Close Ups

Whether its to create an emotional connection with your audience or to provide a different perspective on a subject, close ups are great when you need to deliver that unique angle. In filmmaking, the use or lack of use of close ups helps a director create or avoid emotional distance with the subject matter.

During my shoots, I try to include a variety of close ups in order to get the emotional feel of the event.

Take a look at some of the images below and see if you can “feel” the emotions during the event

 

David Gitonga

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Coming Soon: A Preview of the Gift Bag Event

I wanted to share this quick post with you to let you know I am working on a huge list of pictures that I shot over the weekend.  The project was an initiative with Nadhifu to empower local women communities with needed skills.

We had a great time and very soon, you will see what I mean. I am working on editing the pictures as fast as possible as well as the videos that came out of the event.

Here is a preview of a few of the smiling faces present at the event that you can expect to see.

Group Shot

 

More pictures coming soon.

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Sandal Training Event at the Memorial Park

It was yet another #sandaltraining event, but this time, we had a different set of women who showed up to learn how to make sandals.

There was also a new more experienced trainer who took the women through the various steps.

Here is a look at what went down:

 

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You Need a New Engagement Model and Adobe Just Revealed It

Social Media Intelligence Report by Adobe Q1, 2014

In a world where everyone lives on their mobile phones or on social networks, the big dilemma facing many companies is how to get in front of potential customers. An average online user, which typically means 80% of all 18-35 year-olds, gets anywhere from 50 emails upwards per day.

All these people only have 24 hours in a day. They have to decide what to read and what to discard.

Their email-opening radars have gotten way higher………… and getting sharper.

You simply cannot win the war on attention by doing the same things that everyone – Coca Cola, Safaricom, Orange, OLX – is doing. They are going to beat you in the game because they have more money, more skills, more patience, and more creativity, than you could ever have.

So what can you do?

You need a strategy that no one is using but works wonders and it starts with research.

What Research Says

According to the latest social intelligence report by Adobe, video engagement was up 25% and video play growth saw a 785% increase over last year.

Social Engagement

What does this mean?

Video is growing at an alarming rate. More people are not only commenting, liking, and sharing web video, but they are actually opening and watching video.

This is big.

If you have an email opening rate of 1%, you are considered successful. But look at video. It’s blowing the charts with 785% increased engagement!

Images are also highly popular and continue to get the highest engagement. According to another report by HubSpot, photos on Facebook Pages receive 53% more Likes than the average post.

This is a huge opportunity as it emphasizes the need for businesses to use photos and images in order to increase their Facebook Likes and comments.

Facebook even allows users to include photos as part of comments because of how powerful they are.

What All This Means for Your Business

If you are conscious of the need to increase engagement and traffic to your Facebook pages and websites, you need to consider adding more visuals to your marketing efforts.
 

 
Here is what experts recommend:

1.  Add high-quality, engaging images in your content. These are not the images you shoot with your mobile phone, but ones shot with a professional high-quality DSLR. These images allow the subject to be clearly placed in focus with the background creatively out of focus.

2.  Hire a visual content creator. This is someone who has visual skills to edit your photos, craft engaging comments on top of the images, and source for visual content across the web and personalize it to your business.

3.  Create engaging videos. This could be anything from shooting a behind-the-scenes look video to snappy how-to videos. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 1,000,000. Actually according to research, a video is actually worth 1.8 million words. That is why people love sharing videos on social media. Videos don’t need to be expensive, but they need to done professionally for best results.

If these statistics are anything to go by, then the effectiveness of your engagement will depend on how visually enriching your online presence will be moving forward.

By David Gitonga
E-LABZ – Offering online video and photography services

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VIDEO: Why You Need to Use Video and Photography

David Gitonga, Cinematographer

I sat down with Eric Abuto, a radio presenter here in Kenya, who drilled me on the importance of video and photography for your website and blog.

The recent Social Intelligence Report by Adobe shows increased engagement for posts with video and images. Video growth is up by 265% and posts with images average 30 times more engagement than posts without images.

I took the opportunity to also highlight a few things that make an engaging video. An engaging video should generally be informative, educational, and short. It should be easily shareable, and if possible, funny.

The interview is less than 2 minutes long.

Check out the interview below.

 

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A Photoshoot with a Mum and Her Kids

A fun photoshoot of a mum and her kids. We only had one location to try out different shots and we got them just right.

Check them out.

Xiya and the mum

 

 

Don’t you worry child, see heaven gotta plan for you

 

A mum deep in thought

 

Am young and happy

What a wonderful world!

 

 

In awe!

 

Mum Xiya looking out for her child

It was a hot noon day and I had to try as much as possible to reduce the impact of hard light on the faces. Shooting with direct sunlight creates shadows that are difficult to remove entirely in post-production. However, when you shoot in RAW, it becomes much easier to edit in Lightroom or some other software.

Unfortunately, I forgot to set the images to RAW and I had challenging time in post-production. It took a while, but I managed to get back what I had lost during the shoot.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

 

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Nairobi Cultural Festival – National Museums

I had a great time at the second Nairobi Cultural Festival that brought together people from different cultures and backgrounds. The place was parked with foreigners and locals alike showcasing their products, cultures, and enjoying what was on display.

I got to enjoy exotic food and got to meet people from different cultures. Check out the pics below:

A Sunny Day to enjoy the cuisine and meet new people.

 

My plate of the Botswana Ox Tongue cuisine. Yummy!!

 

This is a veggie pizza. Enticing indeed.

 

The Yakitori looked yummy as well and the chef was very welcoming.

 

The Yakitori burning on the stove

 

This is the Indonesian version of the Yakitori

 

 

Met these beautiful Botswanian women and we had a fun photo shoot

 

Proud to be Botswanian

 

Performances

 

Ancient Artifacts surrounded us

 

What a fulfilling day. I was simply out to take a few photos but it ended up being a blast and lots of fun.

I look forward to the third Nairobi Cultural Festival, and hopefully, meet more people.

 

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On Safari in Meru

On the Road

 

You see, photography is all about the lighting. If you can catch the sun at just the right spot in the sky and be at the right spot, then you have yourself a great photo. Sometimes,  you only have a few seconds to get the right shot. For me, I had to get deep into the jungle to get these perfect shots. I had to go through difficult terrain and with barely enough equipment on me, I had to improvise most of the time. Fortunately, I got it.

At an abandoned resort sport at the Meru National Park

 

A river drying up

 

The Forest

 

 

The Fork

 

I discovered a new species

 

The dog came along for the ride

 

 

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On the Rooftop: KICC

Here are some shots I took while at the top of the KICC. This was just before the sun went down and when the hot noon-day sun has faded slightly. I had my wide angle lens and my 300mm lens with me.

I had some fun with these.

Plane above the City of Nairobi

 

Sunset in Nairobi

 

The Nairobi Sunset

My Portrait

 

A Lonely Nut at the rooftop

 

 

A Bird in the Sky

 

Gliding Above the Clouds of Nairobi City

 

Shot this using a 300mm lens

 

 

Using a 300mm lens

 

 

The City Hall Way Roundabout

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Lighting is King in Portrait Photography

I recently came across and a portrait photograph that I feel depicts how all portrait photography should be taught. What caught my attention most however was the way the photographer shone the light on this little girl’s face.

Check this out.

Photo by Ryan Pendleton

All that was used to get this amazing shot was light from a window and a reflector. With a focal length of 85mm and at an ISO of 200, this is excellent image of how to use natural light to get a great shot without the use of expensive and fancy equipment.

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