Free Bonus Report Series: Day 4 Shanghai Report

Since you couldn't be with us in China for our workshop, I'm sending back reports to fill you in on what we've learned. You'll find my fourth report below.



Report #4 - The Lazy Man's Guide to Photography

Dear Reader,

It's Day Eight of the Ultimate Travel Photography Expedition in China and we've finally made our way to Beijing.

If there's one thing professional photographer Shelly Perry has repeated at least a dozen times on this trip, it's that you should try to get your pictures right "in-camera."  That is - don't take the shot thinking you can crop it later in Photoshop or Lightroom.  Get in close and leave out the parts you know you'll want to crop from the outset.

Here's why…

** 1. When you crop an image, you lose picture quality.  If you're planning to sell photos to magazines, this could cost you the cover shot.

If your camera has a large enough sensor size and enough pixels to enlarge a photo up to an 8 x 10 without looking distorted or blurry, and you take half of that picture away, your image will look distorted and blurry when the art director tries to enlarge it back to its original size.

** 2. If you want to sell your photos for stock, cropping can hurt your royalties.  Stock agencies make more money from larger pictures.  Therefore, photographers get higher royalty checks when they can supply larger images.

Not only that, but some stock agencies admit that they actually rank larger photos higher in their search results. They don't want their clients searching for a specific image only to find that it isn't for sale at a size they can use for a full-page magazine cover or for a full page ad to sell their product. They want their client to buy the more expensive (larger) image, so they put those first in the search results. You'll likely sell more if you can submit higher quality images that haven't been cropped.

** 3. The Laziness Factor. "I'm either getting old, getting tired, or just plain lazy," Shelly told us. "Or maybe it's just that I value my spare time more than I used to. Either way, I'm trying more than ever to get the photograph right when I take it, rather than snap the picture and plan to fix it in Photoshop later."

"Don't get me wrong," she explained, "I love processing my images before I put them up for sale, because that's where a lot of my creativity comes in. But it's so much easier to get it right from the start and spend as little time as possible in front of the computer later.

To illustrate the problem with cropping, here's an example from Shelly…

This first picture is one you might take on top of the east gate in Xi'an, where we were yesterday…


But maybe this is the portion you really want…

Notice how much of the photo you lose if you crop away everything in gray here.  That's over half your image.

It's much better to use your lens to zoom in or walk closer to your subject and take it the way you want it from the start. That way, you'll retain your image quality and size.  And you'll spend less time processing your images later.

Happy Shooting!

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]