Tips from the Imaging Department

Follow The gals and I in the Imaging Department were talking the other morning on which category wins for the most user uploads to get printed here at Gallery Direct. It was between these 3: wedding, pets & children portraits. … Read More

The gals and I in the Imaging Department were talking the other morning on which category wins for the most user uploads to get printed here at Gallery Direct. It was between these 3: wedding, pets & children portraits. In the Imaging Department we like to give our user uploaded photos a little clean up and boost if they need it. After all it will be hanging in your home so it has to look it's absolute best! Unfortunately,  we do receive many user upload photos that are fuzzy & out of focus, or are dark or have major flash shadows. And there's not much we, the Imaging Department, can do for those problems. So here are some photo tips that I've found useful when taking photos of my own kids or dog! I also love to take pics at family & friends weddings. Go to them, Keep the eyes sharp, and Use natural light.  [caption id="attachment_2277" align="alignnone" width="720"] My dog, Penny Lane. Shot down at her level, focusing on her eyes and using natural light.[/caption] It's important for your kids & pets to feel comfortable. Get down to their level and go to them. Have you ever heard the saying, "eyes are the window to the soul"? Be sure to focus in on the eyes and keep them sharp. Photos using natural light always come out so much better! No flash burst or shadow from the flash. Experiment, Be Patient, and Schedule. [caption id="attachment_2278" align="alignnone" width="720"] My kids. Experimenting with different angles, patiently taking lots of photos and scheduled to do it a time of day I knew they wouldn't be grumpy.[/caption] Experiment with different angles, approaches and compositions. Be patient and just take A LOT of shots. Worry about the results later. It's always good to schedule a time to take portraits when your kids and pets are most energetic. Backdrop awareness and Non posed. [caption id="attachment_2279" align="alignnone" width="500"] I found this blue bonnet field a few miles from my home. Wouldn't it be a perfect backdrop for a wedding portrait!?[/caption] We've seen several times photos of the most adorable kids with maybe a pile of laundry or dirty dishes in the backdrop...or a wedding couple with other people or cars in the backdrop. Be aware of what is behind your subject, and if possible pick a beautiful backdrop out! We also see a lot of posed portraits and those are great, but sometimes I find the non posed ones to be most interesting. Like capturing a wedding couple, walking, talking and laughing. It really makes the photo more intimate.   I hope you found my tips useful. We love seeing the customer photo uploads that come through our Imaging Department, so keep uploading and ordering from Gallery Direct!

Four Steps to a Better Photo

Follow With so many great cameras on the market today for great prices almost anyone can take an amazing photo. At Gallery Direct we want your photos to turn out amazing, it makes our job as your printing solution a … Read More

With so many great cameras on the market today for great prices almost anyone can take an amazing photo. At Gallery Direct we want your photos to turn out amazing, it makes our job as your printing solution a lot easier. Here are some tips to taking a better photo. 1. Eliminate red-eye Red-eye is probably the most common and, let’s face it, scariest photo mishap. While there are tons of sources out there that aid in the removal of red-eye, wouldn’t it just be easier to avoid it altogether? What causes it? I was always told that people with light eyes are more prone to red-eye. This may be true, but that never explained why my brown-eyed friends were inflicted with the red-eye as well. Turns out, the main cause is the camera’s flash. The light from the flash reflects off the subject’s eyes and illuminates the blood vessels within the retinas. The result is a red glow scary enough to make you reach for holy water. How do I prevent it? Well, the obvious answer is to avoid using a flash. If you’re unsure about whether or not to use it, take a few test shots first. You might be surprised. If you absolutely need the flash, ask your subject not to look directly into the camera lens. Also, many cameras today come equipped with a red-eye reduction feature. Check your manual to see if this is an option for you. 2. Designate a focal point Have you ever looked at a picture and thought “what am I supposed to be looking at?” Yes, we all have. Even a picture with great lighting and color can be compromised if the subject is nowhere to be found. What causes it? Lots of things, like a competing background, too many landmarks or a subject that’s too far away. Basically just trying to fit too many things in one picture. How do I prevent it? Try not to be distracted by everything around you and focus only what you can see through the viewfinder. Treat what you see as a two-dimensional image with a hierarchy of importance. Sometimes the solution is simply to use the zoom feature or take the shot from a slightly different angle. 3. Make it sharp I know sometimes blurring is intentional and can create really nice photos, but I also know sometimes it’s not. What causes it? Blurry photos are the result of either a moving subject or a moving photographer and the wrong shutter speed. How do I prevent it? If you’re taking an action shot, make sure the shutter speed is set appropriately. Many cameras come equipped with an Action mode that automatically sets it for you. If it’s a low-light situation, use a tripod to keep the camera steady and prevent camera shake. 4. Expose it just right Exposure is the amount of light that passes through the camera lens. Too much light can result in a bright, washed-out photo, while too little light makes the photo look dark. What causes it? Dimly lit spaces with a fast shutter speed, or really bright spaces with a slow shutter speed. How do I prevent it? If you have the option to adjust your shutter speed, do so accordingly. If not, don’t fret, there are still things you can do. If you’re shooting indoors, move near a window or lamp to add extra light. If you’re outdoors and it’s too bright, find a shady spot for your subject. Or, as counterintuitive as it sounds, try using the flash to avoid severe shadows. Overcast days really create the best lighting for photography. Well, there you have it. I can sense your photos getting better by the minute!  
When it comes to Mother's Day and photo gifts people immediately think of mom and her kids or grand-kids. While that is a great idea you can only do that so many years, this year try some of these unique photo ideas and put them on canvas with the $49 photo upload deal going on right now! * Put your Mother's wedding photo on canvas. Unlike today when our parents where married putting your photos on canvas was not an option so surprise her by doing it now * Put a picture of your mother's parents or siblings on canvas. My mom is one of 8 and has a photo of all of them together when they are young, she would love that put on canvas for her. * Put a generational photo on canvas. I have a photo with 4 generations of women in it, how special would that be on canvas. * Put the family namesake on canvas. Is your mom named after a family member? Put that person on canvas. * Put a photo collage of your mom as child on canvas. Help preserve special family photos for generations to come by putting them on canvas. You can find Ellen blogging daily at Thrifty & Chic Mom.
If you have a special photo that you want to really bring to life then I have the perfect idea for you, have your photo printed on aluminum. If you have never seen a photo on aluminum I am sure you have no idea what I am talking about but aluminum has the ability to bring your photo to life. The way the light hits the aluminum gives it an alive and sparkling look. A photograph of an aluminum print can never do it justice but take my wedding photo as a great example. The chandeliers in the photo seem to be on and sparkling in the background when you look at my photo. I have had this picture on display in my home since my wedding but now on aluminum it transports me back to my first wedding dance. Aluminum is a great way to elevate your photo and bring it life, water glistens and seems ti almost move, lights seem to be sparkling and the whole picture has a sense of being alive not flat like a typical photo. So if you have a special memory you want brought to life check out the aluminum options form Gallery Direct. This post brought to you by Ellen of Thrifty & Chic Mom.
Here at Gallery Direct we want to make sure that your image looks great. We offer a wide variety of imagery so that you can definitely find something that fits your taste. We have exclusive artists that share their wonderful artwork with us, just for you! In fact, I have many hanging in my own house. We also have Vintage prints that have grown to be very popular. And, you can even upload your own photo and create your very own piece of art. We’ll be doing a three part series on what we, at Gallery Direct, specifically offer. Our PrePress and Imaging department ensures that each image is looked at and retouched to perfection. You are getting the very best there is to offer with Gallery Direct. Gallery Direct offers: Exclusive Artwork: This is Judy Paul’s Lucky in Love – which has been perfected to look closely to the original, in color and in texture. One of my absolute favorites.         Vintage Artwork: Maybe you order a Vintage image. Each Vintage Image you order has been retouched to look like new. Just take a look at this example: Marines Recruiting Photo Uploads: Many customers upload their very own image and are able to create their own art or photograph. There are lots of wedding photos and family photos… photos from trips or even a birthday party. We see a lot back here in the PrePress and Imaging department. We’re going to jump right on into Photo Uploads first. It’s a popular choice. When you upload a photo onto Gallery Direct, you are able to pick the size you want. You are also able to pick a type. Do you want a Gallery Wrap? Or maybe have your image Framed? We also offer printing on Metal, Acrylic, Mirror and even Wood! There are lots of options. Once the image makes it to our PrePress Department is when the magic starts. Let’s look at the below example. The flash from their camera has caused the woman to have “Red eye” – our PrePress Department can take that out: Let’s say you want your photo to be turned into a B&W or Sepia tone: Maybe your photo has a certain Hue to it that doesn’t look neutralized. In this case, this photo is too blue. We can make sure your image turns out great: Join us next time to learn more about our Vintage Imagery. Cassie in our PrePress team works wonders! Go take some photos! Brittney