously did not use a two second exposure.  I was able to hand hold this at 1/30th of a second (which I'm quite proud of, as anything longer than a 60th becomes very difficult).  Check out the water - you can see the ripples, where as the top image is smooth as glass.  Personally, I prefer the longer exposure.  Another positive of a long exposure is being able to use a lower ISO.  You can see a bit of image quality loss in the image to the right vs the top, as I used ISO800 (though Lightroom's noise reduction ability is somewhat amazing and has cleaned it up well).

Nikon D300s, Handheld, 1/45th, ISO640, 18mm - 18 images.
We entered the mosque and in front of me was a chandler so large that it has a spiral staircase inside for workers to clean it!  I wanted to get a neat perspective, but there were so many people walking around, and it was a very very tight space to work in.  I opted to make a panoramic image so I could show more of the room than just a few pieces that my 18mm lens could capture in one frame.  I also wanted to get a final image without all the people, so I shot 3 frames for each of the frames used to make the bottom of the panorama - then I layered the images in photoshop and removed the people.  Finally I stitched together all the frames and created this vertical panorama.

Again - no tripod.  I had to come up with a way to get some depth of field, but I knew I could only hand hold each frame a a max of 1/45th, f/3.5 - so I opted to focus at different points within the frame, and using photoshop, blended the images together to get a very nice depth of field.  All total, I used 18 images to create this frame.

No crazy ideas for the image below - just straight up sat on the rocks by the water with a tripod and made a panorama!  Actually - once we left this spot, my daughter said "Daddy!  No Shoes!" ...  She had thrown her shoes out the window.  So we went back and got them!  Oh the joys of a toddler!

Nikon D300s, Manfrotto Carbon Fiber tripdo, 32mm, f/9.5, ISO100, 6 second exposures, 8 frames.  Stitched, cropped, noise reduced in Lighroom CC.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

5 Things to ask your Wedding Photographer

5 Things to ask your wedding photographer:


  • 1   What is your backup plan on our wedding day?  Like... what if you are ill or injured and can't shoot our wedding?  What happens if you break a camera or lens?  
    • Your photographer should have this answer in a split second, as it is very important.  I personally have a high level of paranoia, and fully believe in combating Murphy's Law by being as prepared as possible.  I subcontract a trusted photographer to keep wedding days free just incase I am un able to shoot the contracted event.  Yes - that means I pay another photographer to sit at home and be "on call" just incase I am in a serious bind.  If equipment is to break down I simply pull out a spare from the bag.  We keep 4 bodies, 8 lenses, and 4-8 flashes handy depending on the venue.
  • 2   What is your method for posing during the formal shots after the ceremony?  How long will that take?
    • We come prepared with a list (which you help us put together) of whom is to be in the formal images.  We know in advance where they will be taken and we get set up for them quickly.  My wife and I work as a team to keep a comfortable flow - she calls names and sets up poses, I frame and pre-light the shot then take it.  We recommend setting aside 2-4 minutes for each group that is to be photographed.
  • 3   Can I see examples of your wedding albums and wall art?  What medium do you like to print on?
    • This is one of my absolute favorite parts of being a wedding photographer.  I love album design.  This is where the magic of a wedding day really blossoms!  Be sure to look through all the albums your photographer has to offer and ask about options, the time it takes to design it, and any extra costs involved.  Be prepared for a hefty price tag, as a properly crafted album is made of the finest materials by true craftsmen.  I always remind my clients to include the price of their wedding album in their home owner's insurance - should they ever need to use it - as I can use the stored files to craft another wedding album (so - no need to run into a burning house for that wedding album!  Save yourself, and I'll save your album!) 
    • Other mediums that professional photographers often use (aside from paper and frames) are Aluminum, Wood, Acrylic, and the most popular - Canvas.  I am a huge fan of the Aluminum prints - they are unbelievably durable, timeless, and the image quality is 
    • second to none.
  • 4   Are you comfortable helping me plan the timeline for our wedding?
    • A true wedding photographer will jump on this opportunity.  It gives them the ability to set up the best scenarios possible for amazing moments and images to be created.  It also allows the photographer to make a timeline that is easy for them.  Your photographer should easily be able to point out "time-sucks" that you may not have taken into account - like the receiving line after the ceremony... which always lasts FOREVER!  - Or the fact that a 5 minute drive from one location to another really takes 15 with an excited wedding party, wedding dress, and 20 people asking you questions.
  • 5   How do you store the final images from our wedding to keep them safe?
    • Real professionals have serious fail safes to protect data from disaster.  They should have a tried and tested method to back up files for many years.  Personally, I do not keep a single photo on my computer.  Everything is on external hard drives - as computers are meant for computing, not storing.  I use a Drobo "beyond raid" storage device, which encloses 5 hard drives to keep data very secure.  I then have another hard drive that clones the data on the drobo, so all that data is backed up on a second device.  Aside from that I then use an off-site digital storage unit, so if fire or flood ruined our studio, all the data would not be lost in the event.  We also have an "archive drive" of all the RAW images that are imported, and as it fills up we label it and put it on the shelf.


For more great information, check out our FREE MAGAZINE Click Here


Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Great Photo Hike!

Okay okay, so it wasn't really a "hike".  We drove a car.  But still, it was a hike of a drive for our little car!

We started our day off with the intention to do a "Border Run" with our daughter.  Let me back up.  In Dubai, children need to be sponsored for a visa by their father.  The process takes 2-3 months on the speedy side.  Unfortunately though, a travel visa for the child (or anyone for that matter) is good for 30 days.  In order to keep our daughter legally in Dubai we needed to leave the country and re-enter to renew her travel visa.  Hence the need for a border run.

After meeting up with some friends to guide us through the experience we ventured out to see the sights of the Al Ain area and ended up at Mt Jebel Hafeet.  It was a beautiful drive to the top... and hot!  To be honest, we got close to the top, saw a line of cars at a stand still that was over a kilometer long and decided to turn around.  But thats okay, because I wanted a shot that had some depth and interest, so half way up the mountain was more ideal than the top as I could place something in the foreground, midground, and background.

It was blazingly hot, so I knew I wasn't going to spend much time outside the car.  Plus my kiddo had fallen asleep, so my wife and I had to trade off to get out and see the view.

I remembered passing this point on the way up, and I had made a note of the way light was falling on the landscape.  I saw the sun behind the rocks on the left, making them fall into shadow, and then I remembered looking at the mountain wall to my right where the sun was blazing them to life.  In my mind I saw a pano where the skies and landscapes would flip flop in terms of exposure from left to right/up/down and got excited to make an image.

There was a bit of haze, so the distance you could see was a bit limited.  It was obvious that I needed to create a panorama, but I wanted that depth that you get from a clear day, so I thought carefully about the gear I would use.  I planned on using a wide angle 18mm lens with a circular polarizer on the front, and my specially converted infrared camera.  (I'll post another article about infrared shooting next)

I knew the polarizer would make any skies turn a nicer deeper blue and also cut down on some reflected light.  I also knew that the infrared camera body (which only creates black and white images) would add to the deepening of the blue skies (resulting in deeper black for the B&W image) and it would also do a good job at cutting through the haze - allowing the camera to pick up more of the background than I could see by just standing there.

To make the image, I first spot metered the darkest and lightest areas that I wanted to shoot by zooming in on aperture priority mode, reeding the suggested shutter speed (stopped to f/11, ISO100), and then did a quick guesstimate on a setting that would retain detail in the highlights and shadows.  I then switched into manual mode at 1/125th and began creating a pano.  I started to the left and used the horizon line as a guide point while I clicked off each frame.  I believe I shot about 12 frames total, but only used 6 to stitch the final image together.  (It is always a good idea to overshoot far more than you believe you need with panoramic creations)

Once I got home I stitched the images together in Photoshop CC, did some minor editing to remove a few distractions, added a touch of dodging/burning to bring forth some detail in the shadows, then finished some minor exposure adjustments in Lightroom CC.  It came out just like I had hoped!  The backlit mountains on the left fell into darkness with the sun blazing the sky into brightness above, while on the right side of the frame the sun created a super bright mountain with dark skies above.

For more stories filled with camera settings and tutorials, check back for our next post!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nepal Relief Project

Mission: Raise $10,000 to aid in the Nepal relief effort.

Where is the $10,000 going? – We are channeling funds through Plan International USA, a global organization established in 1937 with a mission of ending poverty for children and developing solutions to ensure long-term sustainability.  Plan has had members on the ground in Nepal for many years working in rural areas outside Kathmandu and is in position to effectively deliver help and relief to families in need.

How will we achieve this?  We will sell fine art pieces and accept donations.  Each piece sold is a member of a limited collection, where only 35 prints will ever be made.  Each piece of art is hand signed and comes with a certificate of authenticity.  From each sale, 100% of the net profit will be donated. 

When will the funds be sent?  After each sale or donation, we will immediately transfer funds to Plan.

Where can I view the art available? http://www.timwalckphotography.com/FineArt 

How do I buy an art piece or donate?  Please contact Tim Walck:
(814) 260-0323

You may also visit our studio in downtown Coudersport:  200 North West St. Coudersport, PA 16915

As each piece of art is unique, available sizes are unique to each piece.  The cost of each print is $1/square inch plus PA sales tax.  Each image is printed using a dye sublimation process on specially treated sheets of aluminum.  These art pieces have an image stability rating of 125+ years and are easy to maintain.  Contact Tim for availability and prices.



Images of Nepal - before & after:





Monday, April 27, 2015

The #1 secret to natural smiles:

Photos are fun!

Unless someone is yelling at you to smile.  Or if you don't like having your photo taken.  Or if you are self conscious of yourself.  Or if... Or if... Or if...

There is one secret that I have for getting real smiles out of anyone.  It is so simple, yet many photographers forget about it.  It is so easy to overlook because we get tied up in all the other parts about the portrait session.  It is easy.  BUT - it takes a little time.

You want to know this magical secret right?  Of course.  Why wouldn't you want the person in front of your camera to smile beautifully, as if they were smiling with you instead of for the camera?


Oh gosh.... I just said it!   I let the secret out!


People will smile for real when they are smiling with you.  As the man with the camera, I know there are thousands of things that go into making a good image, but there is one thing that trumps all: expression.  Without expression, the best exposure & lighting techniques matched with world class composition & color harmony mean nothing.  Take away all of those things, add beautiful expression, and now the image has meaning.

So how do I do it?  I get to know the person I am photographing.  We'll spend time chatting, getting to know each other and sharing stories.  Once we are comfortable with one another, then the camera may come out.



Monday, April 6, 2015

Our Advice to Newlyweds

My wife, Meg, wrote this wonderful post featuring some of the best marriage advice we've heard.  Here's the link.  Please check it out.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Photo Booth Fun!

Photo Booth Style
Photo Booth Style Sessions are now here!
I've been toying with the idea of buying a photo booth.  The issues?  Cost.  Storage.  Maintenance.  Storage.  Transportation. Storage.  Cost. Storage.  Maintenance.  Storage.

You get the idea.

So, I got creative.  No storage necessary, just a simple setup with existing studio equipment: a giant 7' parabolic umbrella mounted to an Alien Bees 1600, triggered by Pocket Wizard flex units, and a white seamless backdrop.

Is the giant umbrella necessary?  No.  The powerful Alien Bees 1600? No.  The Pocket Wizard triggering system? No.  The white seamless backdrop? No.  The dog?  Yes.  We all need a cute dog.

You can totally do this on a budget at your studio.  Grab your speed light(s).  Buy a cheap shoot through, or reflective umbrella (our giant one has a silver reflective inside).  You can get a very decent sized Westcott umbrella for under $50 (even bigger if you go used!)  If you are using Nikon - set up the CLS so the camera triggers the strobe(s).  If you are using another brand, consult your manual...or youtube.

Photo Booth, Coudersport, Wedding PhotographyThe setup:  Big umbrella a touch higher than your subject, and slightly to a side (but mostly straight on).  Camera on tripod just a touch in front of the umbrella.  Frame the backdrop area you want and get as close as you can while still allowing for lots of space for sweet activities.  Do a few tests until you like it.

To make the strip on the left, I simply made a new file in Photoshop CC, 6x20'', created rectangular picture holders, and dropped in the images I wanted.  You can do whatever you like here - get creative!

SPEAKING of creative...  The best part of this setup, is that it allows me to interact with the subjects!  I've made a bunch of ludicrous "action" cards for people to act out, and create hilarious scenes!  So, instead of okay looking images from a photo booth where clients did it all on their own - now I am the director of the shoot!  I just set the camera up on the interval timer, or use the pocketwizard system



to remote trigger, and I don't even have to be behind the camera!

Monday, March 16, 2015

2 Tips for a Photogenic Wedding

2 Tips for a Photogenic Wedding

1) For your ceremony:
If possible, remove anything that could be distracting from the ceremony, or that could cause awkward photos (if possible).   For instance, take a look at where you plan to stand.  Will there be anything strange in the background?  Lets say you are having your ceremony outside in a field with a beautiful tree.  The tree is an obvious focal point and you think it would make a great spot for photos.  I agree!  But – don’t put the alter directly in front of the tree, otherwise in your photos, you will have a tree coming out of the tops of your heads! (sure, laugh a little… but it happens all the time!) Instead, place the alter to the side of the tree, centered in between the trunk and some nice branches and walk 20-35 feet forward (away from the tree, towards where the guests will be seated).  Now you will have a beautifully composed image, where the tree is in the background creating a lovely frame and you are in the foreground.  By placing yourself 20-35 feet in front of the tree and off to it’s side, you are allowing for photos that focus on you and don’t have a distracting tree.  Now you will have a beautifully out of focus tree, while you are clearly the reason the image was made.

Each ceremony is unique and all locations are unique too!  So, if you are unsure about setting up your space for the best possible photos, consult your photographer, as they will know best!

2) For your reception:
The cake table….  Put the cake table somewhere that has a pretty backdrop and allows the photographers to get behind it!  If you stick it in a corner, you will have a corner of a wall in your photos.  You will also have less than the most ideal photos of you cutting your cake, because your photographers will be scrunching behind the corner, or trying to stretch into ungodly yoga poses just to get the best shot!

Consider placing your cake table somewhere in the middle of the room!  This may sound totally strange and out of the ordinary, but hey, it is your wedding and you do what you want!  Benefits of a cake table in the middle of the room somewhere – A) easy access.  B) easily viewed by everyone.  C) Best scenario for photos of you cutting the cake! 
 
With the cake in the middle of the room somewhere, your photographers can get pictures of you cutting the cake, and the guests getting excited about it too!  If the cake is in a corner, they can get you cutting the cake, but the wall isn’t quite as excited about the event…


Good luck planning!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Top 5 Things Meg Learned at Imaging USA 2015

Imaging USA was an awesome and business-changing event for the hubs and me.  We learned so much, and we really wanted to share some of our favorite lessons, in hopes that we could talk some fence-riders into attending next year.  After all, while we love to work with each other, we also love to network and learn from new people too!

***Disclaimer:  Tim is the PPA member.  Meg is totally unaffiliated with Imaging USA, and this post is not sponsored by them in any way.

So here you go, the Top 5 Things Meg Learned at Imaging USA 2015:

  1. The hubs and I are not at the bottom of the barrel like we thought we were.  We're actually off to a good start.  This was super refreshing to find out.  It was also super nice to have validation for what we're trying to do.
  2. If you want to be in it to win it, you have to keep learning.  Even the "masters" were discussing personal/professional development books they had read and classes recently taken.  As a "lifelong learner", I appreciate this.
  3. Dream big!  Some of the biggest names in photography had humble beginnings - just like us!  It's okay to dream big, as long as you develop a game plan to get you there.
  4. Figure out your workflow.  As an entrepreneur (and a human), you should you manage your time efficiently and effectively.  By doing so, you can get your work done and have more time for your family, your non-work-related-passions, and yourself!
If you're thinking about going to Imaging USA or another personal/professional development conference, please give a shout out below.  We'd love to hear from you!

Peace, Love, & Craftiness,

Meg

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Truth About Digital Files

The topic of Digital Files in the photography industry is HOT HOT HOT!

To give the files, or to not give the files.... that is the question!

Lets take a few things into consideration.
  1. As a photographer, it is my job to provide clients with products and services that meet and exceed their expectations.  I need to provide clients with images on a medium that respects the art, and shows off each image's best features, as that is how they should expect their images to be displayed in their homes.
  2. Printed media (when done properly) will last a lifetime.  Real, light sensitive photographic paper, such as Silver Halide, has an image stability rating of 100+ years.
  3. Printed media lives in the real world.  You walk by it as it hangs on your walls with no need to push the "on" button and wait for a hard drive and screen to fire up!
  4. Digital Files must be updated every few years in order to keep up with advancing technology.  Do you really think that in 2050 your disc of images will be readable... or that cd/dvd players will even exist?  Unless you stay up to date on your digital file technology, your images will most likely fall behind the times.  Photographers, like myself, have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into data security and longevity, as it is certainly possible to keep up with advancing technologies, and to store images safely in the digital medium.  Unfortunately, a CD, or DVD just isn't the way. So, if the client really wants to drop the cash for a multi-tiered RAID5 hard drive enclosure filled with solid state drives, a dedicated clone drive, a 2nd backup system for all that, off-site data storage, and cloud storage, all at the same time for each single file... then it is just way safer to print their images.
  5. Printed media just looks better.  Images that are viewed on a screen are inherently backlit from the monitor, so they will never look like they do when printed.  When an image is printed on real honest to goodness photographic paper, like Silver Halide, the image quality, detail, and vibrancy is unarguably better than any current technology's ability to present it on a digital screen.  4K has nothing on 100 year old photographic paper technology!  
  6. Clients often aren't really sure why they want digital files.  It somehow became the "standard", so that's what they want.  Wedding planning magazines often give brides a list of questions to ask their photographer with a set of expected answers.  Every smart phone has a camera, which enables everyone to be hands-on with digital files on a daily basis.  Here is the truth:  
  7. What they WANT is the security of all their images, the ability to view them when they want, and the option to share digital files on social media.  It is my job as a photographer to educate clients regarding the fact that printed images are more valuable, have a longer life, and are what they really "want".  Sharing images on social media is great!  But, how long are you going to keep up with curating your digital gallery? 10 years?  25 years? 50 years?  
  8. The safest bet is for a client to have their favorite images printed, even if digital files come with their package.  I'm not saying that as photographers, we should not give out digital files.  What I am saying is that we should be doing our best to give clients the longest lasting, most beautifully represented versions of their precious memories.
  9. Printed images literally gain value over time.  How much would you value your printed wedding album in 10, 25, 50, or even 70 years?  As time marches on, you will love your printed images more and more, and the book soon becomes a priceless piece of family history.  for future generations to enjoy.  Do you really think you will pass down a dvd of your wedding photos to your grandchildren?
  10. Digital files should only be used as backups of the printed originals, just like in the days of film (gasp)!  A digital file is really just a piece of the puzzle which is used to create the real artwork.  They should not be considered the meat and potatoes of imagery products.  Sure, digital files are here to stay and are necessary to create prints.  But do clients really know where to go to get quality prints?  Not to mention, as professional photographers, we have access to labs that cater only to professional photographers - which makes digital files nearly useless to a client.

So there we have it!  Lots and lots to digest.  I could be right, I could be wrong – all I know is that my goal is to give my clients the very best products to display their images on and a computer screen has nothing on real photographic paper, canvas, or metal prints.