Mac users, we're pleased to announce Macphun's all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for purchase with special launch pricing. (Existing Macphun customers get a further discount.)
We rated Luminar as "Highly Recommended", and you can now visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Swiftspin360 is a unique membership scheme giving complete access to professional 360 product spin techniques and advice. Building on the increasing popularity of 360-degree product photography, Swiftspin360 offers members access to manuals and guides for setting up a profitable 360 product spin service, discounts on turntables and other photographic equipment, personal e-mail support, and more. The company has now released a free 50-page guidebook, available as a PDF. You can download it from the website below.
Website: Swiftspin360 Guidebook
Swiftspin360 Press Release
360 product spins empower photographers to fight back
It’s heartening to know, even in a world suffering from an economic downturn, that opportunities still exist for professional product photographers to tap into new and profitable income streams, without a huge outlay on equipment and technology.
One such major opportunity is 360 degree product spins.
As a professional photographer you’ll know that clients will always look to save money, and why shouldn’t they? But the technological advancement of photographic equipment, coupled with falling prices, is making it easier and easier for clients to drop their photographers in favour of the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach. This not only takes away work from photographers but also devalues their professional talent by opening the door to amateur snappers. Add to that a reducing stock library income, increased competition and rock-bottom prices being quoted and you could start to paint a very depressing picture of the value of your hard earned photographic skills.
But all is not lost. 360 degree product photography is increasing dramatically and shows no signs of slowing in the immediate future. Most of you will be aware of these interactive images which are cropping up on web sites at an increasing rate. The concept of 360 product photography is elegant and simple. It’s a process that starts when multiple still photos are taken of a product as it rotates, usually on a turntable. These photos are animated using specially written software, and uploaded onto a web site. The viewer can simply use their mouse to spin the animation in order to see the product all the way around. Some software features also allow users to interact with the spins by zooming and magnifying product detail.
360 product spins have been used by the footwear industry for many years and they are being increasingly used to display other fashion related items such as handbags and general clothing. There is now an exciting huge new surge in demand from the electronics, jewellery, toy and homeware industries, because buyers want to see every bit of a product before they buy.
In order to produce a 360 spin, a photographer will need a turntable, processing software such as Photoshop and a programme to animate the images. All three are readily available but merging them into one efficient and flexible system is the key to successful 360 spinning. There are ‘out-the-box’ solutions available but these can be expensive and they tend to be targeted at volume retailers with a single product range who don’t require the flexibility that professional photographers need.
You may think that these D.I.Y. systems bypass photographers yet again, but don’t despair. 360 isn’t as easy as it looks, which is actually very good news for photographers.
Retailers often overlook the fact that it takes a lot of time, investment and skill to produce a high quality spin. So that leaves the door wide open for professional photographers to create a niche business for themselves and to be rewarded once again for their photographic skills.
But you’ve got to learn before you can earn. So where do you go to get the skills and equipment required to produce 360 spins? The internet is full of helpful information for photographers who have some knowledge of volume processing and interactive programming, so going it alone is certainly an option. For those who want to save time and money by not reinventing the wheel there is a useful free 50 page guide book available from Swiftspin, industry leaders in 360 product photography and development. The Swiftspin guide is available at http://www.swiftspin360.com/guide17 and it outlines the essential things professional photographers need to know before attempting 360 product spins. It also contains a few industry secrets too.
Whether you want to go it alone or have the support of experienced professionals, you need to act fast. If photographers don’t quickly grasp the 360 opportunity then retailers will just do it themselves, taking away yet another source of income from an already struggling photographic industry. You now have a big opportunity to capitalise on the brave new world of spinning - good luck!