PHOTO EDITING INDIA
There was a time when people dreamed about computers and dreamed at length about the
different ways in which it can help change the world. We went to two extremes, one where
computers are mere slaves in a capable human being`s hand and another where the roles are reversed and the humans are mere slaves. We continue to be relatively enjoying the honeymoon phase of this relationship that we have forged with computers and the internet at large.
Computers have now become part of our everyday existence and are indispensable to us. The areas where computers help us are too many to list out here. Let us concentrate on the one rather intriguing phase, where the computer software aid in bettering or perfecting art. And this has gone beyond the `art for art’s sake` argument.
Photographs are nothing but pure art, one that is inspired and captured by the photographer in a split second. These images are then left to the viewer who analyses it and views it the way they want to at that given point in time. But photography has come a long way and is no longer an expression of art alone, but is the backbone of many an industry, be it media or advertising or other such related fields. But as was expected the benchmarks which were earlier set based on the usability factor went through a sea change. What was once seen as imperfections which added to the novelty and character of a creation became nothing but imperfections.
Added to this were issues that plague photographers across the world, that of weather,
brightness, issues with background and many more. Timeliness is the keystone for success.
With the aid of technology a lot can be done to make these images, pure works of art which are perfect in every sense of the term. People across the world realized the potential involved and decided to spend their energy and concentrate on bettering the process. There are many
software which are designed to help edit the images so that all the unwanted aspects of the
image can be worked upon.
The enterprising youth of India was not left far behind, and photo editing experts in India soon became a force to reckon with. The photo editing artists in India realised long ago that technology and human expertise need to work hand in hand to deliver the best in terms of images and the idea of perfection. They soon began to buy these much needed software after much research. They also much early on equipped themselves with the knowhow to make sure they are not just mere novices at work, but rather experts who later on started being called artists in this field. Photo Editing India as a company went a step ahead and set up a system in place so that there will be no time lost time thanks to file sharing and the like, a system where in which the clients have to move their images to a folder which is accessed by the team in India, who then work on these images and then move the images back into the same folder. All that the client would know is that, the chosen images are left in a folder in the evening and by the time they come back to work in the morning, the images in the same folder are worked on and ready to be used.
Thanks to the image experts at Photo Editing India, there is an inexhaustible supply of perfect images at all times of the day.
CLIPPING PATH & PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY
Image manipulation experts have come a long way and are now the true artists behind most of the images that we see around us. The images and logos that are the backbone of most advertising agencies go through the skilled hands of the image manipulation expert who make the necessary changes to the raw image so that the image is a thing of beauty. The final image is thoroughly checked and each and every pixel is analyzed carefully for potential flaws.
This is a multi layered process where each step is as crucial as the other. One of the primary steps is what is referred to as Image Clipping. This term is self explanatory and refers to the process of removing the key image or part of an image from the background it rests on. The rest of the changes are then made on the clipped image. Before an image can be clipped from the raw image, it needs to have a clear clipping path; this is the path along which the image is cropped from the mother image. There are many kinds of clipping paths based on the image and on where the image would finally rest. In the case of a simple image, let us say, that of a simple accessory like a compact (a cosmetic product); the clipping path is pretty simple. There needs to be one simple path which begins and ends in the same place.
Then there are the complicated clipping paths which are usually found in the case of an image with details – the image of a woman with her hair let loose, that of the foliage or of an intricate lace- the list is endless. These images are wrought with details which are the key elements which in turn add to the identity and beauty of the scene or the thing which is photographed. The clipping paths in these cases should be carefully marked to ensure that the unwanted background is removed from the image so that it can gel with new background that has been chosen. The clipping path is one of the most important in a series of procedures which define the perfection of the final doctored image.
In this world where the internet is the largest and the most efficient space for commerce, sets a few guidelines for the same. It is true that most of us find everything we need online and most important we ourselves use the web to sell our stuff online. But when it comes to the online retailers this process gets more complicated, largely so due to the simple fact that they can interact with their potential customers only through images which are in turn the primary step towards enticing people to buy it. This has given rise to product photography as a separate entity altogether. In simple terms, product photography is nothing but the aesthetic image that showcases all the important elements of a product. These images are largely shot in the confines of a studio where most of the elements can be manipulated to suit the needs of the product. But even in such cases errors and issues are bound to creep in, because no photographer no matter however experienced he is can imagine the final layout of the page of the hoarding where the image would rest on.
In other words, it is close to impossible to survive without image manipulation in this era where images are the most important aspect in advertising. Software developers have come up with many tools which can aid the process, but no image can achieve the levels of perfection which is the new standard in this world of online shopping.
PRODUCT IMAGE CLIPPING
In the world of online retail there is only one truth and one icon, that of the image that is showcased on the website that is dedicated to selling the product. This product image has become of paramount importance and has in turn given birth to the highly specialized form of photography called product photography.
Images when shot is bound to have issues or zones which are far from perfect. This is true in the case of images that are shot during an event or of the nature or of anything and everything to be precise. Hence product photography tries to minimize these issues by setting the product in a rigidly controlled environment which helps in producing near perfect images. But even these images leave a lot to be desired, because no product photographer can visualize the page or the banner or the color settings where the product image is likely to rest. The image would inevitably end in the hands of an image manipulation expert who is trained to spot the problematic zones and work on the image to bring out the best features of the product, an image of the product which can narrate to the buyer what to expect. Care has to be taken because it is only the image that can recreate the effect a buyer might be looking for in the product. The standards of perfection in this case are off the charts.
As is the case with most images, product images also got through the primary process of image clipping. This process simply refers to the line or the path along which the image is cropped or clipped from its background. Since the product photographers are aware of the process, an ideal product image should be set in a background where image clipping becomes relatively easier. Nothing is more important than a clean image which has a precise outline which looks natural.
Once the central image of the product has been removed from the background the image further goes through relevant procedures to make sure the product in the image stands out and is looking its best. More often than not, the clipped image would have a sharp outline and when these images are set against a new desired background it would stand out as an entity and not as a part of the whole. This is where Image Masking comes to play. Image Masking helps retain the minute details of the product so that the clipped image is complete. If we are talking about a shampoo ad with a glorious mane of hair by the side, the clipping becomes complicated as the finer details of the errant hair needs to be captured and then blended with the new background. And this can be done only with the help of image masking.
A shadow effect is also much in demand when it comes to product images as it adds depth to the image and also makes the product image look more natural than just a clipped image. The photo editing experts do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to working on an image, because the importance of images in the ad space cannot be stressed more. There is a bunch of software that would help us with the various levels of editing that every image needs, but these are mere tools. They are not just costly but are also improved upon consistently and a layman would find it hard to keep a track on the updates. On the other hand, the image manipulation artists are experts on multiple levels – they know what the standards of perfection are, how to go about editing an image, experience and also new tools which would help them in the process, work under stress and manage timelines to name just a few.
ECOMMERCE PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY & EDITING
E commerce has arrived and it is here to stay. The very fact that most of us have used it once and been hooked to it is the testament to the fact that e commerce is a force to reckon with in the world of retail. People are looking towards making their lives as comfortable as possible and online retail helps them to achieve this goal. But this is an area which is still growing and people are learning from their mistakes and the industry by itself is slowly and consistently evolving for the better.
Shopping or a trip to the mall was earlier a way to spend a day looking for things we need to buy and yes, also for window shopping. All of us have experienced what it feels like when we are staring at products through the display window and something calls out to us, and we have to buy it. We have all at one point in time or the other fallen prey to this, and enjoyed and reveled in that surprise of the find and the purchase too. But none of us ever fell for just the look through, but what followed was also crucial, the time we spend analyzing it, holding it in our hands and checking out the various features and such. In the case of shopping online it is not very different from the process mentioned above. Instead of a display window we have the product showcase section were the browser lands on something they want to buy. But unlike being able to touch and feel the product the buyer has to be satisfied with what they can see through the images and the write up that follows.
Now that we have established the process involved, we do not have to stress again on the importance of the image, because the image is the one and only exposure that a buyer has of the product. And the quality of a product image is something you cannot mess with, there is only one standard, and that is of pure perfection. People have realized the importance of the same and have developed a branch of photography dedicated to the same. But the same cannot be said about the product images that we find online. It would be impossible to take you through the different aspects but here are a few tips that will help you through the process.
Let us start with the camera, use one where you can set the exposure and aperture manually. Never use flash while shooting a product image. Keep your background simple and clutter free. Never underestimate the importance of lighting, and make sure it is white light. But that said, it is always best to use natural lighting for your shoots, and with that comes the importance of timing and contrast. Every section of the image that is showcased should come with a zoom option, so that the buyer can analyze each and every section of the product that they are going to buy with their hard earned money. Display the product at various angles; make sure there are no reflections on the product so that the attention is not taken away from the product at all.
If these simple tips are followed in e-commerce product photography, there are just a few details that the image editor will have to focus on during the image manipulation process. The image manipulation experts would work on the image so that when it rests on the final showcase area it blends with the background shades of website and at the same time stands out enough to capture the attention of a potential buyer who is surfing the net and later entice him/her to own it too. Overall making e-commerce product photography & editing critical cogs of the industry
PACKSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY AND VISUAL EFFECTS
Dynamics of the ever-changing, ever-evolving world of ecommerce is one that is hard to keep a track on. The rate at which the various changes have come into existence post the invention of the computer and the internet is truly extraordinary. One of the most interesting of these is the online retailers, who discovered the untapped potential in the online market. We have come a long way and we now have specialized teams handling each aspect of this intricate process. The component which is termed as the most important is that of the images which is the backbone of the industry. And taking into consideration the cut throat competition, nothing short of perfect and novel images can be of use.
Once the role played by the images were established, efforts were then made to define the role that a product photographer would have to play and the key factors to be remembered. And yes, a name to define the concept also materialised – packshot aka pack shot. A packshot ideally refers to a still or moving image of a product. A packshot usually includes details about the packaging and labelling which adds to the reputation of the product that is being advertised in any media. This term is also loosely used to refer to the placement of a product in a movie or a music album or a television show, all of which would add to the on-shelf product recognition. But then again, a packshot can just refer to a simple photograph of a product with a white background or can be an elaborate image with multiple props that help to grab and embed the product in the mind of the consumer. In this digital world, we need a digital version or everything too, and advertisers and marketing managers realise the importance of the same and thus emerged the digital packshots, which is primarily used to sell software and other digital downloads, a packshot which is quite unique because there is no physical product or packaging, the two main aspects of a packshot.
Packshot photography is the most viable of the advertising techniques as most of the images are now digital. The images of the product from variable angles can be used in a stop-motion animated fashion to have a more customer friendly advertising technique that gives a more complete view of the image. Packshot photography is used to advertise almost all the products in the market based on the demand from the clients.
Since most product images are shot on a simple background, packshot advertising primarily involves a clipping path to separate the image from the background. The same clipped image can then be used in multiple ways. Most product companies hire or buy product images from professional photographers and then outsource it to the image manipulation experts who work on these shots to come up with that image/packshot which would immediately trigger not only the customer`s attention but also leave a lasting impression on the general public. 360° packshot are also used to give the customer a complete view of the image from multiple angles.
Animation is one of the most accepted and wanted forms of packshot, along with this people can use zooming options and stop motion animation photography. This is the in-thing in product advertising and by the looks of it, packshot photography is here to stay.