Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Professional Photographer

If you are considering becoming a professional photographer, you might have come here looking for some advice on how you can make this happen. There are many paths that you can take, and many things that you need to know, but luckily for you we are going to be talking about some of them in this article. As such, if you are looking for some information about all the things that you need to know, you have come to the right place! So, keep reading to find out more.

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Why I Don’t Use Watermarks

Watermarks get In the way of the Image

This topic divides many people and many people are going to disagree with me. Many photographers tell you that you must protect your work and this makes beginners into believing this. Everyone is free to make the decisions on their own...for what works for them. 

As you might be aware, I upload a wide selection of photos to Unsplash. This means people are free to use these photos for commercial and non-commercial purposes. They don't have to credit but it's always nice if they do. Not all photos get loaded here but a fair percentage do. 

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AI Photo Editing using Photolemur

I often get sent new bits of software and most I just dismiss. I'm happy using Lightroom, Aurora and Luminar and between them, they do exactly what I want. 

The other day I was asked if I wanted to try a new piece of software that uses AI to edit the photo so that you don't have to do anything. The exposure, colours, etc are all sorted for you. You load a photo and the software does everything for you. 

This is called PhotoLemur and I think you'll like it. 

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Calumet 7100 Tripod | Review

Let me start with a few of the stats about this tripod before we go any further. This is a £55, yes that's the legs and head. Other famous brands couldn't ever get near that price. 

With everything in life you get what you pay for, a £250,000 car is generally going to be faster, more luxurious than a £5,000. Take on board the price and not be let down. 

Introducing the Calumet 7100 Tripod, a three-way quick release tripod with a three-way pan and tilt head. 

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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii 'Real Life' Review

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii is the go to camera for a lot of vloggers and bloggers...but does it live up to the hype?

Coming on the back of the very popular G7 X, this was always going to peak the interest of vloggers and bloggers. At the price, this isn't aimed at entry-level but someone who wants high-quality photos but still pocket-size. 

Packing a powerful punch this will please many people. With a 20.1 MP sensor, good ISO range and a touchscreen this will allow people to pop it into Auto mode and get photos they're happy with. If however, you want more control you can shoot in full manual mode and switch to RAW files and I think you'll be impressed...the changing of Shutter Speed and Aperture might just take some getting used to, its all done using the screen. 

Even though the camera is fairly compact, it is quite heavy and feels sturdy. I don't fancy dropping it but I'd like to think it could take some wear and tear. It feels good in the hands and the shutter button is well placed when taking photos. The downside is when vlogging yourself the record button is in a really awkward position. I thought switching to video mode would mean the shutter button becomes the record button but this doesn't appear to be the case. 

The camera is equipped with things you'd expect even from the most basic of cameras. WiFi, SD card slot, HDMI, and USB ports are found on the side. The press of the connection button brings up different wireless options such as print, sent to a computer and other PowerShot cameras. 

The thing that is really missing would be an external mic port but if they included that there is no hot shoe to attach the mic too. Having recorded some video the built in mic is excellent so it's not a loss. I would recommend attaching a wind muffler just to help on windy days or if moving at speed. 

The Canon G7 X Mark ii doesn't have a built-in viewfinder so relies solely on the 3" touchscreen, for some people this might be a deal breaker but I didn't find I missed it. The screen is bright and the fact it is tiltable means the sunlight isn't too much of a problem. 

The screen is really responsive and I didn't find I was having to multi-touch or pressing the wrong thing. Many people who purchase this camera will be used to using the screen rather than a viewfinder. We live in a smartphone World so this will be second nature and people will be moving up from a smartphone rather than down from a dSLR. 

Alongside the screen, you have a number of function buttons such as playback, menu and a dial button. These buttons are small but you don't find yourself pressing the wrong ones. On the top of the camera, you have the pop-up flash, on/off button, the shutter, and a twin dial. One is to set the mode and the other is the exposure compensation dial which ranges from -3 to +3. 

In the hand the camera feels good, a metal construction with a few rubber grips on the body give you confidence and the flip screen is held on with metal hinges. As mentioned the layout is clean and simple and Canon makes full use of the area and gets the largest screen possible. 

The menu on this camera is very easy to navigate around and things can be easily found. For example, the camera when I got it had a beep every press of the button and I soon found out where to turn this off. Like most systems, you can build your own menu quickset. 

This will give you an idea of the layout of the camera and menu system. 

The G7X ii makes use of a 31-point AF system and I found the focus strong and worked well, it's good but not brilliant. It appears to work well in lower light conditions and better in video mode. Just don't expect it to shift focus super fast. If the lighting is good then there are no complaints with the AF in photo mode.  

I personally used this camera in RAW mode and the file that came out the camera was large and impressive, and the few I took by capturing JPG looked good and was easily useable and 99% of people would be happy sharing them. Noise didn't appear to be an issue and the colours were clean and accurate. It dealt with shadows well and I was able to get a lot of detail out of the RAW files. 

While I never pushed this camera to its limits rather just what the average person would be using it for. I wouldn't push this to its limits on ISO and the camera seemed happy enough on auto ISO. This is a compact camera and for landscape, family and product images this would satisfy most users. 

I used this camera on a pretty grey day at a local National Trust property and the images I think are ok. They have been edited in Lightroom and this is how they would be shared or delivered to a customer. 

It's easy to see why this camera is popular with vloggers and bloggers, powerful, compact and brilliant results. If you want a camera to set you up for years without going for a system camera then you won't go far wrong with this. 

You have to decide if the lack of a viewfinder is a problem or whether you need 4k. The 4k isn't a problem for me and most people won't be watching the videos in 4k on YouTube. 

The real stumbler for me is the price tag, £549 is a bit steep for me. If this was £399 then I'd say snap it up. But you won't be needing any lenses and if used right you'll get better images than Joe Bloggs who has all the gear but no idea. 

Questions??

John Roberts - What's the battery like? And low light? 

Firstly the battery is pretty solid, it'll last for around 260 shots and you can pick up a spare one for around £14. 

Low light is ok, nothing too special. I noticed some noise at around 6,400 ISO and needed to get rid of that in post processing. 

Alina Davies - What memory card to use, mine won't record for longer than 4 mins without stopping and showing 'busy' - I presume I need a better memory card but not sure which one.

My response is simple, buy the best you possibly can. I always use Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB ones. The best time to buy is when Amazon have their Prime days. 

Adele Brearley-Jennings - ...what is the best setting to use (how many shots) to get a nice time lapse video of clouds?

The G7x ii really isn't designed for time-lapse and I'd avoid it. For time lapse it's difficult to find an easier simpler system than an iPhone. 

Ash Fairbairn Can you use a remote button with this camera ... I've got it and don't know if you can?

I've searched high and low and all it seems to do is be able to connect to the Canon app and remote release like that. You can't connect any other sort of remote to it.  

I hired this camera from Hireacamera.com and wasn't paid or endorsed by anyone to write this review. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. 

Which File Format?

Do you know what type of file format you should be saving in for the web? What type of file do you need to create a transparent background? 

Hopefully, this guide will help you so you save the images right the first time. 

JPG – Joint Photo Expert Group
The most common file type, A faster file format that is used for images, pictures. It is a smaller file size with a lower file quality. Not designed for logos or graphic and cannot be made transparent.

GIF – Graphic Interchange Format
Pronounced with a soft G. Developed by Compuserve in the 1980s. Supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colours chosen from the 24-bit RGB colour space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colours for each frame. Can be transparent. Often used on social media. For the web only.

PNG – Portable Network Graphic
Lossless data compression. PNG was designed for transferring images on the Internet, not for professional-quality print graphics. Can be transparent and is the most widely used lossless image compression format on the Internet.

BMP - Bitmap Image File
Developed by Microsoft, BMP files are like PNG and GIF files. Made specifically to render simple yet crisp logos, type, icons. Used for print or simple graphics.

PSD – Photoshop Document
The native file format for photoshop files. Very flexible file format can support transparency, channels, masks and vector type and objects, paths and layers. For print/photos only. PSD file type not supported for the web.

SVG - Scalable Vector Graphic
SVG is an XML-based vector image format for 2D graphics with support for interactivity and animation. SVG is ideal for type, logos, graphics and vector shapes. Can be compressed without any loss of quality.

TIFF – Tag Image File Format
An Older file format for storing raster graphics images, popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry, and photographers. TIFF can support transparency.

EPS - Encapsulated Postscript
Older file type that allows saving of vector artwork such as an Adobe Illustrator/CorelDraw or an Adobe Photoshop files that contain vector shapes or type. Not massively used and I'm not sure I've ever saved a file in this format. Used only for print.

Hopefully this will help deciding the best file format to save as...