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Author Topic: Help editing photos and what sells  (Read 15890 times)

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« on: February 15, 2010, 16:58 »
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 :-\
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 16:08 by leaf »


« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 17:03 »
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It would be helpful for you to post some examples of photos that got rejected so that we can give you some ideas of problems to work on. Or you could post your rejects on the site's forum in the critiques category...there are always helpful people there, too.

« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 17:06 »
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knowing whether an image is technically well exposed is mostly about practice.  You can tell a few things from the image data (perhaps I'll make a tutorial about it tomorrow)  If you are willing to get critique on your photos, like cclapper mentioned it would probably be quite helpful to post them.

« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 17:07 »
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For white balance, use a white balance card or shoot RAW and adjust the balance in post.  For exposure, use your camera's exposure meters and histogram, and make tiny adjustments in post.  Examples would be very helpful, hard to help if we can't see what you are talking about.

It also sounds like you don't have a lot of experience with your camera gear (based on your rejection reasons and questions about white balance, exposure, etc).  Probably your best bet is to read the manual that came with your camera.

« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 17:14 »
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here is how to read a histogram (if you didn't know before)

Photoshop 101 e.3 - What is a Histogram : Beginner Tutorial

« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 17:19 »
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In meanwhile, apply to other agencies that do not require passing a test:
1. Dreamstime
2. 123RF
3. CanStockPhoto
4. YAYMicro
5. DepositPhotos

You'll get "second opinion" :-)

« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 17:20 »
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Don't put the cart (selling stock) before the horse (learning how to work your camera).

« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 17:24 »
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Perhaps some kind soul can point me in the right direction for learning the tools for getting some pics accepted, as the stock sites themselves remain mysteriously vague, like I'm applying for membership into the quakers or some secret sect...lol


Modster... you came to the right place!!  There are some very, very accomplished 'Togs here and they are very willing and happy to lend a hand to newbies!!   Welcome to the club!!
Don't give up.  Rejection is part of the game and it happens to all of us, even the very best (of which I do not profess to be :D).  8)=tom

« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 17:42 »
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 ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 14:55 by modster »

« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 17:44 »
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 ::)

« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 14:55 by modster »

« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 17:46 »
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In meanwhile, apply to other agencies that do not require passing a test:
1. Dreamstime [nofollow]
2. 123RF [nofollow]
3. CanStockPhoto [nofollow]
4. YAYMicro [nofollow]
5. DepositPhotos [nofollow]

You'll get "second opinion" :-)


Good stuff I will check these out.. ;)

« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 17:47 »
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the exposure on that shot looks fine.  It is imposible to say anything about the quality of the file, but the subject isn't particularly stocky.  It could be used as an abstract background I suppose but the sites really have TONS of those already so it is pretty tough to get them accepted unless the image is really stunning.

Good stock 'says something' or tells a little mini story - it illustrates something.  

« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 17:48 »
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and another



again it is hard to tell when it is so small - but it looks a little dark.  I did a little 2 second edit to brighten it up.  the subject matter on that image is better though. It is a background again, which is a hard sell but it has good room for copyspace and to me, at least says 'spring' or 'green life' or 'nature' 'green living' etc.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 17:52 by leaf »

« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 17:49 »
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^ gotcha
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 14:57 by modster »

« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 17:50 »
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the subject isn't particularly stocky.  It could be used as an abstract background I suppose but the sites really have TONS of those already so it is pretty tough to get them accepted unless the image is really stunning.

Good stock 'says something' or tells a little mini story - it illustrates something. 

amen..    I have had little success lately with any form of  'background'  or 'texture'  images .  Evidently they really do have many more than they need.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 17:53 »
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^ gotcha, so perhaps its the content thats not winning through, makes sense since I guess the subjects I choose are easy to shoot
Forget the nature...sunset..flowers...the stock sites are already swamped with these type images and the reason being is just like you said...they are easy subject, but they aren't big sellers. You have to think of what that photo can be used for,  not just..."heh thats a great photo". Look it magazines..you'll see there the variety of uses.

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2010, 18:13 »
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^ gotcha, so perhaps its the content thats not winning through, makes sense since I guess the subjects I choose are easy to shoot
Forget the nature...sunset..flowers...the stock sites are already swamped with these type images and the reason being is just like you said...they are easy subject, but they aren't big sellers. You have to think of what that photo can be used for,  not just..."heh thats a great photo". Look it magazines..you'll see there the variety of uses.
They can be big sellers, and what I see in magazines is nature, sunset, flowers; but they're seldom stock shots. The problems is, like you said, there are too many already in the collections. But you can say that about just about everything. And take it from me, the fact that you have the only X, Y or Z on a site, or even across microstock is no guarantee that anyone is going to want to buy it.
Good luck!


« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2010, 19:52 »
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 trained in graphic design etc etc, I know basic photo skills..

my point was that I'm not personally that interested in the minutai technical details, rather I just make images, and to a print quality standard etc..in which case i might need to focus on these things if I want to contribute to stock etc..





welcome!  your graphic design exp could actually hurt at first, unless you really look at what stock photos are -- useful for designers, not necessarily works of art themseves

once you decide what you want to shoot, check whast's already accepted at various agencies to see your competitors and what sells

fr me, when i stsarted in microstock, it took awhile to get used to rejections because lighting or focus was a bit off at 100%, but it does get easier if you consider the reasons for rejectins

i'd also encourage you to try DT - you might also consider deposit photos since they not only accept most images, they also pay $.20 for each image they accept from you.  i just made $100 there in the lasst 2 months

steve

« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2010, 20:33 »
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Photoshop 101 e.3 - What is a Histogram : Beginner Tutorial

Is that your tutorial site, Leaf? 

« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 01:19 »
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You'll get "second opinion" :-)
And he got some hidden referral links fed through his throat without any substantial advice. Yack.  :'(

To the OP: don't upload at first to the 'easy' sites, you won't learn anything. First apply to iStock since they have the best and most helpful reviewers with the most detailed rejection reasons. That's why I'm on iStock at the moment. I don't sell much since I'm buried deep in the best match as non-exclusive Cinderella but I use them as my personal QC. What can I learn from 100% acceptance at SS?

The second remark is that passing the QC (reviewers) at any site isn't the real issue. Reviewers don't buy. Your ultimate goal must be to produce salable images. The buyer is your real challenge. You won't make it with nice landscapes and meadows full of flowers. What product or service could be endorsed with it?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 01:34 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 01:38 »
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Photoshop 101 e.3 - What is a Histogram : Beginner Tutorial

Is that your tutorial site, Leaf? 
yeah

« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 01:42 »
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Is that your tutorial site, Leaf?
yeah
Great! What screen capture program you used?

« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 07:23 »
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 07:50 »
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Quote
your graphic design exp could actually hurt at first, unless you really look at what stock photos are -- useful for designers, not necessarily works of art themseves

I also am a graphic designer and I think that experience helped tremendously with my photography. For many years I had to buy stock photos to use in newsletters, catalogs, ads, etc. so when it came time for me to shoot, I had a better understanding of what I, as a buyer, was looking for.

« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 08:40 »
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Basically I've learned from all your very useful feedback
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 14:58 by modster »

« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2010, 08:44 »
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Quote
Well then, my question is why do they leave us to guess what subjects they are needing more of...


Some sites actually tell you what they are looking for. You just need to surf around and spend some time looking. For instance, here's the page on istock:

http://www.istockphoto.com/tutorial_5.0_neededfiles.php

« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2010, 08:51 »
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^ great thanks I havn't been on that one yet

I hunted on SS but only found a guide on Yuris own site.


« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2010, 09:00 »
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Basically I've learned from all your very useful feedback, that stock probably isn't my game, I should probably either keep photog as a hobby, or find another way to make some pocket money from my pics..

Nothing wrong with that.  Good luck!

« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2010, 10:00 »
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well, I looked around and there were those types of subjects in the lightboxes, which I thought I could slip into. In the 10 I submitted they weren't all exactly like the above, I did put in a cross mixture - but I think as most replies have stated they are saturated with this type of subject matter.
Well actually landscapes, sunsets and architecture do sell, if the are either (a) landmarks/icons/famous or (b) exceptional.
Food shots offer and endless variety of composition, diversity and colors. Landmarks are limited in the world.

helix7

« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2010, 10:43 »
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...trained in graphic design etc etc, I know basic photo skills...

Do you know Illustrator? Maybe photo isn't your game, but being trained in graphic design (as I was) might lend to using Illustrator to get into creating stock graphics and illustrations.

But keep in mind, as Sean mentioned, don't put the cart before the horse. Get comfortable with creating great images before you bother even trying to sell them. Find your niche, your style, the type of image that works for you, and hone your skills.

ShadySue

« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2010, 12:19 »
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You'll get "second opinion" :-)
You won't make it with nice landscapes and meadows full of flowers. What product or service could be endorsed with it?

My question is why do stock controllers leave submitters guessing what subjects they are needing more of...and more likely getting it wrong, it would surely save everyone's time and resources if there as a bit more descriptive criteria.

If they said they wanted red spingleplonks, you'd get hundreds of them within a fortnight, so how would you be better off?

« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2010, 14:02 »
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If they said they wanted red spingleplonks, you'd get hundreds of them within a fortnight, so how would you be better off?

You need to have the first spingleplonk then.
You know what sells like crazy? Hands with 6 fingers!
  ;D
Nobody with a clear mind is going to tell his potential competitors what will sell best.

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 14:11 »
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Do you know Illustrator? Maybe photo isn't your game, but being trained in graphic design (as I was) might lend to using Illustrator to get into creating stock graphics and illustrations.

But keep in mind, as Sean mentioned, don't put the cart before the horse. Get comfortable with creating great images before you bother even trying to sell them. Find your niche, your style, the type of image that works for you, and hone your skills.


Very, VERY good advice, both the honing your skills part and the doing illustrations part. 

If I had any artistic ability at all I would be doing illustrations.  Much less competition and higher returns (at IS at least)

« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2010, 14:52 »
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If they said they wanted red spingleplonks, you'd get hundreds of them within a fortnight, so how would you be better off?

You need to have the first spingleplonk then.
You know what sells like crazy? Hands with 6 fingers!
 ;D
Nobody with a clear mind is going to tell his potential competitors what will sell best.



is that stating the obvious?  I meant SOME sort of guideline would help, which a  "kind soul" advised earlier





« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 15:00 by modster »

« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2010, 15:00 »
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is that stating the obvious?  I meant SOME sort of guideline would help, which an earlier "kind soul" advised earlier
What I mean is that most advise you'll read on blogs and stuff are just common sense things.
The vast majority of blogs about microstock is for trapping you unknowingly into their referrals. Those who can't shoot, blog. They won't tell you the real things. The best tactic to find out what sells best is go to the sites and check the best selling photos.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 15:02 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2010, 15:01 »
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If I had any artistic ability at all I would be doing illustrations.  Much less competition and higher returns (at IS at least)

I've thought the same __ but I don't think I could handle the rejections if I'd spent hours working on my 'masterpieces'.

A few years back I had a very talented illustrator in my CN on IS. His stuff outsold my photos by at least 4x relative to portfolio size but even so he had about a 60% rejection rate (against my own 15%). He'd also go ballistic when they kept deciding his vectors were only worth 1 credit rather than 3 at the time. He gave up in frustration but I'm sure if he hadn't he'd be making a very good living from it.

« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2010, 15:56 »
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Quote
Those who can't shoot, blog.

ROFLMAO! You made my day, Flemish.

ETA: What happened to the title? dot? what's that mean?  :)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 16:03 by cclapper »


« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2010, 16:09 »
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the original post was changed to include nothing... .. which makes the subject of the thread nothing :( 

I changed the title of the original post so the thread had a title again.

« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2010, 16:31 »
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Oh...looks like the OP got discouraged. I must say one must have a tough skin to be in microstock. sjlocke, you know who you are.  ;) just teasin. Most of the time you crack me up...until your ire is pointed at me, then my feelings get hurt.  :)

I would love to see a picture of a spingleplonk.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2010, 16:32 »
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What happened??? Did Modster remove his original post?? Maybe he gave up on what sells and what doesn't. I know anyone thinking about getting into the stock business needs to sit around here and read these post for about a week ....then make up their mind rather it's worth all the aggravation

« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2010, 18:09 »
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yeah i dunno.  It looks like he took the advice he got well... but that doesn't explain the deleted first post?!  ???

ShadySue

« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2010, 18:47 »
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(deleted)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 18:08 by ShadySue »

« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2010, 21:41 »
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I also am a graphic designer and I think that experience helped tremendously with my photography. For many years I had to buy stock photos to use in newsletters, catalogs, ads, etc. so when it came time for me to shoot, I had a better understanding of what I, as a buyer, was looking for.

I will buy your book when it comes out.  :)

« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2010, 05:13 »
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Quote
Those who can't shoot, blog.

ROFLMAO! You made my day, Flemish.

Many people will hate me for it.  ;)

This is not a nice forum nor a social club but if the OP can't stand the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen. He got some very sound advice for free. I have to temper my statement about blogging. It was about microstock business sites (with the exception of a few, like Lee), not about tutorial sites. Those are great.

As to a spingleplonk, I had the rare occasion to photograph one. It looks like the hand of Attila the reviewer, it grows on Lucky Olivers and it opens up only in moonless nights near the equator.
  8)

« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2010, 12:19 »
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This is not a nice forum nor a social club ...

Why not? Why shouldn't it be?

If I give a guy a few pointers, am I afraid he's going to submit 10,000 killer images next week and wipe out my sales?


« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2010, 13:23 »
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If I give a guy a few pointers, am I afraid he's going to submit 10,000 killer images next week and wipe out my sales?
But he actually got some very good pointers. His initial shots were landscapes, and since landscapes and landmarks are amongst my best sellers, my advice was honest and complete imho:
Quote
Well actually landscapes, sunsets and architecture do sell, if they are either (a) landmarks/icons/famous or (b) exceptional.
What would he expect? We give our shoot list and concepts away for the coming months? Gaps in the concepts present online we found with a lot of research and we plan to shoot later? I don't know of anybody here doing that.
Did he expect shoulder-tapping like on Flickr? If he can't deal with some realities here, how would he be stress-resistant enough to deal with rejections when he starts uploading?

I'm going to stay out of this kind of threads if it just generates frustration.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 13:28 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2010, 14:32 »
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my advice was honest and complete imho:

Sure it was.  I'm just questioning your statement that this isn't a 'nice' forum.  Why shouldn't it be?  It's not a forum for cardiac surgeons. There's nothing serious at stake here.   
 


RacePhoto

« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2010, 23:40 »
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If they said they wanted red spingleplonks, you'd get hundreds of them within a fortnight, so how would you be better off?


Darn all I have is a shot of a green one...  ;)



Since the OP has fled the scene, I would have said shoot what you enjoy and find pleasure in creating, the sales will follow. If not at least you had a good time?

If this was all about starting out and making money, that's a whole different topic than "what sells". They are not necessarily the same thing.

Maybe it would be easier when the next person comes up with the same question, to give examples of what not to shoot, which will save them time and wasted effort? Even then, some stuff that doesn't sell, will sell.

« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2010, 08:12 »
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Hey Race,

Is that a picture of a Hodag from Rhinelander, Wisconsin?

RacePhoto

« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2010, 12:44 »
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Hey Race,

Is that a picture of a Hodag from Rhinelander, Wisconsin?

Of course, a Wisconson-ite would know that. :D Especially a Packer Fan!


 

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