MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Science image - to sell on microstock or not?  (Read 5255 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: April 05, 2017, 22:32 »
0
I'm a contributor that submits photos to a few microstock sites like SS, DT, Fotolia etc. At present, I have pretty small portfolios on all of them but they are growing. I have a photograph which I have not uploaded as yet and in my view, it is kind of special. It demonstrates two principles of physics - water surface tension and refraction. Now there are many photographs where you can see refraction - they are very common. Though there doesn't seem to be too many photographs that show surface tension being disrupted in the way that I have captured. There are such images out there but there doesn't seem to be a lot of them. And so far, I haven't come across another photograph that demonstrates both surface tension and refraction together in quite the same way as my image does. There could well be others that do.

Originally, I was going to submit this image to the usual microstock sites but if it's as rare as I think it is, it would be a shame to sell it for 25c or a $1. Just wondering what other options could there be for selling it? Not surprising, I think it would likely have some appeal within the field of science. I haven't really explored the macrostock / RM options in any detail. Would there be any other options out there?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 21:57 by dragonblade »


dpimborough

« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 22:40 »
+1
Ever thought of submitting to the Science Photo Library?

http://www.sciencephoto.com/


« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 22:48 »
0
Ever thought of submitting to the Science Photo Library?

http://www.sciencephoto.com/


Interesting website. I haven't come across these guys before. I note that they deal with RF images though what are their pay rates like compared to microstock? I couldn't see any prices.

I admit I am a bit reluctant about selling this image as RF.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 22:57 by dragonblade »

« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 23:23 »
+1
I looked into this a little bit a while ago - it seems most sites want a hundred or more images to start with. I'm not sure if that is still the case or is the case everywhere. It certainly would be nice to make more per sale with specialized images.

It looks like SPL pays 50% and does so in pounds with 100 gbp payment threshold and wants 60-100 images in the first submission.

« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 23:35 »
0
I looked into this a little bit a while ago - it seems most sites want a hundred or more images to start with.

Oh darn, I didn't realise that. I hope there are some exceptions. Most of my images that I intend on selling have gone into microstock already.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 23:37 by dragonblade »

« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 00:46 »
+2
The thing is - who will be the buyer?

Mostly schools and educational facilities I would presume.

They have very little money, so they will probably go to the micros.

Surface tension is a very basic principle, it is not high end rocket science or elaborate research.

It is up to you, but I do believe in supporting science, so I would place images like these on the micros.

I am working on a science basics photo and video series and have decided, I'll be placing it on the micros.

Again your choice, of course.

« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2017, 00:56 »
+4
Just for info, Science Photo Library is the BBC's, so it's a prestigious agency and presumably supplies material to BBC science programmes and stories, as well as for general use.

« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2017, 01:57 »
0
It is up to you, but I do believe in supporting science, so I would place images like these on the micros.

I do get great satisfaction out of my images being used for education, particularly science. Ive got a cousin who is a teacher and she has shown some of my time lapse videos to students in a classroom environment. Yea I guess I could reconsider the micros.

Just for info, Science Photo Library is the BBC's, so it's a prestigious agency and presumably supplies material to BBC science programmes and stories, as well as for general use.

Oh cool. Definitely worth looking into. Just wondering if you have to be exclusive with them (just found some contributor info - I'll start reading.)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:59 by dragonblade »

dpimborough

« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2017, 02:58 »
0
The thing is - who will be the buyer?

Mostly schools and educational facilities I would presume.

They have very little money, so they will probably go to the micros.

Surface tension is a very basic principle, it is not high end rocket science or elaborate research.

It is up to you, but I do believe in supporting science, so I would place images like these on the micros.

I am working on a science basics photo and video series and have decided, I'll be placing it on the micros.

Again your choice, of course.

Check the science pages on the BBC website they use a lot of SPL images

So before you blither just check  ;D



Anyway for those who care here's their filed data

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01550520/filing-history
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:01 by Sammy the Cat »

dpimborough

« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 03:04 »
0
Just for info, Science Photo Library is the BBC's, so it's a prestigious agency and presumably supplies material to BBC science programmes and stories, as well as for general use.

The BBC's?

I don't see that the BBC has any holding on this company yes they use them but it's an independent limited company

« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2017, 03:09 »
0
They demand image exclusivity and uncompressed size for photo 36 mb and for illustrations 60mb. Format - tiff. No filters as they wrote "no cleaning and sharpening". Which noise level they accept it is not clear, no samples. Wild life photos are often enough noisy, especially from dark forests. Condition to have sales - regular work with them. This will leave less time for already existing relations, doubt if it is worth to try if you don't have ready portfolio to send. Otherwise when you have no other things to do. Uploading looks like time consuming process, they demand to send a preview jpeg with high res image
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:11 by skyfish »

dpimborough

« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 03:13 »
+2
They demand image exclusivity and uncompressed size for photo 36 mb and for illustrations 60mb. Format - tiff. No filters as they wrote "no cleaning and sharpening". Which noise level they accept it is not clear, no samples. Wild life photos are often enough noisy, especially from dark forests. Condition to have sales - regular work with them. This will leave less time for already existing relations, doubt if it is worth to try if you don't have ready portfolio to send. Otherwise when you have no other things to do. Uploading looks like time consuming process, they demand to send a preview jpeg with high res image

To hard? Want it handed to you on a plate? Then don't submit  to them ::)


« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 03:53 »
0
Yes, too hard and not necessary for now. But you can try, i have no problem with this. To that time i hope they will upgrade their system to modern level and at least not demand generate previews for them.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:55 by skyfish »

derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 03:56 »
0
There is a high rated agency I think its called Science agency or something and they sell lots of these images. Its not a micro agency. Just so you know.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 04:36 »
0
They sent me a contract and it definitely wasn't exclusive.

« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2017, 04:38 »
+2
The thing is - who will be the buyer?

Mostly schools and educational facilities I would presume.

They have very little money, so they will probably go to the micros.

Surface tension is a very basic principle, it is not high end rocket science or elaborate research.

It is up to you, but I do believe in supporting science, so I would place images like these on the micros.

I am working on a science basics photo and video series and have decided, I'll be placing it on the micros.

Again your choice, of course.

Check the science pages on the BBC website they use a lot of SPL images

So before you blither just check  ;D



Anyway for those who care here's their filed data

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01550520/filing-history


That doesn't tell you anything about how much the BBC is paying for these images.

High list prices of an agency mean nothing, these days, my files on Getty are being sold for 2 cents.

 If the BBC is using many images, then they are probably getting them very cheap. Or do you think they are always paying 500 dollars a piece?

Macrostock is no guarantee for high returns, they all have "special deals"...

But I am putting my science clips on the micros for easiest and widest distribution, not to make the most money. It might actually be the best returns longterm, but that is not why I am putting them there.

But you don't have to understand that.

« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2017, 04:43 »
0
They sent me a contract and it definitely wasn't exclusive.

I found this on their page http://www.sciencephoto.com/static/media/contact/SPL_DigitalGuidelines.pdf  "The images you give us are not given to another agency (image exclusivity)."


ShadySue

« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2017, 04:53 »
+1
The BBC doesn't necessarily pay high prices: they seem to have a deep discount with Alamy, for instance. As a supplier, I'm not necessarily ecstatic (I've had Alamy pics used there), but as a licence holder, I would expect them to negotiate the best deal.
Schools (certainly here) don't usually have the budget to buy images; where I worked there wasn't the possibility to pay in advance for anything. In addition, in the UK (at least England & Wales and Scotland) these is access to an enormous internal library of educational images free to use within the establishments. Anyway, use within a school in the UK is 'fair use'.

Educational publishers (again, here: I have no experience of other countries) don't tend to use Micros because with non-editorial pics, they have no guarantee of the image's authenticity/integrity.

As mentioned above, most of the specialist agencies, which certainly supply educational textbooks, require a good number of images for initial consideration. Many of them also require a set number of images to be submitted per month or quarter thereafter.

Where that leaves occasional "star images", I can't work out, now that iS files can get sold to Getty premium partners and we might get <10c.
Alamy might be a reasonable compromise; be aware that they offer large discounts, so don't get too excited about their rack rate. Also be aware if you submit RM there, you can't have similar files RF elsewhere, but you can sell the same image RM elsewhere, if the other company allows Non-exclusivity and you keep track of usages in case a future buyer wants a degree of exclusivity (rare on Alamy.)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 07:17 by ShadySue »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2017, 05:04 »
+1
Could be different for video. I'll dig out the contract after I've been to the pub. It'll all be clearer then.

« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2017, 08:07 »
+3
The BBC doesn't necessarily pay high prices

No surprises there. The BBC once contacted me through youtube - asking me if they could use one of my videos for a childrens TV show. They wanted the footage for free. Not only that but they wanted me to sign away my rights to the footage to them. Glad I didn't do business with them on that occasion. And that's not an isolated incident. Ive heard of other instances of the BBC asking other people for free use of their footage. And on those occasions, the video shooters rightfully refused.

« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2017, 11:01 »
+2
I'm going to guess this image isn't really as interesting as you think it is, and probably isn't worth the trouble.  A straw in a glass of water would demonstrate both surface tension and refraction.

« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2017, 11:37 »
0
I'm going to guess this image isn't really as interesting as you think it is, and probably isn't worth the trouble.  A straw in a glass of water would demonstrate both surface tension and refraction.

Well you guessed wrong. Other people have seen this image and I can assure you that it's a lot more interesting than a photo of a straw in a glass of water (which by the way would only demonstrate refraction - not surface tension.) If the straw is sitting passively in the water, the surface tension is not being visibly disturbed. And I'm not going to fall for your trap by posting the image here. It's not available on the internet at this current time.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 11:46 by dragonblade »

« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2017, 11:44 »
+3
I'm going to guess this image isn't really as interesting as you think it is, and probably isn't worth the trouble.  A straw in a glass of water would demonstrate both surface tension and refraction.

Well you guessed wrong. Other people have seen this image and I can assure you that it's a lot more interesting than a photo of a straw in a glass of water (which by the way would only demonstrate refraction - not surface tension.) And I'm not going to fall for your trap by posting the image here. It's not available on the internet at this current time.

Sure it would demonstrate tension.  You can see the water clinging to the straw as well as to the sides of the glass.  Well, you'd have to get a sufficiently close up image.  https://www.google.com/search?q=straw+glass+refraction&tbm=isch

I don't care if you post it.  When people have posted similar queries, sometimes it turns out it's not as interesting or unique as they had thought.

« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2017, 11:53 »
+2
. And I'm not going to fall for your trap by posting the image here. It's not available on the internet at this current time.
If you knew who Sean Locke is you wouldn't have said that. He's one of the most respected figures in the industry.

« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 11:59 »
0

I don't see that the BBC has any holding on this company yes they use them but it's an independent limited company

I guess I'm mistaken, I read that somewhere a while back.

« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2017, 12:10 »
0
Sure it would demonstrate tension.  You can see the water clinging to the straw as well as to the sides of the glass. 

Woops, I stand corrected. Though it's not as dramatic as my image in regards to demonstrating these scientific principles. Sure, my photo may not have the same level of interest or appeal to everyone. We're all individuals with different tastes and you can't please everyone. Though I will say one thing - in all my 20+ years of photography, I can't recall ever being as lucky as I was with this image.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 12:16 by dragonblade »

« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2017, 12:15 »
+1
Baldricks, I didn't mean any disrespect. Just that I would like to keep this image hidden away from public view at this present time.


« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2017, 14:01 »
0
The BBC doesn't necessarily pay high prices

No surprises there. The BBC once contacted me through youtube - asking me if they could use one of my videos for a childrens TV show. They wanted the footage for free. Not only that but they wanted me to sign away my rights to the footage to them. Glad I didn't do business with them on that occasion. And that's not an isolated incident. Ive heard of other instances of the BBC asking other people for free use of their footage. And on those occasions, the video shooters rightfully refused.
I would say no on principle too, although in this case you could well end up making a lot more than through a micro sale thanks to DACS...

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2017, 18:15 »
+1
I'm going to guess this image isn't really as interesting as you think it is, and probably isn't worth the trouble.  A straw in a glass of water would demonstrate both surface tension and refraction.

Well you guessed wrong. Other people have seen this image and I can assure you that it's a lot more interesting than a photo of a straw in a glass of water (which by the way would only demonstrate refraction - not surface tension.) If the straw is sitting passively in the water, the surface tension is not being visibly disturbed. And I'm not going to fall for your trap by posting the image here. It's not available on the internet at this current time.

I'm not doubting you, it may be amazing... but how does 'other people having seen the image' dispute the possibility that 'it isn't really as interesting as you think it is'?

« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2017, 21:03 »
0
you could well end up making a lot more than through a micro sale thanks to DACS...

Is that the British Journal of Photography? I'll have to look more into them.

how does 'other people having seen the image' dispute the possibility that 'it isn't really as interesting as you think it is'?

Interesting to who? Interest is subjective. The image is interesting to me as it is to the other people I have shown it to. Therefore it's likely that it will be interesting to other people too. Though it may not hold the same level of interest for everybody as we all have different tastes and preferences. Like I said, you can't please everyone. We're all individuals.

By the way, despite being an avid reader of photography books and magazines for a number of years, I havent come across too many images like mine. I do have two books which each feature a very similar kind of image one of those being a very nice example. Even a google image search didnt find too many of these kinds of images. And I couldnt find any such image in the Science Photo Library (yes there were photographs in there that demonstrated surface tension but nothing like mine.) So what I have produced is certainly not common.

And regarding refraction, there is certainly nothing unique about how it's portrayed here but what i think makes it rather special, in my opinion, is that the refraction is temporary, or momentary. The refraction in this image only existed for a fraction of a second (resulting from a disturbance in the surface tension.) It was impossible to see this in real time and I just happened to trip the shutter at the right moment.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 00:05 by dragonblade »

« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2017, 00:57 »
+3
I could be wrong but just having one good image isn't going to get you accepted anywhere.  I'd put it on Alamy as RM and see what happens.

« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2017, 02:50 »
0
I could be wrong but just having one good image isn't going to get you accepted anywhere.  I'd put it on Alamy as RM and see what happens.

That sounds like the sensible thing to do. I'm not a member of Alamy as yet but Ive heard some good things about them. Out of curiosity, would Alamy have any issues with selling potentially similar images on microstock sites? I do have a few other images from the same photo session and I'm not sure if they would be considered similar or not for their purposes (though they are similar in some ways.) The subject is the same and the location is the same (black background) and I guess the framing is sort of similar. Though the others don't have the kind of surface tension disturbance or the refraction elements that I mentioned.

ShadySue

« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2017, 03:41 »
+1
Yes, as I said above, if you want to have a file RM on Alamy, you can't sell similar searches RF elsewhere. However, if you set a file RF on Alamy, you can have the same file RF elsewhere. However, the RF/RM distinction cam be very blurred on Alamy. Some RM sales have very broad terms, and all RF files can be sold as non-exclusive RM, for less money, obviously.

Just be aware that on Alamy, like so many other places, it's the buyer discount which counts for everything, not the rarity of the image. So for example yesterday I had a sale of a very pedestrian image of a subject which it turns out I have the only three images on Alamy for, and it netted me $87.50.
The day before I sold a print of a lesser-known athlete, of whom I have the only stock photo anywhere according to Google, which netted me <$2. I'd forgotten they had started selling prints via a partner, and several people on the same day reported tiny value print sales. You can opt out of prints, all or nothing; but that also opts you out of personal use/presentation sales (low value) and distribution (can be high value (or not), but we only get 30%).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 04:37 by ShadySue »

« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2017, 03:59 »
0
you could well end up making a lot more than through a micro sale thanks to DACS...

Is that the British Journal of Photography? I'll have to look more into them.

how does 'other people having seen the image' dispute the possibility that 'it isn't really as interesting as you think it is'?

Interesting to who? Interest is subjective. The image is interesting to me as it is to the other people I have shown it to. Therefore it's likely that it will be interesting to other people too. Though it may not hold the same level of interest for everybody as we all have different tastes and preferences. Like I said, you can't please everyone. We're all individuals.

By the way, despite being an avid reader of photography books and magazines for a number of years, I havent come across too many images like mine. I do have two books which each feature a very similar kind of image one of those being a very nice example. Even a google image search didnt find too many of these kinds of images. And I couldnt find any such image in the Science Photo Library (yes there were photographs in there that demonstrated surface tension but nothing like mine.) So what I have produced is certainly not common.

And regarding refraction, there is certainly nothing unique about how it's portrayed here but what i think makes it rather special, in my opinion, is that the refraction is temporary, or momentary. The refraction in this image only existed for a fraction of a second (resulting from a disturbance in the surface tension.) It was impossible to see this in real time and I just happened to trip the shutter at the right moment.
I think you might find the problem you will have is getting visibility among the millions of images. If the image really is exceptional maybe you could approach scientific journals etc? In the same way that if I were a less moral person if I had a pic of a celebrity in an embarrassing position I would probably go to the newspapers rather than putting it up for general sale ;-)

« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2017, 04:47 »
0
maybe you could approach scientific journals etc? In the same way that if I were a less moral person if I had a pic of a celebrity in an embarrassing position I would probably go to the newspapers rather than putting it up for general sale ;-)

Ah I like that idea - the direct approach. Regarding scientific journals and magazines, I wonder if a submitted image by itself could lead to possible publication or whether it would need to be accompanied by a written article? I guess at the very least, I could write a body of text explaining the scientific principles that are demonstrated in the image (even though it's very basic science.) I guess journals would be after more higher level, complex scientific stuff (probably read by professionals etc.) Whereas a science magazine maybe targeted towards hobbyists and amateurs and might cover more general scientific themes (including basic science.) I wish my Dad was still around - he was a scientist. He might have known of some publications I could submit to. The next time I go to a newsagent, I'll look out for some science magazines.

« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2017, 05:57 »
0
I got a book a while back called "photographers market" it lists thousands of publications and what they are looking for I never really pursued that route.....you've reminded me perhaps I should.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2017, 06:15 »
+1
F to the Y to the I:

"Ive attached a sample copy of our non-exclusive contract here. I dont think theres anything unusual in the T&Cs, but please have a look through it and let me know what you think, thanks. This version of our contract, despite it being non-exclusive, does grant us the right to distribute to some of our partner agencies around the world. If you have material with other agencies, or make sales in other countries that you want to protect, you can turn that off, or pick and choose from the list which agencies and/or countries youd be happy us sending to.

Email I got from one of the guys at Science Photo Library.


derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2017, 08:14 »
+1

I don't see that the BBC has any holding on this company yes they use them but it's an independent limited company

I guess I'm mistaken, I read that somewhere a while back.

No youre quite right once they did own it but today its an independent agency. They do buy a lot from them though.

« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2017, 09:08 »
0
I did another google image search using different keywords and this time, I found some additional photos that are similar to my image. But not a whole lot more. Still not a lot of this sort of imagery on google. I also did a search on Shutterstock and Dreamstime and although they had a fair number of images that demonstrated surface tension, there was nothing like mine. Overall, there seems to be a bit of a shortage with these kinds of photos.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 10:26 by dragonblade »

« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2017, 11:00 »
0
I did another google image search using different keywords and this time, I found some additional photos that are similar to my image. But not a whole lot more. Still not a lot of this sort of imagery on google. I also did a search on Shutterstock and Dreamstime and although they had a fair number of images that demonstrated surface tension, there was nothing like mine. Overall, there seems to be a bit of a shortage with these kinds of photos.
That of course depends on demand for them...it sounds like quite an esoteric subject. If you do a searchg  dreamtimes you can identify roughly  how many times images were downloaded by price level to give a rough idea of popularity.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 11:03 by Pauws99 »

« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2017, 11:47 »
0

That of course depends on demand for them

Yea I was wondering that myself.

If you do a searchg  dreamtimes you can identify roughly  how many times images were downloaded by price level to give a rough idea of popularity.

Although there are no images on Dreamstime like mine, I did check the number of downloads of a few images on the first page of results using the search term 'water surface tension'. And there were not many downloads at all. Though I did come across an extract from a physics textbook online that dealt with surface tension and a number of images were used in that. Though none like mine. Still, I did find a quote in that book which gives me faith:

"The physics of surface tension has a long history and excellent books exist on this subject."

So if that's the case, there could be a potential market for my image.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 11:50 by dragonblade »

« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2017, 15:03 »
0
Hi guys,
I have been working with Science Photo Library for almost 2 years and I am satisfied with results, so you definetely should try it. I have two accounts there - with exlusive images, where I get 50% from sales, and with non-exclusive images, which I also submit to many other microstocks, and I have 40% from sales. They sell images not only themselves but submit them to many partners, including even Shutterstock (offset collection) and Fotolia, and if you also submit there, you should tell them not to submit there, to avoid double submission. Because of so many partners earnings also vary a lot, from near 0.5 pounds to 200 pounds per image. But I submit images as RF, you may select 'rights managed' and prices would be higher.

« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2017, 23:15 »
0
How about only submit to site where you can set your own price like Pond5 and MotionElements.

« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2017, 00:56 »
+1
How about only submit to site where you can set your own price like Pond5 and MotionElements.
With specialist subjects it's probably more important to submit to sites where buyers of that specialist material are likely to look than it is to be able to set your own price.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
12 Replies
5211 Views
Last post November 18, 2008, 02:36
by shank_ali
20 Replies
6229 Views
Last post August 04, 2009, 22:12
by Sean Locke Photography
4 Replies
2372 Views
Last post March 22, 2012, 05:40
by Phillip Minnis
12 Replies
2529 Views
Last post October 18, 2013, 13:12
by Starzipan
11 Replies
3478 Views
Last post April 19, 2016, 10:18
by Phadrea

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results