Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment - Page 7

Shooting Stock: The Art of Stock Photography and how to Make Money with it Online

Stock photography in itself is not new, as so many photographers starting their careers believe, but online stock photo agencies certainly are. Stock agencies of yesteryear simply consisted of an image bank of hundreds of thousands of slides/negatives and prints, from which a buyer had to manually select his perfect image, the difference being almost the same as that of a conventional library of books as compared to an online one. The rules and methods of catering to a stock photo agency remain the same, as do the agreement terms ‘royalty paid’ and ‘royalty free’ , both of which will be discussed in more detail later in this article.
The business of buying and selling stock photographs online can certainly be a tricky one, as it is not always the ‘pretty picture’ that gets selected for a sale, as one learns with a bit of experience. Any beginning photographer learns from his ‘guru’ or from experience, to show the client the final image created for them , not the five or so he rejected before he was satisfied he’d captured the right effect, but this doesn’t apply to stock photography , as there is no one particular client in question. The saying goes “one man’s meat is another’s poison” and it is just as true that what one stock photography client wants will be nothing like what another is looking for, sometimes a photo YOU would have rejected is just the one someone else loves!
The beginner needs to understand the terms ‘royalty free’ and ‘royalty paid’. Just as implies, the term ‘royalty paid’ means that whenever an image sells, the photographer gets a percentage. For example, if it is sold for the use of a book or magazine publishing, the photographer gets paid a ‘royalty’ every time a book is sold. On the other hand, the term ‘royalty free’ implies that the photographer has given total rights to the publisher, for the specified usage, and gets no commission on every sale of the publishing. It is wrong to generalise that one kind of agreement is ‘better’ than the other. A royalty paid agreement may or may NOT give long term returns, whereas a royalty free image will give a high initial income. There really is no rule of thumb about this , and it is only by experience and preference that you will find out what works for you.

As a side note, it’s always a good idea to check the reputation of the publishing house when making a royalty paid agreement.
Now, some more on the nature of images suitable for stock photography. When shooting for stock sales, remember to get every possible angle and every possible lighting effect, all permutations and combinations. When offering a set of images, offer every one that you shot. Try and look from the publishers’ point of view, and understand that something as seemingly trivial as a pen or a glass of water may be required by an advertising company across the globe, who would really hate their time wasted on setting up a photoshoot specially for that. Also, remember that we live in a globalized world today, and the more diverse the people are in your photographs, the better the chances of one of them being sold.
Micro payment agencies have sprung up of late, which allow the buyer to download and use an image for several dollars, royalty free! Shocking as this may sound, photographers who market their work this way CAN make a steady income – where they lose on higher payments , they make up in number of sales. But some leading stock agencies refuse to market photographers who cater to micro payment agencies, and understandably so.
The beauty of mastering the shooting and sales of stock photography is, that they allows the photographer to live life more or less according to his or her terms, up to a point. Some pioneering stock photographers travel as they please, uploading their images to stock agencies, and getting paid online!
George Ryan works for HeyGeek! Inc, administrating and managing several websites including and the wildly successful stock photo marketplace, where photographers get $0.95 per download.

Author: George Ryan
Source: download



How to Hold Auditions For Your Film

Auditioning potential cast members is your first chance to see the director/actor relationship at work. Even if you plan to cast your friends or family, be sure to audition them first. This will help establish a new kind of relationship and let them know that you’re treating your film as a professional endeavor (and encourage them to do the same). Some directors choose not to audition actors but rather simply meet with them to discuss the project. This works best if the actor is well known, with several films in release so that the director already has a general sense of how the actor looks and acts on camera.

There are two types of auditions: open calls (sometimes called cattle calls) and scheduled appointments (which more experienced actors usually prefer). An open call is when you advertise hours that potential actors can drop in and audition on the spot. Scheduled auditions are when you ask actors to contact you beforehand and schedule a specific appointment time.

Getting the Word Out

Before you can hold an audition, you need to have some idea of what you’re looking for. This involves another kind of script breakdown, this time by character. You’ll want to prepare a brief description of each character you plan to cast, certainly anyone who has a major speaking role. This shouldn’t be more than a paragraph or two, a brief summary of the character’s key physical or psychological traits.

Once you have basic descriptions for each of your characters, you’ll then want to distill these down to one- or two-sentence summaries of their visible demographic information: gender, race, ethnicity, age, general look. You might also include an adjective or two regarding their visible demeanor. This is the information you’ll use to advertise what types of actors should audition.

Because ads cost by the word, the goal is to be succinct but clear enough so that you are only looking at people you’d consider casting. Besides a brief character type, include the logline in order to give prospective actors a sense of what the film is about. Also let them know if there will be pay or if you’re expecting them to work for free. Be sure to include your contact information.

TIP: To keep everything more organized and separate from their personal lives, filmmakers will often buy cell phone services, create a separate e-mail address, set up a website, or rent a postal mailbox just for the production. All of these cost money, however, so you have to budget for them. But they can afford you a little bit of privacy, and these expenses, if used exclusively for your film, are tax-deductible if you keep all your receipts.

If your local community has a theater newsletter or an actors’ hotline, definitely place your ad there. Some local newspapers also have classified sections specifically for actors and musicians; if yours doesn’t, you could place an ad in the “help wanted” section knowing that you may get a lot of calls. You could also post an ad on the bulletin boards at local college theater departments or community theaters.

When posting fliers on bulletin boards, make the bottom edge of the flier a series of small tabs that can be torn off, each with a reminder of the ad’s content, such as “actor wanted,” and the phone number or address to contact you. This will help keep interested people from taking the entire flier or not contacting you because they didn’t have a pen and paper to write down your info.

You’ll need to decide whether this first call should be just for resumes and headshots or whether you want to go ahead and schedule the actors for an audition time or whether you want to create an open call for drop-ins. If you just want the actors’ resumes, you should only include a mailing address in your ad; if you want to go ahead and start seeing people in person, you’ll want to include your phone number and ask them to bring a headshot with them to the audition.

Before you can actually schedule appointments with your actors, you need to figure out where to hold the auditions. The ideal audition space will provide access to restrooms, a small check-in or reception area where actors can wait if they get there early, and a separate room where the actual audition takes place. Your home is an inappropriate and unprofessional location for auditions. If you have set up a production office outside your home, and it’s big enough, that might be okay. Otherwise, you’ll need to rent or borrow a room for the auditions. Many local municipal buildings and libraries will rent meeting rooms for a nominal fee, as will some high schools, colleges, and churches. Even community theaters might have a stage or meeting room they’ll rent.

Never hesitate to see if you can bargain the price lower or exchange free use of the room for a credit in your film. The worst they can do is say no. Any rental fee you do have to pay should be included in your budget as an expense of the film.

Author: Rick Alan Thomas

Disabled Actor Given Lead In New Film “the Angel”

DEC 20th, 2006 – Disabled actor Eddie McGee stars in horror film THE ANGEL for Paul Hough Entertainment, Inc.

Eddie McGee, who lost a leg to cancer when he was twelve, has struggled to overcome adversity and has landed the lead role in Paul Hough’s THE ANGEL, which recently finished post-production and is heading on the film festival circuit.. Eddie, who became one of the world’s most famous amputees when he won the CBS show BIG BROTHER, has recently also completed filming for both Law And Order and Guiding Light.

“Usually I get cast as a returning soldier, who’s lost his leg in battle. But Paul (Hough) wouldn’t have any of that.” said Eddie, from his New York home.

“Paul cast me first in Chris Jericho’s music video “Enemy”, which was censored for MTV. In it I played a man who leaps out of a wheelchair and climbs 20 stories using only his hands and arms – and pure determination – only to commit suicide. We certainly got some hate mail for that. Paul (Hough) believes that the disabled shouldn’t play traditional disabled roles, and in the Angel I take on a role involving action and wire-work-stunts. It’s incredible, and will paint disabled actors in a whole new light.”

Hough laughs and adds “Eddie isn’t disabled. Anyone who’s met him will tell you that. He’s an incredible actor and I’m honored he accepted the role.”

Hough is not afraid of controversy. His internationally released multi-award winning documentary about backyard wrestling “The Backyard” was slammed by Jan Stuart of Newsday: “The pint-sized version of World Wrestling Entertainment on display here is sport as child pornography, one in which the participating minors and their sanctioning parents are complicit.” yet championed by Dave Kehr of The New York Times: “It’s an astounding anthropological study of that strange tribe known as the American teenager.”

For Hough, The Angel will be equally as controversial. “I’m sure there will be those who feel that Eddie shouldn’t play the role I’ve cast him in. Well, I honestly don’t think that continually casting disabled actors as disabled characters is good for society in general and I hope with films such as The Angel, that doors will start to open for disabled actors for other, non-traditional roles. Seriously, why is it that Eddie and others like him have to make a living playing an Iraq war veteran?”

For a screener or booking info please contact:

Paul Highlander

Paul Hough
Paul Hough Entertainment, Inc.
818 599 0751

Author: S. Tzirlin

Choosing The Right Lens

Every owner of an interchangeable-lens camera is faced with the pleasant dilemma of picking the most appropriate lenses to buy, then deciding which to use. However, there are no rules to go by; much depends on your personal style and what you already own. To help you decide which lenses to buy and how best to use them, we offer the following.

Normal lenses: Today, many 35mm photographers opt for a short zoom instead of a 50mm, but both have their virtues. If you need a fast, general-purpose lens in the f/1.4-f/2 range for available-light work, nothing can beat a 50mm. Positives: Usually more compact, lighter than a short zoom; often less costly; generally very sharp; provides brighter viewing image. Negatives: No zooming; you must compose by moving the camera.
Short zooms offer framing flexibility, often in a package not much larger than a 50mm lens. A 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is usually the smallest and least expensive, but a 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is more useful for shooting interiors, vistas, and cramped quarters because it gets down to 28mm. If you shoot portraits, nature, or sports at close range, consider a compact 35-105mm or a 35-135mm zoom. Normal zoom positives: Equivalent to two or more single focal length lenses in a handy, responsive package, it provides intermediate focal lengths; there’s less need to switch lenses. Normal zoom negatives: Moderate aperture (typically f/3.5-4.5) limits low-light shooting and focusing precision with manual focus, affects viewing brightness. Zooms tend to be larger, heavier, more expensive than 50mm lenses.

Wide-angle lenses: They range from 24mm (bordering on ultrawide) to 35mm (bordering on semiwide). As with normals, the choice is between very compact, single-focal-length lenses of relatively wide aperture (f/2-f/2.8, a few f/1.4s) and moderate-aperture zooms (around f/3.5-4.5), which provide superior framing flexibility. For positives and negatives on both types, see normal-lens section above.
Many wide zooms, such as 24-50mm, 25-50mm, 28-50mm, etc., encompass normal as well as wide-angle focal lengths, which is an advantage. A few (for example, 21-35mm, 18-28mm) combine ultrawide (21mm and below) and wide focal lengths (see ultrawide section below). Many are not much larger or heavier than a 50mm. Although 25-50mm or 21 -35mm may not sound as impressive, it’s the zoom ratio (long divided by short focal length) that counts. If you need a really fast wide-angle (for example, 35mm f/1.4, 28mm f/2, 24mm f/2) for available light or shooting handheld with slow film, stick to single focal lengths.

Ultrawide-angle lenses: With focal lengths of 21mm and below in 35mm format, they provide extreme angular coverage of 90 degrees or more. Positives: Ultrawides, by virtue of low image magnification, provide great depth of field; more likely to yield sharp-looking images when handheld at slow shutter speeds. Excellent for expanding tight interior spaces, capturing vistas; for intimate photojournalism, street photography. Negatives: Apparent perspective distortion, though useful for dramatic or comic effects, is problematic in portraiture. Avoid placing subjects near edges of the frame or prominent features, such as noses, in the foreground.

Medium tele lenses: Sometimes called portrait lenses, these optics in the 85-135mm range are fine for portraiture, minimize apparent perspective distortion, and provide convenient working distance when shooting faces close up. Many tele zooms work well in this range, but they’re heavier, longer, and slower than single focal length lenses. If you shoot a large percentage of portraits, you should consider getting an 85mm f/2, 100mm f/2, or 105mm f/2.5, even if you own a tele. Positives: They allow discreet photography of people without the perspective-flattening effect of long teles; single focal length type combines fast aperture, bright viewing image, good image quality. Negative: For zooms, see above; for single focal length, fairly specialized.

Long tele lenses: Traditionally, any lens over 135mm for 35mm photography is a long tele. Today, the most popular by far are zooms in the 80-200mm or 70-210mm range. Unless you need a lens that’s very fast and very long (such as the optically superb but large, heavy, and very expensive 300mm and 400mm f/2.8s used by professional sports photographers), a tele zoom is the most flexible and economical choice. For many photographers, a 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 (especially one with macro) is the only long tele they’ll need. Positives: Reasonable size, weight, and price, wide range of uses—nature, sports, people, portraits, scenics. Negatives: Moderate and variable aperture; mediocre performance unless stopped way down. A number of suprisingly compact 100-300mm f/5.6s are now offered for those who need a bit more reach, and there are a few fine 200-500mm f/5.6s for those who need really long teles for such things as long-distance sports close-ups. Long tele zoom negatives: larger size and weight.

Author: Jan Linden

How to Get the Best Performance and Most Use From Your Camera

Your camera is an essential part of your travel plans. It can have more uses than you ever thought it could have, especially when traveling. For example you can take pictures of maps when you find them as you move around so you can get back to them whenever in need. It can act as a mirror when there aren’t any available, can keep you company during your travel if you take pictures of your loved ones and pets before leaving, can help you out if you lose your luggage because your luggage probably looks like lots of other people’s luggage.

Furthermore, it can always help you recall where you’re staying as well as any nearby landmarks that you can even show your taxi driver. Snap photos of your favourite restaurants and clubs and later you can show someone where you’d like to go back to or where you’ve been. Also, you’re very likely to find flyers promoting events at local bars or pubs or club goings-on, so if you see one you like, be sure to take a snap to remember.

Like anything else you own, digital cameras need proper care in order to perform best and help you capture every moment. You don’t have to rely on pre-packaged lens cleaning kits to do the trick, you can make sure your camera stays clean by following some easy tips such as keeping your camera and lenses bagged when not in use which is kind of obvious. For cosmetic cleaning and to get the dust off the lens and outside of your camera you can use a light static-free microfiber cloth and pay attention to the focus ring as grit gets easily in there. Try not to use the edge of your T-shirt or napkin to clean the lens as it might get scratched accidentally. Try not to use your camera when there’s dusty weather and whenever changing lenses, try to pick a still environment. For more careful users, there’s also specialized digital camera lens cleaning fluid which is alcohol based and can be bought from digital camera stores.

The batteries you use in your camera are also considered a very important part of the job when it comes to taking great pictures. You can constantly face the problem of your camera batteries running out on you. Cut down on the battery use by keeping the playback mode minimal, prevent damage by using similar, don’t wait until your batteries are completely empty to switch them and remove the batteries from your camera when not in use so they don’t get worn out. One of the very famous brands that provide long lasting lithium batteries is Duracell. Duracell has long been known for it’s trusted batteries and their lithium batteries are no less popular than the rest of it’s great batteries. It’s wide range of operating temperatures and long shelf life just adds to the benefits more.

Author: Eric Kampel

Canon PowerShot D10 Review – Amazing Compact Digital Camera For Outdoor Adventures

The Canon PowerShot D10 is a camera well suited to the outdoors adventurer. It is a tough little camera that can hold its own against the elements. Dirt and water are no match for it, so, whether you’re a hiker, hunter, or snorkeler, this could be the camera for you.

One might be put off by the price of the camera or the fact that it is not your average-sized digital. At just under $330 and 6.70 oz, it might seem better just to pass on the D10. However, once the outstanding features become familiar it is usually evident that it’s worth both the price and the size.

As before mentioned, the Canon PowerShot D10 is a suitable camera for the outdoorsy man or woman. It can withstand temperatures ranging from 14 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a good choice no matter where you may be in the world. The D10 is also waterproof up to 33 feet, and the display remains clear when it’s underwater; the lens will not become foggy or blurred.

The D10 is also very durable. There is no need to fear dropping or banging the camera as it is shockproof. It can withstand drops of about 4 feet: the average height from which a person is likely to drop it. So, whether you are playing a sport or just letting your children take a few pictures, you can be sure that this camera won’t be easily damaged.

As for the quality of the image it will produce, it features 12.1 megapixles for a great resolution, and a 3X zoom with a built-in stabilizer. The Canon PowerShot D10 also features an automatic blink detection alert which immediately informs you if you take a picture in which someone’s eyes are closed.

The Canon PowerShot D10 is durable, easy to use, and it takes great pictures. Certain professionals in the outdoor sporting events world swear by this camera, and it gets great reviews on multiple websites. All in all, it is a camera well worth buying.

Author: Chelsea McGuire

Digital Camera Help

If you are fairly new and want some digital camera help, then let’s cover some of the more common things to help you get started.

The Basics

A digital camera captures the image when the light from an object is focused and falls on a light sensitive sensor within the camera. Each camera’s sensor has tiny little pixels on the surface and the number of pixels determines the highest quality of the resultant image, and also the class of the camera. So a camera that has 4million pixels is known as a 4megapixel camera, and so on.

How many pixels do I need?.

As the number of pixels increases, normally so does the price, and sometimes the size of the camera, so choosing wisely will save you both money and effort in carrying. If you want to print standard photo size prints then a camera of 3-4 mp will be adequate, but if you want to print large A3 prints at a good quality, then you really need a camera of about 6mp+. Remember you can adjust the quality down but you can’t use pixels you haven’t got.

Bells and Whistles

•LCD Screen -Normally on a digital camera you will be framing the shot and reviewing the shot on a small screen at the back of the camera, make sure it is of a decent size and you can view it in sunlight.

•Scene Mode – Allows the camera to set optimum settings for a selected type of shot.

•Focus Points – You have the ability to select a point or area that the camera uses to focus, invaluable when shooting small objects against a bright background.

•Zoom – Optical zoom is better than Digital Zoom so try to get a camera with the highest optical zoom.

•Macro – To enable you to get really close focus, and try for those real ‘Arty’ shots.

•White Balance – Adjusts the camera to compensate for color-cast when shooting under artificial lights.

To give you the best digital camera help, these are fundamental to your enjoyment and results . So take care in selecting. Remember price alone does not guarantee results.

Author: Les J Kubiak

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