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PRO

Project / job photography device .

What is your device of choice to photograph before and after projects and jobs . ? 

it got me thinking after watching two seperate gardeners taking photo's with their tablets also a builder was taking photo's with a tablet while doing some work at a petrol station  

personally i use my phone but the detail and light isn't that great but its convenient to share and upload .

someone suggested investing in an SLR camera for best results but its just another item to store in the van .

 

 

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Replies

  • Hi John,

    Iv been down this road. Cameras are a faff unless you really know how to use them. There is no point in buying a Dslr if your just gonna use it on automatic. Having said that for a website they might give the best photos, and I'm told that alot of mistakes can be corrected post photo .I have recently got the new samsung x cover pro smartphone, as its predecessor gave up the ghost.. it's got a 25mp camera which gives bewildering good photos. That'll be good enough for Instagram and the like. Might even be good enough for a website too. That's not my area of expertise though. It's way more practical than a tablet and durable against the elements . Worth checking out. I will say though that I never get more than 2years out of any of the samsung x cover range. Iv had all of them since the they came out, but in our game choices are limited. This new one is a step up in price as it's got a huge screen plus all the cameras like an S10.. 

     

    All the best

    paul 

    • PRO

      Thanks Paul thats helpful , My wife has a samsung and yes it does take really good and sharper photo's compared to my Nokia which is possibly the best route . 

      A friend mentioned the camera who isn't involved in gardening and carries around lots of different lenses and tripod which would be a hinderance and time consuming although the photos are stunning . 

      Equally a tablet could be a bit of a nuisance , where do you leave it when working but possibly okay when doing a survey and then putting it straight back in the van but are the photo's superior to a phone and does it provide a wider angle . 

      Some websites have really stunning photo's capturing strands of light and dew it would be interesting to learn what they used , I took a photo of a rainbow the other day with my phone but no evidence of it on the photo it left me wondering how much detail i am losing . 

      • Morning John,

        If you have say 5 good gardens which you think would make your website shine, then contact a pro photographer with experience in gardening, or a hobby photographer from a garden club and make a deal . Those spectacular photos are what sell your website imo. In my experience even with an eye for this ,you cant compete with a pro. A good wide angle Lens cost a fortune for a start. Then you will need lessons and after that lots of practice.My website still ain't up and running because of these mistakes , among others. My idea has always been that each garden should change through the season on the site, so you see the progression from end of the year to the other.Thats how I want my gardens to work and that's how I want them portrayed. It has only recently been pointed out to me that Facebook and instagram are now the main avenues to work, here in Brussels. One architect colleague told me last year all of his work came via Instagram, and he is a top Architect so theres surly something in that. For Facebook and Instgramm a good camera phone like the one I mentioned is more than enough. Look down the pro route, they will make your gardens look even better... it's their job😃

        • Thats a photo I took this morning with that samsung. 8029563867?profile=RESIZE_930x

          https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/8029563867?profile=original
          • Perhaps Graeme could advise on whether its suitable for  websitquality wise. I just pointed and pressed from the camera function.

            • PRO

              It’s amazing how a picture can immediately be identified as not being taken in the UK.

            • A lot of this is opinion so here is my opinion on the subject. Unless you are a very successful landscaper or designer - like Charlotte Rowe who always uses professional photographers for her shots, you will end up taking your own photos - just as we do our own marketing, selling, accounts etc etc. I still use my phone for photos that I put on my website. If I want a very wide angle then I will use a DSLR with the appropriate lens and lighting. Shooting late in the day requires more thought as the quality of light changes. The quality of phone cameras are improving all the time and if the quality of the screens that we view them on is less than the quality of the photo what is the issue? We want lots of megapixels so that if you need to zoom in or crop then you have the detail to do it. I think most of the time we are after a wider view of our work.

              The photographs that we put on our websites or show to customers should be thought of as our shop window as often we can't take customers to see our finished results and even if we could it probably wouldn't be the right season or the gardens would have been in the hands of our customers and have been messed about with. If you are a maintenance guy and you show them a photo with clippings all over the coping stone - as in the photo above - what do you think they will think? If you are a landscaper and you show them a photo with standing puddles of water on the coping what do you think they will think? If you then tell them that they will be paying a lot of money they will begin to question whether it's worth it if it doesn't look like it - in my opinion.

              Our photos should give the best possible view of our work irrespective of what camera or phone we used to take the photo. If all you want is a snap, then fine just point and click. If you want to use the photo to sell your abilities then you need to put some thought into it. If I was going to photograph the garden above I would have first of all tidied it all up for a start.  You often see plates on tables, wine bottles etc. You are selling the lifestyle in the photograph not just your work. You need to think about the composition. In the above photo my eye was drawn to the blue of the house facia first and not the planting as there is no obvious target in the photo. Think about the story the photo is trying to tell. If it's about planting, use the rule of thirds, line or whatever to frame the plants as in this photo below. The first thing you see is the hosta, then the path leads your eye into the picture. In Paul's photo your eye just wonders about.

              8031758487?profile=RESIZE_710x

              Websites.

              Once you have a good photo you need to think about how you are going to post it. Paul's photo is 5.7MB in size. When somebody clicks on it they would be downloading 5.7MB. They would be using 5.7MB of their roaming data on a phone to look at it. It would take a while to download. If you have a few of those on your website it will run like a dog. I have taken the original photo and reduced it down to 1.3MB without affecting the quality. This is still too big for a website but it is 4000 pixels wide which is far too big even for the best screens so I would reduce it even further ( even a banner strip is only 1600pixels wide)  if I was going to add it to a page. Think about the size it will be viewed at and think about the poor sod looking at it.

              PostProcessing

              I spent 5 minutes on this photo. Normally I would be more precise and take a lot longer. However this is just an example. Most photos are post processed as every lens creates a degree of distortion. What you see in terms of colour is slightly different to what a lens sees. You can do many things with post processing. I can't change Paul's composition but I have reduced the impact of the house and moved the plants into the foreground by blurring the background. I have also adjusted the colours slightly and I was going to recolour the dead rose but I cleaned up the top coping a little instead. The blur effect could have been created with a DSLR camera by choosing the right depth of field in the first place which echoes John's comments that a DSLR is a waste if you only point and click. The iphone portrait mode also gives the same effect. I'm not a Samsung user so I do not know whether it is possible on those phones.

              8031798480?profile=RESIZE_930x

              So to answer Paul's question, The quality of the photo is fine even if it was taken with a phone. The composition needs work and the size should be reduced to something manageable by whichever website you are going to put it on. - As I said only my opinion.

               

              • Thanks Graeme,

                I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.I agree with everything you have said above about the shop window effect of a website. As I see it the photos are your website. That picture I took was to show what a builders phone can now do. It has a dslr function where you can adjust f numbers and iso etc etc .I never once thought of the construction of the photo , but I can assure you itll be the first thing I think of from now on😃. But what you say is incredibly important to remember, that there is a hell of lot that goes into a photo, even after it's taken....., clippings and all. Thanks again,  I have learned a lot..

                All the best 

                 

                Paul

                • Thanks Paul, There is a lot in taking a great photo and I am still learning all the time. Take a look at Charlotte Rowe's website. You can see what a professional photographer adds to the process. I got into because I couldn't afford to pay for a professional and I was taking a lot of underwater photographs some of which I was lucky enough to publish in magazines. I am just in the process of updating my website and editing all the photos at the moment. It takes a lot of time.

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