Meet Kalyn! She is the newest member of the PhotoLynx family…literally

 

Hi I’m the new Photolynx girl Kalyn Kelly, yes Tricia Kelly’s daughter. I’m the new voice your going to be hearing on the phones and I’m also the girl who is going to be doing all your activations, so please be nice and patient with me I’m trying to learn as quickly as possible.

 

I’m super excited to be part of this fun hard working team, and to help out and learn as much as I possibly can.

 

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of San Diego, and attended Julian High School, the same small town and school my mother (the money lady) grew-up in and attended. I grew up on a farm and was in 4-H my whole childhood (I took a hog to the fair every summer) where I learned how to work hard and get stuff done

 

I love the out doors and every sport under the sun (I’d rather play then watch). I took a highland dance (old traditional Scottish Dance) class for a while and loved, it but had to quit due to a bum knee.. I have 4 sisters and one brother whom I love all very dearly, I am the second youngest and by far the best one in the litter!

 

I love learning and expanding my horizons as much as I can. My last job was at Mom’s Pie House where I baked the best pies in town! I started out bussing and in less then a year I moved up the chain to server, cashier, opener-closer then on to baker, in the pie world that’s pretty darn fast. And now that I’m on the Photolynx team I’m going to work hard and do my best to be the best employee I possible can.

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Are you ready?

With the North American school photography season fast approaching you may find yourself needing some answers after the PhotoLynx technical support hours. Some excellent places to find some answers are the support forums and the how-to’s and manuals section of our website.

Support Forums:

http://photolynxsoftware.com/support/

How-To’s And Manuals:

http://photolynx.com/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=section&id=2:how-to-s-and-manuals&Itemid=33

These guides are excellent refreshers and often a solution will present itself.

Robert

Bokeh Photography

Hello Day Campers!

This week, I am going to be discussing bokeh.  The term comes from the Japanese word boke, which means “blur” or “haze”.  In photography, it refers to the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur.  Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as reflections and light sources.  However, bokeh is not limited to highlights, because blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image.

One way to achieve this effect is by opening your camera’s aperture to the widest setting, a low f-stop.  Lenses with low f-stops, 2.8, 2.0, 1.8, 1.4 and lower, are best.  This will make a very small depth of field, and thus blurring the back ground.  A second way would be to use PhotoShop and apply a blur the background. 

Now, when using bokeh on lights, the lights blur in a circular shape.  This is caused by the shape of the aperture.  A very cool DIY project would be to create your own shapes.  What you would do is to create a fake lens hood out of paper.  (there is a link to this tutorial at the end of the blog)  Make the diameter a size that will tightly fit around the lens.  Now, in the middle of this hood, is where you will cut your shape.  The size oh the hole will depend on the size of your lens.   This can be easily checked by looking through the viewfinder. If you cut out a heart shape, the out of focus lights will appear as hearts, and so on with other shapes.  If you are not into DIY projects, you can also buy packs here –  Bokeh Masters Kit.

That’s all for this week.  Hope you all found this useful!  I’m planning on making a few of my own shapes to try out.

-Crystal

Breaking into the school market

 I have a lot of people that I have been talking to that are familiar with studio work flow and have decided to dive into the school market.  They are looking to us to help with more than their software needs, we have all the resources so I have put together an email that I have used for some of my prospects to give them a little bit of information to help them feel more comfortable with their new endeavor, and hopefully their new software partner.

Thank you for talking with me today!  I know it can be a bit overwhelming when you are first starting out but we are here to help in any way we can.

Here is a link to our blog, there are some very interesting bits of information in here:
PhotoLynx Blog

Here are a few links to some entries I thought you might find helpful.
Getting started with school photography
Getting started with school photography part 2
Why to purchase school pictures
School Calculator
Keep up with school accounts
template for a school contract
Photography resources

The name and contact info for the hard card printer information:
Lawrence Grafstein
Mobile: 310-531-8515
Advantidge, Inc.
310-531-8505
lg@advantidge.com

Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions that I can answer for you.

Have You Checked Your Equipment Lately?

Have You Checked Your Equipment Lately?

“Six to eight weeks….and you are going to have to be diligent about wearing it ALL the time, except for when sleeping.”  The orthopedic surgeon’s words sounded like they were coming from out of a long tunnel as I stood there thinking about all the things that were going to change in my life for the next month or two.

Almost two weeks prior, an accident that lasted only a few seconds changed so much instantly.  I was camping with my family and we had taken our horses with us.  My ten year old son was dying for me to take him on his first trail ride.  I saddled up his horse and mine and off we went.  Both animals were behaving beautifully.  Then my son asked if we could run the horses.  “Sure, honey…lets get up here a bit first.”  We started to lope and my horse began to buck.  I was doing well…..until the equipment failure.  The strap that holds the saddle to the horse, snapped into three pieces and I went flying through the air, flipped over and landed on my upper back.  I could only watch as my son’s horse charged after my hose as they ran back to camp and out of sight.  Fortunately, my son bailed off to come back to me and ended up with nothing more than a slight scrape to his knee.  It was different for me, however.
Fast forward to the surgeon’s office where I was being told how I was going to care for the 15% compression fracture of my T12 vertebrae.  No riding, no running, no lifting, no yard work – nothing fun as far as I was concerned!  The worst part is that in just 6 weeks, I was supposed to be married….on horseback!!!   The brace I was being sentenced to would hold my back straight all day so that the fracture could heal on its own – in about 6 to 8 weeks.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I may as well be put in a jail cell as be told I can’t be my active self who “does it all.”

I am slowly adjusting to my limitations and will most likely be able to go through the wedding without the brace.  Why do I retell my story here?  Well, it reminds me of how we need to always check our equipment and make sure it is in excellent condition, working properly and will be reliable when we need it to be most.  The leather on my billet strap was old and brittle.  Sometimes our hard drives, flash-drives, network cables, printer parts, cameras, etc, all wear out or break when we need them most.  The best way to prevent this is to take the time to do a once over on your equipment.  Do your virus scans, update the firmware and software for your operating systems and programs.  Check your cables to make sure they aren’t crimped, or splitting.  Use dusting sprays on your machines to keep them clean.  Call in a technician to do a once over on your equipment, if you don’t have it reguarly cared for.

My point here is that most of us are in a lull right now and this is the perfect time to make sure our equipment is going to be there for us when we most need it and not have a failure that will cost us weeks of productivity, like what happened to me.

Kat

Using a tablet with Green Screen.

Using a tablet with Green Screen

One of the best tools a graphic designer, photographer, or any digital artist can have in their personal arsenal is a tablet.  The most well know, and highest quality tablets are made by Wacom.  Tablets are connected to your computer by USB cord, or wirelessly.  Wacom also has many different models, from small to extra-large tablets, to pen on-screen models where you actually draw on a LCD monitor.  Both types are used with a Wacom pen.  The pen is cordless, and battery less.  The pen gets its power from a wire grid below the screen on the tablet.  This grid is also how the pen and tablet communicate, they use radio waves sent back and forth to each other.  The pen has a pressure sensitive tip, and through the radio waves this pressure information as well as tilt information is sent to the tablet and on to the computer. 

            The most experience I have had with using a tablet is in college graphic design classes.  They are amazing.  It is much more of a natural feeling using a pen rather than a big, clunky mouse.  Using a tablet with Green Screen was no less of a great experience.  I have used Green Screen in the past with a mouse.  It works well, but I always thought that it could be smoother and could use more flow.  The pen and tablet do just that.  It brings the needed ease and comfort to the movement of your hand.  If you are new to using and tablet, it may be a bit slower at first using it with Green Screen.  But, after you learn how to control it, it will speed up your production time.  I would highly suggest trying one of these out!

See you all next time!

Crystal

PhotoLynx gives back…

PhotoLynx gives back…and we want your help!

Team PhotoLynx will be participating in the 2010 San Diego Blood Bank 5K Walk/Run.  This is an organization that I personally feel very intimate with.  Click the link below to see what it is all about and why you should be a part of it.

http://www.sandiegobloodbank.org/events/5k-walk-run-2010/teams.php?id=55

Tawnya

Join Us at PMA 2010!

“PMA 2010 – The Ultimate Event for Everything Photo.”  This is an excellent event to help keep up with the latest, greatest in the photography industry.  As always, Photolynx, Inc. will be there.  Come see the show on us!!!  For a FREE Full Trade Show Badge, compliments of Photolynx, Inc., click here!

Need Help With Your School & Event Photography Marketing?

Every once in a while something comes across our desks that we think might be of interest to our clients.  This one was sent to us by one of our customers and we thought we’d share it with you.

There’s a set of Marketing Templates available that can make your life
easier. The set includes over 70 different marketing and sales tools for
Schools, Sports, Daycare, Dance, Directory and special Events photographers.
Resources include Proposals, Pricelists, Flyer Copy, Sales Letters and Business
Forms.  They are provided as MS Word or Excel files you can modify and
use, or as PDF’s you can use for reference. Also included is the effective
“Net  Pricing” spreadsheet you can use to give yourself a competitive advantage
in the  market. The templates were developed by Chris Wunder, Cr. Photog.
ASP, a  well-known industry expert. Order information is available by
writing _schoolfotos@aol.com_ (mailto:schoolfotos@aol.com) .

If you are a visual learner, you may enjoy these video Workshops available
on DVD from Marathon Press. These are authored and presented by Chris
Wunder as  well. There are three different titles offered.

The “ABC’s of School Photography” is the definitive work covering the
Sales and Marketing of School Portraiture. The strategies taught are proven
effective – even for “newbie” photographers.  It’s a 3 DVD Set  covering 5
hours of content with everything you need to know to be competitive  in the
School market.

Another available DVD Workshop, “Year-Round Marketing Means Year-round
Cash!” covers 17 promotions you can do to keep the cash register ringing all
year long. Topics include promotions for Youth Sports, Childcare  Centers and
Preschools, Reunions, Event Books, Martial Arts Schools, Dance  Schools,
Proms and Gala events and much more. This is a two DVD set  covering over
three hours of content.

The final installment of the Workshop series teaches you how to get started
in the lucrative Pictorial Directory business. Family Portraiture is
always in  demand and photographing in VOLUME makes sense and is very profitable.
Learn to  tap into this market for Churches, Country Clubs and Gated
Communities. A 3 DVD  set with 5 hours of content.

Information on these DVD workshops can be found at
_www.marathonpress.com/schools-and-events/dvd-workshop-series_
(http://www.marathonpress.com/schools-and-events/dvd-workshop-series)

Wireless Shutter Release

Here is the latest toy I’ve played with.  This works really cool!

Before you are tempted by one without an antenna, think twice.  The antenna doubles as a hair placement tool.  It can move little hairs around that would normally stick to your fingers and it helps you keep your distance from your subjects.  Keep it in your hand and you won’t ever fumble for the shutter release on the camera and miss that perfect shot!

Remote Shutter Release

Remote Shutter Release

I found this one on Ebay for most of the newer Nikons.