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New Year’s Eve Fireworks - Baltimore Inner Harbor

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Baltimore Inner Harbor

Summer is officially in full swing, and the Fourth of July is just days away. After a day of celebrating in the sun, be sure to grab your camera for the evening’s main event: fireworks. Whether you’ve photographed fireworks before or are just starting out, this year, we want to challenge you to expand your creativity by taking your Fourth of July images to the next level. Charge your cameras and dig out your tripods! Get prepared and inspired, using this behind-the-scenes look at how these images from photographer Greg Pease came to life.

Guest blogger, Greg Pease, is a photographer, located in Baltimore, MD. Specializing in location photography, he uses his expertise to capture images of people in the workplace, aerials, and landscapes. Find him online at www.gregpeasephoto.com. 

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Fourth of July Fireworks – Washington DC

Fireworks displays have always sparked my imagination with their light, colors and patterns. Early in my career as a professional photographer, I began documenting my hometown of Baltimore’s revitalization in the mid 1970’s. I photographed the developing skyline, using the fireworks displays to illuminate the city and its marinas that ring around the Inner Harbor and the hundreds of boats gathered to view the fireworks above.

Fireworks provide a creative opportunity to use the quality and massive volume of light to illuminate and provide color and drama to large-scale subjects and scenes, such as landmarks, monuments and skylines at night.

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Monument Lighting Holiday Celebration, first monument to George Washington – Baltimore

In 2011, I was hired by Visit Baltimore to photograph the reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry for their kick-off ad campaign for the Star-Spangled 200 Bicentennial Celebrations commemorating the War of 1812.

 Reenactment of Bombardment of Fort McHenry Photo Notes: This photo was produced using seven reenactors and one cannon moved to multiple locations while shooting from a scissor lift fully extended 50 ft. high. The image was created in Photoshop by assembling the multiple components including the flag, cannon fire and fireworks into a single image.

Reenactment of Bombardment of Fort McHenry
Photo Notes: This photo was produced using seven re-enactors and one cannon moved to multiple locations while shooting from a scissor lift fully extended 50 ft. high. The image was created in Photoshop by assembling the multiple components including the flag, cannon fire and fireworks into a single image.

At the close of the Star-Spangled 200 Celebrations, I photographed the grand finale at Fort McHenry. I wanted to use the fireworks to create the atmosphere that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that would become our National Anthem: “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air…”

\Battle of Baltimore Reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry with Rockets Red Glare Photo Notes: Two cameras were used to shoot this photograph, one for the fireworks and the other for the Fort to create a single image.

Battle of Baltimore Reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry with Rockets Red Glare
Photo Notes: Two cameras were used to shoot this photograph, one for the fireworks and the other for the Fort to create a single image.

The Prep:
My planning begins with an aerial photo of the general area of the fireworks display. Google Earth Satellite is a pretty good source to determine where to set up cameras.
Pro-tip: Reflections in water are an enhancing feature, so look for water view locations.

The Gear
I set up two cameras, each with its own tripod.
45mm and 90mm are my favorite lenses (with a full frame sensor camera), and both are tilt/shift lenses, which enables me to shift up and down or vary my image format from horizontal to vertical to include more fireworks in the sky or water reflections below.
I use a LADDERKART (3 step) to transport equipment and to get above people standing in front of the camera/

The Details:
Long exposure noise reduction should be enabled.
f5.6 @ 5 seconds @ ISO100 was successful in many of the examples shown here.
Set your color balance. My preference is for a cool colored sky to make the generally warm fireworks visually move forward.
Shoot as the fireworks are ascending and descending, and vary the effect by shooting only the descending fireworks. This technique will prevent the fireworks from obscuring the buildings, etc.
Shoot as rapidly as you can before the smoke builds up.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks - Baltimore Inner Harbor

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Baltimore Inner Harbor

There you have it! Try out these tips this weekend, and be sure to share the results with us by tagging #bestofLB8 on social media.

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If you recently updated to Safari 11 (or are having issues viewing Flash sites in your Safari browser), this post is for you! The new update automatically disables Flash, which will cause issues with logging into and viewing Flash sites. Don’t panic–there is a way to fix tis. Follow the step-by-step guide below to ensure a smooth transition to the new update without losing access to Flash sites.

Original post by Adobe found here

The following instructions are for Mac )S X 10.8 and above:
1. Open your Safari application and select the Safari drop down menu.
2. Select preferences and navigate to the Security tab.
3. Make sure the following options are selected: Enable JavaScript & Allow Plug-Ins
4. Click Manage Website Settings
5. Select Adobe Flash Player and navigate to the tab titled: “When visiting other websites.”
6. Choose allow.

The following instructions are for Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7:
1. Open your Safari application and select the Safari dropdown menu.
2. Select preferences and navigate to the Security tab.
3. Make sure the following options are selected: Allow Java & Allow all other plug-ins
4. Close the preference window.

With all that being said, now is the perfect time to pick your migration option for our new HTML5 platform. Click here to take the survey! 

If you are still having trouble accessing your Flash website through Safari 11, please contact our support team.

Posted in Website Tips / Websites

SOCIAL HEADER

In today’s digital landscape, a social media presence is absolutely vital for the success of your business. At liveBooks, we understand this. With over 100 social icons to choose from, liveBooks8 allows for complete customization of the social experience you provide your audience. Connect with clients easily, using liveBooks’ social media integration tools.

Today’s tip details how to create your ideal social experience for your audience through the customization of a social media footer.

To add social media icons to the footer of your liveBooks8 site:

1. Log into the liveBooks 8 editor.
2. Select the Content editing tab.
3. Select footer on the right side, under Global Content.

Social1

4. Select your desired social platforms from our bank of over 100 options. With selections including anything from Facebook to Spotify and Vimeo, you will be able to create a customized and dynamic social experience for your unique audience.

social2

5. Add your unique social media links in the related fields.
Pro-tip: test the functionality of each button under the Design tab in your site’s preview mode to ensure each link is working as desired.
6. Admire your new social media footer and connect with your audience on a new level.

To change the color of your icons to match your branding:

1. From Content, navigate to the Design tab.
2. Select the area of the site where your social icons are located. For this tutorial, our social icons are located in our footer, so we will select the footer tab.

Social icon footer

3. Use the tools provided to customize the look, color, size and functionality of your new social icons.

Custom social

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Press save. Customization is as easy as that!

Get social with liveBooks! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Interested in learning more about a specific liveBooks8 feature? We want to know! Send us an email at social@livebooks.com.

Blog&Twitter

The only thing we love more than our liveBooks8 platform is the gorgeous work that our clients are sharing on it! Have an image that you are dying for the world to see? We want to feature you! We are excited to announce our first ever summer Facebook cover photo contest where we are looking to feature the #bestofLB8 on our page each week.

To submit your images, please send the original image file to social@livebooks.com with the subject line “Facebook cover photo contest” or submit your entry via Twitter or Instagram by tagging liveBooks AND #bestofLB8. We will select u to eight photos to be displayed weekly between July 1 & August 22, 2016.

Submissions are now open! Follow the rules below to have the chance to be featured on our Facebook page.

To submit:
Please send the original image file to social@livebooks.com with the subject line “Facebook cover photo contest” OR submit your entry via Twitter or Instagram by using the hashtag #bestofLB8 AND tagging liveBooks. Please include your full name, where the photo was taken and the date in your entry. The summer cover photo of the week will be selected by the liveBooks team. Up to eight photos will be posted between July 1-August 22, 2016. Selected photos will be featured on our Facebook page as a cover photo for approximately one week and may be shared on Instagram

Rules & Regs:
1. Photo must have been taken by you in the last 3 years.
2. Photos must be horizontal and fit within the Facebook cover crop area of 851px by 315px. Vertical photo submissions will 3. be discarded.
4. Please avoid heavy filters and edits.
5. Explicit content will be discarded.
6. Smartphone photos are accepted but DSLR images are preferred.
7. By submitting your photo through email or hashtag, you give liveBooks permission to use and promote the submitted image via our liveBooks social media outlets.

Think you have what it takes? Submit your photo now! 

Weekly Winners: 

July 1, 2016:
C.J. Dewolf
13516731_10155826998197228_8328105208128009093_n

July 11, 2016:
Joan Ford
July 8

July 18, 2016
Jason Halayko
July 19

What originally began as simply taking photos for her photo class in college soon grew to be so much more for Beth Perkins of Beth Perkins Photography. As Beth began taking images of family and friends, she learned that she had a unique ability to capture intimate moments through her personal photography. Since, she has blossomed into a dynamic advertising and editorial photographer, based in Rockaway, NYC.

We are so excited to share the brand new site of Beth Perkins Photography with you today! To see more of her work and to check out the site behind the story, visit bethperkins.com.

BethPerkinshome

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

BP: Real life moments

1900 2

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

BP: I try to update it once a month, but it probably ends up being more like every two or three months.

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

BP: I try to choose my most iconic, upbeat and provocative images that represent the stories and types of images that I take the best.

PerkinsPortrait

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

BP: I love having a lot of images appear on one page, as it can create a powerful story. In addition, art directors seem to appreciate seeing a body of work altogether so they don’t have to scroll through imagery one by one. Often, they don’t have time, and it’s especially useful if they are looking for something specific.

PerkinsPortraits

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer someone designing their website?

BP: Gather your images that you want to use first in one folder, ready to upload. This process will also help organize which ones you really want to use and how you want to use them.

Perkins final photo

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com

Portrait, event, and wedding photographer Jean Tsimangas of Juanistyle photography believes in the power of capturing beauty and emotions through his lens. He hopes to use these special moments when people are together to build memories.

Inspired by using photography to connect with the world around him, Jean began using images to show family and friends his new home when he moved from Brussels to Amsterdam in 1997. Since, he has worked to develop a clean and sophisticated style, photographing everything from weddings to portraits to fashion and beauty.

We are excited to share the making of Juanistyle Photography’s new liveBooks8 site with you today. Be sure to check out more of Jean’s unique style and gorgeous images at www.juanistylephotography.com.

 

Juanistyle Photography Home

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

A: I would describe it as elegant and clean, with a sophisticated look.

Juanistyle Photography Fashion

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

A: As photographers, we tend to become emotionally attached to certain pictures, making it very difficult to choose images that showcase our absolute best work. For my homepage, I chose to use a slideshow with my preferred pictures while showing featured content from portraits, events and wedding galleries as links to display my main galleries.

Juanistyle Photography Video Home

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

A: Before, I was reviewing my website every 3 months. Now, I would like update it at least once a month. I would also like to use the blog feature in liveBooks8, so I am planning to feature more recent content.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

A: I really enjoy the flexibility of liveBooks8 while working to update the content of of my website. I was able to completely customize the website’s colors and fonts while adding embedded videos and slideshows from Vimeo that link together with my photos. I also loved the freedom to choose the layout for the galleries as well.

Juanistyle Photography Feature Image

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

A: It was really important for me to take the time to select the best pictures showcasing my work while creating a consistent feel for my website. I asked for feedback from people with various backgrounds on my site’s ease of use while testing my it on various platforms (desktop, tablets and smartphones) to ensure accessibility. I also took extra time to personalize the “about me” section. I felt that it was important to add a little video of me talking about what makes me unique as a photographer.

Juanistyle Photography Feature 2

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

 

Landscape photographer Steven Friedman does not believe in manipulation of his images – and they are all full frame and uncropped. His new liveBooks8 website showcase the beauty of these images perfectly – with full-screen design and gorgeous colors. We are so excited to have him as our featured website this week!

Check out all of the interesting things he has to say about what went into the creation of his website and then make sure to check out www.friedmanphoto.com to see more beautiful images!

Steven Friedman

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

SF: Clean, Modern, Elegant.

Steven Friedman

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

SF: I pick one image from each portfolio that is my favorite that conveys the spirit of the portfolio. As well, the image I select from each portfolio is the image that has sold best as a fine art print.

Steven Friedman

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

SF: Typically, I update my website after a major shoot. My work is represented in galleries around the world and I like to keep the updates to Spring and Autumn so the galleries know when to expect new work.

Steven Friedman

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

SF: The ability to have the images as large thumbnails three across is my favorite new feature of liveBooks8. It allows the galleries that represent my work to see complete portfolios of images quickly, enabling their customers to be sure they have picked the right image for a large print. As well, the simplicity of the design allows me to quickly and easily update my site with a new look or with new images.

Steven Friedman

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

SF: To have patience and only put up imagery that shows your vision for your photography. Choosing photos can be a difficult task. Sometimes it takes days or weeks to get a shot and I may have hiked a long distance. I tend to be emotionally attached to certain images because of the effort it took to capture the image. After a major shoot I don’t look at imagery for a few weeks. I want to detach myself from the energy I put into getting the images so I have an unbiased view.

Steven Friedman

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com.

Doug Scott’s architectural photography is marked by a strong sense of life, dimension, shape, and materiality – and we think his website design perfectly embodies all of those things. We love the uncluttered, clean look and the ease of navigation so much that we just had to feature it this week!

Read below to see what Doug has to say about his site’s creation, and head over to www.dougscott.com to check out more!

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

DS: The aesthetic of the new website may best be stated as inviting, personal, and professional.

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

DS: Image selection for the homepage (Portfolio) is in three steps; first, what images do I like, second, will those images reach a  meaningful market, and third, is my homepage representing a variety of project types. This last point is quite important considering some viewers may not choose to tour the “By Type” gallery.

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

DS: Once my initial refining has run its course with the new website (which is nearly daily although already published), I will settle into an update routine of anywhere from weekly to monthly. Of course, this depends largely on the content of the current shoots.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

DS: The overall appearance and function of the new site is more refined on the front-end. The backend editor is simpler, yet allows for far better control and offers many more design options. liveBooks was savvy in giving us creatives such a great editor. I am looking forward to a “Client Access” feature for reviewing proofs.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

DS: To those preparing to design, consider grouping your images according to the menu(s) you will use. Upload them to the image gallery in the editor in these groups for easier selection during the population process. Secondly, if the depth of your archives allow, whittle away hard through multiple edits at what you actually present. In my case, personal fondness for a particular image must be balanced with the reality of the actual impact of an image – other objective team members can really help out here.

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

Few things are as important on your photography website as your portfolios. Why? Because they showcase your actual craft and portray your images in the way you want your audience to view them. However, putting together effective and action-inspiring portfolios is much more than uploading images and throwing them into folders and calling it a day. So much goes in to selecting the images you want to showcase, the order in which they appear in the portfolios, and even the layout of the galleries. We have just a few tips for the best ways to get started creating the perfect photography portfolios – check it out!

Plan the Layout Before Uploading

Before you dive in to the process of deciding which photos will make the cut for your website portfolios, make sure you have a general outline or plan of how you want your galleries to be laid out. Do you want your images displayed in a slideshow format? In a collage? In a sliding format with visible thumbnails? Do you want full-screen images or photos with borders? This layout will most likely be subject to change once you actually begin building your portfolios, however using it as a starting point will get the ball rolling on how you want your images to be viewed.

High Resolution Images ONLY

While this should go without saying, make sure that the content you choose to populate your portfolios is only of the highest quality. This may mean sacrificing some of your favorite, more candid shots for ones that are clearer and more professional looking (those other shots belong on a blog or your social media accounts).  While higher resolution photos may make your galleries take just a few seconds longer to load, it is well worth it to wow your potential clients with stunning imagery.

Be Picky, Very Picky

As a professional photographer, all of your images are beautiful. However, take on the mindset of leaving your audience wanting more after they view your portfolios. Do not put up every single photo you have ever taken – be extremely picky when determining which photos make the cut. Better yet, have team members, friends, peers. and other people take an objective look at your images and tell you which ones have the biggest impact for them. Make sure to keep in mind your target audience when making final decisions – if you are a wedding photographer but like to shoot landscape photography on the side, do not clutter your website with a landscape portfolio when your target audience is engaged couples.

Order Your Images Strategically

Once you’ve decided which photos to include within your portfolios, you’ll need to decide where to put them. The order of your images is extremely important, and will have a subtle, yet extremely impactful, effect on your audience. Place your strongest photos at the beginnings and ends of the portfolio so that you will make the biggest impact at the beginning and leave a lasting impression at the end. Weaker photos should be placed in the middle because you cannot guarantee that your viewer will always click through the entire gallery.

To Caption or Not to Caption

Providing additional details and descriptions of your photos is completely subjective; on one hand, it is nice for the viewer to have some more context surrounding the image and get a sense for your style. On the other hand, sometimes it’s better to let the imagery speak for itself. In determining whether or not to caption images always think about your target audience and whether the additional context will provide value in swaying them to make a decision to hire you, buy your work, or contact you. Whether you choose to include visible captions, always make sure to include keyword tags, titles, and descriptions for each photo so that search engines can pick up that content and rank you higher in search results.

Photographer Rick Brazil shoots for architects, designers, developers, magazines, and retail companies throughout the United States and Mexico – and his website design reflects all of the clean, beautiful imagery in an easy-to-navigate way. Since he recently redesigned his website with the new liveBooks8 platform, we thought it would be perfect to feature this week!

Check out what he had to say about his website and head over to www.rickbrazil.com to see more!

Rick Brazil

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

RB: Visual, Clean, Quality.

Rick Brazil

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

RB: I went through a list of recent projects and picked the most visual of those images. I tried to stay with a theme of visually appealing architecture and imagery.

 

Rick Brazil

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

RB: At least 2-3 times a year, depending on my travel schedule and quality of projects.

Rick Brazil

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

RB: I love the new liveBooks8 format. It takes a little time to fully understand the capabilities of the new website editor, but it is fully worth the effort!

Rick Brazil

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

RB: Take the time to understand the process of building a quality website with liveBooks8, pick only your best photographs that you can create a unique, fully customized website that is beautiful and shows off your work in the best possible format!

Rick brazil

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

Posted in Photography

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