Category Archives: Tips

PNG vs Jpeg

You will be aware as much as me the digital world around us is continually improving and growing.
We once defaulted to saving all our images and photos to JPG, we now have better options available to us.

  • JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
  • BPG (Better Portable Graphics

Of course they all have a place depending on the purpose of the final file. The more experienced website owners will know smaller image sizes will help quick load speeds and reduce your overall memory consumption.

Today I’m just concentrating on the JPG and PNG.

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Which offers better image quality?

PNG format

  • Smaller image size.
  • A Better compression rate than GIF
  • lossless compression file format.
  • Offer alpha transparency

PNG is a good choice for storing line drawings, text, and iconic graphics at a small file size. When you re save a PNG file, the quality of the saved image is identical to the original. A great benefit to PNG image files is that they support image transparency great for seamlessly blending logos into a website.

JPEG Format

  • Suitable for images, high details & quality pictures.
  • Most used graphic file format
  • Approved as standard in 1994
  • Good file size
  • Used in photography industry

JPG is a lossy compressed file format, each time the same picture is saved it losses some quality. This makes it useful for storing photographs at a smaller size than a BMP. Featuring vibrant colours and details. JPG (which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group) has always been an image file type of choice for professional photographers. After a number of saves, you can see the quality of the image reduce. JPEGs are for photographs and realistic images.

Weigh up the pros and Cons and choose wisely.

 

Photos :ZulfPhotography (BBz10 phone camera used)

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Is your memory card slowing you down?

Did you know your memory card could be slowing down your mobile or tablet? If you have a slower class memory card it significantly reduces the speed of writing and reading data.

  • Phones
  • Cameras
  • Tablets
  • Gaming devices

Most of the above pieces of equipment have extremely limited data storage. You will most likely need a bigger memory card to get the most out of the storage facility.

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You may notice most memory cards have stats printed on them relating to sizes, types and speeds. Make sure you check with your device for what writing speed it will need. The memory card needs a ‘write at’ speed that can match, if not exceed, your device write speed.

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My Canon 5D MKii can easily produce up to three frames per second, each frame 25mb in size (Raw). My memory card needs to be able to store the write speed of data in order not to slow me down.

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The Canon 5D has a buffer which temporarily holds the data information before the camera writes it to the storage card. My buffer can easily hold 14 shots before it starts to lag, so my memory card writing at 60MB/s is fine. However if I put in a memory card writing at 10MB/s I would notice a significant delay in write speeds. I mostly use SanDisk Extreme as above but I am however currently in the process of trying out some Lexar Professional 800x Cards too. I will let you know how that performs soon.

It’s important to think about buying genuine and reliable memory cards. Check out My Memory links before to make sure you have the best card for your needs.

Sandisk: mymemory.co.uk/Sandisk

Lexar: mymemory.co.uk/Lexar

Photos: ZulfPhotography

 

Valentine’s Day Business Tips

Valentine’s Day is more than just a day of romance for brands, it provides a much-needed hype and boost to interact with its customers.

Valentines Special Shoot for Lahore Desserts
Valentines Special Shoot for Lahore Desserts

Hopfully you will have seen my post on Tips for Building and Managing Social Media Audience.   Along side that its important to have content to match the customers expectations.

Lets face it

  • We like the attention.
  • We love chocolate and treats.
  • We want reassurance that you are with the right person.

You need a heightened social media presence to remind all those forgetful folks about Valentine’s Day. They need to treat there other half to that little extra valentines pizazz.

It shouldn’t matter what type of business you have, the valentine’s bug can be adapted into most businesses.
You will see below how we introduced a romantic element to the fabric shoot to bring it in line with Valentines Day. You can see the tips about adding props and using coherent marketing here

Explore unique valentines day gift ideas at Khushboo fabrics
Explore unique valentines day gift ideas at Khushboo fabrics

Lucky we plan ideas in advance with our clients and have a number of shoots to get you at the forefront on this romantic celebratory day.

Life is short. Valentine’s Day gives you an excuse to enjoy it more.

Photos: Zulfphotography

Fabrics: KhushbooTextiles

Desserts: Lahoredesserts

How to Adapt Memory Cards

With the vast range of memory cards these days it’s hard to get a real idea of which you need for which device.

Most gadgets take varying types and sizes of memory cards. We find ourselves not being able to use the same memory card across our devices and gadgets.

Did you know cards can be adapted to enable a smaller card to be used in an item designed to house a larger one?

Here’s a quick example of my Micro SD and Micro SDHC adapter.

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Micro SD and Micro SDHC adapter.

Micro SD cards are about a quarter of the size of a standard SD card and are most commonly used in mobile phones. I use the Micro SDHC to SDHC card adapter to use my phone and tablet cards in my integrated laptop SDHC reader.

I checked the speed with and without the adapters and the write speed was unchanged.

Chosen carefully, an adapter is a handy accessory to have available, which can be used to service a range of electronic gadgets simply and reliably.

Photos: Zulf Photography

Tips for Building and Managing Social Media Audience

Social_Media_Management Tips for Building a Social Media Audience.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Social media profiles – we all have them, but here’s a question… How many of us know what is being said about us or our brand on them?

I’m sure we all pay varying levels of interest to each of our profiles depending on our mood and interests.

In the current digital world improving your social media presence is a big obligation for individuals and businesses alike.

Here are a few Tips for Building and Managing a Social Media Audience.

  • Remember that people want to socialise with the person behind the fancy logo or strapline.
  • Try not to always post about your business offers.
  • Post at different times of the day, we all have different schedules.
  • Follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation.
  • When you find interesting articles, rather than post them all immediately schedule some to post later via social media management programs.
Reception Desk offers and prices.
Try not to only post about your business offers and prices

Scheduling posts will help you reach more of your followers, especially those from different time zones. At the same time you want to be careful not to automate everything, follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation; social media is about other people too. When your followers learn that you’re an industry expert, they’ll trust your business when they look for a product in your area.

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Follow up on Tweets and engage in conversation

You may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of tools that can help you monitor and improve your social media activity. Personally, I had been using Hootsuite for a good six months before I upgraded to a pro package. It offers a host of features which help manage multiple profiles and it has helped me a lot to keep on top of all the updates.

Finally, remember – as humans we like to share our feelings and be part of the pack. Don’t be the guy at the party that only talks about himself.

Here is a nice breakdown from docsocTV on what Hootsuite can do for you.

Photos: Zulf Photography

Video: www.docstoc.com

Hootsuite: www.hootsuite.com

How to get the best from your laptop’s battery life?

Laptop Battery LifeOverview

In my photography workflow I use a wide range of machines. My main desktop is an AMD Octa-core, I mainly use that for my processor heavy tasks. However I rely more on my Laptop for day to day tasks.

My support portfolio device is a Samsung tablet and i have a blackberry mobile too. My go-to machine for quick edits, emails and social media is my trusty old Lenovo Thinkpad T410 i5 Laptop.

You will notice I have an android tablet, blackberry phone and no apple products in my office or household. I’m not a big Apple fan, just not my cup of tea.

Anyway this is my Laptop, it is relatively old first came out in 2011-12. It copes well with my custom little upgrades. I upgraded my battery to the 9 cell one which replaces the standard 6 cell one. You will see below I easily get 7.5 hours of battery life on moderate daily tasks.

I think it’s fair to say we always want to get the best from our battery life.

Here are my tips

  • Start up – Every program or service that loads up each time you boot in Windows consumes system resources, you should disable the ones you don’t need.
  • Fresh boot – once you disconnected from the power source reboot from the battery. This lets all the components in the machine know you are defiantly on battery power.
  • Dim your screen – The display on your laptop uses the most energy. When you disconnect the power cord, it’s best to dim the brightness down below half or even less than half.
BatteryLife
Power options – Dim your Screen
  • Stop programs running in the background.- All the background programs add to the CPU load and cut down battery life.
  • Take out CDs or DVD’s – Having a CD or DVD in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power, even when they are not actively being used.
  • Hibernate not sleep – Hibernating a PC will actually save your current programs and completely shut itself down.
  • Don’t multitask – Do one thing at a time when you’re on battery. Set your mind to one thing only. If you don’t you’ll only drain out your batteries before any actual work gets done.

If you have a little money to spend

  • Bigger battery – Some models let you buy larger batteries. I got a 9 cell battery to replace my old 6 cell one and i easily get 7.5 hours of battery on moderate tasks.
  • Upgrade to a SSD– they use significantly less power than hard drives. Their energy efficiency can deliver longer battery life in notebooks, less power strain on system.

All these tips have worked for me, I thought its only fair to share them. They have allowed me to go out with my windows 7 i5 Lenovo T410 laptop and not worry about charging for a easy 5-6 hours (on typical uses). I am aware of other laptops out there that quote higher battery life. (Chromebook 6.5 hours of battery life). Keep in mind the Chrome OS is very limited. Its all down to how you use the laptop and tasks you do.

Black and White Photography Tips

It’s important to develop your own style. I have been lucky enough to expand on my black and white photography skills within the context of my projects.

Shooting black and white helps you to concentrate on the key elements of your image. It brings out shapes and shadows that are often lost in colour photos.

Take more photos: try and understand what makes your good photos actually good.

Things to remember

  • Low ISO
  • Shoot in RAW
  • Look for timeless subjects
  • Keep sharp where it counts
  • Tell a story

Here we have my short pictorial story of Pete from Excalibur Steel Works.

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Tea Break

 

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Tools of the trade

 

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Magical Welder

 

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Magical Welder