How To Create A Black & White Smart Collection In Adobe Lightroom

Have you been nominated for the Black and White challenge? You know the one: someone posts a Black & White photograph to a Social Media site and then they nominate you to then post one black and white photograph each day for 5 days? You have? Excellent! Then this may help you out with that challenge.

Did you know you can actually setup a Smart Collection in Lightroom so you can view all of your Black and White photographs in one, neat collection? This will make finding all your best Black and White’s far easier and participating in this great little challenge so much more fun.

If you’re at home or in a place where you can watch a video, then check this out. If not just continue past the video for the instructions laid out with screen grabs:

(Be sure to share links to your 5 Black & White Photographs below!)

So there you go –  a Smart Collection showing just the mono photos in your library! Have a go.

Why not share a link to some of your very own Black and White photographs below in the comments.

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Moo.com Spring Sale – 25% off

The good people over at moo.com are having another one of their fantastic sales!

From now until 11:59pm on April 29th you can get 35% off all printed products. The sale itself gets you 25% off, but when used in conjunction with a referral code you can get a further 10% off!

moo.com sale

The Range of Products

Moo produce some excellent products including the unique ‘Luxe’ Business Cards (which I review here), letter heads, mini cards, post cards and stickers too! So if you’ve just rebranded or you’re looking for some new business cards for your photography business, now is the time to have a look at Moo.com

Printfinity

Have you ever come across those people with really cool business cards? Maybe they’re really unique, or they have a different picture on each card? Well, you can do that with Moo.com too. Moo call it ‘Printfinity’, meaning you can upload lots of different photographs to be displayed on your cards. If you order a box of 50 and send them 5 photographs you’ll end up with 5 sets of 10 unique looking cards. Upload 50 photographs and you’ll received a box full of totally unique cards all with different pictures on!

Get 35% off today by ordering your cards before midnight on April 29th and support Ready Steady Pro and get a further 10% off by using discount code 7qftdq at the checkout (or use this link: moo.com referral from Ready Steady Pro)

Moo.com Luxe Business Cards reviewed here on Ready Steady Pro

For the full review and more photographs, check out this post: http://bit.ly/1lE9hai or just watch the video below:

What’s Your Unique Selling Point? (USP)

I’ve said on a few podcasts now; “It’s better to have 50% of people love you and 50% of people hate you than to have 100% of people not care at all”. The premise here being is that if you’re not exceptional, not outstanding, not different…then who will care? Who will you target market be and why would they choose you over someone else? To borrow a phrase from Seth Godin – what is your Purple Cow?

You have to stand out from the crowd even if that means many people do not like your work or your approach.

So, if you’re looking to please the widest possible audience you’re somewhat missing the point. In fact, that’s what a lot of people are doing and so the result ends up being this diluted product that doesn’t delight one section of people, but rather it is mildly satisfactory to some people. That is not the characteristic of an exceptional product or service. That is not a product people are going to go mad for, buy, scream and shout about. That isn’t a successful product

In the book ‘Purple Cow’, by Seth Godin, Seth tells the story of when Comedy Central (the TV Channel) showed ‘South Park’ to a test group. It scored a record low score of 1.8 out of 10 among women in the test group, but recorded unanimous high scores among young males. It goes without saying if you look now how massively popular the South Park show is that it is a purple cow: It’s been on for 17 seasons with some 247 shows, consistently being one of the highest airing programs on cable TV. It’s received numerous awards and a movie too.

Suffice to say that South Park is Marmite (You either love it or hate it). But the love for the show from it’s fans is the important statistic. It’s those people who watch it, buy the DVD’s and the merchandise and make the brand money. The people who hate it don’t have anything to do with it. These are not worth focusing on. What if the makers of South Park suddenly decided to try and make South Park more appealing to more people? What if they cut the language, removed some of the obscenities and dulled the show down to make it more ‘digestible’ to more people. Do you think that more people would love it, or do you think that the show’s fans would lose interest?

So, the purple cow is a product or a service or a brand that is truly loved by the people who love it. The reason it’s a purple cow and now a purple…dog, cat, mouse etc… is because you milk the cow. The reason the cow is purple is because you don’t really see purple cow’s. But, if you did I’m sure you’d be amazed, I’m sure you’d talk about. It would be unique!

So, get out there, be unique, please the people who love you and forget about those who don’t. Milk the cow for what it’s worth and make some money. Be Purple!

This belief that being different, as opposed to just better is a belief that CreativeLive Co-Founder Chase Jarvis and Commercial Photographer Joey L have spoken about too. Check out this short 3 minute video. The biggest takeaway from me is a quote from Chase, where he says:

Be Different, not just better. In the art world being better only gets you so far. You have to be able to hit the ball down the middle, but everything after that is about being different”

Be sure to subscribe to Seth’s blog. I’m inspired on a regular basis by the stuff this guy produces and I’m sure you will be too. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

VIDEO: Preparing a Photograph for Print

Printing is considered by many to be the final step in making a photograph. It’s a sentiment I agree with.

The ‘problem’ with printing though is that people often think it’s expensive or that prints never come out quite right:

  • Prints can sometimes come out too dark
  • Prints are sometimes not as sharp as they were on screen
  • The colours can be wrong –
    • Too warm or too cool is a common issue
    • Skin tones being innacurate and people appear either Orange or Pale
  • I’ve also heard on many occasions that prints can appear ‘washed out’ with blacks appearing slightly grey.

Well today I want to share with you a short video to guide you through the basics of printing and to avoid these common issues. If you’re printing your photographs this is, in the most basic way, the very least you should be doing with your photographs in Lightroom to ensure they come out as bright as you intended them to be, to have rich blacks and brilliant whites and to be clean from spots. Take a look:

So, try applying the clipping method and adjusting your screen brightness before editing your photograph and see how different the results are.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with me via the contact form, or over in the Facebook community

Incredible Limited Time Deal from 5DayDeal.com

We love discounts here at Ready Steady Pro – anything to help emerging professional photographers reduce the cost of doing business is surely a good thing!

Well, 5DayDeal.com have put together a totally amazing bundle of eBooks, Discounts, Presets, Actions, Video’s, Courses and more worth over $1,200 and are offering this for a limited time for the quite absurd price of $89…This is easily the biggest set of discounts we’ve mentioned here on ReadySteadyPro.co.uk!

5daydeal-Complete-Photography-Bundle

What’s the catch?

There is just 1 catch to this: the deal is only lasting for 5 days! Sale dates are between January 5, 2014 at noon EST till January 10,2014 at noon EST.  There will be no late sales and a sale with this combination of products will not happen again. So jump in and get yours now!

What’s included?

Take a look at the website for full details, but I’ve picked out a few personal highlights and items of interest and here’s what I find cool:

eBooks:
Photographing the 4th Dimension: Time – Jim Goldstein (Usually $20!)
The Long Exposure ebook – David Cleland (Usually $5)
Crowd Control – Corwin Hiebert (Usually $9.97)

Corwin-Hiebert-Crowd-Control-ebook

Videos:
Post Edgy Photoshop Techniques – Joel Grimes (Usually $99)
Color Grading Tutorial – Jaime Ibarra (Usually $200)
The Art of Black and White With Lightroom – Serge Ramelli (Usually $57)

Serge-Ramelli-The-Art-of-Black-and-White1

Discounts:
Topaz Adjust – Topaz Labs – $25 off!
Iacrylic $10 off when you spend $50 or more
Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition – OnOne $30 off

topaz

My little highlights here are worth just under $400 by themselves!!

How did you know about this bundle?

It was Martin Bailey who bought this to my attention over on Google+. Martin has actually been kind enough to contribute his own Fine Art Print Border Script, which is usually available on it’s own for the price of $12. (If you’re reading this after January 10th you can purchase that here).

So, be sure to head over to 5DayDeal.com and download this bundle for yourself now! Think of it as your very own January Sale for Photographers. This sure will help kick start your photography in 2014!

So what are your product picks from this limited time offer? Did you download this bundle? Let us know what you think below:

Podcast 13 – Reflecting on 2013 & Planning for 2014

For episode 13 I bring to you the audio taken from a Google+ Hangout I did back in December 2013 with a group of great photographers and members of the Ready Steady Pro Facebook community. The Hangout was dubbed as ‘The Ready Steady Pro Virtual Christmas Party’ but really it was more a of a year in review and a look forward to everyone’s plans for 2014.

In this episode each guest talks a little but about how 2013 treated them as a photographer: The high’s, the low’s and the lessons learned. Then, we find out from each guest how the plan to move their photography and businesses forward over the next 12 months. This Episode really is an intruiging listen, especially seeing that we’ve got 5 guests with very different views, backgrounds and niche’s! So, get your notepads at the ready once again and take a listen (or, a watch via YouTube) to Episode 13!

Sit back and enjoy this episode of Ready, Steady Pro! Click the link below to listen / download the podcast.


View In iTunes
Click here to listen to the Podcast


This weeks Topic

We hear from each guest and find out what 2013 was all about for them: Lessons learned, targets set and met and much more. We then go on to find out what each guest has in mind for 2014 to further their photography efforts and their businesses.

(You can also watch the original episode over on YouTube – see the video below. However, you won’t be able to hear Michael’s news and updates that were recorded exclusively for the iTunes Podcast)


Today’s Little Gems

  • We didn’t record any Gems for today’s show. Sorry!

Show Notes / Links

Ready Steady Pro Q&A Series
www.michaelrammell.com – New Squarespace website
Episode 123 on YouTube
Martin Bailey
Valerie Jardin
David DuChemin
Martin Bailey’s 400th Episode Google+ Hangout (Video)
Squarespace 10% Discount exclusively for Ready Steady Pro Listeners
Neil Graham Photography – Photographs of the Grey Seals and their Pups from Donna Nook, UK.


This weeks Hosts

Michael Rammell
Paul Griffiths
Mary Angelini
Ben Lonsdale
Andrzej Wiśniewski
James Hepworth

10% Discount: Luxe Business Cards from Moo.com

Some may say that in a world where many transactions and interactions happen online, things like business cards may seem a little old-hat. I beg to differ however, particularly if you’re in a creative market such as photography.

I’m a huge advocate of business cards – they have can have quite an impact. A dull and cheap feeling card can very much leave a potential client with the exact same impression of your business (that you’re dull and cheap too!) whereas something a little more interesting, creative and stand-out can have your clients asking you all sorts of questions.

This is why I order Luxe business cards from Moo.com

What Is ‘Luxe’?

Well, I could write a long blog post to explain, but then I thought “Why not just do a video?” So, that’s what I’ve done.

In the video I talk about Moo’s service, the quality of the cards including the printing. I go over a little issue I had with colour differences and tell you what Moo have done to resolve it and I also include a code for 10% off should you order yourself any printed products from Moo – so, there is some take home value for you!

Below the video are some hi-res images, so, if you’re in a place where you can’t watch a video, just take a look at the images instead!

So, What Do They Look Like Up Close?

I’ve done a few quick shots on my desk just to give you an idea of what they cards look like up close. I’ve only photographed 4 of my 5 designs as I had colour issues with one of them (I talk about it in the video).

Be sure to click the images to view them at a larger size:

How Do I get the 10% Discount?

Simple, Just click here to head over to the discount page at Moo.com

If you end buying a set of Moo.com Luxe cards (or any of their products for that matter) it’d be great if you could tweet them and share them with us:

Twitter – @ReadySteadyPro
Facebook – Ready Steady Pro Community