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Author Topic: Video or TimeLapse selling?  (Read 10863 times)

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« on: May 22, 2018, 18:26 »
0
And what topics...?

I have been shooting still images for the last decade, and have around 2500 images in my stock portfolio.  Doing reasonably well, though it falls short of paying for my equipment (but then I am a gadget freak, so that would be a LOT of money... :) )

I am getting intrigued with TimeLapse and some video.  I am wondering, for those (particularly those who do both), which sells "best" and what types of subjects are best sellers?  (Preferably do not include model released video, since that is not much of an option for me).

Any other insights you can share as I play with this new format (for me) and consider which, if any, to upload for stock sales?


« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 05:28 »
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Hi,
I have done a video exactly on this topic.
I hope it can help
https://youtu.be/zez_91i4lTw

« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 12:20 »
0
Hi,
I have done a video exactly on this topic.
I hope it can help
https://youtu.be/zez_91i4lTw

Actually, I have watched many of your tutorials in recent months, and saw that specific one a couple weeks ago (plus I subscribe to your channel).

However, my question here is about shooting video, including time-lapse videos.  This clip of yours is talking about still images.  A good video to be sure, but it didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know (I have done still image stock photog for a decade, on and off)

Tyson Anderson

  • www.openrangestudios.com
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 23:46 »
0
I have a couple time-lapse videos that sell very well.  It can be an easy transition for a photographer if you shoot raw time-lapses.  Similar editing.  If you live near a city that can provide a lot of options.  Nature time-lapse shots don't sell quite as well for me.

« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 15:20 »
0
I have a couple time-lapse videos that sell very well.  It can be an easy transition for a photographer if you shoot raw time-lapses.  Similar editing.  If you live near a city that can provide a lot of options.  Nature time-lapse shots don't sell quite as well for me.

I live in an old colonial city in Ecuador. We just had out 457th founding ceremony recently.  I have a few ideas for around here, possibly during some of the seemingly unending celebrations (these Ecuadorians throw a party at the drop of a hat).

I am also going to Namibia and Botswana in July, and have been toying with some video and time-lapse there.  I saw this wonderful "flow lapse" a couple days ago.  The entire clip is obviously too long for stock, but I'm thinking bits and pieces might work well.

     https://fstoppers.com/nature/original-flow-motion-safari-video-featuring-african-wildlife-252031

Tyson Anderson

  • www.openrangestudios.com
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2018, 16:00 »
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Nice.  Yeah that was some nice work.  A good combination of effects.

« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 19:17 »
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Wow, that video is just brilliant. Even thought id think that the individual timelapses would be very relevant for stock, what really makes it come together are the transitions. I dont know if those could be brough to stock, though.
ps: newbie here, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
br,

« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 10:04 »
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you said: "I am getting intrigued with TimeLapse and some video. "

timelapse takes a long time to film (1 video can take 15 minutes to film) and therefor your quantity will go down. you may need a very heavy solid tripod because a little shake can have a big impact. you also have to worry about manual vs automatic settings because they may need to be changed during the video, and you are unable to do so.

also, there are many ways to do timelapse, so if you know how to do it with 1 camera, the method might be completely different for another camera. there may be 5 to 10 various methods for recording timelapse, and each manufacturer does it differently.

my experience is that although I did sell time lapse videos, I determined my time was better spent by filming video at normal speed.

in terms of your question about what sells best, business themed videos are often good sellers.

« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2018, 21:35 »
+1
if you are doing time lapse, you might have a substantial over use of your shutter, and due to the limited lifespan of shutters, you might need camera repair more frequently than if you were not using time lapse.

if you did 100 30-second time lapse videos at 30 fps you would be in the published limit for shutter life expectancy for many cameras.

30 * 30 * 100 = 90,000

shutter life expectancy for some cameras: 100,000 to 150,000

« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 22:58 »
0
if you are doing time lapse, you might have a substantial over use of your shutter, and due to the limited lifespan of shutters, you might need camera repair more frequently than if you were not using time lapse.

Not really an issue. I am shooting with a Sony A7R3, using the electronic shutter (ie, no mechanical shutter).  Thus, it will put some wear on the camera overall, but none on the shutter.

Now, if I want to do time-lapse in an artificial light nighttime situation, then yes, a mechanical shutter is needed, and that becomes a cost factor.

« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 23:01 »
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you also have to worry about manual vs automatic settings because they may need to be changed during the video, and you are unable to do so.

First, I ALWAYS shoot full manual (white balance, shutter, aperture, focus) when doing time-lapse.

Second, that is not as much of an issue these days, with software like LRTimeLapse that will deflicker the video (flicker occurs from tiny variations in shutter speed and aperture when the blades close for the image), plus can even smooth out the issues of transitioning from day to night (or vice versa, but I am almost never up early enough to experience the night to day transition...!).

« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2018, 23:26 »
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I did time lapse videos every day for many weeks. my apartment had a view of the sunrise out one window, and a view of the sunset out the other window.

I ended up with large numbers of time lapse videos of sunrise and sunset.

one thing that is important is that the focus may be automatic even if your camera is set to manual. many videos were ruined because the focus would change on the distant sun.

the other issue is that I didn't think most of the time lapse videos were interesting, although some were really cool. but slight defects like a few frames out of focus as the clouds changed over the sun ruined the best video.

I did time lapses by the sea and the tripod moves frequently because of the wind.

in the country I lived in the past 10 years, people will run up the the camera and wave during a time lapse, even if I positioned the camera to make it as difficult as possible for them to do so. but those frames could be edited out.

my best time lapse was interesting in that it was also an amazing shot even if you just look at 1 frame. but they did not sell that often.

I had some initial sales and repeats but I don't think they sell much anymore.

timelapse takes up too much time and the sales do not justify the amount of time spent on them. I probably had 20 or so time lapse videos that were for sale and probably had less than 20 sales overall since 2010 or so.

« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2018, 23:29 »
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I do take long videos and hyperlapse them using respeedr. so I take a 2 or 3 minute video and then re-record it at 5x speed. they don't have any extra sales over the normal time speed videos.

« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 00:23 »
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one thing that is important is that the focus may be automatic even if your camera is set to manual. many videos were ruined because the focus would change on the distant sun.

You are either using a very low level amateur camera, or you don't know how to use your equipment.  A good camera (Canon 5DM4 - my prior camera, or Sony A7R3 - my current camera) will very definitely NOT shift focus is properly set for manual focus.

Also, I doubt there would be many sales for sunrises/sunsets.  Far too easy to do, and thus too many of those went in during the early days.  Unless you have a good, suitable foreground (such as a beach chair and umbrella in the breeze of a beach), I would consider such shots not good for anything but practice. (And yes, I did create some for practice in my initial learning.)

Also, if your camera was shifting from the wind, then again you are either using very low level amateur equipment, or don't know how to use it.  I have used my tripod (gitzo carbon fiber travel tripod) in heavy winds and not had any problems at all.  You need to do such things as NEVER raise the center pole, hang a bag (often my camera bag) on the hook under the center column to weight it down, etc.

Also, a time-lapse done from a single position with no motion is very much out-of-date.  With the resolution of the cameras (particularly the 42MP of the Sony), there are plenty of extra pixels to allow producing in 4K with post production motion added. (Personally I create in 4K to future-proof the video, but export in 1080, which is where most viewing is done today.)

« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2018, 04:52 »
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Also, if your camera was shifting from the wind, then again you are either using very low level amateur equipment, or don't know how to use it.  I have used my tripod (gitzo carbon fiber travel tripod) in heavy winds and not had any problems at all.  You need to do such things as NEVER raise the center pole, hang a bag (often my camera bag) on the hook under the center column to weight it down, etc.

Try photographing on a sandy beach and/or use a 400 mm lens and you might change your opinion on this.  ;) Not to mention anything made of wood. You can bolt your camera down and still have movement.

Also, a time-lapse done from a single position with no motion is very much out-of-date.  With the resolution of the cameras (particularly the 42MP of the Sony), there are plenty of extra pixels to allow producing in 4K with post production motion added. (Personally I create in 4K to future-proof the video, but export in 1080, which is where most viewing is done today.)

I do not agree with this. A time lapse without camera movement is more valuable than one with the terrible Ken Burns effect added in post. Of course, what you are photographing must be interesting enough.

The only camera movement you should have, in my opinion, is REAL camera movement with parallax, or pan and/or tilt added in post with natural lens distortion along the edges. Not fake dolly in or out which looks really bad and amateurish because of the lack of parallax (unless you separate the elements in 3D software or use a good displacement map).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 04:58 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2018, 10:35 »
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Also, if your camera was shifting from the wind, then again you are either using very low level amateur equipment, or don't know how to use it.  I have used my tripod (gitzo carbon fiber travel tripod) in heavy winds and not had any problems at all.  You need to do such things as NEVER raise the center pole, hang a bag (often my camera bag) on the hook under the center column to weight it down, etc.

Try photographing on a sandy beach and/or use a 400 mm lens and you might change your opinion on this.  ;) Not to mention anything made of wood. You can bolt your camera down and still have movement.

If you use a program like FCPX to edit the timelapes, the stabilizer has a "Tripod" mode where it will shift frames to remove small bounce and jiggle caused by wind. I've had good success with it from drone footage shot over a 5 minute period while in a hover and turned that into a timelapse clip with no apparant motion, as if on a giant stable tripod.

« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2018, 14:36 »
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mindstorm,

I think my best selling timelapse videos were hyperlapse videos of traffic.

« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2018, 14:46 »
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Try photographing on a sandy beach and/or use a 400 mm lens and you might change your opinion on this.  ;) Not to mention anything made of wood. You can bolt your camera down and still have movement.

Part of any professional photography -- long exposure, time-lapse, or pretty much any other, is to understand how to stabilize the camera.  And part of that is to choose where you plant your tripod...

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2018, 14:47 »
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If I had a choice (same amount of time):

A. 10 real-time;
B. 3 timelapses; or
C. 1 hyperlapse;

Which would be the most profitable? I suppose it all depends on many factors.

I've just starting learning the ropes with footage and enjoying the experience. If anybody here could look at my video port and give me any feedback I'll really appreciate.

https://www.shutterstock.com/video/search?contributor=Alexandre+Rotenberg&sort=newest&page=1

Thanks
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 15:10 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2018, 14:49 »
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I think my best selling timelapse videos were hyperlapse videos of traffic.

I believe you also said you have only sold something like 30 time lapses total over a period of several years.

I can certainly see where time-lapse of traffic would have more interest and possible use than time-lapse of a sunset (which you said you shot daily for an extended time).  And yes, I expect to have a few of those in my future collection.  (I have a couple now, but they were really test shots to learn from)  I need to find some good locations and vantage points for them to be "keepers" though. Not just any street corner in town.

« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2018, 14:56 »
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when I shoot something like pedestrians, the ocean waves, traffic, etc. I will film a set of short videos (7 sec), some 2 minute videos that I can accelerate the speed, and I might do a time lapse. I stopped doing the time lapse because they are less likely to sell and consume too much time.

a lot of time lapse videos that I filmed were never uploaded because something happened that ruined the shot.

I did a lot of hyperlapse videos where I mounted the camera on the car, with the tripod mounted or a gopro, and drove around for an hour or two. but I have more sales of videos at normal speed.

the video ultimately has to convey a concept. a hyperlapse of traffic conveys a busy urban lifestyle.

however like I said in a another post, all of the techs that have come around (drones, 3d, 360, action cameras, tilt shift, time lapse, etc) have not displaced normal photography and video. regular time is still king.

« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2018, 14:59 »
0
Try photographing on a sandy beach and/or use a 400 mm lens and you might change your opinion on this.  ;) Not to mention anything made of wood. You can bolt your camera down and still have movement.

Part of any professional photography -- long exposure, time-lapse, or pretty much any other, is to understand how to stabilize the camera.  And part of that is to choose where you plant your tripod...

Thanks, great tip. I'll remember that next time I'm filming on a beach. I'll just stand on the paved road 200 yards away.

And the next time I'm on a pier photographing I'll remember your tip and actually stand on the paved road 200 yards in.

I'm sure they will provide exactly the same angles.  :o

When you're out in the world trying to find the best scenes, you can't always stand on perfectly solid ground. It does not work like that.

And I assume you've never filmed at 800 mm? Like I said, you can be bolted down and still get shake. Ever notice how the most expensive and professional nature documentaries still have camera shake at times?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 15:26 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2018, 15:04 »
+1
regular time is still king.

Nope.

Good slow motion is king.
Good animation is king.
Good time lapse is king.

Notice how it has to be good?

I have time lapse sales in the thousands, but you can't just point your camera out the window and expect wonders, unless you happen to live on a space station.

« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2018, 18:07 »
+1
When you're out in the world trying to find the best scenes, you can't always stand on perfectly solid ground. It does not work like that.

And therefore that is not a good candidate for time-lapse.  Do you really think that EVERY time you are able to click a shutter, you should get a good time-lapse??

Yes, just as with photography in general, part of getting a good result is knowing your equipment and what can be accomplished.  If you need to stand in 20 feet of water to get the angle you want, it is best to move on to the next idea...

You are beating a dead horse.  You clearly know what was meant and are just trying to be troll.  Please make comments that are useful to readers trying to learn, and not just to those trying to play the unnonimus role of idiot-savant...

« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2018, 02:01 »
+1
And therefore that is not a good candidate for time-lapse.  Do you really think that EVERY time you are able to click a shutter, you should get a good time-lapse??

The scene decides whether it's a good candidate for time lapse or not. Not the ground. You will learn this.

Yes, just as with photography in general, part of getting a good result is knowing your equipment and what can be accomplished.  If you need to stand in 20 feet of water to get the angle you want, it is best to move on to the next idea...

Wrong. If standing in water means you will get an amazing shot, you stand in water.

You clearly don't have any idea what you're talking about. In a while, when you've gained more time lapse experience, you will understand. I'm not trolling, I'm telling you the truth.

Like I said, I have time lapse sales in the thousands (as in number of sales), some bestsellers for very common keywords. I have traveled around the world the last couple of years and been in many challenging situations. Not everything can be controlled.

Some of my all-time bestselling clips had some shake in them, but of course I fixed it in After Effects so they come out perfect. I hate camera shake as much as anyone, but it's inevitable in many situations if you want to get the shot.

Standing on top of a skyscraper photographing a cityscape. Should you just give up and photograph pigeons on the street because people keep walking near your tripod so the camera shakes? No, you make your time lapse, and fix the shake in post, perfect it to the best of your ability, and sell it for years. There is only one place that allows you to get this amazing view.

Doing a motion time lapse in the forest and the weight shifts as the camera moves? There is only one perfect spot as the sun moves between the trees. Should you give up and photograph pigeons? No, you do the time lapse and stabilize in post.

And again, I assume you've never used a big telephoto lens? Film using 800 mm and then tell me what you think about shake in a windy situation.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 02:13 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2018, 13:22 »
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The scene decides whether it's a good candidate for time lapse or not. Not the ground. You will learn this.

And again, I assume you've never used a big telephoto lens? Film using 800 mm and then tell me what you think about shake in a windy situation.

You get the shot or you don't. I also travel the world, and have had shots I would have preferred being "a little more the left" but couldn't get it without efforts beyond what I was willing to put out.  One thing I have learned is that I have very little idea what will sell well and what won't.  My all-time best seller is a landscape that I liked, but didn't really expect to sell at all.  Others that I loved and thought would sell well have never sold a single download.

I learned that back in the 1980's when I produced a series of 54 full length (90 minute) instructional videos that we first sold ourselves, then later (and still to this day) through Amazon.  Some that I loved had terrible sales and never recouped their costs. Others that I thought were "meh..." turned into best sellers that made enough to turn the entire enterprise profitable.

Back to the photos and time lapses of today.  I shoot what I hope is a good image (have only done time-lapse as personal hobby until now), but have a limit of the effort and equipment risk I am willing to put forth.  Since I have no idea if any specific image (or time-lapse, moving forward) will be a major seller, I am not willing to go to extremes for most shots (well, my wife may disagree with that on a few occasions, but... )

And yes, I have used super-zooms and super-wides, and super-macros, and most everything in between.  I have learned the "Ansel Adams Zone System" until it was part of my bones back in the 70's, and spent hours (and days) in the darkroom perfecting a B&W print -- and later (though towards the end of my darkroom days) color prints.

From 1980, when we went bankrupt and lost everything, until 2005, when my wife bought me a Canon 5D and said "you need a hobby!" I didn't do much photography between 1980 and 2005 (other than the 54 commercial videos in 46 months referenced above).  Within 2 years of that 5D, I had taken over 2 bedrooms for studios, plus equipment coming out into the halls.  And that was just the start of it.  Had a crazy dozen years since then, with drones, and international travel, and cabinets filled with photog equipment.  And now... a pair of Sony A7R3's, Phantom P4P, a Ziiyun Crane just ordered for pickup next week.

Never ending quest for gadget freaks like me... :)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 15:22 by mindstorm »

« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2018, 12:47 »
0
increasingdifficulty,
I'm begining with timelapses and still choosing the tools for the trade.
Do you use after effects exclusively ours do you use LRtimslapse?
Do you use premiere at all?
is the warp stabilizer enough for timelapses or do you normally go into tracking?
I'd greatly appreciate your feedback.
BR
jpbarcelos
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 12:53 by jpbarcelos »

« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2018, 14:20 »
0
increasingdifficulty,
I'm begining with timelapses and still choosing the tools for the trade.
Do you use after effects exclusively ours do you use LRtimslapse?
Do you use premiere at all?
is the warp stabilizer enough for timelapses or do you normally go into tracking?
I'd greatly appreciate your feedback.
BR
jpbarcelos

Hi, I use 99% After Effects, no LRTimelapse. I do use Lightroom quickly to set a good starting point for grading, and apply the standard chromatic aberration removal, the right color profile and minor tweaking. I then just save the sidecar files. The Camera Raw module can be used within After Effects too, so it's not a necessary step at all, it just looks a bit nicer. The controls are the same. Lightroom is nothing more than a "skin", or fancy interface for Adobe Camera Raw, which can also be found in Photoshop and After Effects.

No Premiere for single clips, only if I'm making a film, but I usually prefer Final Cut Pro X for that. So much faster on Mac.

You can do everything from a simple grade to advanced compositing in After Effects from the RAW files to finished product, without using any other application.

The warp stabilizer works really well for some clips, not so well on others. It sometimes makes things worse. You will have to try it on a clip-by-clip basis. I do quite a bit of manual tracking when necessary.

For some really challenging situations (hyperlapses with a 16 mm lens for example), the Align Layer function in Photoshop can be the best stabilizer out there. But it's a pain to work with hundreds of RAW files in Photoshop unfortunately...
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 14:26 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2018, 15:19 »
0
one trick you can use with a shakey frame is to just delete the frame.

« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2018, 15:30 »
0
one trick you can use with a shakey frame is to just delete the frame.

That is usually not a good idea at all, since the motion will be uneven and choppy. And the camera doesn't usually bounce back to the exact previous spot anyway.

« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2018, 15:37 »
+1
 Thank you so much for the response!!

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2018, 16:04 »
0
Here's some of my first experiences dipping my toes in footage (timelapse), in a blog post.

www.brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/05/28/update-on-creating-profitable-time-lapse-footage/

Any comments/tips/feedback would be appreciated while I learn the ropes.

Best regards,

Alex
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 16:08 by Brasilnut »

Harvepino

« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2018, 13:59 »
+1
I think the best way to succeed in microstock is to keep production simple... if you are able to produce content on daily basis, at reasonable cost, even average sales can make nice profits. Timelapse is one of the most time consuming and gear demanding productions, so probably not the best way to achieve financial success in microstock. I produce timelapses, because I love doing it, but the income from them is not great... some stupidly simple shots from GoPro or drone make me better money and required much less time and effort.  :)

« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2018, 14:59 »
0
I think the best way to succeed in microstock is to keep production simple... if you are able to produce content on daily basis, at reasonable cost, even average sales can make nice profits. Timelapse is one of the most time consuming and gear demanding productions, so probably not the best way to achieve financial success in microstock. I produce timelapses, because I love doing it, but the income from them is not great... some stupidly simple shots from GoPro or drone make me better money and required much less time and effort.  :)

My thought is that, since time-lapse is more difficult and time consuming, it should not be suffering as much of an over-supply.  As with you, I am mostly looking at it because I enjoy the process.  I have dabbled in the past, and am thinking of doing it a bit more seriously -- again, mostly because I like the process and results, but hoping I can make a few bucks too.

Do you have a link to your "stupidly simple GoPro or drone" shots that make you more money?  I don't have (or really want) a GoPro, buy my drone to date have all been stills.  They sell reasonably well, but certainly not enough to pay for the drone... (not that I really expected them too -- again, largely for enjoyment, but it is a rush when I see them come up in my daily reports...  :) )

« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2018, 20:21 »
0
i did like 10 timelapse with my old gopro 4 (2k) i sold 2x the same timelapse : sunrise on machu picchu.
Pond5 , 75$ (my comission).

Now i have a motorized slider with a pan head, motorized too. I'm looking foward to go play with it! I just need more time!!!!


 

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