Don’t Forget t’ Refer Yer Mateys and Win

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Yarrr! To celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we’re firin’ our cannons t’ salute our Refer-yer-Matey program and this month’s staunchest pirate.

Refer Yer Mateys fer a GoPro Hero3+ Blackbeard Edition

 

Need slo-mo video fer when ye walk th’ plank? Then tell yer buckos about SmugMug and get ‘em t’ join th’ crew, because every referral ye bring enters ye t’ win th’ queen o’ plunder: th’ super-lightweight, super-fast frame rate, super-durable, all-around-super GoPro Hero3+ Black edition camera.

If ye don’t think that yer hearties want a SmugMug account ‘cause they’re not pro photographers, we’ve provided jolly reasons why ye should let them in on yer secret, anyway. We all take pictures, ‘n could use a better, safer hold t’ stowe ‘em away.

Every month ‘til th’ end o’ 2014, we’re giving one GoPro away t’ one random matey, an’ tossing everyone who refers one scallywag (aye, all ye pirates) ‘to a drawin’ for th’ grand prize: a trip t’ th’ good ship SmugMug, so ye can be arrr guest o’ honor fer the day. Ye can get a preview o’ wha’s in store fer ye, an’ the full contest rules ‘n details here.

 A Salute to August’s Staunchest Pirate

Cast off an’ visit Christopher Michel’s site

 No quarter! Seven seas swashbuckler Christopher Michel be th’ winner o’ our August drawing. Cast off an’ see his travel photography, ’cause it’s a big kick in th’ knickers for inspiration.

 Set th’ sails, Christopher! We hope yer new GoPro gets a workout on yer next adventure.

With a yo, ho, ho and a DSLR,

The Crew of the Jolly Ship SmugMug

(In English: We’re giving away a GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition camera each month to one lucky SmugMuggle who refers friends to SmugMug. You’ll find details about the contest and how to win on our Refer-a-Friend info site.)

We’re link lubbers: 

Smug Tip: When to Use Collect Photos vs. Make a Copy

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

There’s no better day than today to share a few tips about two features that make a big impact in your SmugMug galleries: Collect Photos and Make a Copy.

You may get confused about the difference between the two, so here’s a cheat sheet to help you get better acquainted with each one, and some ideas for how you’d use them in your everyday photo lives.

How are Collected Photos and Make a Copy Different?

Both of these features are found in your galleries underneath each photo. And both will duplicate your image. But that’s where the similarity ends.

Collect Photos puts a virtual copy of your image, be it in the same gallery, in a different gallery, or into someone else’s gallery (on another account, if you allow this). The original continues to live where it lives, and any changes you make to the original, such as adding keywords and changing the watermark or cropping, will show up on all virtual copies.

Make a Copy creates an exact duplicate file, which can then be moved to a different location on your own site. The two files then behave completely independently of each other, meaning that any changes made to the original won’t impact the copy, and vice versa.

When to Use Collect Photos

Collect Photos is perfect for curating beautiful, succinct groups of images to tell your story. After all, SmugMug’s unlimited and you’re probably emptying whole memory cards into your galleries. With the power of Collect Photos, that’s totally OK!

Here’s some ways you can use it:

  • Upload all your images into unlisted galleries organized by date, and collect just the ones from around town into your public Street Photography gallery.
  • Collect just your best guest images from the wedding to share with the bride’s family.
  • Collect any time you want a photo displayed in multiple galleries on your site, and you want to be able to update the keywords and caption on it everywhere it appears.

Tip: Pros! Collect Photos is the power behind our Favorites feature in Events, which allows your top clients to choose the photos they love best out of your proof galleries. See if Events are for you.

When to Use Make a Copy

Make a Copy is fabulous for whenever you want to try something out on a photo that you’ve uploaded into a gallery, but you’re not quite sure if you want to lose the original.

Some example opportunities:

Tip: You can also edit your SmugMug photos with PicMonkey, but they’ll offer to automatically save a copy so you don’t have to worry about it.

We hope this installment of Smug Tips comes in handy and helps you share and enjoy your photos even more. Confused about a feature, need help with your workflow, or just have an idea for more tips? Let us know in the comments!

Link roundup:

Two More SmugMuggles Win Big in Our Refer-a-Friend Contest

August 25, 2014 1 comment

Just a quick announcement to congratulate (and thank!) the summer winners of our ongoing Refer-a-Friend contest. If you’ve just tuned in, we’re celebrating all the great photo lovers in our family with a contest that runs through the end of 2o14.

In addition to getting 20% credit each time you bring someone new into the SmugMug world, each referral enters you to win a deliciously daring GoPro Hero 3+ camera, AND a chance be our guest of honor at SmugMug HQ.  Full contest details and rules are right here.

So without further ado, here’s our salute to June and July’s winners, Duke Pham and Claire Bunn. What amazing photographers we have in the mix! We’re floored.

Visit Dukegraphy Studio‘s site

 

 

Thanks so much for sharing us with fellow photo phreaks, and we hope that you’ll be getting out there and capturing your next adventure soon!

Links:

Release Notes: New Slideshow Transitions, Password Reset Emails, and more

August 22, 2014 2 comments

Merry Friday, dear SmugMuggles! To send you off into a happy weekend, here’s an update on the things we’ve launched in the last few weeks.

In case you missed it, we announced the ability for Pros to customize their Right-Click Protection message in the new SmugMug, so if you have a Power, Portfolio, or Business account, don’t forget to check that out. We love that feature and all the opportunities it opens for pros.

Snazz Up Your Slideshows with 14 (!!) New Transitions

We brought you background slideshows a while back to rave reviews. But we only gave you two transitional options to pick from: “Fade” and “None.” Yawn.

Today, you’ve got 14 more:

  • Fade
  •  Zoom In
  •  Zoom Out
  •  Zoom In/Out
  •  Zoom Out/In
  •  Slide & Zoom
  •  Slide Down
  • Slide Up
  •  Slide Up/Down
  •  Slide Left
  •  Slide Right
  •  Slide Left/Right
  • Flip Down
  •  Flip Up
  • Flip Left
  •  Flip Right
  •  None

You’ll find these in both your background slideshow and in the Slideshow content block. If you or your viewers are using an older browser that doesn’t support some of these transitions, we’ll use the ever-dependable “Fade.”

Safer Password Resets for Safer… Resetting

If you ever need to reset your account login password, we now have a more secure method of resetting it. Click the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page and we’ll send you a link to create a new one

As always, ask our Support Heroes if you have any questions or hiccups.

Shortcuts and Bulk Improvements in Photo Tools

Who doesn’t love saving time? We added a few quick ways to edit your photos faster in the recently improved Photo Tools editor. Here they are:

  • Cmd+Opt+S / Ctrl+Alt+S = Save changes (shows in single editing and bulk editing mode)
  • Cmd+Opt+N / Ctrl+Alt+N = Save changes and move to the next image (shows only in single image editing)
  • Cmd+Opt+C / Ctrl+Alt+C = Cancel changes (text shows only in bulk editing mode, but shortcut is also available in single editing)

And you don’t have to memorize them, either: If you’ve made any changes to your images, we’ll display the shortcuts over the Save and Cancel buttons, so you don’t have to dive for your mouse. Unless you want to.

Tip: We’ve got keyboard shortcuts for browsing galleries and photos, too. See the full list here, along with a few other secret Smug features you may not have known you already have.

You may have noticed that we also merged the title, caption, and keywords tools into one mega-tool. There’s lots more prepending/appending options and helpful text prompts that will guide you through adding multiple entries.

Until next time! Have a great weekend and don’t forget to bring your camera with you. :)

––

Link roundup:

Pros, Your Fans Are Gonna Love This

August 21, 2014 12 comments

While we’ve had tutorial videos and archived webinars forever, today we’re happy to show you the latest additions to our library: How to Buy Prints & Downloads.

Two New Videos for You to Share

Pros have often asked us for tools that will help sell more prints, gifts, and downloads, because occasionally your fans need a little extra push. So we’ve created a long-format tutorial (7:58) and a short-format tutorial (4:52) showing your fans how to add photos to the shopping cart, understand those framing and cropping options, and check out. Here’s the short version:

We hope that you’ll share these with your clients, or even embed them into your site so that they’re viewable at any time. Tip: Use Customize > Customize Site and drop a YouTube video Content Block onto the page. You can get the video link above.

Here’s to smoother sales at SmugMug!

P.S. Did you know that we have a 100% guarantee on all items ordered through your SmugMug galleries? If you or your customer are not happy for ANY reason, we’ll fix it or replace it for free. We mean it.

Links you’ll love:

Essential Night Landscape Photography Tips from Chris Burkard

August 13, 2014 8 comments

chris burkardToday’s post comes from extraordinary surf and landscape photographer Chris Burkard, who we recently featured in our short film, Arctic Swell. Chris has made it his life’s work to find wild, remote destinations and then capture the juxtaposition of humans in these environments. The world is an oftentimes harsh, humbling, and magical place, and Chris wants to photograph it all.

He shares his essential night landscape tips below. You can browse his portfolio and print store on his site.

It’s hard to beat the enchanting feeling of star gazing at a clear night sky.  You soon become lost in its beauty like a giant kaleidoscope full of shooting stars, planets, and glow from the setting sun or nearby cities.  I’ve traveled to countless countries over the past ten years and some of my fondest memories occur long after the sun has set.  Whether it’s camping near my home in Big Sur or witnessing a rare northern lights show in the Arctic, I’ve had the privilege and challenge of documenting these night landscapes.

My introduction to night photography happened when I took a road trip in 2006 along the entire California coastline.  My friend Eric Soderquist and I spent over two months on the road in his Volkswagon bus in search of waves in every California county.  The trip was later turned into a book, The California Surf Project, and looking back through its pages you can see some of the early stages of my night photography.  Camping under the stars literally every night made me that much more appreciative and eager to capture the beauty of the night sky.  Fast forward 8 years and I’m still drawn to these dark moments where my friends and I are huddled around a campfire in Iceland or getting lost in the magic of the northern lights in Norway.  Photographing in the dark certainly requires some adjusting but here’s some tips to prepare you for the next time you’re shooting night landscapes.   

Night Landscape Photography Tip 1: Get Away From the City

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

The farther you are from city lights the clearer you will be able to see stars and the less light pollution you’re going to have. The photo pictured above was shot in Big Sur, CA a few hours from any major cities.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 2: To Infinity! 

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Set your focus to infinity or focus on far away light sources to make sure you get the sky in focus.  If you want to focus on your subject shine a light on them.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 3: Trial & Error

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Don’t be afraid to test settings to see what works best.  The beauty of working with digital cameras is that you get instant feedback.  I usually open my aperture as wide as it will go (f/2.8 or wider) and then vary my ISO depending on how bright the sky is.  In this particular photo I exposed for 30 seconds at f/1.8 and 400 ISO.  I like to keep my ISO as low as possible.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 4: Frame Up

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Remember that the sky is your hero in the photo.  Try framing the sky in the upper 2/3 of your image and then vary your angle depending on the scenario. With the northern lights creating a really dramatic light trail I framed up.  You could do the same with the milky way or stars in general.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 5: Expose Long & Short

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Long exposures are going to leave you light trails and short ones should make the stars nice and sharp.  Try both methods for variety in your imagery.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 6: Bring a Headlamp

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

You can use a headlamp to light up your tent or even light paint a tree or waterfall.  Practice the amount of light that you are shining out of your headlamp because it is easy to wash out the picture with too much light.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 7: Add a Subject

120227_BURKARD_03997
Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Adding that human element to a picture can give it a sense of perspective and depth. Play around with where you place the subject in your frame.  The less busy your framing is the better.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 8: Mind the Moon

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

If you want to have clear stars shoot underneath a new moon or when the moon is below the horizon.  If the moon is out you can play with the effects that it can have on your photograph. Use it to backlight trees or your subject but be careful not to let it wash out your picture.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 9: Use a Tripod

131210_BURKARD_92002

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Or a rock or the hood of your car.  A tripod is you’re most crucial piece of night photography gear.  Joby makes great camping tripods cause they are small and packable.  I also recommend a remote so you can make sure your shots are even more stable.

Night Landscape Photography Tip 10: Stay Up Late

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Photo Credit: Chris Burkard

Night skies are often darkest and most active late into the night.  I’ve seen tons of meteor showers and northern lights shows way past midnight.  Set an alarm and wake up if you have to or use a remote to take photos periodically throughout the night.

Want More?

Check out our short film, Arctic Swell, to see Chris Burkard and pro surfers Patrick Millin, Brett Barley, and Chadd Konig brave sub-zero temperatures in the Arctic Circle.

http://youtu.be/cBJyo0tgLnw

Links to love:

New: Customize Your Right-Click Protection Message

August 12, 2014 16 comments

… and use your powers for good, not evil.

A quick update this morning for pros who use right-click protection to stop thieves from grabbing your pics: we’ve added the ability to customize the message that displays when viewers right click your protected photos.

This is something that you could do using CSS customization in Old SmugMug, but we think it’s such an important piece of building a great experience on your site, we wanted to make it drop-dead simple for you to do this in the new, beautiful SmugMug.

Get It Set Up

 

 

Visit your Account Settings and look under your Privacy tab. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a brand new “Right-Click Message” field. Fill that out, save your changes, and test right-clicking on photos in your protected galleries to see how it looks. Here’s more help.

Tip: We recommend being firm but friendly. If you have prints for sale, ask them to look for the Buy button to grab one of your photos in a legit way.

A Word About Image Theft

As always, we want to share some helpful info about image protection and what to expect. After all, if you’re paying us for a pro-level account, you should get the best bang for your buck!

We hear a lot from ambitious pros who rely on tools like Right-Click Protection way more heavily than they probably should. Why’s this bad? Right-Click Protection is just a deterrent, and if someone really wants to download a free copy of your image, there are several things they’ll try. For example, they can snap a screen grab, so be sure to use the full suite of image protection tools if you’re really worried about this. Here’s a quick review of your options:

  • Right-Click Protection. Displays a popup window when any part of the gallery is clicked. Fabulous when coupled with a warm, friendly message encouraging fans to buy.
  • Display Size. Limits the size of the images viewers can see. Great for foiling screen grabbers.
  • Watermarking. Logo or text placed over your display copies. Add your URL, enable sharing, and you’ve got yourself a ton of free advertising for your biz. The best bit? Your prints still print clean.

We hope this helps those of you who are new to SmugMug, are new to photography, or who just haven’t fiddled with your site lately and are looking to brush up on the basics.

And as always, be sure to let us know if you have questions, problems, or just need some advice getting your site working the way you want. We’re here. 

Link roundup: 

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