Photography That Tells A Visual Story

Photography That Tells A Visual Story

Photography That Tells A Visual Story

I have always loved shooting special effects in my photography. It was a way of telling a story with-in that image that could not be told with a single photograph alone.

In the old days of film/slide photography I would combine images using a technique called slide duping. This technique would consist of taking multiple images on to a new, unused piece of slide film. It was complicated and took several different pieces of equipment to make this happen, but the result was spectacular. The problem was you never knew what you were getting until you got your slide film back from the processor.

With the advent of digital photography and Photoshop that has all changed. It has given us many more possibilities and, in many ways, “the sky is the limit”

Double Exposure Photography

The dart board image above and the jets below are a composite of images that I made before digital. I used Kodachrome slide film on a Nikon camera using different lenses. I then selected different images that were compatible and used a device call a slide duper that would re-take the images on one slide for a composite. A bit complicated but it worked and the images look very believable even in the digital world of today.    

Double Exposure Photography

Photography That Tells A Visual Story

Telling a Visual story…

One possibility of telling this visual story is a technique called Multiplicity which is the process of taking several photos of a human, animal, or object in different areas of the frame, and then combining them in Photoshop. In sports, this is called sequence photography.

Multiplicity Photography is not a real hard technique to do but the possibilities are endless. Do you want it to be funny? Do you want it to be serious? How about inner conflict with-in someone’s personality? The point is you could tell a visual story to suite whatever mood you are trying to convey.

You will need to use a tripod for this technique. If you are shooting these images outside, you will want to this on a day when it’s not so windy. You will move people around to different positions in the photo, but you do not want “the background” moving like blowing leaves on trees.

Photography That Tells A Visual Story
Multiplicity Photography
Images That Tell a Visual Story
Telling a Story with Photography
Telling a Story with Photography

Photography That Tells A Visual Story

Shoot all your multiple photographs from the same position without even the slightest movement (using a tripod) and then have your subject move to different positions. If they are people, you could have them put on different cloths. Sometimes you could just have them do different things with-in that image.

I draw out what I am thinking on paper to get a better idea what I am after for my perspective and to show what I want a person who will pose for me to do.

You will then use Photoshop to merge all these images into one, so it looks like you have the same background, but your subject are in different spots.

A step by step to follow to make these fun and creative photographs go here: How to create a multiplicity image / photo in Photoshop.

Many people think you have to spend a lot money to have access to Photoshop but Adobe has a plan just for photographers that is very affordable. For around $10 a month you can use Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge and Cloud Storage. You can  find out more information about Adobe Creative Cloud.

Photography That Tells A Visual Story

Multiplicity Photography. Images That Tell a Visual Story. 

Telling a Story with Photography

Double Exposure Photography

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

There are several things you can do to have your website load faster but having your images optimized or resized correctly should be right at the top.

Big images slow a website down. It does not need all that extra size and is a detriment to the health of your website. It would be best to start right at the beginning of any website design to have a good process in place that you or your web designer will use on every single image you will place on a page or blog but you can go back and replace photographs that are not up par.

 

I know it means more new work on an existing website but it is well worth it for two HUGE reasons.

 

1.) People today do not have a lot of patience for slow loading website. You will lose potential visitors and that translates in to losing customers. Go here to learn how loading time affects your bottom line.  According to Kissmetrics 47% of visitors expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes over 3 seconds to load.

2.) Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing will rank your website much higher if your website loads faster than other websites in the same business market. It could mean the difference on being on page one or much further down on page 2, 3 or even further on an organic search. Do you want your competition to be listed on the top of page one and you somewhere much further down because your website does not load as fast as theirs does? 

    You can test your website speed by going here to Pingdom Website Speed Test. Images for websites is a different beast all together. You never ever want to go higher than 72ppi. You don’t need to because websites are viewed on internet browsers and it only takes 72ppi to look good. Anything else is a waste and will slow your website down from loading fast. Of course, you want your image resized depend on where that image is going to go on a page or blog.

 

How To Optimize Images For Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed
Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed
Compressing Images Websites

First of all, I use Photoshop to resize images.

There are other programs you can use to do this. Some are free and here is a list for you to pick from. Best Free Photo Editing Software. Of those on the list I like Pixlr the best because it works a lot like Photoshop.

I have three size images that I make for websites. First off make sure your photographs are either .jpg or .png. Do not use anything else. I use .jpg’s most of the time but use .png’s when I want a transparent background to the image.

1.) Banner images…

That is usually a image across the top of a page. Long and narrow. Horizontal. I try and figure out what the dimensions should be depending on how narrow you want it to show. Typically, the image is 1008px x 290px (14in x 5in). You will need to do some test with this banner image to see which dimensions work the best for what you are trying to show. Again, do not make it more than 72ppi. 

Photograph Compression Websites

The Wedding photographs on this blog are from a photographers website I designed at Beyond The Shutter Photography from the Phoenix, Arizona area.

2.) Featured Images. These images are the ones that follow your pages and blog around on the internet alongside a snip it of what your page or blog is all about. This images also has a duel role on a blog because it is also the image you can have go across the top of the blog if you wish. I sometimes like to get real creative with this image and put 2 or 3 images together to tell a visual story.

I make this photograph a bit bigger than photographs that will go on the page itself because it will be made much bigger across the top of the blog. Featured images should always be horizontal. Featured images are 648px x 360px (9in x 5in) at 72ppi. There is a featured image at the beginning of this blog at the top of this page.

3.) Website images for pages and blogs. I make these no larger than 432px (6in) on the long side. That could be 432px x 288px (6in x 4in) horizontal or 288px x 432 (4in x 6in) vertical. A square would be 432px x 432px (6in x 6in) as long as the long side is no longer than 432px (6in). Even if I am designing a website for a photographer and their website is image heavy or they have a carousel or grid system to show off their work, I do not go past those dimensions and certainty do not make them higher than 72ppi.

Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed

Two More BIG Steps

1.) When you have your photographs resized then there is one more step that helps to shrink the digital image further. There is a free service that compress these photographs without losing any quality. It’s called Tinyjpg. You can add 20 images at a time in .jpg or .ping and it will optimize or reduce the file size from 30% to 70% further without quality loss.

This is a BIG savings when you upload your images to your website and the bandwidth that you are saving will help your website pages open much faster. Tinyjpg can explain the process much better than I can but all I know is that it works. 

2.) If you have a website that has been designed on WordPress you will want to have a plugin that will optimize your images even further. Here is a list of the 10 best Image Optimization Plugins. I use WP Smush. They have a free version of this tool that works great. You can also find it off your WordPress plugin section. Just install it and follow a short instruction and it will start working right away.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

 

One Last Tip

Make sure you title each and every one of your images. They are an identifier for search engines. Each photographs have their own SEO that is independent from the website that they are on. With the correct title tag on a photograph that image will show up on a search by Google, Yahoo or Bing.

I typically name the image with my website name first with a hyphen between each word, then what the image is and where it is located on the website and the number represents if there are more than one image on that page.  It may look like this best-website-solutions-dog-barking-blog-1  

I hope these tips and suggestions help your website load up faster. Google also has a free service that will not only tell you how fast the website is loading but also what you can do to fix a certain problems called PageSpeed Insights.  Use this tool and Pingdom to test your website on a regular bases and stay on top of any problems your website might encounter in the future.

I have also written a number of other blog post that you might find interesting when it comes to WordPress websites. 

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog.

8 Benefits Blogging From Your Business Website

One More Thing

As you know, I spend a ton of time writing articles like this for you. If you could help me out by sharing this on Twitter or Facebook, it would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or you felt you are ready to embark on this new online adventure, please contact me by email or phone with any questions. We are here to help your vision come to life. 

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed.

Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed. 

Compressing Images Websites. 

 Photograph Compression Websites. Optimizing Images Faster Website.

7 Tips for Building a Small Business Websites

7 Tips for Building a Small Business Websites

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Do not become overwhelmed by the idea of having a business website. If it’s your first time, be sure you talk with a number of web designers, so you can see if their personality is a good fit with yours. A website is a collaboration between two people and a lot of information will have to be exchanged between the business owner and the website designer.

When you hire them, the website designer will give you a list of things he or she will need from you to design this digital store front for you, so you will have to do some homework to make this happen. You will need to write out the verbiage for each page and make sure all the grammar is correct.

Website Design Tips

If you want them to use some of your own photography, you will need to supply them in a timely fashion, so adjustments can be made in Photoshop. Many people do not have their own photos, so I suggest using a photo stock agency to find good solid images to help promote the website. Images are critical. A good web designer will know where to go for these unless you are familiar with the process.  

Building Small Business Website

1.) Start Small

Many small-business owners want too much too soon especially when it’s their first website. Start out small and build into something bigger that you can grow into. You want to have a good quality website instead of something too big too soon. This will also help you to keep the cost down. As your business grows so will your website.

2.) Make Sure It Loads Quickly

People have become impatient when it has come to slow loading websites. There are a number of reasons why website load slowly and a good designer will know how to speed it up. One of the biggest reasons is to have your images optimized correctly. Nothing slows down a site more than to have images that are too big and bloated. Correct sizing and DPI size is a huge factor.

3.) Mobile Optimization

Is it responsive? How does the website look on a cell phone? Things have changed drastically in this respect and more people than ever before are using their cell phones to use the internet. You want your website to look good on desk and laptops but also on the much smaller devices like iPads and cell phones.

4.) Easy to Navigate

You want the experience for the user to be as friendly as possible and this means being able to navigate your website easily and find what their looking for as hassle free as possible.

Make this clear by having a menu bar and other factors help them to get around your beautiful storefront or information center.

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Small Business Website Design Ideas

5.) Call to Action

Make that clear right from the start. Your website is a salesman and its job is to generate leads for you and your business. Have a strong Call To Action (CTA) is essential for this to happen.

  • Free price quote or free consultation
  • 10% off for new customers
  • $75 off your purchase if you bring in this printable coupon

Make it easy for your leads to contact you. It could be a contact form or clearly visible phone number on every page. Make your CTA stand out by using a highlighted menu bar, center of page when loaded or floating side bar.

6.) Photos are Worth a Thousand Words

Content and media will tell the story of your business.

Content is the verbiage or words you will use to explain who and what your business is. But media, be it photo’s or video will give a great visual story as well. Sometimes an image can sell your business much better than anything that is written. We have become a very visual oriented society, so we need to use this media as much as possible on the website.

Small Business Website Design Ideas

7.) Become Your Customer

We all have options on what we like and dislike, but you should not design your website solely on that. You want to have it designed with your customer in mind. Why is my customer here? What information do they want from it? That is a good foundation to build your website on. Put yourself in the mind of your customer at all times.

In Conclusion

If you keep these 7 Tips for Building a Small Business Website in mind you will not only have a great looking website but one that brings you more customers.

If you would like to know more about our New Website Design or graphic arts business, please give us a call our email us. 

We would love to help grow your business through digital and print media.

Building Small Business Website

Website Design Tips Small Business

Small Business Website Design Ideas

Business Website Design Tips

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

One of the most satisfying things I do as a graphic artist is design small visual blurbs that combine a photograph or graphics with text. It is like a neat little visual package that can convey a message like nothing else can.

They can be very powerful with its message and does not take much time to get its point across to the viewer. People do not have a lot of patience to read a lot anymore because of how much information we all have to digest on a daily basses.

These little visual blurbs are perfect.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Do not take me wrong. I still love designing websites, newsletters and writing blogs like this one but there is something about these little morsels of graphic design that is on a different independent level.

They are much harder than they look.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story
Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story

This is a selfe I took of me, my son and grandson. Cell phones do a great job of capturing images for these graphics. I used a filter on the image in Photoshop to blur the photo and give it a different feel to warm it up to match the quote and red text.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Many times I use a photograph that I took sometime in the past. I was a photographer for more than 40 years so had built up a library of images that I can use but more often than not, I use a great image from a photostock agency.

Sometimes, my inspiration will come from a photograph itself and then look for a quote, or I might just save that image until I run across something suitable to match. Other times, I find a great quote or even scripture and then hunt for just the right image.

I love this hunting phase because it takes me on a journey of discovery within my own self.

Social Media Graphics
Social Media Graphics
Graphics For Websites
Graphics For Websites

Social Media Graphics

When it comes to the text, the quote is a big deal but so is the type of font that is being used. Do I use something modern (san serif) or something more gothic or traditional (sarif).

Fonts also tell a story and will either help the story line or make it less effective. This is where my graphic arts schooling has come in handy.

Color combinations are also very important and how they relate to one another. Element placement can also make or break the message.

Graphic Design For Websites
Graphic Design For Websites

A selfe my son took of him and his son so I could use it for this graphic. 

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

I use a number of different software programs that Adobe makes. For these little blurbs I use both Photoshop and Illustrator.

I use Photoshop to get the image just right and Illustrator to use text and fonts in very creative ways.

Small, compact and full of zip is what these blurbs are and perfect for social media messages.

Illustrator Graphic Design
Illustrator Graphic Design

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Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story. Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story

Best Website.Solutions is a custom Website and Graphic Art design company located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

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John@BestWebsite.Solutions

Social Media Graphics

Graphic Design For Websites

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