Should I use dashes or underscores in my file names?

Question:
I just wanted to ask/clarify a point you make for us about file naming.

Our multimedia / web classes teach us to use “underscore” in between words for file naming conventions for easy reading etc. No capital letters (because they can be interpreted in code to mean a specific action) and no other special characters.

Example:
playful_couple_in_the_park.jpg

I think you prefer:
Playful-couple-in-the-park.jpg

So, should it be dashes? Is that a preferred convention from a stock house? Just want to clarify before I rename almost everything in the correct or potentially incorrect way.

 

Answer:
I do not recommend using capital letters.  The Internet loves lower case letters.  😉

I recommend using hyphens (dashes) in file names over underscores.  The reason for this is due to Google.  It will read  your file names with hyphens as individual words.  Underscored words are read as one word to Google.

You may read more about it in this 2012 updated article.
Hope this helps,
Say!

Should I put my copyright symbol on the image?

Question:
I am finishing up my image improvement assignment and was wondering if for the copyright part you want us to actually make a signature symbol and put it on the photo?

Thank you,

Answer: 
Thanks for the question.  Stock houses will not accept work that has a copyright symbol placed on the  image.  You can (and should) place your copyright information in the metadata though.
🙂
Take care,
Say!

How do I set my camera to raw mode?

Question:
I have been researching online for about an hour now and can not figure out how to turn my camera to raw mode…this may be a very silly question but is there a button or something…do a turn the dial to a certain letter?

Thank you,

 

Answer:

Not a silly question at all.

 It is usually in the camera’s Menu, then Quality.  You may be looking for Raw or if it is a Nikon NEF.
If you let me know which camera you are shooting, I might be able to give you more specific directions.
Take care,
Say!

 

 

May I shoot for holidays that are farther than 6 months away or birthdays?

Question:
For a holiday in 6 months time, August does not have many holidays. Are we allowed to use birthdays, or holidays before or after 6 months time? Thank you!

Answer:
Of course!  My apologies for not being more clear.  The “6-month rule” is not a hard and fast one.  You will want to use it as a guideline as what to shoot for the most immediate sales as designers are often looking for images for events/holidays 6 months out.  Shooting for holidays further away just puts you ahead of the game.
It is also good to shoot the current holidays as you go through them for next year’s sales.  This way you don’t have to set up shots as much.  😉
Of course birthdays are year-round.  They are always good to shoot for. 
 
Thanks for asking,
 
Say!

 

Why have I only earned 50 points in the forum posts?

Question:

I see that I got 50% on the bring one model forum assignment, and I don’t know why? Since I followed all the rules? :S

Answer:
Hi,
I am happy you are checking your grades for accuracy.  Please continue to do so and feel free to bring me any questions.
If you have received 50 points, then this means that you have not completed all the work.
As the first posting is worth 50 points.  When you create a post that follows the guideline for that week’s discussion board, you will earn all 50 points.
The second 50 points are earned by posting two, thoughtful replies to other students.  Each reply is worth 25 points each.  Please make sure your replies are not single-celled comments like, “Ooooo, nice!” or “I like it.”  While it is wonderful that you may appreciate someone’s work, you will earn these last set of points when you explain why you like the work.  Is it the lighting, story, angle, colors, composition, juxtaposition, or does it hark back to a personal experience you had, a poem you read, a song you like… As you can see, by giving complete feedback, you will strengthen your photographic eye and help another become a stronger photographer.  It’s a win-win.  Go for it.
Take care,
Say!

Are we allow to photograph guns?

 Question:

Sorry to send these questions in another email.My boyfriend just recently purchased a gun. I wanted to photograph him with it as a possible hunting market advertisement. Would this be acceptable to have a gun in a picture or is this against school regulations?Also are we allowed to Photoshop edit the color of our pictures or are they just meant to be regular color?
Thank you!

Answer:
Great question.  Please feel free to keep them coming.  I am here to help.
Due to the news lately, this would be a great market to tap into currently.  (It is always good to shoot (errr, no pun intended) for the news and what is going on in the world.
You are welcome to use gun(s) in a photo.  You are not allowed to bring them to school to shoot photograph them… or shoot them for that matter.
If you are able to color correct your images, please do!  Just remember if you change the color of something in the image, then be sure to note it to yourself that the image is not OK to license as an editorial image.
To be more clear, you may color correct for an editorial image so that all items in the image are true to color.
For a comercial image,  you may do whatever  you like to the image.
Let me know when you have more questions,
Say!

Can I use a mother/daughter grouping as two people in my assignment?

Question:

For our Model and Release Assignment, could I photograph a mother and daughter together in one photo and have it count as 2 photo entries or would you want me to take pictures of them separately?

Answer:
Mother and daughter photos in stock are great!  You are welcome to approach the assignment this way, but this will count as one photo and you will still need three different photos to complete the assignment.
Your three different photos need to be different from each other enough to approach a greater variety of markets.  If you like, you can shoot both models in one photo and then go for a second shoot (can be the same day, but with a different ‘feeling’ to the image) with just one or both in the image.  This then would qualify you for two models and two images.
Does this make sense?
Ultimately,  you need to use a at least three separate models, but  you can have more.
You need to have three images that don’t feel like you are in the same location/scene as the other two.  Some of the ideas (keywords) will probably overlap, but try to approach the assignment in that you are working to reach as great an audience as possible with your three images.
Hope this helps,
Say!

 

I have a question about the “How Slow Can You Hold” assignment

Question:
I have a question about the “How Slow Can You Hold” assignment:
My lens is 18 – 55mm, so I should keep my shutter speed at 1/60 sec, right? What if I’m using my lens at 18mm, should I still keep my shutter speed at 1/60 or should it be 1/20?

Answer:
The point of the assignment was to find out how slow you can hold that lens and still keep it sharp.

 The rule of thumb is this.  You want your shutter speed to match the length of your lens or quicker.  So when you have your lens zoomed in at 55 MM, the ‘rule’ suggests you shoot at 1/60th of a second.  You may be able to shoot at 1/30 or or 1/15 or even slower.  That is what we are testing out with you.
When you have your lens zoomed all the way in to 18 MM, the rule of thumb suggests that you shoot at 1/30th of a second or quicker.  (As 1/15 of a second is so close to 18 MM, you most likely will be fine here too.)  To know if you can handhold 1/8 or 1/4 or 1/2 of a second, you have to test it.  😉
Does this make sense?
Say!

Should exposure information include aperture, shutter speed, and ISO?

Question:
I have a quick question about the exposure on the photos. I am submitting my dust photo soon  and just wanted to make sure I wrote the expose numbers that you were looking for…those are the numbers that are inside the camera lens, right? The ones that mean the ISO, expose, and aperture?

Thank you for the help,

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.
 
Yes, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are the numbers associated with exposure and will work perfectly!
 
Take care,
 
Say!

Am I completing the Depth of Field Assignment Correctly?

Question:

I’m sorry for asking so many questions, but I want to get it right :S
In the aperture assignment; I have tried several things, and I am thinking of using a lamp as my subject, and I took one with a wide aperture, close and then I took a second one, a bit further away so you can see the whole thing and with a small aperture, is this the way too go with the assignment?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Answer:
I love your questions.  Please feel free to ask me anything photographic or about the class.  I want you to get it right too and feel confident in your work.  😀
What you are describing sounds great and on target.  The wide open aperture with the camera close to your subject will give you less depth of field.  While the closed down aperture moved further back will give you deeper depth of field.
Doing this should handle the technical part of the assignment.  Now, just be sure  your lamp is a strong subject in both shots and that you feel it would apply to the idea of stock photography.
If you are unsure about the idea of stock, then you can look up lamp on some stock house websites.  The top three would be gettyimages.comistock.com, and corbisimages.com.
You shouldn’t work to match the images found at any site as they already have the images there.  😉  You can get an idea of what is available and if you think your work is stock-worthy too.
If you are not able to find a lot on your subject, it might just be that there is a lot of room for you to work your images into their stock houses.  😉
Hope this helps,
Say!