Tuesday, April 20, 2010
DPP Solutions: Now Showing: Your Masterpiece
Choose the right service for getting your video out into the world where prospective clients can see it
SmugMug’s service is built around a subscriber-supported model.
The SmugMug (smugmug.com) photo-sharing service is popular with many photographers, in part, because it allows you to offer your images for sale through the site. SmugMug isn’t limited to just still images though, as it allows you to share videos, as well.
In a world where many people seem to equate “online” with “free,” you may be surprised to learn that SmugMug doesn’t offer a free option for sharing video. Instead, its plans range from $39.95 per year to $149.95 per year, with varying benefits per plan. But what all of the plans have in common are appealing to any photographer trying to share videos (or still images) with current or potential customers. There are no advertisements displayed around your photos or videos, no limits to storage or traffic, excellent options for customization of how your videos are presented and more. While videos are limited to 10 minutes each, the $59.95-per-year plan allows an unlimited number of DVD-quality videos, and the $149.95-per-year plan allows an unlimited number of HD video uploads.
In short, SmugMug is an excellent choice for photographers who want to share videos or still images (and potentially even sell their still images) in an environment that doesn’t feel like an “anything goes, everything is free” experience. If your primary intent is to share your videos with customers in a professional environment, SmugMug is worth a look.
Regardless of which service you use, sharing videos online represents a balancing act. You need to reduce the file size (by reducing resolution or quality) to ensure smooth playback, but you also want to preserve the highest quality possible. For the best results, render your video at the highest-resolution and -quality settings that are supported for your method of sharing. If you need to create a different version of the video, go back to your original project and render a new file, rather than rerendering (and thus recompressing) the previously rendered version.
As an increasing number of professional DSLR cameras support video capture, more photographers are starting to explore the world of motion pictures. Thankfully, there’s an established infrastructure online that enables those video masterpieces to be shared easily with millions of viewers worldwide.
|If you’re serious about sharing your photos and videos with the world, there’s a good chance you already have your own website. If so, you may have given thought to hosting videos yourself rather than relying on an online service such as those discussed in this article. My advice? Don’t.
Hosting your own video requires that you have a solid understanding of video encoding, can properly create or employ a video player for your site and have enough storage and bandwidth with your service provider (going over the limit can lead to significant additional charges). Going it alone increases the chance of problems or frustrations with video playback, which isn’t the experience you want visitors to your site to have.
There’s no question you can benefit tremendously from sharing videos on your own website and that the user experience can be much better on your site than on a third-party site. However, I highly recommend using the option to embed videos that are hosted by a service such as those presented here, rather than attempting to host your own videos. If you want to show what you’re capable of in the best way possible, focus on creating incredible videos and leave the details of sharing those videos to the experts.
Tim Grey has thus far restricted his video-directing talents to tutorials that can help you master Photoshop, but he hasn’t ruled out the notion of creating a cinematic masterpiece. Details on Tim’s “Photoshop Hands-On” series of videos can be found at www.timgrey.com.
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