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Digital Photography BasicsAs a designer and occasional photographer, I found it helpful to carry around a little "cheat sheet" with these items when out in the field shooting. This reference is useful for amateurs and the occasional photographer wanting to learn more.

Many of these are applicable to SLR cameras and video camera settings as well

Resolution (for digital and video cameras)

  • Remember, you can't "add" resolution back into a photo once it's taken. However you can always decrease a photos resolution through a photo manipulation program such as Photoshop. The majority of digital cameras allow you to change this setting.
  • Fine, or High resolution - great for later printing or enlarging photo.
  • Low resolution - great for emailing or posting on the web.

F-Stop - Aperture (f-stop f/22 – f/1.4)

  • F/22 = aperture is more closed, giving a large depth of field 4ft -infinity - great for wide open landscape shots
  • F/16 = 5 - 18 ft in focus
  • F/8 = 6 - 11 ft
  • F/4 = 7-9 ft
  • F/1.4 = aperture more open, keeping the depth of field shallow and limited to what is nearby and blurring the background. Great for portrait photography.

Shutter Speed

  • Usually ranges from 1/8 second to 1/2000 of a second (most common default setting)
  • Leaving the shutter open for longer is excellent for interesting night shots.
  • Be sure to use a tripod for slow shutter speeds.
  • 1/8 (moving objects blurred) second will make a runner blurred, lights blurred or running water look soft.
  • 1/2000 (keeps moving objects sharp) of a second will stop a runner or running water.

ISO – Film speed (100-1000 speed)

  • 100 is for bright light, sharp and clear
  • 1000 is for dark or low light, grainy - There is also a filter you can use in PhotoShop to achieve this effect. (add noise)

Ever wondered what sells during a recession and what doesn’t? Which are the goods in high demand during recession? Historically, sales of luxury goods are affected due to the recession. Luxury brands and expensive consumer electronics are witnessing a slump in sales. A number of companies have laid off employees due to lack of business as well. Although it a shallow and shorter cycle when compared to a depression, the global recession is a resulting in lower growth, which leads to lower profits, dividends will decline and shares are no longer attractive to hold.

However, the sale of basic goods has not been affected. Whatever the state of the world, people have to eat, travel and pay for their homes and the basic food, clothing, shelter and oil continue to stay in steady demand. During this time people are trying to stretch the life of products instead of disposing them. Priorities might change due to the recession but it doesn’t mean that people will stop spending altogether. Take for instance, people choosing to repair or refurbish cars or homes instead of investing in a new one. In such times, you can look for a profitable niche by offering repair services or developing do-it-yourself guides for projects and repairs.

Computers, hardware, software and newer gadgets remain in demand, as well as Green Technologies. People tend to place greater emphasis on health which is leading to a greater demand for rejuvenation products which help make them energetic, youthful and stress-free. During a recession, people are calling for information and results in the least possible time. An intensively competitive sector, finance and legal services are in huge demand. Scores of people are in need of credit and budget counseling and are seeking the advice of financial experts to deal with their credit situation.

The recession is offering immense opportunities for smart internet marketers too.

Ideally, marketing should be a self supporting activity which pays back the cost of investment and reaches potential buyers at the right time. However, businesses need to market their services to their consumers with much effort today. During a recession, it’s tempting to get in a “holding pattern” of waiting for things to get better. Cutting costs and staff is not the solution. While it’s important to run a lean business, remember that it is impossible to make money by saving money. The old saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” is not hold weight in the business world.

If marketing during a recession is the main cause of worry, here are a host of solutions:

  1. Social marketing, with authentic messages, is one of the most important marketing tools any company can use. There are a number of social networking and bookmarking sites you can use to market your products and services. It’s not easy - it requires a change in the way you think about communications, your customers, requires a fair amount of your time, and the very core of your business model. Encourage your readers to redistribute the message with a constant application of authentic, easy-to-spread information.
  2. Reward your best customers: Don’t forget your existing customers as you prepare to follow up on old leads. You will need to take special care of them, since they are likely to move onto availing services of your competitors who might try to woo them with special offers and incentives. Keep in mind, they are also facing rough economic times as well.

  3. Follow-up on old leads: It’s time to bring out old business cards, brochures and other business leads that you did not follow-up with, earlier. You need to be persistent, because you might not get the job your first few tries. Don’t expect them to avail your services instantly. You will need to follow those leads, since you don’t have anything to lose - and lots to gain if you can seal a deal.

  4. Put your best face forward: Pay attention to the quality of your advertising and marketing material. Understand the technical requirements pertaining to each medium in which you are advertising and marketing. You don’t need to be an expert in computer graphics, you need to know that each medium has different requirements and ensure that your marketing materials are subject to some sort of quality control. If this is something that you feel you need help with, there are many web designers that will help to create an overall package.

  5. Try new things: it always helps try something new which your customer has not been exposed to before. You can try enewsletters, buy ebooks, read online articles - anything that you can learn that will help you to better understand the different types of services or businesses that will help you or your client.

Once you have implemented the above marketing strategies, you will realize that they are not costly to implement and you will quickly figure that they can be a great return on investment, especially in trying times.

Guess what marketers in the flat lining economy are singing? When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! Clearly consumers are watching their spending which means that the advertisers need to try harder by providing better rates, top placement or other incentives.

Modern marketing techniques have been used extensively to assist businesses with attracting consumers and converting more visitors to leads. However, in recessionary times its importance is magnified as the Internet is a clear and proven means for exceptional return on investment. It is much more targeted and measureable than traditional advertising channels. When competition is less active it is definitely the time to dominate the market. To top that, online advertising is simple, cheaper [most of them are free] and a faster option.

Great Return on Investment
Great results can be achieved with just a bit of effort, minimal time and no cost. Post your article or service to online forums, use your social networking profile to provide information about your business services, advertise for free on Craigslist, undertake and email marketing campaign or try posting articles related to your business on the number of free article submission sites. Writing and submitting press releases is an important aspect of most marketing campaigns. Today, you can use the extensive online databases to perform targeted submissions. For added ROI, link all [posts, ads, emails] back to your website.

Another widely used technique is e-mail marketing. You can add coupons to e-mails to acquire new customers or even convince existing customers into availing your services. When you attempt to generate publicity through your social networking profile through blogging, RSS feeds and incorporating community functionality, you are using Social Media Optimization. It distinguishes itself by focusing on driving traffic from sources other than traditional search engines and thus results in higher ranking.

Online classified advertisements are a popular option for browsers looking for jobs, housing, pets or personal services. Craigslist is a breakthrough network of online communities which features online ads relating to community, services offered, housing, jobs, services, gigs and forums on various topics.

Free Advertising on Google
Create an account with Google and use Google Maps or Google Local to ensure that your business shows up in the search results on Google.com. When Google infuses these results on its page, it increases the value of its local search and Maps application. I searched for ‘Salon in New York.’ Check the image below. Sense Spa at The Carlyle is listed at the top of the Google search results.

This isn’t paid advertising. There are a number of other salons listed as well. None of them have paid to advertise their services on Google. All they have done is added their business [or edited it if it is listed] at google.com/local and followed the simple steps to verify their business. A concise description of your business/services, contact details, a logo which represents your business and details of any offers you want to advertise, just what you need to get your free advertisement on Google. You could add a coupon for FREE as well to further entice customers!

It is a well known fact that the global economy has moved into the recession era and slowly people are cutting down on their expenses. The biggest impact of this recession has been on businesses which is reflected in budget decreases in every department.

In regards to marketing, businesses can still market with the same effectiveness even on a reduced budget, provided they follow these fundamental strategies. It will depend on the businesses as to how effectively they can implement these strategies in order to gain the same exposure and reach during a recession.

Taking care of your Customers
Customers are the lifeline of businesses. Now more than ever businesses must enhance the way they provide service to their customers be it pre-sales or after the sale. This is just one critical factor, which may help separate your business from the rest. Therefore, catering to your customers and fulfilling their demands and taking care of them during the recession is itself a better way of marketing and building your goodwill.

During hard times, it is important we make it easier for the customers to purchase our product or use our service by offering special incentives or discounts. This can greatly help customers choose where to buy. If a customer is undecided about where to buy, it might just be the discount you offer them that could make the deal. Discounts or incentives have always been one of the best ways to entice a sale. Also you should be innovative in determining the discount codes. For example, use ‘credit crunch’ or ‘recession’ discount code on your promotion. This helps assure clients that you are aware of their financial woes and are doing what you can to help them in these times of uncertainty.

Your Product Price
During a recession customers take more time searching for durable goods and negotiate harder at the point of sale. They are more willing to postpone purchases, trade down, or buy less. Thus, it’s better to reduce your profit margin per item and try to increase the bottom line by increasing your sales. Giving discounts, attractive gifts and free or reduced shipping are truly viable options.

Furthermore, it is important that you show why choosing your product or service will be a cost effective solution. Provide a comparison chart showing why customers should buy from you and not from your competitors. Clearly state (or show) the reason for your recommendation. During the recession it is always in the best interest to differentiate your business based on pricing as this factor closely resonates with your customers needs.

Basic Needs and Quality Goods
It is important to focus on those items which are of daily use and are considered basic needs for people. In periods of a recession, customers are not concerned about the luxurious goods and commodities. If you have some products that you can position as an everday item, then tailor your marketing message and promote it as an everyday item.

Quality is another important factor. Durable goods are in high demand during recessions. Thus, it is important to make the customers feel that they are purchasing something of quality that will last longer. It is important you portray the message that this product is of better value for the money as it will last longer than other products on the market. Again, as mentioned before, price factor is something that closely resonates with customers during recessions, so even if you are differentiating on quality, it is imperative that you bring out the price factor. For example, you can mention that your company’s product may cost a little bit more but it will give you twice the service life as compared to your competitors, thus providing your customers more value for their dollars.

Advertising and Marketing
Research shows that brands that increase advertising during a recession can improve market share and return on investment at a lower cost than during thriving economic times. Generally, during recessions uncertain consumers need the reassurance of known brands. More consumers stay at home watching television or browsing the internet looking for the best deals. Therefore, it would be a good time to boost advertising in these mediums. Those brands with deep pockets may be able to negotiate favorable advertising rates and lock them in for several years.

However, if you have to cut marketing spending, then try to maintain the frequency of advertisements by shifting from 30-to-15 second advertisements, substituting radio for television advertising, or increasing the use of direct marketing, which gives more immediate sales impact. We recommend not decreasing advertising during this crucial time as it may have a broader impact on your sales than you think.

Sign up for eMail Marketing for FREE for 60 days, then as low as $15/month thereafter!

email-6Great reasons to try eMail Marketing

  • Affordable - at only around $15/month!
  • Save on paper, printing costs, and postage!
  • Link back to your website to get more traffic; more traffic means higher search engine ranking
  • Provide valuable information to your clients that keeps them interested in your content
  • Keep contact with your clients and keep you in their mind
  • Possibly increase your client base two-fold with a "Subscribe" form on your site and a "Forward Email" to your campaigns
  • Easily track who opens your email and what they are most interested in!
  • Target your audience
  • Make known your latest projects or newsworthy items (toot your own horn!)

Sign up for eMail Marketing for FREE for 60 days, and we'll put a FREE "Subscribe" form on your website to start gathering your visitors email addresses!

  1. Add a "subscribe" form to your website.
  2. Set out a jar on your front office to gather business cards or email addresses.
  3. Run a contest by having people enter via a subscribe form on your site. Say something like, "Subscribe to our eNewsletter and also enter to win ___!"
  4. Add a "subscribe" button on your contact form on your site.
  5. If clients need to "sign in" at your office or fill out any forms, include a line for their email.
  6. Configure the Text to Subscribe feature at Constant Contact.
  7. Add your subscribe form to your Business Facebook page.
  8. Add a subscribe button to the main contact form on your website
  9. Export your current Outlook contacts to your email marketing program.

Invaluable feedback.
With printed materials that are handed out, posted or mailed, you have no idea what the client has done with it, or even if they read it. With email marketing you can see what links your clients have clicked on, and how many times.

Spread the word.
With a forward button on the eNewsletter, you can potentially increase your customer base two-fold.

Compared to printed marketing (printing, postage, etc), email marketing is significantly a higher return on investment and a great "green" choice.

Drive them to your site.
After all, this is one of the main points to sending out an email campaign is to get more clients to your site to see all the wonderful things you have to offer! Besides, it helps your Google ranking too!

Listen and Learn.
If you offer a variety of topics that clients can "click here to read more" you can learn what it is they are most interested in by viewing who clicked on what article and linked back to your site.

Let them speak.
With email or website polls or surveys, you can directly target the information you would like from your client.

And these are just a few of the many reasons why internet marketing has seen such tremendous growth over the past couple years. Is this what your competition will be doing next?

Sign up for eMail Marketing for FREE for 60 days, and we'll put a FREE "Subscribe" form on your website to start gathering your visitors email addresses!

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